“Can I still be caffeinated?”

Being the college student that I am, this was one of the first questions I asked when I found out I would have to restrict my diet. My busy schedule didn’t allow much time for sleep, and I had become quite dependent on America’s favorite drug.

Lucky for me though (and the rest of you sleep-deprived people out there), caffeine can be enjoyed gluten-free in all of its most popular forms–coffee, tea, soft drinks and energy drinks.

Have Your Coffee (And Drink it Too)
Considering I am probably responsible for half of Brazil’s coffee bean exports, you can imagine my excitement when I found out coffee, in its pure form, is gluten-free. (Yay!) However, this also means that ANY flavored, instant or decaffeinated coffees could potentially contain gluten. (Boo!)

Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean you have to order it “just black” for the rest of your life. All of Dunkin’ Donuts coffees, including the flavored ones, are gluten-free. Many local and organic coffee shops also brew flavored gluten-free coffees–just ask!

Tip: Be careful with commercial coffee. Although places like Starbucks and Caribou Coffee have gluten-free syrups, both warn of possible cross-contamination due to shared preparation materials with ingredients containing gluten. Coffee at public events/places should generally be avoided too, since it’s usually instant.

Tea Party!
Tea, like coffee, is gluten-free in its pure form. Once again, this means that any flavored tea could be dangerous. Although there are specialized gluten-free teas that can be purchased at health stores, I prefer the entirely gluten-free Celestial Seasonings. They have over 90 different varieties and can be purchased at any grocery store.

Continue the Carbonation
Surprisingly, many soft drinks are gluten-free. According to a list from the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA), Coke, Sprite, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Sierra Mist, 7-Up and A&W Root Beer are all gluten-free. I’ve also found that two of my favorite sodas, Squirt and Fresca, are gluten-free as well.

Tip: Just make sure you double-check the label, and always listen to your body; although the manufacturer may claim its soda is gluten-free, vague ingredients such as “natural flavor” or “flavors” leaves a lot of room for what those additives actually are.

Get Your Wiiiiiiings
Energy drinks are marvelous inventions. Thankfully, I can enjoy these inventions (and have many completed assignments to thank them for). Both Red Bull Energy Drink and Red Bull Sugarfree are gluten-free, as well as Rockstar Energy Drink. My favorite sugar-free source of caffeine, 5-hour Energy, is also gluten-free.