Lifestyle

If You Hate the Energy Drink Crash But Love Energy Drinks, Try a Can of This

My honest review of the latest energy drink that has supposed health benefits.

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You might reach for an energy drink when you need a quick boost during the day, but, while energy drinks are loved by many, the side effects, like jitteriness and crashing, don’t feel good and aren’t good for your body. This is largely thanks to energy drinks using loads of caffeine and sugars to kickstart your body. 

Update Energy Drinks attempt to take energy drinks into a healthier direction—one that’s caffeine- and sugar-free—while still granting that alert feeling you want from an energy drink. I tried them for a month to find out if they’re any good. 

Update Energy Drink

Pros
  • Caffeine-free energy
  • Goes down smooth
Cons
  • Mediocre taste (at best)
  • It ain't cheap

What Are Update Energy Drinks?

“Update boasts that it’s the world’s first caffeine-free, sugar-free, and artificial sweetener-free energy drink,” says Kimberly Gomer, MS, RD/LDN, a registered licensed dietitian and nutritionist and the Director of Nutrition at Body Beautiful Miami. 

The primary ingredient in these energy drinks is paraxanthine. “[Paraxanthine], like caffeine, is a psychoactive central nervous system stimulant (that is what makes it an energy boost), but the company claims that it comes without the jittery feelings or crash that can result from caffeine-laced drinks,” Gomer says. 

Paraxanthine is the primary metabolite of caffeine or, put another way, when you take that first big sip of coffee in the morning, about 70 percent of the caffeine content is broken into Px. We’re even seeing coffee with paraxanthine instead of caffeine. 

Aside from paraxanthine, the Update energy drinks also contain the following ingredients:


One can (or serving) contains 15 calories, 10 grams of carbohydrates, and 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12. It has zero sugar, fats, sodium, or protein. 

You can choose from four flavors: berry, lime, mandarin, and peach, or select a variety pack that includes them all.

update energy drink lime can
Update looks like your typical energy drink can. Our reviewer noted that the different flavors don’t taste very distinct.

What’s Good About Update Energy Drinks?

Caffeine-free energy

The most significant benefit of this energy drink is that it’s supposedly a healthier alternative to a regular energy drink—and I felt the difference.

If you’re a regular energy drink consumer, it can take some adjusting, as you may not get that absolutely immediate jolt of energy from a typical caffeinated drink, but be patient—you’ll start to feel more alert and focused plenty fast enough.

As a rule of thumb, I’ve stayed away from traditional energy drinks as I don’t like the jittery feelings they bring, nor do I want to crash in the middle of the day. Thankfully, I didn’t experience either of these issues sipping Update.

I took my first sip of this “healthy” energy drink in the morning and didn’t experience any weird sensations or get overly tired the entire day.

Goes down smooth

Regular energy drinks often remind me of drinking a fizzy soda—especially the burning sensation that runs down your throat from carbonation and the sickly sweetness from the sugar content. That said, I was really pleased with how smooth this energy drink was. It goes down as easily as water does. 

ENERGY DRINK 101

What’s Not Good About Update Energy Drinks?

Mediocre taste (at best)

I was disappointed in how these drinks tasted. The best way that I can describe this drink is as a watered-down sparkling water. And that’s not good if you’re not a fan of sparkling water—and I’m not.

And then there’s the funny aftertaste that was difficult to get passed. I’m not sure if it’s due to all those nootropics the brand includes in the formula, but it has a bizarre, lingering taste that can make it difficult to finish the can if you don’t take to it early on.

On top of that, the flavors weren’t very different from one another as far as I could tell. The first flavor I tried was lime because I like a lime-flavored drinks. However, my tastebuds had difficulty finding that lime flavor in the Update drink. Maybe it’s due to a lack of artificial flavors, but the flavor was faint, if it was there at all. The berry-flavored option was marginally more noticeable than the others, but, honestly, the brand may be better off selling them as flavorless (or simply one flavor).

It ain’t cheap

I like to be transparent about prices—and I think these energy drinks are quite expensive. While they have advantages to popular energy drinks like Red Bull, Monster, and even healthier options like Celsius, not everyone can shell out $30 to $40 for a pack of these.

For reference, a 12-pack of Update on Amazon costs $36 before shipping, or $3 per can. You can get Red Bull for about $1.50 per can on the safe platform—the same can be said for Celsius at, again, $1.50 a can

Is a caffeine-free energy drink that genuinely works worth twice what a normal energy drink is? That’s up to you.  

The Bottom Line

In my honest opinion, I’m not a fan of how these drinks taste, but I appreciate the brand’s efforts to create a healthier alternative to regular, terrible-for-you energy drinks. I recommend trying it for yourself if you’re looking for a healthier burst of energy to reach for on long days.