The Celsius energy drink in particular is a carbonated (sparkling) energy drink, enhanced with additional components that the company claims to support workout and weight loss. But is Celsius drink bad for you? Is it a healthier energy drink than the competition? And, does it really boost your metabolism as it claims…
Energy drinks and sports drinks have become a new norm in the fitness industry. Some people drink these for taste, some rely on it for the energy boost to support a workout, and others swap coffee for a can from their favorite brands. Its no secret, energy drinks are quite effective at providing quick energy boost as they are loaded with caffein .
- The Claims…
- A Look At The Ingredients
- Possible Side-Effects Of Drinking Celsius
- Is Celsius Safe For Pregnant Women?
- Is it Safe For Diabetics and Hypertensives?
- So, Who Should Avoid Celsius Drink?
- Are Energy Drinks Necessary if You Workout Regularly?
- So, Is Celsius Energy Drink Good for You?
Celsius energy drink claims their drink is proven to boost metabolism when combined with exercise, and therefore promotes weight loss. They have listed a bunch of studies that were done with the drink to prove this particular claim. Some of these studies assert the following:
- The Celsius energy drink blend is demonstrated to increase thermogenesis. This particularly impactful because an increased body temperature increases metabolism.
- Their drink improves the physiological response in previously sedentary men. They add that their drink can decreases body fat, increases lean muscle, and improves cardiorespiratory response to the workout.
- They also add that the Celsius drink can delays fatigue and therefore improves repeated, short performances.
- Lastly they state that their product increases endurance and improves blood lipid profile.
It’s worth noting that it has been mentioned in these studies that the long-term effect of regular intake of this drink on body composition is not known yet.
A Look At The Ingredients
- Calories= 10
- Total carbohydrate= 2g
- Total sugar= 0
- Vitamin C = 60 mg
- Vitamin B complex:
- Riboflavin = 1.7 mg
- Niacin = 20 mg
- Vitamin B6 = 2 mg
- Vitamin B12 = 6 mcg
- Biotin = 3 mcg
- Pantothenic acid = 50 mg
- Chromium (chelate) = 50 mcg
- Sodium = 0 mg
The Celsius energy drink also includes a proprietary blend containing:
- Guarana extract seed
- Caffeine = 200 mg (Heat variety contains 300mg per can!!!)
- Ginger extract (root)
- Green tea leaf extract: ECCG (Epigallocatechin gallate) (15%)
- Carbonated filtered water (base)
- The citric acid (preservative)
- Vegetable juice (color)
- Natural flavor
On the Celsius website they claim the vitamin C’s are there to promote tissue repair and for the production of certain neurotransmitters.
Generally speaking, Vitamin C helps improve the immune system and helps with tissue repair our body— two of many functions that it plays in our body. But what role does it play when we speak of exercise?
As per studies, after prolonged workouts the vitamin C levels in our circulations reduce. The cause of this is not yet known. However, studies also say that regular exercise does not need an increased amount of vitamin C.
Vitamin C is believed to promote tissue repair and prevent or attenuate post-workout soreness. However, studies show conflicting results in this context— with only a few studies showing a reduction in muscle soreness (3 out of 14). More research is required to say anything conclusively whether or not vitamin C help with post-workout repair and prevention of soreness.
Vitamin B is yet another important vitamin that helps in many pathways in our body and even helps in new cell formation and repair of damaged cells. Studies show that people who have a deficiency of vitamin B have a lower ability to perform the exercise at higher intensities.
Studies also show that regular workout increases the demand for certain vitamins, like vitamin B6 and riboflavin.
It is a good thing that the Celsius drink contains vitamin B complex. However, if your dietary intake of all the essential nutrients is good, the presence and absence of these vitamins in any energy drink are not that important. Getting the vitamins and minerals from natural sources is the best way to get these essential nutrients.
Chromium is a trace mineral that is required by our body in small amounts. It plays a vital role in carbohydrate, protein, and lipid metabolism by potentiating insulin’s action.
As per research, chromium supplements may help reduce hunger and fat cravings. They are shown to support weight loss. It helps reduce the fat and promotes an increase in lean body mass. Although as per studies, these changes are not that significant clinically, but statistically they are.
Studies suggest that with increased intensity of workouts, the excretion of chromium is increased too. However, it is not yet understood whether or not increasing the dietary intake of chromium helps the body. Yes, Chromium is required by our body but in a very small amount, which most people easily get from their diet. Chromium deficiencies are quite rare and is mostly seen in people who consume refined food. So, if you consume a healthy, fresh, balanced diet, chances are that you do not need any more Chromium.
Taurine is a sulfur-containing amino acid that helps in fat metabolism and therefore improves performance during workouts. It may also support weight loss. Taurine also supports cardiac performance during the workout through various processes.
Taurine is proven to improve metabolism and reduce oxidative stress in the body.
Guarana Seed Extract
This is the source of caffeine in Celsius drinks. Guarana seeds contain twice the amount of caffeine present in coffee beans. Caffeine is known to enhance workout performance, and therefore it is frequently found in sports and energy drinks.
Guarana seeds are considered pretty safe to be consumed. However, the content of caffeine in Celsius drinks is a cause of concern and a major limiting factor for a consumer (caffeine content= 200 mg ; Heat variety contains 300mg per can!!!)
That’s a lot of caffeine.
Glucuronolactone is quite popularly used in energy drinks. It is believed to improve athletic performance. However, there aren’t any scientific studies that support this statement.
Ginger root extract
Studies suggest that about 2gm of ginger 1 hour prior to workout provides an analgesic effect and helps with the post-workout pain and inflammation. So, this certainly seems like a good addition to the drink as this will help with post-workout soreness.
It also adds to the flavor and helps with thermogenesis, i.e. increases metabolism.
Green tea leaf extract (ECCG- epigallocatechin gallate; 15%)
This is the major metabolic booster and fat burner of this drink.
Green tea is well known for its anti-oxidant properties. Additionally, studies suggest that green tea extract increases metabolism during exercise and at rest.
Possible Side-Effects Of Drinking Celsius
None of the ingredients other than caffeine is known to cause any major side effects.
The usual can of Celsius contain 200 mg of caffeine per can, and the heat variety, which is meant for extreme performances, contains 300 mg of caffeine. To put in perspective, an average 8-ounce cup of coffee contains about 50-100 mg of caffeine— depending upon what type of coffee you are having, and a cup of tea contains 30-80 mg of caffeine.
It is generally scientifically accepted that caffeine improves workout performance. However, 200 mg per can is a pretty steep. According to the FDA, 400 mg of caffeine per day is considered to be safe. But, while 400 mg is the safe upper limit of caffeine intake, some people may be sensitive to caffeine at lower amounts. For these people, even 200 mg of caffeine may be enough to manifest some of the following symptoms:
- Inability to focus
If you choose to indulge in a can of this drink, It is important to monitor your overall caffeine intake. As per the FDA’s recommendation, and the nutritional label you can only drink about 2 cans of regular Celsius and only 1 can of heat variety per day. This is of course if you are not having any other caffeine-based beverages (diet drinks, tea, coffee), and food (chocolate).
Is Celsius Safe For Pregnant Women?
Please speak to your doctor regarding the caffeine restriction if you are pregnant.
That said, if you are currently pregnant, it is most likely best to avoid this beverage completely— since the caffeine content of this beverage is too high.
For pregnant women, caffeine intake of less than 200 mg per day is considered to be safe as per numerous studies.
With amounts higher than 200 mg, a reduction in the size of the baby (growth restriction) is often noted. Small babies are at a higher risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and obesity in the future. Additionally, pre-term deliveries and miscarriages have been seen at doses more than 200 mg in smaller studies.
More extensive studies with strict guidelines are needed to understand the association of caffeine and pregnancy outcomes well. However, it’s better to be on the safer side and keep the caffeine levels less than 200 mg per day. These negative outcomes are not seen with doses less than 200 mg per day, as per the ACOG (American College of Obstetrician and Gynecology).
Since 1 can of regular Celsius drink contains 200 mg of caffeine, it’s better to avoid this drink altogether if you are pregnant. The reason being, there are a lot of things that we consume not realizing that they contain caffeine. Apart from the regular tea and coffee, chocolates (and related desserts), cokes, energy drinks, sodas, and even some medications and supplements contain caffeine. So, you may be consuming additional caffeine without even realizing it.
Pregnancy is a state where you want to take that extra care to avoid excessive intake since an excess intake can affect the outcome of the pregnancy.
It’s recommended to speak to your obstetrician regarding all the restrictions, and regarding any supplements that you may wish to add to your diet. Do not add any supplements without consulting your doctor first.
Is it Safe For Diabetics and Hypertensives?
Since Celsius drink does not contain any sugar or high fructose corn syrup, it seems safe for diabetics.
However, again, the caffeine content of this drink is very high, and therefore, too much consumption of Celsius or many other energy drinks is not recommended. If you drink tea or coffee too, keep 1 can as the upper limit. If you are sensitive to caffeine it is very likely that just 1 can of Celsius drink will make you uneasy, restless, or even agitated.
For hypertensives, caffeine is generally deemed safe, so it is possible to drink coffee and tea without worrying about it worsening blood pressure. However, a caffeine content of 200-300 mg (amount in a can of Celsius), will stimulate your system more than a cup of coffee with ~50-100 mg caffeine.
For controlled hypertension, keep an upper limit of 1 can, however, if uncontrolled or if with other heart diseases avoid this drink completely— as a high dose of caffeine may cause palpitations and even arrhythmias.
So, Who Should Avoid Celsius Drink?
Celsius drink is an overall healthy drink since it does not contain any sodium, sugar, preservatives, or any other artificial agents. However, its caffeine content is a huge drawback of this drink. Even completely healthy individuals should not drink too much Celsius drink.
However, limit your caffeine intake, especially if:
- You are Pregnant
- You are breastfeeding
- You have anxiety disorders.
- You have insomnia
- If caffeine is one of your migraine triggers
- If you have gastric ulcers or GERD
- If you have heart diseases or arrhythmias.
- Children and teens should avoid this drink.
Are Energy Drinks Necessary if You Workout Regularly?
The short answer is no, you do not need energy drinks or electrolyte water if you workout.
For most people who work out for a couple of hours per day, there is no need for any kind of additional drinks for energy, electrolytes, or caffeine. For short-duration workouts both food and electrolytes can be derived from the diet.
An additional boost is usually needed by the professionals who train for hours and hours a day. But for such professional, the addition of electrolytes are more important. Celsius drink doesn’t contain any electrolytes. So, you may have to use another sports drink (like propel water or Body Armor drink) to replace the lost sodium and potassium, if you are a professional.
However, as mentioned above, energy drinks and sports drinks are not mandatory for most people who work out.
So, Is Celsius Energy Drink Good for You?
The Celsius energy drink is a good option if you don’t overdo it or overindulge. Moderation is key.
The low sodium, no sugar, low calories content of this drink are some of the positives that make it better than other energy drinks by comparison. Additionally the lack of artificial preservatives or coloring agents also set it apart. However, as with most energy drinks the amount of caffeine ( 200-300mg) in just one can is a lot. If you drink energy drinks often, consider closely monitoring your overall caffeine intake especially if you also drink coffee and tea during the day.
Ultimately, listen to your body. Even though the upper safe limit of caffeine as per FDA is 400 mg, if drinking 200 mg of caffeine is too much, lower it.