Energy drinks provide you the energy boost you need to go about your daily tasks, be it studying, working, exercising or playing football.
Whether you need the energy to score a touchdown or you need the energy to cheer for your favorite team on TV, this article will help you make the best choice based on your personal needs.
Are energy drinks good for football?
Is caffeine a banned substance?
Let’s jump in to the details!
Ingredients in energy drinks
Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, soda, chocolate and many other food sources.
Caffeine is good to keep you alert and focused and can also enhance your daily productivity. Hence, many people turn to caffeine to keep them awake, get their tasks done and to give them an edge on the field during a game.
A can of energy drink usually has around 100mg of caffeine.
Depending on your caffeine tolerance, choose an energy drink that suits your needs. Also, keep in mind the maximum recommended daily caffeine intake is 400mg, so it’s wise to limit yourself to one can a day, as caffeine can also be found in other food and drinks.
Personally, I prefer my energy drinks to contain between 50 and 100mg of caffeine per serve. I find that to be the sweet spot, and it’s also ideal for football players.
In my experience, not only is more than 100mg of caffeine sub-optimal if you want to think clearly and concentrate, it also leads to a faster heart rate – which can be scary if you’re going to be exerting yourself during a football game.
The evidence in this regard seems clear – a small to moderate amount of caffeine is likely to be very beneficial to football players, but overdoing it may just do you harm.
Sugar is present in many energy drinks and can provide a short term boost to your energy levels during a football game.
But be warned, the sugar levels in most energy drinks is excessive. Luckily, there are plenty of sugar-free options available now.
Excessive sugar intake can lead to serious diseases like diabetes and obesity among others. Also, when the sugar wears off, be ready for a sugar-crash, that would leave you feeling lethargic. This is definitely something that you want to avoid late in an important game.
Choose a sugar-free energy drink instead if you’re serious about getting an edge over your competition late in games.
As just mentioned above, you should probably also choose one that contains a sensible amount of caffeine, instead of something that might blow your quarterback’s helmet off.
It’s a good idea to read the label to properly understand all of the ingredients that you will be putting into your body. If in doubt about anything, talk to your coach and double check with your doctor.
Our body produces taurine naturally, and the taurine in energy drinks is synthetically manufactured.
Taurine helps to regulate our heartbeat, helps with muscle recovery and energy levels too.
It’s an ideal ingredient for football players.
On normal days, the taurine our body produces is enough, but under certain conditions like sports, extra taurine intake can be beneficial.
It’s probably a good idea to choose an energy drink that contains a good amount of taurine if you plan to use it when you’re playing football.
Guarana has a higher caffeine percentage than arabica coffee beans. Guarana weighs in at around 3-4%, while coffee beans pack only about 1-2% caffeine.
Guarana is included in energy drinks to supply extra caffeine. Depending on your preferences, this may be good or bad.
Personally, all I want is 50-100mg of caffeine per 8.4 fl.oz serve, so I’m not interested in energy drinks that contain Guarana.
Watch out if your energy drink of choice has guarana – you may want the extra caffeine, but most football players should consider avoiding it.
What should I drink before a football game?
Before a game, you should probably fuel up with a small amount of caffeine, thus making energy drinks the perfect beverage of choice.
The caffeine content in energy drinks can provide the energy you need and also increase your mental alertness so that you make smarter decisions during the game.
Peak caffeine absorption usually occurs around 45 minutes after consuming caffeine, therefore, you should aim to have a small amount of caffeine about 30-60 minutes before beginning a game of football.
Is it OK to drink Red Bull before a game?
Yes, it is OK to drink Red Bull before a game.
Red Bull contains 80mg of caffeine, 27g of sugar and 110 calories.
These numbers seem pretty high. The caffeine dose is ideal, but all that sugar means that I can’t recommend Red Bull as my top choice for football players.
Again, it might cause you to have a sugar crash around half time, leaving you without energy late in the game.
The 80mg of caffeine is a good dose though and won’t cause you any side effects.
Check the current price of Red Bull on Amazon.
When is the best time to drink an energy drink before a game?
45 minutes prior to your game is a good time to consume your energy drink.
This is because it takes about 45 minutes for the caffeine to be fully absorbed into your bloodstream enabling it to reach peak boost energy level.
The maximum boost that you will feel from an energy drink occurs at this time.
The effects, can last for several hours, but will peak around 45 minutes after consumption.
How can I get energy fast before a football game?
This is a no brainer, energy drinks are the answer.
All of the best energy drinks can provide you with extra stamina and endurance before your game.
Also, you need to eat well. Plan to have a meal of complex carbohydrates the night before a game and don’t skip breakfast the morning of your game.
Food is the most important part of having a lot of energy during a game.
Energy drinks are only supplementary.
Can I drink energy drinks during half-time?
Yes, you can chug down your favorite energy drink during half-time.
Energy drinks may be the best way to replenish your energy and your mental capacity, as the caffeine content can increase your alertness and give you an extra spurt to close out a tough game.
Caffeine also helps many sportspeople, including footballers to improve their athletic performances. Refueling at half-time might be a good idea, but make sure to also drink enough water to replace fluids lost through sweating too.
Can I drink energy drinks after a game?
Yes, you can drink energy drinks after a game.
Drinking an energy drink after a football game can help you top up your depleted energy levels.
However, energy drinks are not designed to help you rehydrate and you would have already lost a good amount of fluid through sweat during the game.
Thus, it’s probably better to ensure you get sufficient hydration from water or sports drinks.
But, if you would still like an energy drink after a football game, I think it’s better to choose one with less caffeine, because you will need to wind down and rest and don’t need so much extra energy.
Also, energy drinks with taurine can help you with your muscle recovery, so keep an eye out for that on the list of ingredients on your energy drink of choice.
Something worth mentioning here is, although it’s perfectly fine for healthy football players to have an energy drink that contains a moderate amount of caffeine before, during or after a game, it’s certainly not recommended to drink one at all of those times.
Read the label on your energy drink to ensure you’re not exceeding the recommended maximum daily intake and be aware of other sources of caffeine that you’re also consuming on game days to make sure you don’t overdo it on caffeine.
Do energy drinks improve athletic performance?
Yes, energy drinks can improve your athletic performance.
Caffeine can naturally enhance your athletic performance, and it is safe for healthy individuals to consume one can of energy drink for your game.
However, it’s very important to always consume caffeine in moderation. If you’re planning on using energy drinks to help be a better football player come game day, it’s a smart idea to talk to your coach or a nutritionist, along with a doctor before making dietary changes.
Drinking too many energy drinks can pose a serious risk to your health. So, make sure you have expert health advice before proceeding.
Energy drinks and concentration for athletes
The caffeine in energy drinks, acts as a stimulant to enable you to be more focused and alert during your football game.
For any athlete, concentration is very important in order to achieve your best results. This is especially true in close football games, with the clock winding down.
A late touchdown or field goal could make the difference between winning and losing – you want to make sure it’s your team doing the scoring.
This is why energy drinks athletes in general and football specifically. Not only do they provide you with energy, they also help you to be able to concentrate better and think more clearly at critical moments during your game.
But, this doesn’t mean you should drink an unhealthy amount of energy drinks. Excessive caffeine consumption can pose some serious side effects, including:
You should be aware of your caffeine tolerance and never consume more than what your body can take. If you somehow find yourself addicted to caffeine, help is available.
If you would like to learn more about how energy drinks affect your concentration, you can check out my previous blog post where I dive into the nitty gritty about how it all works.
Can I drink energy drinks daily?
Yes, it’s perfectly safe to consume energy drinks on a daily basis.
With that said, it’s also wise to consume energy drinks in moderation and remember that energy drinks are in no way a substitute for a full meal or a glass of water.
As we know, many energy drinks are filled with caffeine and sugar. Moderate daily caffeine intake is OK as long as you are able to tolerate it. But, large daily intakes of sugar aren’t good for anyone.
If you want to drink energy drinks daily, choose one that’s low in sugar and calories, with a moderate amount of caffeine.
For a more detailed explanation on whether it’s safe to drink one energy drink a day, you can check out my previous post for the facts.
Is consuming caffeine for sports considered as drug abuse?
Did you know that caffeine was once banned for Olympic athletes?
This is proof that caffeine can improve your athletic performance and is beneficial for athletes, regardless of the sport.
However, consult your coach and the rules of any competition you’re joining to check with regard to whether caffeine is permitted or not.
Most likely, the answer is that caffeine is not a banned substance, but it can’t hurt to ask the question and double check.
Sports drinks vs energy drinks
First and foremost, the ingredients in both types of drinks are vastly different. In sports drinks, there’s a huge portion of sugar and electrolytes. It helps to feed your muscles and replace lost fluids.
In energy drinks, it’s primarily based on caffeine and B group vitamins. Caffeine helps stimulate your central nervous system, giving you the appropriate mental capacity to perform during a game.
So, which one should you drink for your football game?
I would suggest energy drinks before the game and then sports drinks during and after the game.
However, that’s just my opinion and you should check with your coach and doctor to get the best advice for your circumstances.
Best energy drinks for football
Here are some suggested energy drinks for you. Unless you’re on a strict diet during football season, you likely have many options that you could consider.
A 16 fl.oz can of Monster contains 190 calories, 54g of sugars and 179mg of caffeine.
Monster tastes good, certainly gives you a good boost of energy and will have you feeling ready for kick off. However, the high sugar content may not be ideal after half-time due to a possible sugar crash.
I personally find 179mg of caffeine to be way too high for me. My caffeine preference is usually under 100mg per serve.
If you’re wondering how Red Bull and Monster compare head to head, check out my other article that takes a comprehensive look at the two energy drink giants and exactly how they are different.
Check the current price of Monster on Amazon.
Guru Energy Drink markets itself as “organic”, with natural ingredients like green tea extract, panax ginseng root extract, and echinacea flower.
Guru contains far less sugar and calories compared to Monster, with 80 calories, 21g sugars and 100mg of “naturally occurring” caffeine.
I’ve previously reviewed Guru. To see how it measures up and what score I gave it out of 10, check out that article.
Check the price of Guru on Amazon.
Powdered energy drink options:
Zipfizz looks interesting due to all the different flavors, which I’ve actually reviewed 10 of the 11 already.
It contains 20 calories, zero sugar and has 100mg of caffeine per serve.
If you’re looking for something that has no sugar, you might want to start with Zipfizz.
Check the current price on Amazon.
I think Zipfizz is a good option for football players. The only things stopping me from recommending it as the best option on this list is the lack of taurine and the price.
Including shipping, Zipfizz usually costs more than my favorite energy drink for football, which is…
REIZE is another great sugar-fee option. REIZE contains just 11 calories and has a sensible 50mg of caffeine per 8.4 fl.oz serve.
REIZE also contains B group vitamins, taurine and ginseng to work together with the caffeine to give you a perfect energy boost, with no crash.
Something I really like is the 1000mg of taurine and also the fact that you can mix REIZE with your beverage of choice.
For a football game, the best option would be to mix it with regular water, instead of something that’s to fizzy. You don’t want to be drinking something that’s too fizzy before a game, which is another reason that REIZE feels like it was made for footballers.
REIZE looks to me as a healthier choice, and one that can help you to be more focused and energized during a long football game.
REIZE is also very affordable. It ships right to your door for about $1, including shipping.
That’s amazing value.
Give REIZE a try today, and you might also soon find that it’s the perfect energy drink for football.