Whether it’s a morning hike up a small hill, or hiking up Mount Everest (okay that’s a bit too far-fetched but you get the point), hiking is considered an endurance sport.
You’ll need to prepare well for this physically and mentally which means you’ll need a partner to help you along.
The partner I’m talking about here would be an energy drink of course.
If you’re wondering whether energy drinks are beneficial for a hike, or what are some good options, wonder no more – just scroll down and you’ll find everything you need.
What to look for in an energy drink for a hike
Apart from being the main ingredient and source of energy in an energy drink, caffeine plays an important role in your hiking adventure.
This works by triggering your cells to burn more fat and in the course preserving glycogen, which could keep you from “hitting the wall”. Caffeine too distorts your perceived exertion, so you think you’re not working as hard as you actually are, which could prolong your mental stamina.
Choose an energy drink that has the suitable caffeine content for you. Doesn’t mean a higher caffeine content could supplement your hike better.
It depends primarily on your caffeine tolerance. If you have a lower tolerance, energy drinks with higher caffeine could induce some side effects like headaches, increase heart rate and uneasiness.
Personally for me, I’ll go for energy drinks with less than 100mg of caffeine. That’ll give me the energy boost I need without worrying about side effects to deter my trail up.
As much as we’re trying to keep away from sugar, it might actually be beneficial for your hike.
As a hiker, your cells need fast energy, so with excess consumption of sugar, you’ll be getting a steady stream of energy flow without a sugar crash afterwards.
However, sugar is with no doubt unhealthy for you so do keep in mind your sugar intake for the long term effect.
Why pay more for something you can get for less?
I suppose your hiking trips are going to cost a good sum of money, therefore if there are ways to get cheaper energy drinks, why not?
You can read a previous post where I talk about best energy drinks for the money.
Caffeine and hiking
Some of us are caffeine-addicts just to get us through the day not even on hikes. Which is why, we would most possibly still like to have our caffeine fix on the day we choose to hike.
You could still drink your caffeinated beverages, be it coffee, tea or energy drinks on your hike. Caffeine can not only help us “survive” the hike, it can greatly benefit our physical and mental performance.
Imagine being well-energized, having a great hike up and enjoying the sun rise or the great view from the peak.
Caffeine and high altitudes
Contrary to some myths, caffeine at high altitudes on your hike is permissible and shouldn’t affect you negatively.
Caffeine actually can stimulate better body function including your brain, kidneys and your breathing.
In fact, if you’re used to consuming caffeinated beverages on a daily basis, stopping it abruptly might cause withdrawal symptoms that can affect your hike.
Preparing for my hike
Hiking is an endurance sport, so you’ll definitely need stamina. You’ll also need about 6 to 10 weeks of training.
Not only can energy drinks help you on your hike, it can also help you while training. Training with energy drinks can also give your body time to adjust to the caffeine and sugar you’ll be consuming on your hike.
Drinks for hiking
Grab an energy drink of your choice. Energy drinks would help to fuel and kickstart your hike.
Try drinking it 45 minutes before you begin, for optimum effectiveness once you start ascending. If you’ve been training with energy drinks, you most probably won’t be affected by your usual choice.
In order to stay hydrated while hiking, try drinking 32 ounces of water for every two miles hiked. You might even want to take small sips before you feel thirsty.
Try to keep away from energy drinks for now, as energy drinks aren’t marketed to help with hydration therefore, opt for water.
Or you could drink sports drink. Sports drink are designed to help with hydration by suppling electrolytes that you’ve lost through sweat.
If you feel dehydrated, it’s best to opt for water or sports drinks to replenish your hydration.
However, if you are well hydrated and is in need of an energy boost, maybe to descend down, then gear up with an energy drink.
The journey down is as tough as the journey up, you’ll need all the energy you can get.
Is Red Bull good for hiking?
Red Bull can be good for hiking. Firstly, it has a moderate amount of caffeine, which is 80mg. Something that I personally favor.
It does also contain 27g of sugar and 110 calories. Normally, I would be worried about that amount, but if I’m going on a hike, that doesn’t bother me.
Red Bull is a common energy drink which is easily available and it also has an affordable price point of $2 for a 8 fl. oz can.
Carrying energy drinks on a hike
When you’re on a hike, you’ll most probably want to pack light. Who has the extra energy to lug around a few cans of energy drinks?
Thankfully an alternative to this is powdered or sachet-forms of energy drinks.
Lightweight, compact and easy to mix – you’ll get your energy drink fix in no time.
Also, if you’re hiking up a higher altitude, the possibility for your cans of energy drinks to “explode” is there. So once again, maybe opt for energy drinks in sachet to prevent that.
Best energy drinks for hiking
Ready-to-drink Energy Drinks
Bang Energy Drink
Here’s a strong energy drink to kick start this list. Bang Energy Drink has 300mg of caffeine. I would like to say, it might help you fly right to the peak.
But of course it won’t, it’ll just supply you a tremendous surge of energy that if you’re not used to, might throw you off balance.
Despite it containing zero sugar and calories, I personally don’t favor it and you too might want to consider other energy drinks first.
Check the current price on Amazon.
Xyience Energy Drink
Here’s an option with about half the caffeine content. Xyience Energy Drink too is zero in sugar and calories with 176mg of caffeine.
That’s still quite high for my preference, but it might be just what you need.
What you also need is an energy drink for a cheaper price and Xyience costs about $4 per can. Yikes!
You can check the latest prices on Amazon here.
Powdered Energy Drinks
As previously mentioned, you might want to carry energy drinks in sachets instead of in cans. Here are some options you could consider.
Advocare Spark Energy Drink
Advocare Spark Energy Drink has 120mg of caffeine and is sugar-free. To be honest, it’s packaging didn’t impress me, I was skeptical if it’ll work.
I did previously review Advocare Spark, and I give it a 7/10. You might personally like it and would like to have it with you on your hike.
Pick up some Advocare Spark Energy Drink from Amazon.
ZipFizz Energy Drink
Descending the caffeine trail, ZipFizz Energy Drink has 100mg of caffeine, which is getting my attention, just because I personally like lesser caffeine for my energy drinks.
I think 100mg is good enough to supplement my hike, without giving me unwanted side effects.
Overall, ZipFizz is a pretty decent energy drink and you might want to give it a try yourself.
You can buy ZipFizz Energy Drink on Amazon.
REIZE Energy Drink
Here’s a good option, my favorite primarily cause of its moderate caffeine amount, with 50mg it’s enough to supply energy for my hike up.
I can then drink another serving for my descend without having to worry about caffeine overdose.
It’s also sugar-free, something that I prefer for my health in the long run.
Best of it all, REIZE energy drink ships right to your door for only around $1 per drink (including shipping). That’s amazing value for money.
Give REIZE a try today and you might just find that it will be the perfect hiking partner for your next conquest.