Energy Drinks Australia: Everything You Need to Know

Australians love to live a vibrant, lively and most flavoursome life. It’s the reason why you’ll have some of the best coffee in the world in Melbourne. Why you'll find delicious Shiraz from Hunter Valley. And, most importantly, why there's a marketplace brimming with energy drinks hoping to grab consumers attention. Australia has built up its own energy drink marketplace over the years. This growth isn't expected to stop as the demand for energy drinks continues to grow every year. What’s unique about the market for energy drinks here is its diversity - from imported brands to homegrown varieties. The most popular offerings include V energy drink, Rockstar, Red Bull, and Mother - and we've a penchant for REIZE as well.  So, what are these carbonated beverages that are switching on consumers? What makes them unique and which is the right one for you? Find out for yourself below:

V Energy Drink

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When you think of energy drinks in Australia, V is might be the first one you will think of. V energy drink is produced by Frucor, a New Zealand-based beverage manufacturer. It was launched in Methven, New Zealand in August 1997 and in Australia in 1999. They are one of the most popular and most recognised energy drinks on the Australian market today. Their signature bright green cans are recognisable and memorable. Like most energy drinks, its ingredients have a typical mix of B vitamins, caffeine, taurine, and carbonated water. What sets V apart is its not-so-secret ingredient: guarana. 

Guarana has one of the highest caffeine contents in the natural world. This is according to research conducted by Erica Bub and Karla Shelnutt, PhD, RD. This means that if guarana is included in addition to caffeine, then the effects of caffeine would increase. This can be a concern to consumers - caffeine sensitivity is a real thing. But, a recent study suggests that products containing guarana have no major effect on your mood, anxiety, or psychological well-being. If you naturally have no adverse reactions to caffeine, then you don't need to be concerned. But, for safety's sake limit your daily intake of caffeine. And remember that some beverages contain more caffeine than others. caffeine levels  

Rockstar Energy Drink

Rockstar Energy Drink is a worldwide staple of the energy drink market. This energy drink, branded ROCKST★R, is a major player in the Australian energy drink scene. It is available in more than twenty flavours and is in more than thirty countries - including Australia.

Besides caffeine and sugar, Rockstar contains Panax ginseng, ginkgo Biloba, milk thistle extract, and guarana seed. However, with their huge range of energy drinks, it would be impossible to discuss all of their ingredients. Besides, Rockstar is more than an energy drink company, they are a lifestyle brand. And they stay consistent with that brand. They state that Rockstar 'is designed for those who lead active lifestyles – from Athletes to Rockstars'. They sponsor festivals, sporting events, athletes and more. Their website and social media are flooded with fans and influencers. This has cemented their place not only in the Australian energy drink market but the worldwide one. Like V, Rockstar is distributed by Frucor drinks, a huge name among energy drinks in Australia and New Zealand.

Monster Energy Drink

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Monster is one of the most recognisable energy drinks. It is often associated with video games and teenagers. The regular flavour comes in a black can with a green tear-shaped M logo. Their 'M' logo is as recognisable as Nike’s tick. Energy drinks often have bold logos to be more attractive to consumers and sometimes it’s the younger consumers which are attracted to them because “the can looks cool.” Monster Energy’s website has featured “a 17-year-old skateboarder, amid a slew of extreme sports videos and images of ‘Monster girls’ in low-cut tops.” Because of this, more teens and younger children are becoming consumers of stimulant-laden energy drinks. To counteract this growing trend some countries have introduced legislation to prevent those under 18 years of age to purchase energy drinks with high caffeine contents. 

Monster also is known for supporting many extreme sports events such as BMX, Motocross, Speedway, skateboarding and snowboarding, as well as eSports. In addition, Monster Energy promotes a number of music bands around the world. There are 34 different drinks under the Monster brand. There's the core Monster Energy line, and also Java Monster, Extra Strength, Import, Rehab and Muscle Monster.

Red Bull Energy Drink

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The brand which started the flood of energy drinks in the worldwide marketplace. Red Bull has become synonymous with energy drinks. Their marketing campaigns have been the most successful. They have led the charge for energy drinks everywhere. If it wasn't for Red Bull’s success, it is likely energy drinks would not be as popular today.

Red Bull’s roots began in Southeast Asia. Energy drink history was made in 1982 when Dietrich Mateschitz visited Thailand. Mateschitz was an Austrian chemist and marketing director for a German toothpaste company Blendex. While suffering from jet lag he tried some Krating Daeng and found it relieved his symptoms. Krating Daeng was first introduced in Thailand in 1976, it is a sweet, non-carbonated drink contains caffeine, taurine and B-vitamins. Mateschitz decided to collaborate with Krating Daeng’s founder, Chaleo Yoovidhya, to adapt the drink’s formula to Western tastes. Together, they launched Red Bull in 1987. Today Red Bull is the most recognised energy drink brand. Red Bull became the dominant brand in the US, with a market share of approximately 47% in 2005. Chaleo, born to a poor Thai-Chinese family around 1930, died a multi-billionaire.

Red Bull Contains no Bull Semen

Taurine is an essential component of both Red Bull's and Krating Daeng's ingredients. Taurine derives its name from Taurus, which translates to bull. As taurine is an important ingredient - and bulls embody the notion of power, energy and strength - both energy drink's named their products after it. Many people still genuinely believe that bull semen is in their energy drinks. That it is extracted from the bulls and then taurine is extracted from the semen. Those same people believe that this is a blatant disregard for animal welfare. I agree that if it were true that would be a horrific scenario. But, unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it) those people are wrong. While they get their names from the ingredient, there is no other association with bulls. I promise you, there is no bull semen in your energy drink. Put away your tinfoil hats, that conspiracy theory has no merit. It's a simple matter of economics. Not only would it be more costly to source taurine from bull semen, doing so would alienate a large portion of the customer base. Many energy drinks are actually vegan. No animals are harmed to bring you taurine. Unless someone was hurt during the manufacturing process by dropping a can on their foot.

Mother Energy Drink

Mother

The self-proclaimed 'Mother of all Energy Drinks'. You've got to give them credit for their confidence and ability to turn a phrase. The Coca-Cola company introduced Mother Energy Drink to compete with other energy drinks in the market. The original Mother ingredients contained caffeine, sugar, Açaí Palm fruit, apple juice, lemon juice, carbonated water, fructose and malt extract and trace quantities of guarana and ginseng, per 250 mL can. The font of its logo is reminiscent of Monster. In fact, back in 2015, Coca-Cola and the Monster Beverage Corporation company joined forces. This partnership gives them both an edge in the energy drink market.

REIZE Energy Drink

REIZE is Australia’s and New Zealand’s first powdered energy drink. It is sugar-free, contains caffeine, taurine, ginseng and a mix of B-vitamins. REIZE is a more versatile option than the other energy drinks on the market - and is one of the most affordable energy drink choices. Like G Fuel, it is a powdered energy drink which you carry around with you easily. Unlike the traditional cold carbonated drinks in a can, you can mix REIZE  with cold still water, with warm water, with soda, juice, and much more. I prefer mine hot with lemon - it's like a sweet tea. This flexibility makes it, in our humble opinion, one of the most versatile energy drinks in Australia.

The Future For Energy Drinks in Australia

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The energy drink market in Australia hasn't finished expanding and it probably won't for a long time. Like any other industry, each company and brand mentioned in this article constantly need to innovate and adapt to the ever-changing marketplace.

Take Rockstar for example. Unlike other energy drinks, they have branched out to other markets with their gum which was introduced in 2010. One pack contains the same amount of caffeine as five 8 oz cans. It is very likely that other energy drinks will diversify as well. Humans love a good energy boost - and they don't mind where they get it. So we could be in store for energy drink body sprays, snack bars, and more. As regards to the industry itself, I believe in the future there will be more transparency and accountability. There hasn't been a huge amount of research done on the effects of energy drinks. People can have good and bad experiences and label energy drinks as dangerous, or delicious. Because consumers are unaware of the high caffeine content, even with warning labels included, people can accidentally overdo it. This can lead to accidents and caffeine overdoses and lawsuits.

Energy Drinks Australia - Which Is Your Favourite?

Did V energy catch your eye with its alluring lime green gleam? Did Red Bull's Asian history intrigue you to find out more? Was Monster the energy drink that really perked you up? Or was it the charming guys from REIZE that caught your eyes - that nearly rhymed. Now we may be biased, obviously, but we love our product. We wouldn’t be doing what we are doing if we didn’t. Here at REIZE, we try to find new ways to inspire people to embrace new challenges. We want to encourage our customers to push their limits so that they can face the world head on. So they live their best life and reach their full potential. Truth be told, we here at REIZE love all energy drinks. Sure we have our preferences (ahem), but the reason we are in this gig is because we love a good boost of energy. So, while we won't be too offended if you're not besotted with us - have you met Deadpan Guy? - we are happy you stopped by. Whether you're a fan of REIZE, a Red Bull fanatic, or a Monster-lover you are welcome here.

-by Orlaith Costello