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Wellness > Health

5 Energy Drinks That’ll Actually Help You Power Through Midterm Season

I have a confession; I have never been a fan of coffee. Believe it or not, I survived several midterm seasons and 8 AM classes without ever consuming any form of coffee at all. As much as I’d love to have a nice cup of coffee to help me get through the day, considering I’m most definitely not a morning person, the taste of it really grosses me out and I can’t get past it. However, since I still need some form of caffeine at times, especially with the lack of sleep during midterms or even an early workout class, I turned to energy drinks.

The challenging thing about energy drinks though is that there are so many choices, almost too many. Plus, which ones are actually good for you? Well, lucky for you, I talked to some qualified nutritionists and healthcare experts — Shawn Talbott ,PhD ,psychonutrionist and vigrolist, nutritionist Lisa Richards, nutritionist and co-founder of FWDfuel, Kylene Bogden — on the best energy drinks for college students. 

What to look for in an energy drink 

Since there are so many energy drinks out there nowadays, it is impossible to go through every single one and tell you which ones are good or bad. So instead I find it best to know the best ingredients and things to look for when choosing a new energy drink.

Talbott encourages people to look for natural energy sources as much as possible. “So look for sources of caffeine from tea or coffee for ‘physical energy’ — and combining those with sources of polyphenols from plants such as apples, grape seeds, pine bark, pomegranate, mango leaf, lychee fruit, and palm fruit, among others,” he shared. 

Additionally, Bogden says that it is best to choose an energy drink without any artificial dyes and sweeteners. “Choose a product with 150 mg of caffeine or less per serving,” she shares. “Bonus points when additional adaptogens, electrolytes, and vitamins/minerals are incorporated — consume the beverage after a meal or at least halfway through a meal as this will prevent a spike and crash in cortisol and blood sugar.”

The best energy drinks to try according to experts 

Alani Nu

You’ve probably seen the Alani Nu logo featured and promoted on tons of influencers’ social media posts. They also come in tons of delightful flavors like the Cherry Slush (I highly recommend). But are they really worth it? 

It’s low calorie and has many helpful vitamins like Biotin and vitamin B12. However Alani Nu’s do contain 200 mg of caffeine, which is pretty high, and also has some artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohol. Because it doesn’t have all-natural ingredients, Alani Nu remains at the bottom of the list, although it is still better and healthier than a ton of other energy drinks that are out there. 


It’s no secret that Celsius has become insanely popular on college campuses around the country. According to Richards, Celsius are one of the better energy drinks because they are made with natural energy-boosting ingredients and is void of added sugar. They also have tons of great vitamins like vitamins C and B which are said to boost immunity and may relieve stress. However, on the downside, a can of Celsius contains 200 mg of caffeine, more than the recommended dosage. Celsius also contains a sweetener that could trigger health issues like migraines. Although a better choice than many other energy drinks, it remains in fourth place due to the percentage of caffeine and the sweetener used. 


In third place, we have an energy drink suggested by Bogden is the Nooma Organic Sport Energy Drinks, specifically the Mango Pineapple flavor! With 120 mg of caffeine, only 2 g of sugar and all-natural ingredients, Nooma sets you up for success. It’s perfect to drink before a workout when you feel dehydrated, or just any time you need a little extra boost of energy during the day. Due to the fact that the drink is a bit pricy though ($34.99 at 12 drinks per case), this energy drink lands right in the middle of the list. 

Hustle Matcha Energy Drink

Coming in second place is the Hustle Matcha Energy Drink that can be found at Whole Foods. According to the psychonutritionist Talbott, Matcha Green Tea is one of the best choices of energy drinks because it provides caffeine as well as antioxidants to provide people with a feeling of “relaxed alertness.” Hustle Matcha energy drinks are made with matcha green tea, no sugar, and will leave you feeling energized without any of the jitters from other energy drinks. They come in several different natural flavors that all have the same benefits! Plus, did you know Billie Eilish came up with her own flavors? If Billie loves it, chances are so will you. 


In first place, we have Bogden’s highly recommended Pureboost energy drink! It contains all-natural ingredients, only 100 mg of caffeine, and several vitamins and antioxidants. Sounds great, right? According to their website, 2 packets of Pureboost provide 100% of the daily value of 9 essential vitamins. Pureboost also gives you an extra boost of energy with the inclusion of B12 without the jitters and negative side effects of caffeine. Since it includes real fruits and vegetables, has no sugar, and is packed with several vitamins, Pureboost remains at the top of the list! 

Hopefully one of these energy drinks helps you get through the stress and anxiety of midterm season. Just make sure, as Bogden mentions, that you only drink any energy drink before 2 PM because then it could prevent you from having a good night’s rest, which is important to have when you’re preparing to take a test next day. Make sure to stay hydrated and good luck on your exams!

Caitlyn studied at UCLA where she majored in English and minored in film. She loves writing about all things lifestyle and entertainment related. When she is not writing articles, she loves going to hot yoga, reading, and binge-watching One Tree Hill for the hundredth time!