When I think of gaining more muscle and the nutrients and energy I need to acquire those gains, energy drinks are the first thing that comes to mind.
Energy drinks are great options to provide you with a powerful energy boost for workouts and help improve muscle growth.
But with so many choices of pre-workouts and energy drinks out there, which one would make the best option out of all of them?
In this article, I’ll explain how energy drinks can help muscle building and which energy drinks are the best for your muscle-building journey.
Let’s get started…
Do Energy Drinks Affect Muscle Growth?
Energy drinks don’t directly affect your muscle growth but they can help you gain muscles by increasing your energy levels so that you’re able to exercise longer and push more reps to improve your physical performance.
A 2012 study found that caffeine might be beneficial to muscle performance.
In this study, 12 participants ingested two different doses of caffeine from an energy drink: one dose consisted of 1mg of caffeine per kg of body weight while the other dose was 3mg per kg of body weight.
With some basic calculations, it’d mean that if the participant was 70kg (154 pounds), then they would’ve consumed 70mg of caffeine and 210mg of caffeine respectively.
After one hour, their blood pressure, heart rate, and metabolic rate were measured. Their half-squat and bench press performance was also monitored.
The results showed that ingesting 1mg of caffeine per kg of body weight didn’t increase performance during the power-load tests, whereas 3mg of caffeine per kg of body weight did improve maximal power.
Hence, it was concluded that the consumption of at least 3mg/kg of caffeine was required to enhance upper-body and lower-body muscle strength and power considerably.
But, it was noted that ingesting this much caffeine could lead to an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, as well as the development of some unfavorable side effects.
Another study of 15 participants discovered that energy drinks had positive impacts on upper body muscle endurance and improved bench-press repetitions over 3 sets.
Energy drinks can help with muscle growth, but you’ll need to put in the effort to get those gains as well. You won’t get anywhere if you don’t use the caffeine boost from energy drinks to your advantage.
But, as always, make sure to maintain a moderate consumption of energy drinks. You definitely don’t want to run the risk of getting any side effects while you’re working out.
Is Caffeine Good For Muscle Building?
There are many studies that established the benefits of caffeine in athletic performance. Caffeine has been reported to have significant improvements in endurance exercises.
A study involving 9 cyclists reported that caffeine worked better compared to carbs or water in enhancing physical performance. During the experiment, caffeine caused a 31% improvement in fat oxidation, which lead to a significant 7.4% increase in work production.
It’s also interesting to note that caffeine seems to benefit only trained athletes in high-intensity exercises like rugby and swimming.
A 2008 study found that the consumption of a moderate dose of caffeine increased the total weight lifted for chest press and power for the Wingate test.
For strength exercises, studies covering this area are still emerging thus the results remain inconclusive. Though, available studies about this topic have reported positive outcomes.
One 2006 study discovered that caffeine could improve only upper body strength, which could be useful for those who’re performing resistance training. As for lower body strength, caffeine didn’t display any effects at all.
Aside from these advantages, caffeine can also delay the onset of fatigue and soreness in your muscles, which is extremely useful when working out. When you don’t get muscle soreness as quickly, you can exercise longer before exhaustion and pain sets in.
However, make sure you don’t go crazy with the caffeine.
The FDA says that adults shouldn’t have more than 400mg of caffeine per day. An excessive intake of caffeine may lead to unpleasant side effects like dizziness, diarrhea vomiting, and chest pains.
Before using caffeine to help boost your muscle-building, consult a doctor to minimize the risk of a caffeine overdose or other severe side effects from caffeine ingestion.
Can I Work Out After Drinking An Energy Drink?
It’s completely fine to work out after drinking an energy drink. Energy drinks are great pre-workouts as they contain caffeine that can energize you for your workouts.
Based on a 2009 experiment on 12 competitive strength/power athletes, it was reported that drinking an energy drink before exercise significantly increased reaction performance, focus, alertness, and energy levels.
You may also wonder: how can energy drinks function as a good pre-workout beverage too?
Let me briefly explain.
Energy drinks usually contain a long list of ingredients that are beneficial in enhancing physical performance.
Among these ingredients are caffeine, taurine, B vitamins and BCAAs. I’ll give you a rundown on what these components are and what they do for you.
Caffeine is a natural stimulant that helps you stay alert and reduces the symptoms of tiredness.
Taurine is a naturally-produced amino acid that’s included in energy drinks for its benefits in improving exercise performance. A 2013 study performed on 8 middle-distance runners saw a 1.7% improvement in running performance following the ingestion of taurine.
B complex vitamins have always been known to be important to your wellbeing and health. Some of the benefits of B vitamins are maintaining energy levels, promoting healthy brain functions, and supporting better muscle tone.
Some energy drinks contain other types of vitamins too, like vitamin A and vitamin C.
On the other hand, BCAAs (Branched-Chain-Amino-Acids) are essential amino acids you can only get from your diet. BCAAs are made up of three amino acids, which are leucine, isoleucine and valine.
For BCAAs to benefit you, you’ll need ample amounts of it. There are some energy drinks out there that may include BCAAs as one of their ingredients but actually are lacking the proper doses to have any positive effect.
Is Sugar Bad For Muscle Growth?
Sugar, especially processed sugar is not beneficial for muscle growth when consumed excessively. A diet high in sugar will result in fat build-up and lack of energy.
Consuming too much sugar can lead to a sugar crash and long-term health risks like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular diseases.
The American Heart Association (AHA) stated that proper daily sugar intake should be:
Women can consume up to 100 calories or 25g of sugar each day while men should stick to 150 calories or 36g of added sugars per day.
It’s a good thing that sugar-free energy drinks are available in most local stores.
You may have heard that sugar is important as fuel for muscles.
For this case though, I’m quite aware that sugar is one of the sources of glucose, which is energy for your muscle glycogen stores. Glycogen is important as fuel for your muscles as it prevents muscle breakdown and promotes muscle repair and recovery.
However, the best way to fill up your glycogen stores is by incorporating healthy food as well as fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet instead of relying on processed sugars.
You can also obtain glycogen from carbs in your diet. Be mindful of the carbs you put into your body though, as some carbs like cookies and cakes won’t help you much. Natural carb-rich foods like oats, bananas, and sweet potatoes make a much better source of glycogen for your muscles.
Can I Drink Monster to Build My Muscles?
It’s perfectly fine to drink Monster to build your muscles as long as you drink it in moderation.
A can of Monster energy drink contains 179mg of caffeine, 54g and 190 calories.
With 179mg of caffeine, you’ll absolutely get a powerful energy boost for your workouts that could last for hours. Though, if your caffeine tolerance isn’t very high, Monster energy drink may not be a smart choice.
It’d be safer to choose other energy drinks with a lower caffeine dose.
The amount of sugar and calories in Monster energy drink is very high too.
A single can of Monster exceeds the AHA’s recommended daily sugar intake. I think I’d be more worried about having a sugar crash before even getting started on my workout.
I’m not saying it’s wrong to drink Monster for your workouts. Monster can definitely give you that big boost of energy you need to perform more reps, but I wouldn’t recommend making it your regular pre-workout drink.
If you want to learn more about whether it’s safe to drink Monster every day, check out my other article where I cover everything you need to know in a lot of detail.
Other Drinks For Muscle Building
Milk is rich in many nutrients like calcium, protein, and vitamins that can help in muscle building. A 2007 study found that drinking milk after exercise promotes better muscle growth compared to other protein-based beverages.
Water doesn’t only keep your body hydrated while you sweat and supply you with energy, but it also helps you to build your muscles.
Drinking enough water ensures nutrients are transported properly throughout your body, which leads to efficient muscle growth and less muscle breakdown and cramping.
In turn, you’ll likely feel less tired and your performance and recovery will improve.
Tea has many benefits, including lowering cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of heart diseases. Drinking tea can also boost muscle growth if it’s the right kind of tea.
For example, green tea has antioxidants that could increase fat-burning, improving muscle endurance in return. Fenugreek seed tea is rich in nutrients like choline, potassium and niacin that can help build your muscles.
Best Energy Drinks for Muscle Building
Red Bull Energy Drink
Being a well-known energy drink that athletes drink as well, Red Bull is a great energy drink that could help in muscle building.
Red Bull has a moderate amount of caffeine that could provide you with an energy boost without giving you the jitters. It’s a great option if you’re just starting out with energy drinks and not sure what your caffeine tolerance is.
Plus, Red Bull is an affordable energy drink with a price of around $2.
However, you might want to limit the amount of Red Bull you have in your diet, as it contains high sugar levels and lots of calories, which can’t be too good for your health or your muscle-building journey in the long run in my opinion.
Bing Energy Drink
Bing is an energy drink that focuses on natural ingredients like real fruit juice in its formula.
In addition to its low sugar content, Bing doesn’t contain many calories, as it aims to be a healthy yet efficient beverage.
The caffeine content is also quite alright in my opinion, though it’s a little more than I usually prefer in an energy drink.
The energy boost from the amount of caffeine in Bing will undoubtedly help you work out longer and harder to build your muscles.
Though, the price of one can of Bing is quite expensive, which isn’t surprising considering this brand contains a number of organic and healthy ingredients.
You could make Bing an occasional drink as opposed to a daily one so it won’t burn too big of a hole in your pocket.
REIZE Energy Drink (10 out of 10)
In my opinion, REIZE is the best energy drink for muscle building.
With a sensible 50mg of caffeine, REIZE is sugar-free and contains many healthy ingredients like taurine, ginseng, and B-group vitamins that work together to provide you with an efficient energy boost.
No sugar also means no sugar crash afterwards.
REIZE has just 11 calories, so you won’t have to worry about your daily calorie count.
Furthermore, REIZE is so versatile and convenient. All you need to do is tear a sachet of REIZE open and mix it with almost any beverage of your preference – it can be soda, water, or juice – and your energy drink is ready.
REIZE ships to your door for only about $1 per drink, a lot more affordable than most energy drinks you’ll find out there, including Red Bull.
That’s amazing value for money right there.
Give REIZE a try and you might also find that REIZE is the perfect energy drink for building muscle.