Endurance sports such as mountain biking, swimming, and running requires a lot of stamina and energy. To maintain optimum performance, you need to refuel and replenish your body with the right liquids.
Energy drinks are awesome for that, they aren’t just refreshing, they’re also great for a quick boost of energy. Plus, they also improve exercise and cognitive performance, which would be highly advantageous in an endurance-related setting.
For a more detailed discussion on energy drinks and endurance sports, read on to find out about how energy drinks can affect your performance, from the benefits of caffeine in sports to a list of recommendations you’ll love.
Let’s get to it…
Table of Contents
What Does Endurance Mean In Sport?
Endurance in sports means the capability to carry on with a specific sports activity for a very long time.
As such, if you’re participating in an endurance sport, you need to make sure that you’re physically and psychologically prepared by going through a sufficient amount of endurance training.
Cardiovascular fitness is an important factor in endurance sports. Basically, your cardiovascular system must be trained so that it’s able to pump and transport oxygen efficiently throughout your body which will sustain your performance for a longer period of time.
Besides that, you can also increase muscle endurance by reducing your recovery time and weight of your training. Apparently, less resistance and stopping between sets for around 30 seconds or less with more reps leads to longer stamina.
Another way to build endurance is to increase the intensity of your exercises as time goes on while making sure you’re training frequently too. It’s easy to run out of steam along the way, but if you want to last longer, you’ve got to be willing to put more effort and time into your training.
And last but not least, don’t forget to get some R&R too. While consistently training helps you be more prepared, your body deserves and requires rest to continue functioning in top form.
Do Energy Drinks Improve Athletic Performance?
Energy drinks can improve athletic performance due to the presence of caffeine in them. Aside from increasing your alertness, caffeine is also notable for its ability to increase exercise performance in moderate doses.
A 2014 study found that the ingestion of a caffeine-containing energy drink improved total running distance and number of sprint bouts among soccer players.
Another 2018 study reported that caffeine had significant beneficial effects on maximal upper body muscle strength and muscle power.
On top of that, energy drinks are also great for improving your mood and mental performance. This review stated that energy drinks can boost mood and performance during tiring or mentally-demanding tasks.
Meanwhile, a 2016 study found that low to moderate doses of caffeine increased vigilance, attention and reaction time.
When you’re participating in an endurance sport, relying on physical fitness alone isn’t enough to help you gain victory. Mental toughness is also an essential aspect to have while you’re persevering through a lot of stress and obstacles along your way.
Energy drinks will definitely give you an edge over your competitors by not just improving your athletic performance, but also your cognitive performance to withstand the mental strain.
Does Caffeine Increase Endurance?
Caffeine does indeed increase endurance. A 2009 study discovered that a moderate dose of caffeine could significantly increase endurance time to exhaustion.
Caffeine works better when it’s taken before or during exercise. This is so you can experience the maximum effectiveness of caffeine when you need it to kick in.
Another study reported that caffeine could help athletes train at a higher power output or even for longer periods of time. It’s also reported that caffeine increased running speed during races.
When you think about it, it does make sense because caffeine can make you feel less tired and thus increase the amount of time before fatigue sets in, helping you to endure through your training rounds or sports activities.
So, if you need to maintain your endurance and performance, have an energy drink for that quick boost. However, be mindful of how much caffeine you consume and stay under the daily caffeine limit.
- Restlessness and shakiness
Thus, make sure to avoid having too many energy drinks in a day as you could end up with adverse side effects that would affect your performance.
If you want to know more about the effects of caffeine on muscle endurance, check out this video:
Does Sugar Affect Endurance?
Sugar does in fact affect endurance if it isn’t consumed in moderation.
While some sugar is good, having it frequently isn’t going to benefit your overall performance and endurance. A high intake of sugar can lead to a sugar crash, which leaves you feeling sluggish and fatigued, something you don’t want happening during your training or sports sessions.
Besides that, consuming a lot of sugar can also lead to health issues like:
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Aging skin
For reference, the AHA has recommended the maximum daily sugar intake that you should follow:
Also, instead of getting your supply of sugar from snacks and sweets, you should go for fruits as they contain healthy sugar that’s good for your body and can satisfy your cravings too.
The key to consuming sugar if you’re preparing or participating in an endurance sport is to have them in moderation and increase your consumption of ‘healthy sugar’ as opposed to processed sugar.
Does Sugar Affect Athletic Performance?
Sugar can affect athletic performance, though whether positively or negatively depends on your consumption.
Muscle glycogen is very important during exercise and sports because it’s basically fuel for your muscles. Glycogen is created from glucose, which is a type of sugar that comes from the breakdown of carbohydrates.
It’s really important that you maintain or resupply your glycogen stores, or your performance will suffer. Since carbs are part-and-parcel of sugar, it’s only logical that by consuming the right amount of sugar, you’ll be able to maintain or improve your performance.
However, if you go overboard with the amount of sugar consumed, you’ll end up with a sugar crash instead, which is a worst-case scenario that would reduce your performance and hinder your progress.
What’s The Best Energy Drink For Sports?
The best energy drink for sports is one that has moderate caffeine content, contains appropriate minerals and vitamins that can help replenish any lost nutrients.
XS Energy and REIZE are some good energy drink options for sports as they contain an ideal amount of caffeine and are both sugar-free. They both also contain B vitamins and taurine that can help enhance your physical performance.
However, if you’re looking for drinks exclusively catered for sports, you might want to consider sports drinks as they contain electrolytes that are important for hydration.
If you’re curious to learn more about the differences between energy drinks and sports drinks, check out this article which I’m sure you’ll find helpful.
Other Drinks For Endurance Sports
Water is an absolute essential, not just for sports but for daily life.
From delivering oxygen throughout the body to regulating body temperature, water is an important drink to have especially during an endurance sport.
Plus, it’s zero-calorie and carb-free, which is a huge plus for your health.
Sports drinks are great drinks when you’re a participant in an endurance sport because they’re comprised of water, carbs, and electrolytes, which, when combined together, helps to maintain hydration and reload glycogen storage.
Besides, research has found that sports drinks can improve physical performance.
Coconut water is nature’s miracle drink.
Coconut has plenty of nutrients that can help you last longer during an endurance sport. Aside from being low in calories and sugar, it can hydrate you even better than plain water and sports drinks. Coconut water will not likely cause any nausea or stomach issues so that’s a plus.
Best Energy Drink For Endurance Sports
Aside from that, Raze has zero calories and zero added sugars, incorporating artificial sweeteners to enhance the taste. Raze is also packed with electrolytes and BCAAs to maximize hydration and muscle performance.
With Raze Energy, you’ll have no trouble maintaining your endurance during your sessions. But because of its high caffeine content, Raze might not be suitable if you have got a low caffeine metabolism.
The price of a 16 fl.oz can of Raze is around $3, which is a little pricey in my view, especially if you’re planning to invest in this drink in the long run. If you don’t mind shelling out more money, Raze is the energy drink for you.
If you prefer something more traditional and simple, NOS Energy would be great for you. With 160mg of caffeine, NOS can provide you with plenty of energy for training, matches and sport sessions.
However, NOS does contain 54g of sugar and 210 calories, so you might need to brace yourself for a sugar crash after the initial effects have worn off.
The cost of a 16 fl.oz can of NOS is around $3 depending on the flavor and where you buy it.
Personally, I feel that’s quite expensive for an energy drink but if you drink NOS simply as an occasional pick-me-up for a quick boost, it’s a pretty solid investment.
If you want to learn more about NOS in more detail, have a look at this article on NOS energy drinks review where I give my insight on how NOS ranks.
Xtend Energy On-The-Go
Containing ingredients that enhance body performance and recovery, Xtend Energy On-The-Go is an energy drink that strives to rehydrate, recover and build up lean muscle.
Xtend Energy On-The-Go contains 125mg of caffeine, 0 calories and 0 added sugars. Besides that, it’s loaded with amino acids, electrolytes and vitamins that’ll reduce muscle fatigue and improve muscle performance.
With Xtend having a moderate amount of caffeine, you can drink Xtend Energy even if you’re caffeine-sensitive.
The price of a 16 fl.oz can of Xtend Energy On-The-Go is around $1.50, a very affordable price for an all-rounder energy drink. If you’re looking for a good energy drink to help you persevere, you should consider Xtend Energy On-The-Go.
REIZE (10 Out Of 10)
In my opinion, REIZE is the best energy drink for endurance sports.
REIZE is a powdered energy drink that comes in lightweight 4g sachets, making it convenient for you to take REIZE anywhere you might need an energy boost.
With a sensible 50mg of caffeine, REIZE will keep you going until the finish line minus the side effects like nasty headaches or unpleasant jitters.
REIZE is also sugar-free and has just 11 calories, which means you can avoid consuming unnecessary calories and sugar.
Besides that, REIZE contains a bunch of wholesome ingredients like taurine, ginseng, and B vitamins that combine together to provide you with a smooth energy boost.
REIZE is also customizable, versatile, and super easy to make.
All you need to do is tear open a sachet of REIZE and mix it with 250ml of water to get your energy drink. I suggest making your energy drink in a drinking bottle before your match starts and have it on the go as you need to.
The best part? REIZE ships straight to your door for only about $1 per sachet.
That’s amazing value for money.
Give REIZE a try, and you might find that it’s the perfect energy drink for any endurance sport.