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The Guide to Sugar-Free Energy Drinks: Do Energy Drinks Use Artificial Sweeteners? Is there a Naturally Sweetened energy drink?

your guide to sugar free energy drinks

Sometimes it might feel like you are stuck between a rock and a hard place—trying to find a low-calorie energy drink that doesn’t use harmful, artificial substitutes.

We recently published an article detailing what energy drink ingredients to avoid at all costs. Check out the full article here and keep reading to learn how KILL CLIFF’s unique formulas ensure you will never again settle for a harmful energy drink. 



DO SUGAR-FREE ENERGY DRINKS USE ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS?

Yes, and not all sugar is the same. Many energy drinks are filled with sugar to provide you with additional energy and to mask the terrible bitter taste of caffeine. Though you might appreciate the energy and sweet flavor, excessive sugars also send your body into chaos.

While we all know dangers of high sugar consumption, breaking up with sugar cold-turkey can be hard. As a result, we often gravitate to sweet products that use artificial sweeteners such as sucralose, aspartame, and acesulfame potassium (Ace-K). Sadly, many common energy drinks are only enabling this dangerous game. Let’s take a look at the dangers of each artificial sweetener we just mentioned. You can also click on each substitute to learn more about the associate risks.

Sucralose, otherwise known as Splenda, is a popular artificial sweetener found in sugar-free versions of Rockstar, Bang, and Monster. 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 rats. Interestingly, these rodent based studies remain relevant because there still aren’t many studies measuring the chemical’s impact on the human body directly. Further, Sucralose spikes your glycemic index similar to real sugar; and the super-health conscience CrossFit community outright rejected sucralose products a few years ago. Sucralose doesn't sound so great, and given that it was originally created in a pesticide lab...why drink it if you don't have to?

The image compares the impact of sucralose on body vs a healthy, complex carbohydrate.

Like sucralose, Ace-K is a calorie-free sweetener used in many diet products, including sugar-free versions of Red Bull, Rockstar, 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.

Last, but not least, aspartame is another popular artificial sweetener that is found in sugar-free Red Bull. Components of aspartame have been proven to block the production of a gut enzyme called alkaline phosphatase; this is an important enzyme in preventing obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. When tested on mice, aspartame also led to higher blood sugar levels.



ARE THERE NATURAL SWEETENER ALTERNATIVES?

Yes! Here at KILL CLIFF we want to expose the dangerous ingredient practices of the traditional (and now outdated) energy drink industry, but we also love to share good news!

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, which in results reduces 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 ENERGY DRINK?

Also a big yes! Here at Kill Cliff, we love a good energy drink but worry about the possible dangers associated with the unnatural ingredients used in popular energy drinks. 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 energy drink naturally sweetened with erythritol and stevia 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 10% of your daily values of magnesium and potassium, which helps regulate hydration and blood flow.

We promised that you will never have to settle for a harmful energy drink again, and we meant it! KILL CLIFF only uses ingredients that don’t suck—natural ingredients that support your health and wellness. We live and breathe healthy energy drinks and would never hand you a can of fake crap. So if you are ready to ditch artificial sugars in your energy drinks, you are in the right place!



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