While all caffeinated beverages can give drinkers energy boosts at varying levels, energy drinks specifically cater to improving athletic performance.
Running, in particular, is a sport that focuses on a player’s speed and endurance. Runners often consume energy drinks to get that energy boost before their daily jog.
And for races, it’s important that runners are always hydrated and energized before every competition.
If you’re prepping for your first race, you might be wondering what are the best energy drinks that will get you to that finish line.
In my opinion, the best energy drinks for this kind of event are capable of hydrating and energizing you at the same time. These beverages must contain electrolytes and other nutritional ingredients.
Check out my list of the best energy drinks to get before a race—and why certain ingredients work better than others.
On your marks, get set, go!
How Do Energy Drinks Help Runners?
Energy drinks can improve your running performance and brain function.
A typical energy drink contains caffeine, which gives you the energy boost you need for your run. A study found that consuming an energy drink one hour before your run can be beneficial.
However, too much consumption of caffeine can lead to addiction and other side effects such as headaches and fatigue.
Though energy drinks can improve your performance, your health should always be the priority. Remember to drink in moderation and pay attention to how your body responds to caffeine.
How Do Energy Drinks Help You Run Faster?
Most energy drinks also include ingredients like Taurine, which stimulates the nervous system and reduces your physical and mental fatigue.
The ingredients are all designed to help you focus more and last longer during physical activities.
Furthermore, the electrolytes in some energy drinks are essential to replace the fluids you lose while working out. Electrolytes help keep many of your body functions going, and so when you lose too many, you’ll feel weaker.
Of course, you can’t just rely on energy drinks for a great run. You have to be well-rested and in good physical condition before embarking on your race. A good meal can’t hurt too!
Here’s a YouTube video that explains what are the components of a typical energy drink and how it can help you during physical activities:
Advantages of Having Energy Drinks Before A Race
The combination of caffeine and other nutrients in energy drinks will give you the following benefits:
- Strengthened endurance
- Enhanced alertness and concentration
- Shortened reaction time
- Increased muscle strength
But keep in mind that the primary role of energy drinks is to support you in your physical activities. At the end of the day, it’s still proper training, exercise, and diet that will seal the deal for you.
Things To Consider When Choosing An Energy Drink
The nutritional value of an energy drink is the first thing you must consider before buying it. Ask yourself: will it give me the nutrients and energy I will be needing?
Your brand of choice should contain the following ingredients to equip you for the race:
- Vitamins and Minerals such as Taurine, B-Vitamins, L-Carnitine etc.
- Caffeine for heightened concentration and lessened mental fatigue
- Electrolytes to replenish what will be lost during your run and;
- Little to no sugar and calorie content
This study also suggests that an ideal energy drink must possess caffeine and taurine to provide the enhancers and stimulants your body needs.
What you’ll consume before your run should also help you attain subjective alertness and increase in adrenaline for better performance and results, as this research recommends.
What you put in your body before a strenuous activity determines the outcome. That is why always make sure to pick the best drink for you.
The Recommended Sugar Intake For Runners
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that runners have less than 25 grams of sugar in their system every day.
Your body relies on glucose for energy, but take it easy on the sweets before a race because too much can cause a sugar crash.
I also mentioned in my article that sugars are in most of the food you ate daily. Instead of consuming artificial foods and other synthetic meals, you should focus more on eating fruits and vegetables.
This way, your body will absorb more antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals instead of unnecessary sugar.
Do Energy Drinks Increase Stamina?
The presence of caffeine enables your body to withstand longer miles and helps your body endure more of the physical activity effect.
Athletes and individuals who have intense lifestyles benefit from this energy boost since they engage in demanding physical activities that need strength and endurance.
What happens is that energy drinks stimulate your mind to release dopamine and adrenaline. These effects can last up to hours, depending on your caffeine tolerance.
But still, these energy boosts are temporary only. Only consistent training can really build up your stamina in the long term.
Does Red Bull help in running?
A small case study with 18 experienced runners showed that Red Bull consumption can result in increased performance. The participants consuming the real Red Bull one hour before running reached the 5 Kilometer goal 30.4 seconds faster on average.
Despite the better performance, researchers could not measure any difference in heart rate or any other effects between the runners consuming the real Red Bull and those who got the placebo.
The Best Energy Drinks For Runners
Now that you know how energy drinks can improve your performance, let’s discuss which energy drinks are best consumed before your race.
Rowdy Energy Drink is a nootropic drink that comes with ingredients like B-vitamins, magnesium, and potassium.
It also contains 160 mg of caffeine, so expect a sizeable energy boost.
You can purchase Rowdy Energy Drink across 25,000 retail stores in the country like CVS, Murphy USA, and Publix.
Red Bull is another recognizable energy drink brand. It contains 80 mg of caffeine, a few B-vitamins, and Taurine.
Its caffeine content isn’t really a lot, so if you’re wary of the dangers of excessive caffeine, Red Bull will fit the bill.
But the sugar content of the drink is quite high. However, the brand does offer sugar-free options, including Red Bull Zero and Red Bull Sugarfree, both made with artificial sweeteners aspartame and acesulfame.
Monster Energy drinks contain 160 mg of caffeine and 54 g of sugar.
Aside from the caffeine-induced energy boost, it also has amino acids and B vitamins that can improve your physical performance.
Xyience Energy is a guaranteed pre-workout energy drink packed with zero sugar and calories.
It has artificial sweeteners but can still complement vegans and keto diet practitioners.
Here are the breakdowns of the said energy drinks. Feel free to choose which one matches your preferences.
|Energy Drink||Calories||Caffeine||Sugar||Additional Vitamins|
|Rowdy Energy Drink||90||160 mg||18g||Potassium, B – Vitamins|
|Red Bull||204||136 g||45g||Taurine, B – Vitamins|
|Monster Energy Drink||191||163 mg||50g||Niacin, B – Vitamins|
|Xyience||0||176 mg||0g||L-Carnitine, Taurine|
REIZE (10 out of 10)
REIZE is sugar-free and contains only 50 mg of caffeine and 11 calories per 4 grams of the sachet.
Moreover, it also contains healthy ingredients like Ginseng, B-vitamins, and Taurine. These awesome ingredients work in combination with the caffeine to give you the perfect energy boost, without the crash. Perfect energy for a race.
You can have REIZE shipped right to your door for only around $1 per drink!
That’s amazing value for money.
Give REIZE a try today and see for yourself how great it is before a race.
Energy drinks can help you prepare your body to be in top condition before a race. The combination of its various ingredients like caffeine and electrolytes keeps you hydrated and energized throughout the training and competition.
It would be best to be meticulous about the energy drink you will consume before your big race. You should be in good shape and regularly eat meals while being hydrated.
You cannot solely depend on energy drinks to finish your workout or race, as it still boils down to how well you are prepared.
Always remember to choose the healthier option and the beverage that will guarantee the best experience you can have. You should pick the brand with the right amount of Caffeine, Taurine, B-Vitamins, and other minerals.
On the other hand, consume energy drinks moderately. It is pretty easy to be dependent on caffeine’s effects, so stay within the recommended limit and engage in a healthy diet and lifestyle.