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The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

The Student Media Site of Georgia College & State University

Bobcat Multimedia

Cracked out on Celsius

Does Celsius have Methamphetamine in it?
Energy drink section at gas station

Earlier this month, a wave of horror and hysteria came upon the worldwide community of caffeine addicts. Mass panic upon caffeine consumers came when a few creators on TikTok posted videos of the wildly popular Celsius energy drink yielding positive urine test results for methamphetamines, cocaine and benzodiazepines. 

This shocked, terrified and outraged people who regularly consume Celsius, as many of them feared greatly for their health upon seeing these videos. They felt deceived by the beloved brand, as when they began drinking Celsius, they knew they signed up for a potential caffeine addiction and  some fun little B-vitamins and chemical additives but had not even fathomed that this commercially available drink contained hard, illicit drugs.

Curiosity as to what exactly is in this popular drink was garnered when a video of a visibly distressed female creator, @Quensadilla, began to circulate on TikTok. 

“Has anyone ever tested the Celsius energy drink for methamphetamines,?” Quensadilla said “Because I drank one five hours ago, and I still feel like I am about to have a panic attack, and I already worked out for three hours straight.” 

This video prompted other creators to purchase urine drug tests and pour some of a Celsius into the test vial. TikTok creator @strawberryforrest uploaded a video of her conducting a drug test on the Celsius drink and found that it tested positive for methamphetamines, cocaine and benzodiazepines. She ended her video urging viewers to cease their consumption of Celsius immediately. 

Her alarming video immediately caught fire; it received over 1.7 million views on TikTok. But many were skeptical of both the results and methodology of her layman science. This is hardly the first time an energy drink has been accused of containing illegal stimulants. 

According to USA Today, similar concerns were voiced in relation to Red Bull and Bang in a viral 2019 Facebook post, which provided a photo of a drug test in which Red Bull tested positive for methamphetamine and the opioids oxycodone and Suboxone. It also claimed that Bang tested positive for the recreational drug MDMA.

Despite these alarming findings, fear not, my fellow caffeine addicts. Each time you go to the gas station and pick out your favorite Celsius in a 2-for-$5, you are not, in fact, consuming illicit drugs.

The accusations made against Celsius in these videos inspired a more rigorous examination of the drink via a hospital urine toxology screen, or UTOX, which was conducted by a creator on TikTok who is an American Medical Association-certified doctor. UTOX screens are used to detect metabolites for various illicit substances in one’s body, including cocaine, amphetamines, PCP, marijuana and opioids.

These screens are well vetted, reliable, and routinely employed in almost every hospital and doctor’s office in the country. The UTOX screening results for Celsius came back negative, indicating the illicit substances these creators claimed to be in them are not actually present. 

Although uncommon, energy drinks can yield false positives on drug tests, like Celsius did. Molecules that are not the actual illicit substances can be structurally similar enough that the test is unable to distinguish them. 

“You’re not testing for the actual drug,” said Dr. Peter Chai, an emergency medicine physician specializing in toxicology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “You’re testing for a structure within the molecular composition of the drug. That’s how these tests commonly get fooled.” 

The tests are often deceptive as many non-psychoactive compounds are close enough in structure to yield a false positive test result for an illicit substance. “There’s not amphetamine in the energy drink, but one of these amino acids may mimic the structure, and so [the test] is just going to become positive if it detects a similar structure,” Chai said. 

In conclusion, despite what you may hear on social media, or what you may think the next time a Celsius has you shaking like a five-point Richter scale earthquake, there is not methamphetamine, cocaine or benzodiazepines in these beverages.  


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