Dunkin' Sparkd' energy drink

Not Even the Panera Controversy Can Stop Dunkin’ From Launching It’s SPARKD’ Energy Drinks

America runs faster on Dunkin’.

If an energy drink is your go-to pick-me-up, you’ve probably already clocked: Dunkin’s new “SPARKD’ Energy” iced drinks—fruity sips that deliver vitamins, minerals, a kick of caffeine, and a fizzy punch.

However, after the recent Panera Charged Lemonade controversy (the company has faced several lawsuits that claim the product’s high caffeine levels has led to two customer deaths and irreversible health complications in another) you might be wary of energy drinks from fast casual restaurants.

Here’s how the Dunkin’ “SPARKD’ Energy” drink stacks up in caffeine and nutrition to the Panera Charged Lemonade, Starbucks’ Refreshers, Red Bull, and Celsius.

About the Expert: 

Jonathan Valdez RDN, LDN, CCM, CDCES, ACE-CPT is a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified personal trainer with a passion for providing evidence-based nutrition guidance to empower a healthy lifestyle.

Energy Drinks, Compared

Here’s how Dunkin’ SPARKD’ energy drinks, Panera Charged Lemonade, Starbucks’ Refreshers, Redbull, and Celsius stack up in caffeine, calories, and sugar.

Energy Drinks, Compared

Is the Dunkin’ “SPARKD’ Energy” Drink Healthy?

Not exactly. Dunkin’s new energy drink line may contain less sugar than it’s caffeine-laden cousins, but a large “SPARKD’ Energy drink contains 36 grams of added sugar. “That’s 100 percent of the American Heart Association recommended added sugar limit for the day for men (1). You don’t need this amount in one drink,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Jonathan Valdez RDN, LDN, CCM, CDCES, ACE-CPT.

“If you’re looking for something sweet but not over the top, try Dunkin’s unsweetened hibiscus tea,” suggests Valdez.

How Much Caffeine Does Dunkin’ “SPARKD’ Energy” Drinks Contain?

The small Dunkin’ “SPARKD’ Energy” has only 92 mg of caffeine—about the same amount as a cup of coffee. A medium packs 144 mg and a large 192 mg—about two cups of coffee. 

For comparison, Panera Charged Lemonade delivers 156 mg of caffeine per regular 20 oz cup—much less than what’s served up in a can of Celcius (200 mg), or a large Dunkin’ cold brew (347 mg).

1. American Heart Association (2021). Added Sugars.