Cheers to Vegan Drinks: A Guide to Animal-Free Beverages

People adopting a vegan lifestyle do so for several reasons. For some, its health concerns, others due to religious beliefs, while others want to protect animals and the environment. Following a vegan diet requires a conscious effort to ensure that the foods and beverages consumed don’t contain animal products.

Nowadays, supermarkets have a wide variety of beverages, and yes, some are certified vegan, making your choices easier. You can also read the labels of any drinks to ensure they contain no animal products.

In this comprehensive guide to animal-free beverages, we aim to help make it easier for you to understand which drinks you can enjoy as a vegan.

Cheers to Vegan Drinks

When making your drinks at home, you can ensure that everything from your morning tea or coffee to your evening alcoholic beverage is vegan. However, when choosing products off a supermarket shelf or from a restaurant menu, knowing what ingredients your beverage may contain makes it easier to choose.

Which Drinks are Vegan?

Many sodas and juices are vegan, but some may contain dairy, honey, or other animal-based ingredients.

For example, some drinks with an orange color may contain collagen-derived gelatin from animal sources. Cochineal, a red food coloring, comes from a species of insects. Additionally, many alcoholic drink producers use animal proteins for their clarifying process. Finally, concentrated juices containing no pulp use a non-vegan method to strain and distill the fruits.

Therefore, it’s good to know which ingredients you must avoid and how to spot them on the labels of beverages.

Benefits of Choosing Vegan Drinks

Besides complementing your vegan lifestyle, choosing vegan beverage have several other benefits:

Can help your lower BMI (Body Mass Index) – The lower your BMI, the lower your risk of being overweight. Vegan drinks often have lower sugar content and don’t contain any dairy. Therefore, you reduce the risk of adding more sugar or fats into your diet, assisting with weight loss and maintaining a healthier lifestyle.

Protect your heart – Since they contain no milk, vegan drinks have a lower concentration of LDL cholesterol, the bad cholesterol that can affect heart health. Following a vegan-based diet also helps you maintain healthier blood pressure levels.

Easier to digest – Plant-based beverages have much lower fat levels, particularly saturated fat, meaning it’s easier for your body to break them down. Therefore, they aid digestion and prevent digestive issues.

Protect animals and the environment – Vegan drinks are a cruelty-free option that also protects the environment. Your vegan lifestyle can help protect approximately 200 animals annually.

Readily available – It’s not always easy to find vegan meals when traveling, so keeping a few vegan drinks handy will help sustain you by providing hydration and energy.

Guide to Vegan Drinks

There’s an endless list of 100% vegan drinks you can enjoy anywhere, whether you prefer a juice, soda, smoothie, or cocktail.

1.     Vegan Energy Drinks

You can choose from several energy drinks if you want extra energy. However, if you’re unsure, check the list of ingredients.

One of the ingredients you must avoid is Taurine, sourced from the large intestines of animals or fish. However, most manufacturers of energy drinks, including Red Bull, use it in its synthetic form. According to this article, many vegans avoid Red Bull because PETA says the company continues to support animal testing.

Other energy drinks that are vegan include:

  • Rockstar Zero Carb
  • Lo-Carb Monster
  • Kombucha Wonder Drink
  • Sambazon Amazon Drink
  • Power Dream Soy Energy Drink
  • VigorAid
  • Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar Drink

Vegan Soft Drinks

Most soft drinks, including Coca-Cola, Coke Zero, Diet Coke, Sprite, Fanta, Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, and Pepsi Max, are vegan-friendly. According to the company’s website, Diet Pepsi is not vegan but doesn’t mention the reason.

Some soft drinks contain traces of fish gelatin, used to stabilize beta-carotene coloring. If unsure, read the list of ingredients or choose a soft drink with the Vegan Trademark to be sure.

Vegan Protein Drinks

You don’t need an animal-based product for a protein drink because several grains, legumes, vegetables, nuts, and seeds contain them. Therefore, when ordering or making a smoothie, there are several vegan protein powders you can opt for.

These include:

  • Pea protein
  • Hemp protein (made from the seeds of the cannabis plant)
  • Sacha Inchi protein (a star-shaped nut)
  • Pumpkin seed protein
  • Sunflower seed protein
  •  Brown rice protein
  • Soy protein
  • Chia protein
  • Mixed plant protein blends

Vegan alcoholic drinks

Choose your alcoholic drinks carefully, especially beer, cider, and wine, because producers use egg whites, casein, and gelatin to process. These animal-based products help in the clarifying process called fining in winemaking.

Unfortunately, there are no labeling requirements for alcoholic beverages, so it’s up to you, the consumer, to know which brands are vegan.

However, there are other substitutes, and some wineries have switched to using them, meaning it’s becoming easier to find vegan-friendly alcoholic drinks.

Most distilled spirits in their original state are naturally vegan because they don’t require filtration and clarification. However, adding flavorings may change their status. For example, liqueurs may contain honey or dairy. Some types of mezcal are not vegan.

See this article from Flavorly for a list of things to watch out for in alcohol.

Vegan Cocktails and Mixed Drinks

Most spirits are vegan. The same applies to simple mixes like whiskey, rum, vodka, or gin when mixed with mixer drinks like soda, tonic water, cranberry juice, or Coke. However, when ordering from a cocktail menu, check the ingredients used to ensure they include no animal products or traces of them.

Therefore, some drinks that may contain non-vegan ingredients include Bloody Mary because of the Worcestershire sauce, cocktails containing foam made with egg whites, White Russian, and Gold Rush (which has honey).

Cocktails suitable for vegans include Mojito, Gin Martini, Margarita, Mai Tai, Minos, etc.

Vegan Sports Drinks

The special formulation of sports drinks helps to keep you hydrated during strenuous workouts. They contain minerals and electrolytes. However, not all sports drinks are 100% vegan. Gatorade is veganaccording to PETA. You can also enjoy NOOMA Organic Electrolyte Sports Drink and Cure Hydrating Electrolyte Mix on a vegan diet.

Vegan Hot Beverages

You don’t need to forgo your favorite hot beverages when opting for a vegan lifestyle. Therefore, you can continue enjoying coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. If you prefer a creamier drink, add your favorite non-dairy milk made from soy, oats, coconut, almond, etc.

Tips on Making Your Own Vegan Beverages

You can make all the vegan drinks you need at home. Here are some tips to help you get started:

1.    Choose your sweeteners wisely – If you don’t want added sugar, opt for unrefined sweeteners like date syrup, agave syrup, coconut nectar, maple syrup, and others available in the market.

2.    Opt for plant-based milk – To make a creamy drink or smoothie without dairy products, choose from several non-dairy kinds of milk made from soybeans (soy milk), oats (oat milk), almonds (almond milk), coconuts (coconut milk), seeds (hemp or flaxseed milk), etc.

3.    Go for natural flavors – Instead of artificial flavors, use real fruits or vegetables to make vegan drinks. Also, consider natural extracts such as vanilla and almond extract for additional flavor.

4.    Add superfoods – Add superfoods like chia seeds, maca powder, baobab powder, hemp hearts, and others to your vegan drinks for an added nutrient boost.

5.    Experiment with different combinations – There’s no limit to the types of ingredients you can combine when making smoothies or juices at home. Therefore, feel free to experiment with various combinations until you find the perfect drink!

With so many vegan drinks available, you don’t have to miss out on refreshments or nutrition when following a vegan lifestyle. Finding energy-boosting, protein-packed, and nutritious drinks without animal products is easy whether you choose store-bought beverages or make your own at home. Enjoy!

Final Take

As you can see from this guide to vegan beverages, plenty of drinks match your vegan lifestyle on the market. Therefore, if you don’t have time to make your drinks at home, you can be sure to find something in your food market or restaurant to enjoy. Cheers to your choice of going vegan!


Are smoothies vegan?

Yes, smoothies can be vegan if they include plant-based ingredients like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. You can also add plant-based milk or protein powders to make them even more nutritious and delicious!

Is beer vegan?

Not all beers are vegan. Some brands use animal products in the production process, such as gelatin, isinglass (made from fish bladders), or casein (a milk protein). Therefore, looking for labels indicating a vegan product is best before purchasing.

Is wine vegan?

Most wines are not vegan because they undergo a clarification process called fining with animal products such as egg whites, casein (milk protein), or gelatin. However, there are vegan-friendly wines on the market. It’s best to look for labels indicating animal product-free and suitable for vegans.

Are mixed drinks vegan?

Generally, most mixed drinks made with spirits are vegan. However, be mindful of added flavorings containing animal products like dairy or honey. Check the ingredients before ordering from a cocktail menu to ensure it’s 100% vegan!

Are sports drinks vegan?

Not all sports drinks are vegan. But some brands like Gatorade and Cure Hydrating Electrolyte Mix are certified vegan-friendly by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). So, make sure to read the labels before buying.

Are hot beverages vegan?

Yes, you can still enjoy your favorite hot drinks on a vegan diet. Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are free from animal products. Adding non-dairy milk like soy or almond milk will make them even tastier!

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