Celsius Energy Drink Under the Microscope: Is It a Wise Choice for Wellness?


Nov. 14 2023, Updated 2:05 p.m. ET

The Gist:

  • Celsius is a popular energy drink with no artificial preservatives, high-fructose corn syrup, or aspartame.
  • However, some doctors and specialists are concerned about the high caffeine levels in Celsius, which could make them dangerous to those with heart conditions.
  • A 2023 class action lawsuit alleged that Celsius had misleading labels.
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Celsius energy drinks are touted as a healthy alternative to other energy drinks, with no artificial preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, or aspartame. The Celsius website even claims that the drink has “calorie-burning properties.”

You may have even seen high-profile celebrity advertisements touting Celsius as their drink of choice — but is Celsius bad for you? Let’s look at the popular Celsius energy drinks, what’s in them, and whether they are truly a healthier alternative to other energy drinks on the market.

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Is Celsius bad for you?

According to registered dietician Jamie Nadeau of The Balanced Nutritionist, Celsius drinks are not bad for you as long as you drink them in moderation. The biggest concern with Celsius drinks is their high caffeine level.

One 12 oz. Celsius drink has about 200 mg of caffeine. Typically up to 400 mg of caffeine daily is safe for healthy adults, per the Mayo Clinic. According to the USDA, one eight-ounce cup of coffee contains 95 mg of caffeine.

Nadeau recommends that people with heart conditions and other health concerns avoid using Celsius drinks. “They’re marketed as sports drinks, but the benefits may not outweigh the risks,” Nadeau writes.

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What are the Celsius drink ingredients?

Many Celsius Live Fit sparkling drinks contain a MetaPlus proprietary blend, which the company claims “enacts thermogenesis to accelerate metabolism and increase caloric burn.” The proprietary blend includes green tea, caffeine, guarana seed extract, taurine, and ginger root extract.

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Green tea is known to have many health benefits. It is a natural source of caffeine and has plenty of antioxidants. It is also rich in polyphenols, which help reduce inflammation. Studies have shown that green tea may also help burn fat, boost metabolism, reduce blood sugar, and lower cholesterol.

Guarana seed extract is also a stimulant often found in weight loss products. Its benefits include its antioxidant properties, antibacterial properties, reduced fatigue, improved memory, and learning, and it may lower your risk of cancer and eye diseases, based on information from Healthline.

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Taurine is an amino acid that can improve metabolism and memory. It may also even help slow the aging process, reports the New York Times. However, the Times reports that it could cause stomach and kidney problems in large doses.

Ginger root extract is a spice that has long been used for its health benefits. It is considered a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Some studies have found ginger to help reduce body mass index (BMI) and blood insulin levels.

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A lawsuit alleged Celsius drinks have misleading labels.

Although Celsius drinks aren’t necessarily bad for you, the company has been accused of having misleading labels for claiming the drink has “no preservatives.” A class action lawsuit against Celsius contends that the citric acid in the drinks is a preservative, reported USA Today. While the company denied the allegations, it agreed to a $7.8 million settlement, USA Today reported.

Is Celsius healthier than other energy drinks?

Despite the concerns with the high caffeine content in Celsius, it is still healthier than many of the alternative energy drinks on the market, per Illuminate Labs. Energy drinks like Red Bull and Monster contain high amounts of added sugar and artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners.

In short: before you pick up an energy drink, stay mindful of the caffeine it contains.

This article, originally published on Aug. 16, 2023, has been updated.

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