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The State Hornet

The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

Student news without fear or favor

Top 10 energy drinks to help zap through the semester

From morning classes to late-night studying, fuel up with these energy drinks
Mia Huss
Red Bull is one of the most popular energy drinks among college students. See how Red Bull ranks among other popular energy drinks in this top 10 guide for the best energy drinks. (Graphic created in Canva by Mia Huss)

Deciding how to fuel your day is an important part of being a college student, but with so many energy drink options, it’s hard to decide how to keep energized throughout the day.

Many students stay awake through early morning classes and late-night study sessions by drinking the variety of creative and delicious flavors from Red Bull to Celsius, these drinks will keep you fueled to conquer any challenge that comes your way.

If you find yourself dozing off, grab your favorite energy drink and get ready to discover the caffeinated champions of the collegiate world from major brands like Red Bull, Rockstar, Monster, Uptime, Celsius, Reign and Alani Nu.

10. Watermelon Red Bull

Red Bull’s Watermelon flavor is the perfect balance of sour and sweet. If you like drinks that remind you of summer, this one’s for you. (Photo courtesy of Red Bull, graphic created in Canva made by Mia Huss)

Red Bull is known for their famous slogan “Red Bull gives you wiiings,” and no, drinking it doesn’t make you grow wings, but what Red Bull does is optimize flavor.

Watermelon flavored Red Bull is the ultimate flavor experience that perfectly executes the watermelon flavor without being too sour or sugary.

The drink contains 80 milligrams of caffeine which is equivalent to a cup of coffee. Red Bull also has vitamin B6 and B12, but the sugar content is 27 grams which is higher than most energy drinks on the market.

The flavor isn’t too sweet and doesn’t taste overwhelmingly artificial, which a lot of energy drinks do with watermelon flavoring. If you want a drink that tastes like a watermelon Jolly Rancher or that fits the perfect summer vibe, this drink is for you.

9. Rockstar Fruit Punch

Rockstar Energy’s Fruit Punch flavored energy drink is available in both original and sugar free options. This is a good energy drink for you if you like sweet, bold and fruity flavors. (Photo courtesy of Rockstar Energy, graphic created in Canva by Mia Huss)

Rockstar is one of the classic energy drink companies that everyone knows about, with over 20 flavors that’ll keep you awake.

The Fruit Punch flavor is one of Rockstar’s original and best flavors, because it’s a mix of refreshing and bold flavors that satisfy your sweet tooth, without overpowering your palette.

Rockstar Fruit Punch contains 160 milligrams of caffeine, so it’s not as strong as other energy drinks on the market, but still helps you get through that late-night study session. Another benefit of this flavor is that Rockstar offers a zero sugar version.

I keep this flavor low on the list because if you’re like me, you have your energy drinks in the morning, and fruit punch during a 9 a.m. class doesn’t sound good.

8. Monster Energy Ultra Gold

Monster Energy Ultra Gold has the perfect pineapple flavor that doesn’t overpower. The can has a shiny gold tone that makes you feel like royalty when drinking. (Photo courtesy of Rockstar Energy, graphic created in Canva by Mia Huss)

There’s nothing better than a shiny golden can with a cool name, and that’s exactly why Monster Energy Ultra Gold is on this list.

Ultra Gold is a sweet and bold pineapple flavor containing 150 milligrams of caffeine. This beverage has just enough caffeine to get you through your midterms and finals without feeling too jittery.

The best part about Ultra Gold is that it doesn’t have a chemical like taste, has zero sugar and only 10 calories.

If you want to try something new and explore the wide world of Monster Energy, Ultra Gold is a good flavor to start with.

7. Celsius Green Apple Cherry

Celsius is a very popular energy drink brand with over 20 options to choose from and each can has 200 milligrams of caffeine. The unique Green Apple Cherry flavor is a must try. (Photo courtesy of Celsius, graphic created in Canva by Mia Huss)

It seems Celsius energy drinks are one of the most popular brands among college students, and out of the 24 flavors the company produces, Green Apple Cherry is the best.

At first, I thought this fruit duo was a little odd, but once I tasted it I was hooked. The flavor resembles a candy apple and is quite refreshing and energizing.

Celsius is low in sodium and sugar-free, which are both great for people who count calories, go to the gym or follow a meal plan.

I like Celsius for the company’s extensive list of flavors, but also because of how sweet the drinks are despite having zero sugar.

I’ve tried every Celcius flavor and this one is definitely one of the best, because of its shocking and unique flavor profile.

6. Rockstar Whipped Strawberry

The Whipped Strawberry flavor from Rockstar Energy is a creamy and energizing flavor. This must try beverage will satisfy your sweet tooth. (Photo courtesy of Rockstar Energy, graphic created in Canva by Mia Huss)

Rockstar’s Whipped Strawberry flavor resembles the popular Mexican dessert Fresas con Crema and instantly cures any sweet craving you may have.

This drink not only satisfies your sweet tooth, but it also contains 160 milligrams of caffeine.

The art on the energy drink can is also stunning with gorgeous red, pink and white energetic cartoon characters and animated sketches.

The drink is creamy, which is something not many other energy drink companies do. If you’re looking for the perfect sweet and creamy strawberry beverage to keep you up, this one is definitely a winner.

RELATED: The five best coffee shops for studying

5. Uptime white peach lemonade

Uptime Energy’s White Peach Lemonade is a summery flavor that keeps your energy up all day without crashing. This flavor is offered in both zero sugar and original. (Photo courtesy of Uptime Energy, graphic created in Canva by Mia Huss)

Uptime is a 10-year-old company with a wide variety of flavors, but the White Peach Lemonade is an eccentric flavor that quenches your thirst and gives you an energy boost.

Uptime offers a zero sugar version for this flavor, so if you don’t want the 37 grams of sugar from the original version, the zero sugar version is just as flavorful.

Drinks from Uptime are in aluminum bottles instead of cans which is a unique design not many companies do, but I think that’s what makes Uptime so interesting.

I also like how this drink is 142 milligrams of caffeine because it’s not enough to make me jittery and I have long-lasting energy throughout the day with no caffeine or sugar crash.

4. Red Bull Pear Cinnamon

Pear Cinnamon is one of the best Red Bull flavors on the market. The crispness of the pear and cinnamon together make for the perfect refreshing energy drink. (Photo courtesy of Red Bull, graphic created in Canva by Mia Huss)

This might be a hot take, but the Pear Cinnamon Red Bull is one of the best drink creations ever released by the company.

Pear and cinnamon sound like an absolutely unorthodox pairing, but Red Bull worked their magic and created the perfect balance of a fresh pear flavor, with just a hint of cinnamon.

While the flavor is titled Pear Cinnamon, the drink actually tastes like apple cider, which flawlessly fits for a winter themed drink.

If you need a small boost, the 8.4 ounce can has about 80 milligrams of caffeine which is just enough for that extra energy you might need to get through a presentation or meeting.

3. Reign Storm Valencia Orange

Reign Body Fuel is a company focused on creating delicious flavors of energy drinks that keep you feeling energized all day. Reign Storm is a plant based energy drink line and Valencia Orange is one of the best flavors.(Photo courtesy of Reign Body Fuel, graphic created in Canva by Mia Huss)

Perfecting an orange flavored energy drink can be complex because of how overpowering the sourness and zest can be, but Reign achieves this with their clean energy drink flavor Storm Valencia Orange.

Reign Storm Valencia Orange is the perfect plant-based energy drink that doesn’t compromise its flavor, with 200 milligrams of caffeine, 10 calories and zero sugar.

I dislike orange energy drinks and rarely finish them, but Reign surprised me with this flavor and it has become one of my favorite energy drinks.

Students who like orange juice would like this energy drink, because of how fresh the citrus flavoring is. Coming from an orange energy drink hater, this one outshines the rest.

2. Celsius Raspberry Peach

Raspberry Peach is one of the latest Celsius flavors. The two fruits together balance eachother out to create the ultimate sweet and energizing experience. (Photo courtesy of Celsius, graphic created in Canva by Mia Huss)

The Celsius Raspberry Peach flavor is the brand’s newest addition to their line up of 24 canned energy drinks and the moment I took a sip of this it instantly became one of my favorites.

The tang from the raspberry fits perfectly with the sweetness of the peaches, but the flavor isn’t the only reason this energy drink is a must try, the drink also has zero sugar and 10 calories.

Celsius never fails to amaze me when it comes to never compromising flavor, which is why I am a fan of the brand.

This drink stands out due its delicious fruit flavors and its ability to fit 200 milligrams of caffeine in one 12 ounce can.

1. Alani Nu Juicy Peach

Alani Nu’s Juicy Peach flavor makes you feel like you’re biting into a fresh peach. This refreshing flavor is the best for students to try because of how refreshing it tastes and the caffeine content. (Photo courtesy of Alani Nu, graphic created in Canva by Mia Huss)

The winner for the best energy drink for college students is Alani Nu’s Juicy Peach flavor, which was released in January 2023.

The Juicy Peach flavor makes you feel like you’re biting into a fresh peach from a farmers market, and it’s one of the best peach flavored energy drinks I’ve come across.

This energy drink is particularly my favorite because of the freshness and crispness of the juicy peach flavor, which reminds me of a candy peach ring or a fresh peach.

A normal 12 ounce can contains 200 milligrams of caffeine, which is half of what a healthy adult should consume in a day, but if that’s too much for you, the company also offers 8.4 ounce cans that contain 100 milligrams for a smaller energy boost.

This energy drink is a must try if you enjoy a refreshing and crisp flavor to keep your energy amped up all day or even a pre-gym beverage.

There’s a wide world of energy drinks out there and it’s almost impossible to highlight them all, but these are just 10 of the best to try if you’re struggling through the rest of the semester.

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About the Contributor
Mia Huss
Mia Huss, A&E Staffer
(she/her) Mia is a graduating senior majoring in political science and journalism. She has worked as a freelance journalist covering local government in her hometown. This is her first semester with The State Hornet.
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