Sometimes the best way to unwind after a hard day’s work is a casual bike ride. Casual bike rides in your local parks or cycling trails are beneficial for both your fitness and mental health.
It’ll make you healthy and happy, plus bike rides are a great way to see some new sights.
But, bike rides require a lot of energy for you to keep going the distance.
What’s the best way to get your energy boost?
Energy drinks, of course!
Energy drinks can provide you with an energy boost for your bike rides, no matter where you go.
Besides, these drinks also contain beneficial ingredients like taurine, BCAAs, B vitamins, and other nutrients that can help improve your exercise performance.
Keep reading as I explore on how energy drinks can keep you going strong during your bike rides, and how they can enhance your performance as well.
Let’s get into it...
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Can Energy Drinks Provide Energy For Bike Rides?
Energy drinks can indeed supply you with the energy that you’re looking for during bike rides. This is mostly due to the fact that energy drinks contain caffeine, an energy-boosting ingredient you’ll find in coffee, tea and chocolate.
Caffeine has been confirmed to have favorable effects on fat oxidation, metabolic rate, and physical and mental energy.
Plus, caffeine is known to improve exercise performance as well.
However, the effects of caffeine depend on your metabolism and body weight. Some people are able to break down caffeine easily while others take a longer time.
It also depends on your caffeine tolerance. If you consume caffeine regularly, you’ll more likely have a higher tolerance compared to those who drink caffeinated drinks only occasionally.
When should you drink energy drinks before a bike ride?
It’s ideal to drink a can of energy drink half an hour before starting your bike ride. This has to do with how your body responds to the caffeine upon consumption and when the effects kick in.
Normally, the effects of caffeine will peak around 30 – 60 minutes after consumption. This is the time when the impacts of caffeine on your body and mind are the strongest.
Just be sure that you don’t exceed the daily caffeine intake, which is 400mg for healthy adults according to the FDA. This amount takes into account all of your caffeine sources, of course.
Children, pregnant, and breastfeeding women should avoid consuming caffeine. If you’re taking prescription medication or have health conditions, consult your doctor first before having any energy drinks.
All in all, having energy drinks before your bike rides can be beneficial as long as you consume them in moderation.
Is caffeine good for bike rides?
Caffeine makes a great performance enhancer for bike rides. There are many studies that reported the benefits of caffeine in athletic performance and training sessions, including cycling.
A 2008 study conducted on 24 cyclists showed that their endurance performance and cognitive abilities improved after consuming a performance bar with caffeine and carbs compared to no caffeine.
You might be thinking: isn’t caffeine what you drink to keep yourself awake, can it really improve your performance during bike rides?
I know, it can be hard to believe that your average cup of java or can of Red Bull can help you cycle faster, longer, or better.
But from personal experience, having caffeine before starting my workouts truly does increase my speed and strength, helping me to push through more reps.
And, I’m sure it’ll benefit your recreational cycling too, especially if you’re hoping to burn some calories.
Caffeine has the natural ability to boost energy levels and counteract a few of the symptoms of tiredness.
A study conducted on a mixed group of lean and obese individuals discovered that caffeine sped up fat burning by 29% in lean individuals, whereas in obese individuals, fat burning increased by 10%.
This is good news if you often go out on bike rides.
When you’re performing any physical activity, your muscles depend on your glycogen stores for energy. After you’ve completed the activity, your glycogen stocks are depleted and need to be replenished.
Glycogen is metabolised from glucose, which comes from carbohydrates.
If you don’t consume carb-rich food quickly enough, your muscles might start eating away at themselves for fuel and this could eventually lead to muscle breakdown and muscle injuries.
Caffeine helps by redirecting your cells to use the fats in your body as energy, instead of your glycogen stores.
Thus, after you’re done with your bike ride, your body still has some glycogen left for muscle repair and fuel.
Do energy drinks help increase endurance?
Energy drinks have been confirmed to cause significant improvements in endurance-based exercises. Likewise, energy drinks can help you ride a bike for a longer period of time before exhaustion sets in.
In a study involving nine cyclists, it was reported that caffeine increased work production by 7.4%. It was also discovered that caffeine consumption had elevated fat oxidation by 31% and therefore had provided the substance needed for the improved workload.
As great as the positive impacts of energy drinks are, you need to control your intake to avoid running the risk of caffeine overdoses and other adverse effects.
For recreational cycling, I’d suggest going for energy drinks with less sugar or sugar-free energy drinks with moderate caffeine content.
Consuming large quantities of caffeine is likely to cause undesirable side effects during your bike rides, so it’s best to stay under 400mg a day. A heavy intake of sugar is also unhealthy for you.
The American Heart Association (AHA) has laid out some guidelines on the advisable maximum amount of sugar you can consume per day:
These guidelines focus on all types of sugar, including the ones that come from honey or corn syrup like fructose.
With sugar-free energy drinks, you can never go wrong as you won’t have to worry about a sugar crash.
Sugar-free energy drinks substitute sugar with sweeteners that taste as good as free sugars and have fewer calories.
However, there aren’t many conclusive studies on the impacts of artificial sweeteners on our health, so it’s best to consume them in moderation too.
Is it OK to bike every day?
Riding a bike every day is completely okay, and it may even be beneficial for your overall fitness levels and physical and mental health. Biking for only 30 – 60 minutes every day is enough to yield positive results in your life.
If you love bike riding but don’t have enough time to do it, why not make it part of your daily routine?
Bike riding is easier to integrate into your routine compared to workouts.
Instead of using your car to get to work, you can switch to commuting by bike to get a refreshing start to the day.
Sure, it might feel tedious at first since you’re probably more accustomed to driving or taking public transport to work, but don’t forget that neither of those options are without their own frustrations.
If your workplace is too far to reach by bike, you can just cycle to the nearest train station and park your bike there before boarding the train to work.
Besides, bike riding every day, even if it’s just for recreational purposes, can improve your cognitive abilities too.
Exercise has been proven to increase mental abilities that involve planning, scheduling, and working memory. As a bonus, cycling improves mental health too.
Thus, if you’ve been thinking of going on daily bike rides, it’s completely okay to do so to benefit your health.
Is casual bike riding good exercise?
Casual bike riding is good exercise since it’s also considered a calorie-burning activity. According to Webmd, biking is a great cardio workout. You can burn around 400 calories per hour when you’re riding a bike.
Plus, it strengthens your lower back, especially your legs, hips, and glutes. Bike riding also helps to improve heart health and build stronger legs.
Besides, it’s also a great weight loss workout.
Since bike riding is a low-impact exercise, it could help to make your heart stronger and build enough muscle in your legs to create more support for your joints.
Furthermore, bike riding can also boost your mood and improve your well-being as you cycle regularly.
Are sports drinks good for bike rides?
Sports drinks are good for bike rides as they contain water, electrolytes, carbs and other ingredients that work together to enhance your exercise performance and rehydrate your body after sweating.
Since you lose water and electrolytes through your sweat, sports drinks can help to replenish those important ingredients to prevent dehydration.
Dehydration can cause symptoms like lethargy, dizziness, and weak muscles that could severely deteriorate your performance.
Besides, the carbs in sports drinks are to replenish your glycogen stores and ensure you have a supply of glucose to be converted into glycogen. Glycogen is crucial in physical activities as your muscles depend on it for energy.
My recommendation is to drink sports drinks after your bike ride and have energy drinks before your bike ride for a more refreshing experience.
If you’d like to learn more about how sports drinks compare to energy drinks, take a look at this other article I’ve written here that covers all the differences.
Best Energy Drinks for Bike Rides
Xtend Energy On-The-Go might be a suitable option for your bike rides.
The caffeine content is fairly moderate and it’s sugar-free with zero calories.
You won’t have to worry about getting any extra calories, and can simply focus on burning them while you’re cycling.
Plus, Xtend Energy-On-The-Go contains BCAAS and taurine, ingredients that are known for improving physical performance.
Another bonus Xtend energy drink has is the price, which I find to be quite affordable for a can.
If you can manage the amount of caffeine, then Xtend Energy-On-The-Go might be the drink for your bike rides.
Xyience could provide advantages with regard to having no sugar and calories, thus meaning no sugar crashes later.
But, Xyience energy drink has a higher caffeine content than Xtend and might cater only to those with a higher tolerance to caffeine and need a stronger caffeine buzz.
The cost of one can of Xyience is also pretty pricey. If you’ve extra cash to spare, you could have a go at Xyience energy drink.
If you’d like to read on further about whether you can have Xyience energy drink every day, feel free to check out my previous post.
REIZE Energy Drink (10 out of 10)
REIZE is my favorite energy drink before a bike ride.
Aside from having a sensible 50mg caffeine content, REIZE is sugar-free and has only 11 calories that I can easily burn off during my ride.
Furthermore, REIZE is packed with beneficial ingredients like taurine, ginseng, and B vitamins that’ll help improve your performance.
REIZE is also super convenient, coming in small 4g sachets, which make them easy to carry anywhere. Plus, REIZE is customizable and you can control how strong or weak you want the taste of the drink to be.
But perhaps the best part about REIZE is that it’s so affordable with a price of only around $1 per drink, which includes shipping straight to your door.
That’s amazing value for money.
Give REIZE a try and you might soon agree that it’s the best energy drink for bike rides.