The Best Over the Counter Energy Boosters

Whether you're dealing with the demands of a stressful job or just didn't get enough sleep last night, you may find that you need an energy-boosting product to help you get through the day. Unfortunately, there are so many options on the market that just figuring out what you should be taking can be exhausting as well. Of course, the wide array of options also allows you to find what is best suited to you, in regards to flavor, ingredients, cost and more. Because the ingredients in energy boosters affect your central nervous system, be sure to respect dosages and consult a doctor before use.

Increasing your energy levels can be as easy as cracking open a can. Credit: Evgeny Tomeev/iStock/Getty Images


You might not think of coffee as an "over the counter energy booster," but that's precisely what it is. Coffee perks you up thanks to the caffeine it contains. Coffee is inexpensive and widely available, making it a top choice. However, research has shown that coffee may not be the best choice if you have certain medical conditions. A study from the October 2006 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found it can increase blood pressure and may pose a risk to those at risk for cardiovascular disease. In addition, the researchers, led by J. A. Greenberg, noted that coffee might increase diabetes risk.

DynaPep Energy Micro Shot

DynaPep Energy Micro Shot was honored as the energy booster that provided the most energy in the 2009 Screaming Energy Drink Awards. According to Screaming Energy, this .1-oz. "micro shot" provides hours of energy with just 2 calories. Due to the potency, DynaPep warns against taking more than two of these per day. This product contains just 80 mg of caffeine, but it also contains 2-Amino 4-Methyl Hexane HCL, also known as dimethylamylamine, which explains is a powerful stimulant that mimics adrenaline. DynaPep warns against taking this product if you are pregnant, nursing or have high blood pressure or diabetes.

Lo-Carb Monster

Lo-Carb Monster is a carbonated energy drink that is a lower calorie version of the original Monster Energy drink. This beverage has 10 calories per 8-oz. serving and is sold in 16-oz. cans. Instead of containing high levels of sugar like other energy drinks, Lo-Carb Monster contains only 3 g of sugar per serving. Instead of sugar, Lo-Carb Monster relies on caffeine, taurine and ginseng to provide energy.

5-Hour Energy

5-Hour Energy may be a convenient option for you because it comes in the form of a 2-oz. shot rather than a large beverage. This makes it portable and it doesn't take long to drink. 5-Hour Energy is sugar-free and contains 4 calories per shot. Like many energy supplements, 5-Hour Energy contains caffeine to boost energy but also contains the amino acids taurine, tyrosine and phenylalanine. It also contains large amounts of B vitamins--including more than 80 times the recommended daily allowance of vitamin B12.

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