Zoa Energy Drink Review: Is The Rock's Drink Unhealthy?

Zoa Energy Drink Review: Is The Rock's Drink Unhealthy?

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Zoa is an energy brand founded by celebrity The Rock. It's branded as a healthier alternative to traditional energy drinks, and contains caffeine from green tea, electrolytes, camu camu and more.

But is Zoa Energy Drink really healthier than the competition? Does it contain any questionable additive ingredients? Does it have a high enough caffeine dose to boost energy levels? And how do real users rate and describe its taste and effects?

In this article we'll answer all of these questions and more, as we analyze the ingredients in Zoa Energy to give our take on whether or not it's likely to be effective, and whether or not it's healthy.

We'll compare it to other popular energy drinks that are branded as healthy options, and feature unsponsored Zoa customer reviews.

Ingredient Analysis

The first red flag about Zoa is that the brand fails to clearly publish a full ingredient list in text format on either their energy drink product pages or their FAQ page at the time of publishing this article.

Full ingredient lists should be clearly accessible as this is a consumer safety issue.

The ingredients in the Frosted Grape flavor of Zoa are shown below (we sourced this ingredient list by zooming in on one of the product images):

Caffeine is included at a dose of 160 milligrams (mg), which is an effective dose that's clinically shown to improve both mental energy and physical energy.

There are no other ingredients in this formulation that we consider likely to improve energy levels.

Zoa Frosted Grape contains a large number of inactive ingredients that we consider to be unhealthy.

Sucralose is an artificial sweetener that's clinically shown to have negative effects on insulin levels, as we documented in our article on is Bang Energy bad for you.

Acesulfame potassium is another artificial sweetener that was shown to cause negative changes to brain function in a clinical trial published in the Physiology & Behavior journal.

Green tea extract may cause liver damage when used at high doses, according to Health Canada, and Zoa fails to publish the green tea extract dose in the above product image.

Citric acid can have inflammatory effects throughout the body, according to a 2018 medical review.

Natural flavors is a broad categorical descriptor that fails to document the specific flavoring agents used.

We only recommend the use of organic natural flavors, because of higher ingredient quality standards as documented by the USDA.

Overall, we do not recommend Zoe Energy Drink from a health perspective, due to the inactive ingredients discussed above.

Real People Try Zoa

A YouTube creator named Samoan Rome tried Zoa Energy Drink:

A TikTok creator named Kylie claims that Zoa drinks don't provide enough energy:

@kyliedeleeuw ZOA energy drinks.. where’s the energy?? #energydrinks #momlife #costcobuys ♬ Mission Impossible Theme (Movie Trailer Mix) - Dominik Hauser

Zoa vs. the Competition

There are a large number of "healthy" energy drinks on the market.

Here's our take on the healthines of Zoa versus some of their competitors:


Arguably the most popular energy drink in the US, Celsius contains a similar caffeine dose to Zoa, and similar additives (green tea extract, citric acid), but only contains one artificial sweetener.

Our take: Celsius is slightly healthier


Exact same caffeine dose as Zoa, similarly unhealthy additives, but also contains colorants and a significant added sugar dose (54 g per can).

Our take: Zoa is significantly healthier


Ghost Energy contains artificial colors, preservatives and artificial sweetener, as we documented in our article on is Ghost Energy bad for you.

Our take: Zoa is significantly healthier

While we don't currently recommend any of these energy drink brands, we consider Celsius to be the healthiest option of the four.

Why Was Zoa Sued?

In 2023, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Zoa.

According to the Northern California Record, the lawsuit alleges that Zoa is not actually preservative-free as the brand claims, because citric acid is recognized as a food preservative by the FDA.

While citric acid has preservative functions, it's also used as a flavor enhancer.

Citric acid provides the "tangy" and sour flavor that many energy drinks are known for.

This lawsuit appears to be ongoing, but it doesn't represent any new information we think consumers need to be concerned about.

We already explained in the Ingredient Analysis section why we recommend avoiding manufactured citric acid.

Our Clean Energy Picks

Pique Breakfast Black Tea Sticks is our top whole food energy pick.

Black tea consumption is "associated with rapid increases in alertness and information processing capacity" according to a clinical trial, and Pique's tea is organic and comes in convenient stick packs that can be mixed into water, so a teapot or kettle are not needed.

Performance Lab Energy is our top multi-ingredient energy supplement.

This supplement contains acetyl-l-carnitine which can "improve energy status" according to a medical review published in the Neurochemical Research journal, as well as CoQ10 which "is an effective and safe treatment for reducing fatigue symptoms" according to a 2022 meta-study.

Illuminate Labs Panax Ginseng Extract is our top herbal energy pick.

Panax ginseng extract has been clinically shown to reduce mental fatigue and reduce physical fatigue, and our supplement is third-party tested to ensure its purity and potency.

All of the products recommended in this section are entirely free of ingredients we consider to be unhealthy.

Customers Rate Zoa 

Amazon is a better resource for honest customer reviews than a brand's website in our opinion.

At the time of publishing this article, Zoa has been reviewed over 17,000 times on Amazon, with an average customer review rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

A top positive review from a verified purchaser comes from a user named "Norma Harper" who gave the product a 5/5 rating, and claims it's a good choice for her son who has to watch his sugar intake:

"...they taste great! My son also told me that they do not make him jittery at all. It gives him a nice boost of energy without the crash. Highly recommend."

A top negative review from a verified purchaser is written by a user named "Thomas Spring" who gave the product a 1/5 rating, and strongly dislikes its taste:

"If you were hungover one day and you made the mistake of thinking a Centrum one-a-day was a chewable vitamin (because your brain goblin was also hungover), and you tried chewing it, that's it. That's my best approximation of what this ZOA Zero Sugar Pineapple Coconut disgustingness tastes like."

Zoa Energy currently has a 4.7 out of 5 star rating on Facebook.

Zoa Pros and Cons

Here are the pros and cons of Zoa Energy Drink in our opinion:


  • Effective caffeine dose
  • Should increase energy
  • Should improve focus
  • Healthier than Monster and Ghost Energy
  • Highly positive online customer reviews


  • Contains sucralose
  • Contains acesulfame potassium
  • Contains green tea extract
  • Contains citric acid
  • Contains natural flavors
  • Contains synthetic vitamins and minerals
Stay up-to-date on our research reviews


While Zoa Energy Drink is probably healthier than the average energy drink, we don't currently recommend this product because it contains a number of additives we consider to be unhealthy.

This brand uses two artificial sweeteners, citric acid and natural flavors.

Zoa also contains green tea extract, and the product's label doesn't currently list its dose, which is concerning because high-dose green tea extract can harm the liver in some cases.

We consider Zoa to be healthier than Monster and Ghost Energy, but less healthy than Celsius.

Zoa was recently sued over allegations that the drink is not truly preservative-free.