The relationship between training and energy drinks is obvious.
Whether you’re training for a particular sporting event or just want to stay fit and healthy, we could all use a bit of extra energy from time to time.
The importance of proper sleep and a healthy, balanced diet can’t be overlooked. But, energy drinks might be what you need to get the edge over your competition or to push yourself when you might feel like quitting.
Whether you are training for any sports (badminton, tennis, swimming, football, etc) or trying to do a heavy work out for bodybuilding and fitness, all these require heavy motivation and a focused energy level to succeed.
Enter the mighty energy drink to take your training to the next level.
This article is aimed at providing answers to your most common queries regarding the important topic of training.
So, let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Things to look for when buying training energy drinks
There’s a wide variety of ingredients found in energy drink these days. Some of these ingredients are better than others.
If you want to take a deep dive into the different energy drink ingredients, check out my other article where I cover everything you need to know to understand what you’re putting in your body and how it all works.
In my opinion, the most common things to consider when weighing any energy drink you’re considering including in your training routine are:
- caffeine content
- sugar content
- Taurine content
Caffeine is perhaps the most important ingredient in an energy drink and has multiple benefits for athletes of all levels.
Get the right amount and you’ll take your training to the next level. Have too little or too much and it may not affect you the way you had hoped.
In my opinion, between 50mg and 100mg of caffeine per serve is the ideal amount.
I find anything more than about 100mg at once to be a bit too much and it sometimes leaves me feeling nauseous and unable to think straight.
The FDA recommends healthy adults limit their caffeine consumption to no more than 400mg per day. That’s caffeine from all sources, so make sure you read the labels of everything you’re eating and drinking because you’ll be surprised which products contain caffeine that you may not realize.
Caffeine has many uses that may be beneficial for training, such as: improving focus, learning, memory, reaction times, wakefulness, concentration, and motor coordination as well.
Though it provides a quick burst of energy, sugar intake should be limited and be within the recommendation from AHA.
Energy drinks with high sugar levels should be avoided, but fortunately, there are lots of great sugar-free options available these days.
If you’re training for peak performance you should be very aware of how much sugar you’re consuming.
Taurine is also another power-boosting key ingredient found in some energy drinks.
The effect of taurine, when combined with caffeine, can work like magic in your body in providing instant energy, strength, and focus – which is exactly what you want for training.
Taurine can be a very useful ingredient for athletes as it has been shown to:
- increase muscle mass
- increases muscle strength & power
- reduce muscle damage caused by exercise
- accelerate recovery between workouts
In my opinion, if you’re serious about training, you want to make sure you’re getting a good amount of taurine in your diet to help with muscle recovery.
Combining a sensible amount of caffeine with a healthy dose of taurine is a very good idea to always bring your A-game to your training sessions.
All of us want the best deal when comes to any purchase, whether it’s a new car or a humble energy drink.
Spending less doesn’t always mean that you need to compromise on quality. There are plenty of high quality, good value energy drinks if you know where to look to find them.
So how do you identify your best training partner?
My favorite energy partner is REIZE, which ships right to your door for only around $1 per drink. Talk about good value.
But more on that a little later…
What are the bad ingredients in energy drinks?
Energy drinks sometimes get called “bad” or “unhealthy”, but the truth is that energy drinks affect your body in a very similar way to coffee, yet no one calls coffee bad or unhealthy.
In my opinion, the two most “dangerous” ingredients in energy drinks are caffeine and sugar.
The good news is that you have complete control over how much of both of these ingredients you get in your energy drink.
Don’t like the sugar or caffeine content of your energy drink? No problem, just switch to a brand that better fits your criteria. Easy, right?
There’s no doubt that too much of anything can be bad for you, and the same is true for energy drinks. But, to say that energy drinks are bad for you without providing a bit more information about the precise ingredients contained in any particular energy drink is a bit of an unfair stretch.
Here’s the way I look at it, make sure the rest of your diet is balanced and healthy and always stay within the FDA and AHA recommendations and I think you’ll be just fine unless you already have some kind of pre-existing health condition.
Do energy drinks helps in Training?
Yes, energy drinks can be helpful for your training when you choose the right one and have it at the right time.
Energy drinks not only boost your energy but may also give you added strength and focus to practice and train for long periods.
As mentioned above, the main thing to watch out for is the amount of caffeine and sugar which might lead to problems if you have too much.
Are energy drinks safe?
Yes, energy drinks are safe for daily consumption, but the most important thing to keep in mind is to consume them in moderation.
This study published in the International Journal of Health Sciences warns of caffeine overdose which can lead to anxiety, insomnia, gastrointestinal irritation, muscle twitching, restlessness.
But, the authors also acknowledge “energy drinks may show positive beneficial effects on exercise performance in various sport activities.”
Energy drinks can be useful and helpful, but don’t overdo it or go crazy with them, just as you shouldn’t go crazy with anything.
Best time to drink an energy drink before any sports activity
The optimum time to drink any energy drink is around 30-45 minutes before any physical workout or training.
This is because it takes about 45 minutes for the caffeine and other ingredients in energy drinks to be fully diluted into your bloodstream.
In other words, you’ll be feeling the maximum effects from drinking the energy drink after about 45 minutes.
This study also notes that there is no evidence to support the theory that caffeine causes dehydration, despite that being a widely held misconception.
Is sugar-free Red Bull good to drink before training?
Yes, sugar-free Red Bull sounds perfect to drink before training.
Each sugar-free Red Bull has 80mg of caffeine per regular 8.4 fl.oz can and, as the name suggests, no sugar.
No sugar means no sugar crash and avoiding a lot of the potential health issues associated with consuming a large amount of sugar, which is all good news.
If you want to know if it’s safe to drink Red Bull every day, check out my other article where I cover the topic in a lot more detail than I have room to do here.
Before deciding to make sugar-free Red Bull your go-to training drink of choice, make sure you check out (and try) a couple of the other brands I recommend below to see which one works best for you.
Best energy drink for training
I’ve listed these brands in no particular order, but they are all pretty good choices to add to your training regime to improve your results.
|Brand||Caffeine Content (mg)||Sugar Content (g)||Calories|
For caffeine addicts, this drink might be your favorite energy drink for training as it not only has a high amount of caffeine, but also 31g of sugar per can as well.
Personally, that’s a bit more of both of those ingredients than I would like to see in a can, but if you’re doing a lot of training maybe you don’t mind the extra sugar.
Rockstar is one of the most popular brands of energy drink on the planet. I suggest you give it a try and see if it works for your training needs.
Monster energy drink contains the same amount of caffeine as Rockstar, but even more sugar to boost your energy and taste buds.
Again, I’m not a fan of the sugar content and I don’t really fancy having a sugar crash mid-way through a training session.
However, similar to Rockstar, Monster is also one of the most famous brands of energy drink on the planet, so it obviously works for a lot of people.
I sometimes hit this drink when I crave a little more sugar, but I don’t make it a regular habit.
Another option that has a little more caffeine is Celsius, weighing in with a hefty 200mg of caffeine per can.
Celsius has gone to a lot of effort to earn a reputation as a fitness drink, but personally I think it has so much caffeine that it’s almost reaching pre-workout territory.
Still, the drink is clearly popular for many gym-goers, perhaps as an alternative to pre-workouts, so it might also work for you.
Celsius has just 10 calories and zero sugar.
Make sure you check out my comprehensive Celsius energy drink review to get the full story on Celsius before diving in.
REIZE (my training buddy)
Finally, here comes my favorite REIZE energy drink for training and the only one on this list that I really stand behind and recommend for all athletes.
With a sensible 50mg of caffeine and a good mix of taurine, ginseng and B group vitamins, REIZE gives you a perfect and long-lasting energy boost without the sugar crash.
Oh, did I mention it’s sugar-free yet?
Well, it is.
With only 11 calories, it won’t weigh you down during your next training session.
Perhaps best of all, REIZE ships right to your door for only around $1 per drink.
Talk about incredible value.
Give REIZE a try today and you might also soon find that it’s the best energy drink for training too.
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