Best Energy Drink for Cycling (ride or die)

Woman riding a bicycle off road

If you’re planning to go cycling soon, here’s a checklist for you: a bicycle, shoes, gloves, a helmet, safety pads, water, and a whole lot of energy.

Let me tell you what makes one of the best sources of energy: energy drinks.

There’s just so much goodness in one serving: caffeine, taurine, B vitamins and many more great ingredients.

Fill up your bidon for a quick boost and you’ll be riding from sunrise to sunset.

So, if you’re dying to know what are the best energy drinks in town for cyclists, you’re in the right place.

Let’s get started!

Criteria to consider when buying energy drinks

  • Caffeine content
  • Sugar content
  • Price

Caffeine content

Caffeine is what puts the “energy” in energy drinks. When taken moderately, it makes a great energy booster for an enjoyable cycling session.

But, there are side effects that come from excessive intake.

In fact, the FDA recommends a maximum of 400mg of caffeine per day for an adult.

So, if you’d like to opt-out of a potential caffeine overdose, it’s smart to stick to the recommended limit.

Coffee bean on a wooden spoon
Steer clear from a potential caffeine crash – consume moderately.

Sugar content

Another reason for the energy boost in energy drinks is none other than sugar.

As with caffeine, a sugar “crash” occurs when the sugar wears off.

It might leave you feeling more fatigued than you did before. Check out the AHA’s recommended daily sugar intake for adults here.

So please monitor your daily consumption closely.

GenderRecommended daily intake
Men150 kcal/ 37.5g/ 9 tsp
Women100 kcal/ 25g/ 6 tsp

And thanks to the sugar-free versions, you can opt for those if you like your beverages without calories.

However, a friendly reminder here, zero-sugar drinks may contain artificial sweeteners. So, keep an eye on that.

Price

It makes my day when I’m offered a value-for-money deal. It’s also easier to come across a worthy bargain on energy drinks these days.

There are plenty of top quality drinks, sold at affordable rates.

That means that I get to indulge in so many great ingredients like taurine, ginseng, caffeine, and B vitamins.

It’s just too much of a deal to miss out on.

My favorite great-value energy drink is REIZE, but more on that later.

What should I drink as a cyclist?

Here are some drinks you should have as a cyclist.

  • Green tea

Green tea has phytonutrients, or in laymen terms, plant chemicals that help burn fat.

Thanks to the fuel, your body gets a boost of stamina and lets you go for long, steady rides. Plus, green tea has enough caffeine to help you with muscle contraction.

It’s ideal to have a cup before a ride daily to ensure that your endurance is high.

A glass of orange juice and oranges on a wooden table
Oranges are high in potassium and Vitamin C – and, they are tasty!

When you’re done with your laps, you’ll need something refreshing to quench your thirst. And that’s where the orange juice comes into the picture.

Orange is rich in potassium and enables you to restore your body’s depleting fluid levels.

I always have a bottle ready for post-cycling recovery.

You’ll get to save yourself from muscle cramps and losing vital electrolytes from your body. Plus, you all know it’s rich in healthy Vitamin C to protect your cells.

  • Water

The elixir of life is the best replacement for your missing electrolytes after exhausting long rides. And to top it off, water keeps your blood flowing and your muscles lean.

If you drink water daily as recommended by NAM, you'll prevent unwanted dizziness, fatigue, and headaches too. A bonus here; water has ZERO calories. 

Isn’t it a dream to stay hydrated, without having to put on any weight? It sure is for me.

  • Cherry juice

Studies in the UK have found that drinking tart cherry juice reduces inflammation and oxidative stress in cyclists.

The natural antioxidant is considered an excellent pain reliever and doesn’t taste as bad as the actual pill. Have a drink before you hop on for your ride as an early recovery measure.

  • Coffee

Caffeine makes the most part of coffee, if not all. It’s a much-needed ingredient to regulate blood pressure and heart function.

But, make sure to stick to the FDA guidelines for your daily caffeine intake, especially if you’re someone with a heart condition.

Cycling is an exercise that actively involves your heart rate, heart muscle, and blood pressure.

If you put caffeine and cycling together, they make a great combo for a healthy heart, just be careful not to overdo it.

  • Energy drinks

For those who fancy a flavorful caffeine fix that isn’t bitter coffee, energy drinks are amazing alternatives.

With almost similar caffeine levels, an energy drink gives a similar health impact as a cuppa does.

Be cautious of the sugar content in some energy drinks, so it won’t mess up your diet plan as a cyclist. Also, you can always opt for the sugar-free version of many fine quality drinks in the market.

Many energy drinks today have added ingredients in the mix. Some are high in B vitamins, taurine, and ginseng extract.

My favorite is REIZE, a great value energy drink with all the above-mentioned ingredients.

Are sports drinks good for cycling?

Yes, sports drinks are good for cycling, to a certain extent.

A red and black Giant bicycle and a man standing above it
Bring along two bottles of fluid whenever you go cycling.

Sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade have been in the game for a long time now. I’ve personally grabbed a bottle once in a while after a long cycling session.

The drinks refill the lost fluids during powerful rounds of cycling. You’ll obtain sodium and potassium to help the contraction of muscles.

Phosphorus is present too, for increased aerobic capacity. And, the drinks have carbs that act as your body’s fuel source.

The question here is, is the added sugar of more than 30g in a sports drink really worth it? AHA recommends only 37.5g of daily sugar intake for men and 25g for women.

For a 30-minute fun ride in the park, you won’t be needing that many electrolytes. So, you might want to consider that the next time you reach for a sports drink.

Consult your doctor or health professional for expert advice for your situation.

How do I drink while cycling?

You can drink while cycling using several techniques.

Drinking while on the pedals is a tough ritual for most cyclists, and this is especially true for beginners. You won’t want to risk crashing, just for the sake of a sip of water.

  • One-hand trick

This is an essential trick, worth learning for a smooth ride.

Step 1: Place one hand on the bars and the other closer to the stem.

Step 2: Engage your core muscles to help stabilize the bike.

Step 3: Coast with one leg straight and reach down with the same hand as your leg.

Step 4: Sip on your drink while keeping your eyes on the road. To do that, raise the bottle and squeeze the drink to the side of your mouth.

Make sure your view is never obstructed.

  • Bottle cages

Depending on the frames of your bike, you’ll want to adjust your cages, so you can reach your bottle easily.

With frames that are more compact, side-load the cages so it’s accessible from either left or right.

The cage should grip the bottle snugly, and not too tightly. The best type of bottles for that are ones with indented sides. So, you can get a firm grip while you slide them from their cages.

  • Change over bottles

If your bicycle allows space for two bottle cages, use them to your benefit. You’ll still need to learn the skills of swapping between two bottles.

But, the good news is, you’ll probably have enough fluid to last the whole ride.

Here’s a pro-tip I’ve learned from my cycling buddies over the years.

To switch to a full bottle, use your teeth to grip the nozzle and move the full bottle into the cage on the down-tube.

Place the empty one into the cage on the seat-tube.

With a few more rounds of practice, you’ll be swapping bottles effortlessly while on the go.

Learn the tricks to eat and drink as you ride.

How do I keep my stamina up when cycling?

There are a few methods to keep your stamina up when cycling.

  • Start with short interval workouts. Add distance, intervals, and intensity moderately as you go.
  • Put on some muscle mass by weight-lifting in the gym. The stronger the hamstrings, quads, and glutes are, the less fatigue you’ll feel.
  • Schedule one day of recovery each week. No hard workouts on consecutive days.
  • Do static stretches after rides and mobility exercises on recovery days.
  • Eat healthily and sleep well.

Best Energy Drinks for Cycling

Emerge

Sugar: 7.5g

Caffeine: 75mg

Calories: 38

Two cans of Emerge in different flavors
Emerge comes in two flavors of carbonated drink.

As far as energy drinks that contain sugar go, Emerge is quite low. For comparison, Red Bull contains 27g per regular 8.4 fl.oz can and Coca-Cola energy contains 26g.

But, for those cyclists who are low on glucose and energy levels, Emerge is a decent choice. Credit goes to the 75mg of caffeine, which is at a moderate level that I think is just right.

The carbonated drink is rich with ingredients like taurine, B vitamins, and niacin. You’ll definitely feel the drive to do more laps in each session.

There’s also a variety of mixed fruit flavors to choose from. I find the taste superior to many other energy drinks on the market today.

Unfortunately, Emerge isn’t available on Amazon (#ad) at the time of writing, so it might be hard to track down in the US.

Make It Mio

Sugar: Sugar-free

Caffeine: 60mg per squeeze

Calories: 0

Four different flavors of Mio Water Enhancer
Pick your favorite flavor from the Mio range.

This one’s a legend. Mio is a revolution in the energy drink industry and is a household name in the US.

Simply mix a squeeze of Mio Energy Water Enhancer into water or sparkling water and, tadaa, it’s ready to drink!

Each squeeze contains around 60mg of caffeine, and to be honest, that’s about the perfect amount in my opinion.

But, it’s ideal for controlling your caffeine intake. If you like it strong, then, 2 -3 squeezes will do the trick. Regardless, you’ll still have to drink in moderation.

The Enhancer has zero calories and sugar, making it optimal for a balanced diet. However, you’ll still find sucralose, an artificial sweetener in the product.

There are two different lines for this product- the regular energy enhancer and the coffee-flavored ones. It’s amazing how a tiny pack can hold such a mighty punch.

The product is rich in B vitamins that help you to replenish your energy as you cycle away.

You can purchase Mio on Amazon. (#ad)

REIZE Energy Drink (a champion’s choice)

Sugar: Sugar-free

Caffeine: 50mg

Calories: 11

My personal favorite would have to be REIZE. Why you might ask? Well, it’ll keep you on your pedals for many, many miles. Trust me, I’ve tried it. At 50mg, it’s in the perfect range of our daily recommended caffeine intake too.

You can have a couple of these in a day and still not worry about maxing out the limit. Isn’t that awesome?

If you’re practicing a low-calorie diet, then great news. This one here only amounts to 11cals per drink. And, it’s sugar-free too.

With a wholesome mix of ingredients like taurine, ginseng, and B vitamins, your body will be in good shape and health.

REIZE sachet and mixed drink
This B-vitamin loaded drink is important in a cyclist’s diet.

The best part of all?

It only costs around $1 per sachet. That’s INCLUDING shipping to your door too.

Overall, REIZE is what you need for a long-lasting energy booster on the track or road.

Get your fix of REIZE today because this is your ride-or-die buddy when it comes to cycling.

Last Updated on

Marty Spargo

I started my own energy drink brand in 2014 and am passionate about educating people about energy drinks so that they can properly understand the ingredients, benefits and risks without being influenced by the marketing messages put out by some brands. You can read my full bio here.

Recent Content