Doctors have debunked those claims the energy drink Celsius contains the same ingredients that are used in the popular weight-loss drug Ozempic.
The claim is making waves on TikTok, with the search term “Celsius drink ozempic” having been viewed 11.7 million times.
Health experts call the claim “ridiculous,” explaining that the high caffeine in the drink likely suppresses appetite and causes weight loss.
The wealth of TikTok videos is also urged with caution, as consuming above-average levels of caffeine can lead to liver or kidney damage, which consumers who down too many Celsius drinks have claimed.
TikTokers claim the energy drink contains Ozempic, the brand name for the drug semaglutide, which is approved for type 2 diabetes and weight management
A 12-ounce can of Celsius contains 200 milligrams of caffeine, which is more than many other energy drink brands. This is also twice as much caffeine or a regular cup of coffee
What is Celsius?
Celsius is an energy drink that claims to be made with “healthier ingredients,” including ginger, green tea, and essential vitamins.
According to the brand’s website, the drinks contain no sugar, aspartame, high fructose corn syrup, or artificial preservatives.
However, a recent lawsuit alleged that the “no preservatives” claim was bogus, as the drink contains citric acid. People who purchased Celsius products between January 1, 2015 and November 23, 2022 were eligible for a $250 payout.
A 12-ounce can contains 200 milligrams of caffeine, twice as much as an 8-ounce cup of coffee.
This is more than that of brands like Monster, Red Bull and Rockstar, as well as a shot of espresso or a cup of cold brew.
Some varieties of the brand contain varying levels of caffeine, including Celsius BCAA, which contains 100 milligrams, and Celsius Heat, which contains 300 milligrams.
The Food and Drug Administration advises that drinking up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day is safe for most people.
“We recommend no more than (2) 12 oz cans / (2) servings per day, and that you follow the daily serving recommendations for all other Celsius products,” the brand states on its website.
The caffeine in Celsius drinks is derived from guarana extract, a plant native to the Amazon.
According to recent research70 percent of the guarana produced is used by the beverage industry in soft drinks and energy drinks, with the remaining amount being converted into powder.
Celsius contains several active ingredients intended to increase energy. These are listed in a proprietary (prop) blend called ‘MetaPlus Proprietary Blend’.
While some are natural, others are not, and dieticians are Light up laboratories suggest some combing is not recommended.
For example, the drinks contain the stimulant glucuronolactone, which Illuminate labs said, “We recommend avoiding it when combined with caffeine and taurine.”
Another ingredient is citric acid, which has been shown to cause whole-body inflammatory responses in some individuals, according to a study published in Toxicology Reports.
Sucralose is also listed on the nutrition label, which a clinical trial found “caused adverse changes in insulin levels in young and healthy adults.”
Registered dietitian DJ Mazzoni shared, “Celsius may not be actively harmful, but we certainly don’t recommend drinking it on a regular basis.”
In videos that have been viewed more than a million times, users claim that Celsius energy drinks contain Ozempic, a drug used for type 2 diabetes and weight loss. However, medical experts have refuted the claims, saying that it’s just caffeine that suppresses appetite
While some are natural, others are not, and Illuminate Labs dietitians suggest combing some is not recommended
What is Ozempic?
Ozempic is a brand name for the drug semaglutide, which suppresses appetite and causes weight loss.
It was approved by the FDA in 2017 for type 2 diabetes.
The drug binds to the GLP-1 receptor, a protein that activates hormones in the brain that keep the stomach full and tell the body to stop eating and avoid cravings.
2022, more than five million recipes for Ozempic, Mounjaro, Rybelsus (for another Novo drug that uses semaglutide), or Wegovy are written for weight management.
This compares to just over 230,000 in 2019 – an increase of more than 2,000 percent in three years.
As of 2023, doctors have dispensed more than 832,700 prescriptions for Ozempic’s sister drug Wegovy.
Does Celsius contain Ozempic?
While the claim that Celsius drinks contain Ozempic quickly gained popularity on social media, experts have said this is false.
“Celsius has no Ozempic in it. Celsius has caffeine,” said a pharmacist on TikTok passing by The Millennial Pharmacist in a video last month.
“Caffeine acts as an appetite suppressant, which can help you lose weight.”
The brand has also denounced these claims.
“Celsius products do not and never contain semaglutide,” a company spokesperson said FOX Business.
However, the company has stated that the drinks can help burn calories, leading to weight loss.
“Celsius products provide functional energy that, when combined with proper diet and moderate exercise, has been clinically proven to increase metabolism through thermogenesis,” the spokesperson said.
This, in turn, causes the body to burn more calories and body fat than it normally would with exercise alone.”
Can Celsius Cause Health Problems?
However, drinking too many of these drinks can lead to serious health effects.
a Case Report 2021 detailed that a 21-year-old man in the United Kingdom was hospitalized for heart and kidney failure after drinking more than half a liter of energy drinks every day for two years.
He spent more than a week in intensive care and a total of almost two months in the hospital.
TikTok user Nick Errante posted a video describing how he drank Celsius before every workout (left). However, he then showed that he was getting a heart exam (right), suggesting the drinks were causing him heart problems
However, this is about 640 milligrams of caffeine, well above the FDA’s recommended daily limit.
“Celsius is not known to cause liver or kidney damage when consumed as recommended. Those who have experienced adverse effects from drinking Celsius are likely to be drinking more than recommended or have pre-existing liver or kidney disease,” reads one rack on the product’s website.
“We recommend consulting your healthcare provider if you are concerned that Celsius may affect your health.”
Additionally, a TikTok user named Nick Errante posted a video last year about heart problems the energy drink caused, he claimed.
The video begins with him saying, “I’ve been drinking Celsius before every workout for the last 2 years, thinking I’m healthy” next to a picture of him at the gym. It then ends with an image where he is given an apparent cardiology exam.
It is unclear what specific problem he was dealing with.