Best Energy Drink for Rugby

Rugby is a team sport that has several forms to it. Some examples are tag rugby, beach rugby, and wheelchair rugby.

It’s a type of sport that requires you to run a lot and is physically and emotionally demanding.

As such, athletes or professional rugby players require the use of energy drinks to keep them strong and performing at their best.

How can you get energy during a rugby match?

Some men playing a rugby match.
During a rugby match, players can get really tired and sloppy.

An average rugby match lasts about 80 minutes with 2, 40 minute halves plus a halftime break.

During this period, athletes will be running up and down the field, drenching themselves in sweat and using energy,

Even a simple match requires a lot of energy. To that end, it’s important to keep hydrated and alert.

This is where an energy drink comes in. It ensures that you have enough energy and alertness to run up and down the field and keep active.

However, if you don’t like energy drinks you can also consider:

  • sports drinks
  • Water
  • Tea
  • Fresh juice

But personally, I would say that an energy drink works best because they work quickly and contain a consistent level of caffeine and other ingredients, so you can always be sure of how much of everything you’re getting.

Before a matchDuring a matchAfter a match
waterwater water
sports drinkssports drinkssports drinks
energy drinksfresh juiceprotein shakes
tea or coffeeenergy drinks
fresh juice

Obviously, a balanced and healthy diet is essential to having enough energy on the field, whether it’s for training or it’s on game day.

Professional rugby players talk about the importance of eating right.

What should I drink before a rugby match?

It’s important to be well-rested and well hydrated before a match.

You should drink enough water, but not so much that you’re at risk of getting a stitch, feeling uncomfortable or at risk of not being able to make it to halftime because you need to pee 10 times.

If you decide to have some pre-match caffeine, it’s a good idea to have it about 30-45 minutes before the match starts because it generally takes about 45 minutes for caffeine to be fully diluted into your bloodstream.

However, I don’t recommend that you have much caffeine. I think a small to moderate amount is sensible.

For one, you don’t want to be at risk of a caffeine overdose in the middle of a match. Even if you don’t have a crazy amount you can still feel nauseous or experience hot flushes. Not exactly ideal if the game is tight and your team is relying on you.

Also, I find that too much caffeine often leaves me unable to think straight or concentrate. Again, not ideal during an important match.

However, a small amount of caffeine before your match will have you feeling focused and have you performing at your best.

How does caffeine increase performance in rugby?

Some men running with a rugby ball
Caffeine helps to increase alertness in Rugby.

Before we go into increasing your performance, let’s debug the common myths about what caffeine does to your body.


Caffeine will not dehydrate your body. In fact, quite the opposite. It provides a hydrating effect to your body similar to water.

This study shows that if you consume caffeine in moderation, it will not dehydrate you.

Our data shows no significant differences in the hydrating properties of coffee or water across a wide range of hydration assessment indices. No significant differences were observed between conditions in any of the haematological markers.

Sophie C. Killer, Andrew K. Blannin, Asker E. Jeukendrup

This is great for you if you love coffee or in my case, energy drinks!

Caffeine doesn’t change your heart functions

This was more shocking when I stumbled upon research done by the AHA.

They questioned nearly 1,400 adults about their caffeine intake and proceeded to track them for nearly a year.

Lo and behold, studies showed that participants who consumed caffeine did not have any heart function changes compared to those who did not.

So if that’s been on your mind for a while, rest easy.

Caffeine is ONLY bad for you

That’s really not true because caffeine has a lot of good uses too. While an excessive amount of caffeine intake can cause many problems, drinking caffeine in moderation has a lot of positive effects.

For example, caffeine helps to keep us alert throughout the day. A good sip of caffeine can help even the most tired mind wake up in my opinion.

Caffeine is also good for boosting your workout and giving you the ‘kick’ that you need.

And if you are scared that it might affect your metabolism, rest assured, drinking caffeine in moderation will do the exact opposite.

So to say that energy drinks are bad because of the caffeine in them is just nonsense.

So how would caffeine increase my rugby performance?

Cognitive function

Caffeine increases your alertness and helps your cognitive function even if you are tired.

Research has shown that caffeine helps improve memory even when facing fatigue which is important when it’s late in the game and you have to be quick in making crucial decisions.

Reduction in Perception

The ability to continue maintaining focus and work through pain is such an important key to any rugby match.

Caffeine will reduce fatigue during the match to give you an idea that you are not as tired or as in as much pain due to muscle soreness.

In a lot of ways, it shifts the feeling of tiredness and soreness to later on once the match is over and you are given a chance to properly rest and relax.

Enhance training

A good training session leads to a good match. And a good match leads to a win!

Caffeine, especially in energy drinks works even during training. On long training sessions that span anywhere between 3 to 5 hours, a good dose of caffeine is needed to keep you going.

Not to mention that if you have a game after the training session and your body is working overtime it can help to negate the effects of fatigue.

So get to those energy drinks and cheers!

What to look for in an energy drink?

I would suggest looking for these things when choosing an energy drink for rugby:

  • Caffeine content
  • Sugar content
  • Price

Caffeine content

As mentioned above, the caffeine content is important for any energy drink.

The key is to drink caffeine in moderation so that you don’t overdo it, but still get enough to meet your needs.

In my opinion, between 50mg and 100mg of caffeine per serve is the perfect amount.

I find more than 100mg of caffeine to be a bit overpowering, sometimes leaving me feeling uncomfortable and unable to think straight or focus.

If you’re not sure how much is too much, the FDA suggests a maximum of 400mg a day for healthy adults.

Sugar Content

A picture of sugar in a cup.
Sugar is great for energy but too much is not good for you.

Sugar is great for energy and helps to add that little extra energy you need for going the extra mile.

But I would watch how much you take in. The AHA has suggested the maximum amount of sugar:

  • For men it’s a maximum of 150 calories a day
  • For women it’s a maximum of 100 calories a day

Follow those restrictions when choosing your energy drink.


Seeing the price is important when choosing an energy drink. Ensuring that you get the best price for what energy drink you choose is essential.

The quality of the drink also has to be guaranteed.

There are plenty of good value energy drinks if you know where to look. Similarly, you can easily pay too much if you’re not careful.

As such, I recommend investing in REIZE which is only around $1 per sachet and ships straight to your doorstep.

Best energy drink for Rugby


A picture of Bing energy drink. 3 flavors.
Bing Energy drink which comes in 3 flavours.

Bing energy drink contains 120mg of caffeine and 9g of sugar per 12fl.oz can, which is less than the average energy drink.

This is great for people who want a little more caffeine when playing Rugby but also want only a little sugar.

It also has a certain berry flavoured taste to it, which is great for an added side.

My main concern with Bing is that it’s usually not the most affordable energy drink. Far from it actually.

V Energy Drink

A can of V Energy Drink 275ml.
275ml of V Energy Drink which has a good amount of sugar and caffeine.

V Energy Drink has 29.2g of sugar and 85mg of caffeine. Both are a little bit on the higher side but not absurdly.

I would say that it’s still pretty reasonable as an energy drink and would most definitely get you through your rugby practice or match.

V Energy Drink is also vegan friendly so everyone on your team can drink it.

You can buy V Energy Drink from almost any supermarket or convenience store in the country. V is readily available almost anywhere you look.


Red Bull, a classic for any sport.

Going back to the classics, Red Bull is always a good choice for an energy drink for rugby.

Containing 80g of caffeine per 8.4 fl.oz (250ml) and 27g of sugar, it has a little bit more sugar than the other brands recommended, so decide for yourself if you’re okay with that.

Red Bull also has sugar-free versions if you would prefer to completely avoid the sugar, which I think isn’t a bad idea.

It’s also easily accessible, you can get it from literally any convenience store or supermarket.

REIZE (most recommended)

A picture of the REIZE Energy Drink
I recommend this energy drink for playing rugby.

I personally recommend REIZE above the other brands on this list.

It has 50mg of caffeine which is what you want before a match and is a sensible amount.

Not only that, but it’s also sugar-free.

REIZE energy drinks also contain many other great ingredients such as taurine, ginseng and B vitamins to give you a perfect and long lasting energy boost.

Best part of REIZE?

It’s only around $1 per drink and ships right to your doorstep!

Try REIZE today and you might also find that it quickly becomes your go-to energy drink for rugby.

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Marty Spargo

I started my own energy drink brand in 2014 and am passionate about educating people about energy drinks so that they can properly understand the ingredients, benefits and risks without being influenced by the marketing messages put out by some brands. You can read my full bio here.

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