While I've always been a coffee drinker, I rarely touch energy or carbonated drinks. However, one of my best friends and gym buddy has been very much into Nocco. But recently, he started to order a different Swedish drink – Celsius.
He asked me the other day; Is Celsius bad for you? As a registered dietitian, I started to dig to find an answer, and I'm about to share my research with you.
Looking for a quick answer? For healthy adult individuals, Celsius is not bad to drink in moderation. Keep reading to know the details and when it actually can be good to drink Celsius.
What Is Celsius Energy Drink?
Celsius Energy Drink stands out as a refreshing option among energy beverages. It's a carefully crafted blend of natural ingredients designed to provide an energy boost.
Inside each can, you'll find a combination of green tea extract, guarana extract, ginger extract, caffeine and vitamins. These ingredients work together to offer a gentle lift in energy and metabolism without the crash associated with some other energy drinks.
Let's break it down: each serving of this drink clocks in at just 10 calories and boasts 0 grams of carbohydrates. Plus, it's loaded with vitamin C and a variety of B vitamins. Now, let's take a closer look at some of the key ingredients to sort out what's fact and what's fiction. I gotta say, there is plenty of good stuff in there – but we'll also look at the bad stuff.
Guarana Seed Extract
Let's start with seed extract from Guarana. This plant hails from the lush Amazon rainforest and shares similarities with coffee, packing a punch of caffeine and other active compounds.
Now, regarding research, the spotlight has mainly shone on the caffeine content of guarana extract. Research has shown its ability to increase energy. Scientists are still delving deeper into its properties, exploring its antioxidant properties, potential effects on metabolism, and even its role in cognitive function. While more research is needed to fully understand its benefits, guarana seed extract is a promising natural ingredient worth exploring for those seeking a sustainable energy source.
Safe to say, nothing wrong here.
Taurine is a naturally occurring amino acid that plays several important roles in the body. It's involved in regulating hydration, supporting the function of the cardiovascular system, and maintaining proper nerve function. Taurine also acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Research into taurine's potential benefits continues, with studies exploring its impact on various aspects of health, including heart health, muscle function, and even vision. Overall, taurine remains a fascinating compound with diverse potential effects but I would not recommend it to children and adolescents in combination with caffeine.
It is known to many that ginger itself has plenty of awesome benefits. It is also spicy and flavourful, which is the only benefit that it has in Celsius, as the dosage in each can is way too small to provide any benefits to the consumer. But it certainly is a smart and healthy way to add flavour to the drink.
Vitamin B6 & B12
Here is an interesting one that I haven't seen on any other pages related to the topic of whether Celsius is bad for you or not. Vitamin B6 and B12 are essential nutrients that play key roles in maintaining overall health and well-being. Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is involved in over 100 enzymatic reactions in the body, including metabolism, neurotransmitter synthesis, and immune function. It's found in a variety of foods like poultry, fish, bananas, and chickpeas – and Celcius.
On the other hand, Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is crucial for nerve function, DNA synthesis, and the formation of red blood cells. It's primarily found in animal products like meat, fish, eggs, and dairy. Both vitamins are water-soluble, meaning the body doesn't store them for long periods, highlighting the importance of consistent intake through diet or supplementation.
What's interesting here is that one can of Celsius contains 120% of the daily recommended dose of vitamin B6 and 250% of the recommended dose of B12.
Is that good? It sure is!
Green Tea Extract
Green tea extract is derived from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant and is renowned for its numerous health benefits. Packed with antioxidants, particularly catechins like epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), green tea extract is believed to support heart health, aid in weight management, and promote overall well-being.
Studies suggest that the antioxidants in green tea extract may help reduce inflammation, protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, and even lower the risk of certain chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer. Additionally, green tea extract contains a modest amount of caffeine, which can contribute to a mild boost in energy and alertness. Not to mention that it also contributes to the flavour.
But, this is the third ingredient in Celsius energy drink that contains caffeine. Which makes me raise the question:
How Much Caffeine Is There in One Can Of Celsius?
Well, that varies according to the product line. But it ranges between 100-300 mg:
- CELSIUS Original contains 200 mg of caffeine per can.
- CELSIUS Stevia contains 200 mg of caffeine per can.
- CELSIUS HEAT contains 300 mg of caffeine per can.
- CELSIUS BCAA contains 100 mg of caffeine per can.
- CELSIUS On-The-Go contains 200 mg of caffeine per packet.
The original drink packs a serious punch (200 mg) with significantly more caffeine than your average cup of joe, which typically contains about 95 milligrams. It even surpasses many other energy drinks like Red Bull, which have around 80 milligrams. A regular Nocco comes quite close with 180 mg per can.
But here's the catch: When we say “cup of coffee,” we're talking about a standard 8 oz serving. Most of our mugs at home are way bigger, and those oversized Stanley mugs for iced coffee? They're even larger.
And, we tend to drink more than one coffee a day plus the sizing of coffee cups these days have no limits. A Grande cup from Starbucks contains 310 mg of caffeine – far more than the 95 mg often mentioned.
So, is the caffeine content of one Celsius dangerous? It depends on your overall health, but it basically has as much caffeine as in two smaller cups of coffee.
Can Drinking Celsius Be Good For You Then?
Celsius stands out with its bold claims, even in the trendy beverages industry. But do these claims hold up against real scientific scrutiny, or are they just too good to be true? This is where I really started to dig deeper, as the contents of Celsius surprised me positively.
Front and center on the can, Celsius boasts of providing “essential energy, accelerating metabolism, and burning body fat.” Now, those are some pretty enticing promises if you ask me!
Interestingly, Celsius does have peer-reviewed research to support some of the claims featured on their website. Let's dive into their research studies and see what they reveal. You'll find the studies here.
Can Celsius help burn body fat?
Celsius Energy Drink claims to aid in burning body fat, but the scientific evidence supporting this assertion is limited. While some ingredients in Celsius, such as caffeine and green tea extract, have been studied for their potential effects on metabolism and fat burning, research specifically on Celsius Energy Drink itself is sparse.
One study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition examined the effects of consuming Celsius on metabolism and body composition. The study found that participants who consumed Celsius experienced a slight increase in resting energy expenditure compared to those who consumed a placebo. However, the study did not specifically investigate the drink's effects on body fat burning over time.
Therefore, while Celsius may have ingredients that could theoretically support fat burning, more research is needed to determine its effectiveness in this regard.
Bloomer, R.J., Harvey, I.C., Farney, T.M., Bell, Z.W., Canale, R.E. (2016). Effects of 6-weeks of ingesting a commercial thermogenic drink on resting metabolic rate and body composition. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 13(1), 2. doi: 10.1186/s12970-015-0117-7
Can Celsius improve your performance?
Celsius Energy Drink claims to enhance performance, but the scientific evidence supporting this assertion is not extensive. While some ingredients in Celsius, such as caffeine and taurine, have been studied for their potential effects on energy levels and performance, research specifically on Celsius Energy Drink itself is limited.
Several studies have investigated the impact of caffeine and other ingredients found in energy drinks on exercise performance and cognitive function. While some research suggests that caffeine can improve endurance, reaction time, and mental alertness, the effects may vary depending on individual tolerance and dosage. But this is not different to the effect that you experience from a cup (or two) of coffee.
However, specific studies examining the effects of Celsius Energy Drink on performance are lacking. Therefore, while Celsius may contain ingredients that could theoretically support performance enhancement, more research is needed to determine its effectiveness in this regard.
How about boosting metabolism?
Another bold claim, but the scientific evidence supporting this assertion is not conclusive. The drink contains ingredients like green tea extract and guarana extract, which are believed to have metabolism-boosting properties due to their caffeine content and antioxidant effects.
Some studies suggest that caffeine can temporarily increase metabolic rate by stimulating the nervous system and promoting thermogenesis, the process by which the body generates heat and burns calories. Additionally, green tea extract may have a modest effect on metabolism and fat oxidation.
However, again, research is not there supporting the specific effects of Celsius boosting metabolism. While the ingredients in Celsius have the potential to influence metabolic processes, more robust clinical trials are needed to confirm its efficacy in boosting metabolism.
Celsius Drink Pros and Cons
- Energy Boost: Celsius provides a quick and convenient way to boost energy levels, thanks to its caffeine content and other stimulating ingredients.
- Metabolism Support: Ingredients like green tea extract and guarana may help support metabolism, making Celsius a choice for those looking to enhance their weight management efforts.
- Variety: Celsius offers a variety of flavours and formulations, catering to different taste preferences and dietary needs.
- Convenience: Packaged in portable cans, Celsius is easy to carry and consume on the go, making it a convenient option for busy lifestyles.
- Caffeine Content: While caffeine boosts energy, excessive consumption can lead to jitteriness, increased heart rate, and difficulty sleeping. Individuals sensitive to caffeine should be cautious.
- Added Ingredients: Some formulations of Celsius may contain artificial sweeteners, which may not align with particular dietary preferences or health goals.
- Cost: Compared to plain water or other beverages, Celsius energy drinks can be relatively expensive, especially with regular consumption.
- Lack of Long-Term Studies: While some ingredients in Celsius have been studied individually, there's limited research on the long-term effects of consuming energy drinks like Celsius.
The Celsius Lawsuit
The lawsuit actually had nothing to do with any of the bold claims that I just wrote about. Instead, In 2022, Celsius got sued over their label, claiming to be “no preservatives.”
Here's a fresh take: While citric acid is commonly known for enhancing flavour, it also serves as a preservative, albeit less acknowledged for this role.
Celsius found itself in a legal dispute regarding the use of citric acid in its beverages. Despite claiming it was primarily for flavour, Celsius agreed to settle the lawsuit for close to $8 million. This highlights the complexity of ingredient usage and the importance of transparency in the food and beverage industry.
Celsius also had to change its labelling by adding a note after its ingredient list, clarifying that citric acid is included for flavouring purposes, not as a preservative. While this adjustment may seem minor, it sheds light on how brands strive to present their products in the most appealing way, sometimes leading to confusion among consumers.
Ultimately, it's a reminder of the intricacies involved in product marketing and the importance of clear communication between brands and consumers. But does it add any risk in terms of consumption? Not if you ask me.
Let's Wrap it Up
At first, I was as skeptical of Celsius as I am of any new hyped energy drink. But as I already stated – I was positively surprised by the contents of their products.
Let's be clear about one thing, though: this is not a metabolism-boosting, fat-cutting super drink. It is certainly not bad for Celsius, and it may even have some benefits for an active athlete or gym goer. I have to admit that I even started to drink it once in a while as a substitute for my coffee.
What do you think about my take?