If you’re a coffee drinker, chances are you don’t need a new energy drink (unless you take yours with lots of sugar). Black coffee is one of, if not the best, source of caffeine out there. “Bulletproof” coffee (with butter) is a favorite among keto and low carb followers. However, if you’re like me and despise coffee (no matter what form it’s in) but still want the caffeine benefit, you should give ZOA Energy Drink a try.
My Caffeine History
I started drinking soda as a teenager. Regular at first, then diet as I got older to save calories and reduce sugar intake. Soon after we met, my husband convinced me to stop drinking soda all together. To substitute, I tried every variation of coffee out there – with varying amounts of cream and sugar — but couldn’t find anything I liked. I discovered Starbucks’ canned Refreshers, which were only 90 calories, and drank them for several years — until they were discontinued. I turned to the store/freshly made version (first Very Berry Hibiscus — until that was discontinued — then Strawberry Acai). Unfortunately, this became an addiction — I justified drinking it (and the expense) every which way. Refreshers became my Kryptonite! I needed to find something to replace it to protect both my sanity and my wallet.
I saw the White Peach flavor of ZOA Energy Drink on sale at my local grocery store and decided to give it a try. To my surprise, I loved it! It was sweet, but not to the point that it stimulated my sugar cravings. I tested my blood glucose and ketones with the Keto-Mojo monitoring system after drinking a can and found that ZOA Energy Drink does not increase my glucose or negatively affect my ketone levels! While the company boasts that ZOA contains electrolytes (potassium and magnesium), it’s not a significant source, especially for low carb followers. I supplement with Ultima electrolytes, which you can read about here.
ZOA Energy Drink launched in 2021, and has gone through formula and design changes since then. I found it after their reformulation (in spring of 2023), so I can’t comment on those changes.
I haven’t tried ZOA+ yet, but I am curious and will update this post when I do. The website states: “ZOA+ Was Created as the ultimate catalyst for your pre-workout routine, formulated with a high degree of intentionality, ingredient-by-ingredient. With 3,000 mg of L-Citrulline in every 12 oz serving, ZOA+ supports nitric oxide levels.” If nothing else, it will give you a caffeine boost with 200 mg!
B & C Vitamins
Electrolytes (potassium and magnesium)
190mg Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs stimulate the building of protein in muscle and possibly reduce muscle breakdown)
Zero Sugar (sweetened by Sucralose and Acesulfame Potassium)
Camu Camu extract (an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties)
160 mg caffeine per 12 oz serving from natural sources (green coffee and green tea)
From the Label
10 Calories, 0 fat, 110mg sodium, 2g carbohydrates, 0 total sugars, 0 protein
Vitamins (and percent of daily value):
90 mg Vitamin C (100%)
4 mg Vitamin B5 (80%) – pantothenic acid
1.3 mg Vitamin B6 (80%)
1.8 mg Vitamin B12 (80%)
12 mg Niacin (80%)
75 mcg folate (20%)
20 mg choline (2%)
60 mg potassium (2%)
10 mg magnesium (2%)
ZOA Energy Drink has an impressive list of flavors (see below). My favorites are Frosted Grape, Super Berry and White Peach. ZOA uses natural flavors with no fruit juice, artificial flavors, synthetic colors or preservatives. I did not detect an after taste (which I usually do with sucralose), and the beverage somehow stays carbonated for hours!
Pineapple Passion Fruit
At the time of this writing (July 2023), ZOA offers 12-packs on their website for $24.99 (12 oz cans), $29.99 (16 oz cans) or $34.99 (Zoa+ 12 oz cans). You can save 10% with Amazon Prime using the Subscribe and Save option. Be sure to sign up on the ZOA Energy Drink website to get email notifications of sales and promotions — I saved 30% with a special subscriber-only Memorial Day promotion and 35% with a Prime day promotion. Needless to say, I stocked up! I’ve found ZOA Energy Drinks on sale at local grocery stores for as low as $1.50 per can (use ZOA’s store locator to find where it is available near you). For contrast, my beloved Starbucks Refresher was $5.89!!
Founded by Dwayne Johnson
I can’t complete this review without mentioning that one of the founders and the “Chief Energy Officer” of ZOA Energy is none other than actor and former wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The creation process of ZOA Energy Drink was a collaborative effort between Dwayne and his team of experts. They sought to create a beverage that not only provided an energy boost but also supported a healthy lifestyle.
ZOA’s impressive range of flavors, zero sugar, natural caffeine, and added vitamins make this energy drink tastier and healthier than its competitors. It’s a great way to start your day or to use as a pick me up for that afternoon slump!