red bull and celsius energy drinks in a boxing ring

Red Bull vs. Celsius: Which Energy Drink Is Better for You?

What research, experts, and a hard nutritional comparison say.

10-Second Takeaway

Red Bull and Celsius are hugely popular energy drinks. After reviewing the ingredients, nutritional value, and taste, we found that Celsius was the better choice overall. 

Who doesn’t love caffeine? Many of us drink a cup of coffee, pre-workout, or an energy drink to give us a nice energy boost to conquer the day. When you think of energy drinks, you probably think of brands like Red Bull, Monster, Ghost, and so on. Recently, though, a brand called Celsius, that purports to sell a more health-conscious product, has earned its place among the biggest names at the gas station energy drink fridge.

To find out if Celsius is what it says it is, we pitted it against the biggest name in energy drinks: Red Bull. Here’s how the two stack up against one another. 

Why You Should Trust Us

Hone Health is a team of health-obsessed journalists, editors, fitness junkies, medical reviewers, and product testers. To ensure we deliver research-backed information on Red Bull and Celsius energy drinks, we’ve spoken to multiple registered dietitian nutritionists and reviewed several peer-reviewed studies and well-respected medical pages. 

Energy Drinks Overview

Energy drinks are among the most popular beverages sold globally, with the market expected to reach a revenue of around $233 billion by 2027, according to Statista (1). 

According to Courtney Pelitera, RDN of Top Nutrition Coaching, most energy drinks contain caffeine, which can “provide improvements for endurance and strength exercise, increase alertness, reduce fatigue, and potentially aid in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.” 

Though there are benefits to drinking an energy drink, they also have many downsides that might harm your health, such as dehydration, heart complications, anxiety, and insomnia (2). 

Aside from caffeine, energy drinks typically include the following ingredients (3):

  • Taurine
  • Glucuronolactone
  • B vitamins (B6, B12, niacin, and pantothenic acid)
  • Guarana
  • Ginseng
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • L-carnitine
  • Sugars
  • Antioxidants
  • Trace minerals


Red Bull

Red Bull contains the following ingredients (4):

  • Caffeine
  • B vitamins 
  • Sugar 
  • Glucose 
  • Taurine
  • Citric acid
  • Carbonated water 
  • Magnesium carbonate
  • Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
  • Natural and artificial flavors

Sugar, while consumed in high levels is unhealthy, can be handy when you need an energy boost. Red Bull contains glucose, a type of sugar that’s an essential source of fuel for our bodies (

A high sugar content can be beneficial for our athletic folks. “For athletes and active individuals, the amount of added sugar is no big concern, as the body will use this energy,” Pelitera says. “But it could be a concern for sedentary individuals.” 

Another ingredient Red Bull offers not found in Celsius drinks is magnesium carbonate. Magnesium carbonate is a magnesium salt that can help improve your nerve function, control the electrical and muscle function of the heart, and even act as a laxative and antacid (6). 


Here’s the ingredient list for Celsius (7):

  • Caffeine
  • B vitamins (B6, B12, niacin, and pantothenate)
  • Biotin
  • Riboflavin 
  • Vitamin C
  • Calcium carbonate
  • Chromium
  • Sodium
  • Carbonated filtered water
  • Citric acid
  • Sucralose 
  • Taurine
  • Green tea leaf extract
  • Guarana extract 
  • Glucuronolactone
  • Ginger extract

Celsius has significantly more ingredients than Red Bull, but two that stand out are vitamin C and green tea leaf extract. Vitamin C is a nutrient helps your body form blood vessels, cartilage, and the muscles and collagen in and around your bones.
 It also can improve your body’s healing process (8). 

Green tea leaf extract is a plant-derived ingredient rich in antioxidants that’s anti-inflammatory and can improve your health (9). Some benefits of green tea extract include an energy boost, weight loss, better heart health, and improved skin (10).

Ingredients Winner: Celsius

We like the vitamin and micronutrient load, and we like the inclusion of ingredients like green tea leaf extract and ginger extract.


Red Bull

Below is the nutritional value of the 8.4-fluid-ounce Red Bull:

  • 110 calories
  • 8mg caffeine
  • 0g total fat
  • 105mg sodium
  • 29g total carbohydrates
  • 26g total sugars (including added sugars)
  • 0g protein

A can of Red Bull contains 110 calories—mostly from sugar. 

Another stand-out feature of Red Bull is that it contains less than 80 milligrams of caffeine. This is less than an 8-fluid-ounce cup of home-brewed coffee, which contains roughly 100 milligrams, as reported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) (11). 

Despite this sounding lower than many would expect, don’t overindulge—overconsumption of caffeine should be avoided. “Energy drinks contain high levels of caffeine, which can cause an increase in blood pressure and heart rate,” says Kimberly Gomer, MS, RD/LDN, a registered licensed dietitian and nutritionist, and the Director of Nutrition at Body Beautiful Miami. “Understand that the real health issue is in those that are sensitive to caffeine and those that abuse or overuse the drinks.”


Here’s the nutritional value of a Celsius:

  • 10 calories
  • 200mg caffeine
  • 0g total fat
  • 5mg sodium
  • 50mcg calcium
  • 60mg vitamin C
  • 1.7mg riboflavin
  • 20mg niacin
  • 2mg vitamin B6
  • 6 micrograms of vitamin B12
  • 300 micrograms of biotin
  • 10mg pantothenic acid
  • 50 micrograms of chromium

The largest nutritional difference between Red Bull and Celsius is the caffeine and sugar levels. A can of Celsius is 10 calories and contains none of the sugar carbs Red Bull does; instead, Celsius uses 2.5-times the caffeine (80mg vs. 200mg) in each can. If you’re particularly caffeine-sensitive, you’ll likely want to avoid Celsius for this reason—200mg of caffeine is a bit more than two cups of coffee in one small drink. 

Celsius contains 50 micrograms of calcium, an ingredient not found in Red Bull drinks. When you think of calcium, your mind may go to your bones, but the nutrient also has other benefits. Calcium can help your heart, muscles, and nerves function properly (12). 

Chromium is another nutrient unique to Celsius energy drinks. The nutrient can increase insulin activity and is involved in the breakdown and absorption of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. But please be aware that too much chromium may cause health conditions like kidney and liver damage—so, as with energy drinks, consume in moderation (13). 

Nutrition Winner: Toss up

It’s a toss up. Red Bull if you’re caffeine-sensitive, Celsius if caffeine doesn’t negatively affect you.

red bull and celsius cans on blue and teal background
From the can design to the ingredients list, Celsius wants you to think of it as a healthier energy drink option.


Red Bull

Many rave about the taste of Red Bull energy drinks. The most popular flavor is the original which has a sweet, candy-like flavor, but you can also choose Peach, Watermelon, Cola, and Tropical Fruit. Again, the sugar content is high, so if you’re not accustomed to it it may be jarring.


Drinking Celsius tastes a bit like drinking a diet soda. The brand offers over 20 carbonated and non-carbonated flavors, including Sparkling Fuji Apple Bear, Sparkling Orange, and Green Tea Peach Mango. If you’re overwhelmed by the number of flavors, you can choose a variety or pop pack to try an assortment. Many reviews state that the energy drinks give them a nice, natural caffeine boost thanks to the clean ingredients.

Taste Winner: Celsius

We like Celsius more than Red Bull, but neither are excellent options, taste-wise. Celsius doesn’t overwhelm you with sickly sweetness like Red Bull, though, and settles on the stomach easier. 

1. Ridder, M. (2018). Energy drinks market worldwide – statistics & facts.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2022). Energy drinks. 
3. Higgins, J.P. et al (2010). Energy beverages: content and safety.
4. Red Bull. Red Bull energy drink ingredients.
5. Hantzidiamantis, P.J. et al (2022). Physiology, glucose. 
6. University of Rochester Medical Center (2024). Magnesium.
7. Celsius. Sparkling Orange – Celsius.
8. Mayo Clinic (2023). Vitamin C. 
9. Ohishi, T. et al (2016). Anti-inflammatory action of green tea.
10. Cleveland Clinic (2022). Is green tea extract beneficial. 
11. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (2020). Coffee, brewed. 
12. Mayo Clinic (2022). Calcium and calcium supplements: achieving the right balance.
13. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Chromium.