Is Your Energy Drink Gluten Free?

By AFM Staff – July 1, 2014

With every trip to the grocery store comes a discovery of a new gluten free product. Cookies, breads, and pastas are now offered in gluten-free options, so avoiding wheat products has never been easier.

However, the same cannot always be said for drinking without gluten. Sure, plain old water is gluten free, but be sure to examine the ingredient lists on bottles of other beverages. Out of the many ingredients, there are two to look out for when making a beverage choice: MFS (modified food starch) and malodextrin.

MFS, when made from wheat, can be a hidden source of gluten in foods and drinks. It can also be corn-based, keeping a beverage gluten free, so it’s important to identify which type of MFS is used in beverages. Malodextrin comes from treated grain starch. While it is usually derived from corn or rice starch, malodextrin can also be produced from wheat and potatoes. When MFS or malodextrin made from wheat are used, the ingredients list should note “wheat” in the allergens.

As with any food source, a gluten-free label does not necessarily equate to a healthy seal of approval. Many sodas in the U.S. are gluten free (Coke, Fresca, Dr Pepper) but regular consumption of these sugary drinks isn’t going to add to a nutritious diet for athletes. Here’s a list of a few of the available gluten-free sports and energy drinks on the market.


Gluten-Free Sports Drinks

All Gatorade products
(with the exception of G Series PRO 01 Nutrition Bars and Energy Bites)

(gluten free but made in plant that processes wheat)



(not tested, but contains gluten-free ingredients)


Gluten-Free Energy Drinks/Enhanced Waters

AMP Energy

Monster Energy Drinks

NOS Energy Drink

Red Bull

Full Throttle

Rockstar Energy Water

HiBall Energy Drink

5-Hour Energy

Vega Sport Pre Workout Energizer

Glaceaus Vitamin Water/Smart Water/Fruit Water



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