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Best Energy Drinks for Endurance Cycling (Explained)

Best Energy Drinks for Endurance Cycling (Explained)

Staying in peak physical condition is a priority for endurance cyclists—especially when they’re covering long distances. Energy drinks can help them in various ways:

  • Staying hydrated
  • Providing an energy boost
  • Adding nutrients

But picking the right energy drink can be a challenge. After all, not all brands or ingredients can give you what you need for endurance cycling.

I’ve compiled all the best energy drinks for endurance cycling in this article, as well as everything you need to know about what’s in them and how they can help you.

So before you push the pedal to the metal, read on to find out!

What to Consider When Buying an Energy Drink

Energy drinks come in all shapes and sizes, which is why you should consider these criteria when choosing one!

Caffeine Content

An energy drink is primarily a stimulant because of its caffeine content. Caffeine has many benefits, but it also has a lot of downsides when consumed irresponsibly.

Some brands contain high caffeine content while others keep it low. They come with their own pros and cons, and it largely depends on your caffeine tolerance and activities for the day.

But it’s important to know how much caffeine your body can take in one sitting as its side effects include abnormal heartbeats, headache, dizziness, and even addiction.

Sugar Content

The sugar content of any drink is also an important factor as drinks with large amounts of sugar can also result in many side effects like sugar crashes or diabetes.

You should also look out if your brand of choice uses sucralose or aspartame, as these artificial sweeteners have varying effects on your body.

You may opt for sugar-free energy drinks too!

Nurtritional Content

Lastly, your track buddy should also have essential vitamins and minerals like Taurine, Ginseng, and B-Vitamins as added nutritional values for your body.

Carbohydrates must also be present in your brand of choice as they will fuel you with more energy.

What to Drink Before Cycling

Most cyclists depend on water during their rides, drinking at least 12 to 16 ounces six hours before their trip.

However, studies show that drinking caffeinated beverages has a remarkable effect on the body and performance of the rider.

You can also consider sports drinks and even coconut water as alternatives to water if you’re up for other kinds of beverages.

The most important thing to remember is to pick the ideal beverage that will guarantee you hydration to prevent problems like heat stroke, cardiac-related issues, and even muscle tearing. Even though cycling is a healthy habit, it can take a toll on the body if not properly trained and prepared.

Like all endurance sports, endurance cycling requires stamina and staying power. An important factor to that is replenishing your body’s electrolytes, which are necessary to many of your organ functions.

In this regard, energy drinks trump water because they are chockfull of electrolytes that will keep your body going.

Three people biking on the road.
Ride on and keep your balance!

What is the Best Endurance Drink?

Energy drinks are the best endurance drinks you can get. They are designed to improve your performance and give you what your body needs during rides.

Besides caffeine, energy drinks also contain nutrients that your body will revitalize during your ride. It boosts stamina and allows your body to dismiss mental and physical fatigue, which can help you endure more miles.

In fact, this journal demonstrates how energy drinks had positive results. Most brands also contain a good amount of carbohydrates which your body uses to generate more energy.

However, it is also worth mentioning that consuming energy drinks can potentially be harmful when done excessively. Caffeine addiction and withdrawal symptoms are just some of its side effects.

The FDA recommends that an individual’s daily caffeine intake must only be at 400 mg.

To cut it short, the best energy drink is the one that contains the right amount of caffeine and carbohydrates.

Side effects aside, I found this great Youtube video that further explains why energy drinks are your best cycling buddy yet.

Energy drinks are a great way to rehydrate and revitalize yourself on the road.

How do Energy Drinks Help Cyclists’ Endurance?

Here’s how energy drinks help cyclists endure longer miles on the road:

  • Hydrates the body and replenishes the electrolytes you may loss during your ride
  • Enhances focus, endurance, and improves concentration
  • Helps the body create more glycogen through the carbohydrates
  • Boosts stamina and prevents mental and physical fatigue
  • Keeps you awake due to caffeine
  • Additional nutrients

Here is a quick guide to the drinks you’ll need while cycling:

Ride Duration Needed Nutrition
Less than an hour / 1 hourPlain water or a low-carb, electrolyte hydration drink
Between 1 to 3 hours‌2 bottles low-carb, electrolyte hydration drink
More than 3 hours2 bottles low-carb, electrolyte hydration drinks
Don’t let yourself be thirsty!

Because most energy drinks contain caffeine, note the following recommendations so that you won’t suffer its side effects. This is included in a much more elaborate article concerning caffeine intake.

GenderRecommended daily intake
Men150 kcal/ 37.5g/ 9 tsp
Women100 kcal/ 25g/ 6 tsp
How much caffeine can you take in a day?

The Best Energy Drinks for Endurance Cycling

Different energy drinks brand.
What kind of energy drink is right for you?

Now, the moment of truth!

These are the brands I personally recommend if you are an endurance cyclist who’s looking for a great energy drink to consume on the road.

Monster

Monster energy drink is one of the most popular energy drink brands in the market. Aside from the 160 mg of caffeine in every 16 fl. oz of product, it also has B-Vitamins, L-Carnitine, and Taurine, among other ingredients.

While it can give you a powerful boost, it does have a whopping 55 mg worth of sugar in every can.

It also has a sugar-free version called Monster Zero Ultra that offers the same benefits, minus the sugar content.

Reign

Dubbed as one of the most powerful energy drinks in the market, Reign certainly packs a punch with 300mg of caffeine.

On the plus side, it’s sugar-free. You can get all the boost you need, minus the extra calories!

Reign won’t give you any sugar crashes throughout the day, especially when you’re about to take on highways and uphills. Moreover, it contains CoQ10, an antioxidant that promotes cell growth, and B-Vitamins.

Guru

Guru energy drink boasts 100 mg of caffeine for every 8.4 fl. oz, a fairly reasonable amount compared to other brands.

Guru also stands out from the rest of the group with natural ingredients like Green tea extract and Guarana seeds that serve as stimulants and antioxidants.

NOS

NOS contains all your usual ingredients for an energy drink, containing 160 mg of caffeine and 54 mg of sugar for every 16 fl. oz.

Its contents may fall on the higher end of the scale, but it still guarantees a boost you may need for cycling.

REIZE (10 out of 10)

Reize Energy Drink in sachet.
Reize Energy drink

Personally, REIZE is the best energy drink I can recommend for all the endurance cyclists out there.

It’s a 4g powdered energy drink filled with 50 mg of caffeine and is sugar-free, which means you won’t need to worry about caffeine addiction or withdrawal. its Taurine content is proven to improve athletic performance.

It’s also very travel-friendly as you can mix it with your water anytime and anywhere whenever you require an energy boost.

REIZE also contains nutritious ingredients like Ginseng and B-Vitamins that keep you hydrated, energized, and healthy, minus the sugar crash.

The best part of it all is that you can have REIZE delivered to your doorstep for only around $1 per sachet.

So what are you waiting for? Give REIZE a try today and see better results on your succeeding endurance cycling trips!

Other notable mentions:

Final Thoughts

Energy drinks are a great companion for your cycling adventures.

They contain all the necessary ingredients to energize and revitalize you. It’s only a matter of choosing the right one.

Energy drinks vary in sweeteners, caffeine content, and additives, so while it’s important to get an energy drink that can energize you, be wary of the harmful side effects resulting from excessive consumption.

Always drink in moderation and keep in mind the recommended daily caffeine limit.

Other than that, it should be a smooth ride with your favorite energy drink by your side!