Are Reign Energy Drinks Healthy?


Reign is quickly becoming prominent in the energy drink industry. According to the Reign website, their drink is “total body fuel”.

With such a bold claim, we decided to dive in and take a look to see if Reign is what they claim. 

What are Reign's ingredients?

Here’s the ingredient label for a 16 oz. Reign Energy drink:

Caffeine

With Reign being in the energy drink industry, you know it’s going to be packed with caffeine. The regular 16oz Reign has 300mgs of caffeine. 

According to studies, the most caffeine an adult should consume in a day is 400mg. With Reign containing 300mg, you are coming dangerously close to your caffeine limit with just one drink. For all you coffee drinkers out there, you could only drink one cup of coffee and one Reign a day to stay under the healthy caffeine consumption limit. 

According to its website, Reign surprisingly uses naturally-sourced caffeine. Of all of the popular energy drinks we've studied (besides ours), Reign is the only one that does not use artificial caffeine. 

One of the lesser-known facts about caffeine is that there are many sources of caffeine. Some of the sources are natural, plant-based caffeine while others are synthetically produced. 

Synthetically produced caffeine from Chinese pharmaceutical plants is the most popular caffeine source in soft drinks and energy drinks. Synthetic caffeine is quickly absorbed into your body, giving you the energy you crave faster than that of a naturally sourced caffeine. However, synthetic caffeine will lead to a much quicker crash. 

Green Tea caffeine is a naturally sourced caffeine that your body metabolizes differently than coffee, meaning it will affect you differently.

What could be THAT much different? It’s all caffeine, right?

Well, it’s actually something pretty beneficial. The caffeine found in Green Tea sticks to the antioxidants in the tea. This causes the caffeine to be absorbed slower by your body. As a result, you will not get the immediate caffeine rush you would with synthetic caffeine. Instead, your caffeine will slowly release over time, giving you more sustained energy.

Caffeine is also known to give people the shakes or jitters. With Green Tea caffeine, that is absent due to one of the antioxidants called L-Theanine, which is an antagonist to caffeine.

Props to Reign for using the good stuff. 

Sugars

Reign proudly claims that they are a zero-calorie and zero-sugar energy drink. 

Sucralose is the main sweetener in Reign. Despite being around since the 1990s, there has not been a ton of human research done on the effects of sucralose. There have been sucralose studies conducted on rats showing damage to gut bacteria. There have also been studies linking sucralose to a higher risk of cancer with the mice. 

Like sucralose, Ace-K (acesulfame potassium) is a calorie-free sweetener used in many diet products, including Reign sugar-free versions of Red Bull, Bang, and Monster. Similar to sucralose, Ace-K has been tested against mice. The research showed that Ace-K has been linked to cancer, thyroid issues, and changes in brain function. 

BCAAs

Branched-CHain Amino Acids, aka BCAAs, are essential proteins found in your foods. Your body receives energy as your muscles burn these amino acids. The three amino acids that make up the branched-chain amino acids are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These are essential amino acids, meaning your body cannot produce them. 

These three BCAAs are found in Reign energy drinks, 1000mgs to be exact. While these sound like a great addition to a drink, they're not 100% necessary. 

"If you're eating an overall healthy diet and you're balancing your protein throughout the day, you really don't need to take BCAAs in supplement form," says Joy Dubost, RD and a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

These are some foods that can BCAAs from:

  • Whey, milk, and soy proteins
  • Beef, chicken, fish, and eggs
  • Baked beans and lima beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Lentils
  • Whole wheat
  • Brown rice
  • Almonds, Brazil nuts, and cashews
  • Pumpkin seeds

While they can do a lot of good, they can also lead to some negative effects. An issue with BCAA consumption is that they fight for absorption with other important amino acids.

High doses of BCAAs can reduce serotonin production. This is ideal for exercise as serotonin increases fatigue, but it can also be dangerous as serotonin is essential for regulating anxiety, mood, and depression-like symptoms. 

Are there better alternatives to the sugar in Reign?

Of course, there are alternatives!

Sugars

Erythritol and Stevia are two natural sugar alcohols that can be used instead of the dangerous artificial sugars. These sugar alcohols are generally found in small amounts in fruits and vegetables. 

Erythritol only has 6% of the calories of sugar but retains 70% of the sweetness. Erythritol doesn’t spike your blood sugar or insulin, so this makes it a great sugar substitute for diabetics. Studies have shown that erythritol acts as an antioxidant, reducing blood vessel damage that has been caused by high blood sugar levels. Erythritol also will not cause your teeth to decay, unlike sugar and other artificial sweeteners. 

Stevia, another sugar alcohol, also makes for a great natural sugar substitute. Stevia has no calories and is 200x sweeter than sugar. Studies have shown that stevia has the potential for treating diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension. Antioxidant compounds, including kaempferol, can be found in Stevia. Studies have shown that kaempferol can reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer by 23%. 

Is there a healthy alternative to Reign?

Yes! Here at Kill Cliff, we love a good energy drink, but we're aware of the possible dangers of the many unnatural ingredients that many popular energy drinks contain. We wanted an energy drink with a strong caffeine buzz coming from a natural source, with no artificial sweeteners.....so we made one. 

Kill Cliff IGNITE is a sugar-free, naturally sweetened energy drink that delivers the jolt you crave with 150 mg of naturally-sourced green tea caffeine (about a cup and a half of coffee). Additionally, Kill Cliff IGNITE includes only FDA-regulated ingredients in its specialized blend of B-vitamins and electrolytes. It provides you with 10% of your daily values of magnesium and potassium, which helps regulate hydration and blood flow. 

So, whether you want sustained clean energy to help you through your day, or you want a natural alternative pre-workout drink...or you want to get fired up for a long night of playing Call of Duty and Red Dead Redemption, Kill Cliff IGNITE is your go-to option! Check it out!