One of the most effective types of exercise is running. Not only does it help with strengthening muscles, but it also improves our overall cardiovascular fitness.
A daily 30 minutes run has been proven to burn up to 2500-3000 calories and even have long-term benefits like lowering your blood sugar levels and relieving stress. Studies show that going for a run every day can also increase your life expectancy
Your daily run could be your designated personal self-care activity, be it in the gym or a run in nature. It can also be the start of a healthier lifestyle. And to have a great run you’ll need tons of energy.
And whats the best source of energy?- Energy drinks!
So here’s a total guide on everything you need to know about the best energy drinks for running!
Lets get started!
Table of Contents
Things to Consider While Buying Energy Drinks
- Caffeine content
- Sugar content
- Artificial Sweeteners
The ingredient in energy drinks that give you the boost in stamina and energy, is caffeine.
Energy drinks use caffeine as a performance and energy-boosting substance. So consuming a caffeinated drink before a run can be a good source of the stamina needed to complete your exercise. It can also be a good post-workout drink to maintain that energy throughout the day.
But caffeine consumption in a large and unmoderated amount can also lead to rebound fatigue and other side effects including caffeine addiction, high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, etc.
To enjoy the benefits of caffeine like the boost in energy, and avoid its side effects, limit your caffeine consumption to a moderate 250mg per day. The FDA recommends no more than 400mg of caffeine be consumed in a single day.
While choosing the best energy drink for your run, choose a brand that doesn’t have high amounts of caffeine to prevent potential muscle breakdown and other side effects. It is best not to consume more than one source of caffeine like tea, coffee, energy drinks together in a day.
For more information on how caffeinated beverages may affect your exercise performance, have a look at the video below:
Sugar is the main component in energy drinks in maintaining their sweet taste. Apart from the taste, the sugar in energy drinks also supplies huge quantities of carbohydrates that turn into energy and give you that boost.
But some energy drinks contain large amounts of sugar that sometimes might surpass the AHA’s recommended daily intake of 36g and 25g for men and women respectively. Drinking such sugar-enriched energy drinks on a daily basis may cause weight gain, diabetes, depression, and other diseases.
Luckily, there are plenty of sugar-free, low-calorie energy drinks in the market that has a sensible caffeine content so you won’t have to compromise your health for the energy boost needed for your run. Always make sure to read the nutritional facts added at the back of the can before purchasing your energy drink.
Even if some energy drinks are sugar-free, they contain some artificial sweeteners. While these artificial sweeteners might be low in calories, they might also be harmful if subjected to overexposure. Consuming too much sugar can have a number of side effects like increased blood pressure and heart diseases that defeats the whole purpose of what you’re trying to achieve through your run.
The initial spike in energy and stamina that you get from drinking energy drinks eventually drops after a while. For drinks with high sugar content, this drop in energy can be much faster and may leave you more tired than usual. This is known as a sugar crush and you certainly don’t need that in the middle of your run.
So opt for sugar free options while choosing energy drinks and best not to consume more than one drink in a day.
While buying energy drinks for your run, the number of artificial sweeteners also needs to be considered. Especially drinks with low to zero sugar contents contain artificial sweeteners like Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose, etc. to maintain their taste and act as preservatives.
Ace-K and Sucralose are used in energy drinks as they have very little calorie content and taste at least 200 times sweeter than sugar but they don’t increase your blood sugar levels as sugar does. Although it is best to consume these drinks in moderate amounts if you’re diabetic or have any heart conditions.
Artificial Sweeteners might be better than sugar in some areas, but prolonged consumption of artificial sweeteners can have a negative effect on your body. These may include sugar addiction, high blood pressure, etc.
While energy drinks might be a great source of a performance boost, you wouldn’t want to make a heavy dent in your pocket, would you?
Especially if you’re looking for an energy drink for your everyday run, the cost eventually adds up. That also doesn’t mean one has to opt for affordable choices if they don’t meet your health standards.
You should always choose an energy drink based on its ingredients and nutritional value, but having the right price tag is also important. There are a lot of brands that offer a good deal without compromising the quality.
Speaking of good deals, REIZE offers one of the best deals available in the market. REIZE contains a sensible caffeine content with low sugar and calorie levels. On top of that, REIZE delivers directly to your door for only $1.
But more on REIZE later.
Do Energy Drinks Improve Running Performance?
Energy Drinks contain ingredients like caffeine, taurine etc. that help enhancing performance and concentration.
The caffeine, taurine, sugar present in energy drinks have proven to reduce fatigue and elevate concentration give a quick energy boost, and can potentially improve athletic performance. In a study, researchers found that an average of 30 seconds was shaved from the time it takes the runners to complete a 5K after drinking Red Bull. It was found in another study that some runners have performed better after they were given pink-colored drinks.
But it is to be noted that these studies were not conclusive and the side effects of these ingredients remain prevalent.
So while energy drinks may increase your energy and the longevity of your run, there will be long time effects due to regular consumption of energy drinks. A healthy balance can be achieved if these drinks are chosen wisely and consumed in moderate quantities.
Are Energy Drinks Necessary for Marathon Runners?
Energy drinks may be helpful but entirely unnecessary for keeping you hydrated, that prestige goes to water
You’re probably going to need a supplementary drink for any kind of high endurance sport such as marathon running. A lot of water and sodium is lost through sweat after running for a long time.
Running a marathon also takes a lot of energy and stamina. energy drinks are a great option as it provides the body with caffeine and liquids to keep you energized.
Be it regular running or preparing for a marathon, caffeine could be a great pre-workout drink to keep you energetic throughout the course.
That being said, energy drinks are an entirely unnecessary component of any hardcore exercise activity, marathons included. Your best bet is always going to be with water, and you generally don’t need much else aside from it, with isotonic sports drinks being a close 2nd for the additional electrolyte replenishment.
Hyponatremia : Definition and Dangers
Hyponatremia is a which can be a condition caused by intaking too much water. It can become severe if not treated accordingly.
While keeping yourself hydrated in the middle of a run is always a good idea, one has to remain careful not to throw off the water-sodium ratio in the blood. Hyponatremia generally means a lack of sodium in the blood. Drinking too much water during a run can cause hyponatremia or water intoxication.
The health risks of hyponatremia include:
- Weakness or fatigue
More severe risks may include:
- Cardiac Arrest
- Even death.
One way to avoid hyponatremia is to drink energy drinks that contain electrolytes. These drinks are enriched with sodium you’ll reduce the risk of getting Hyponatremia.
Best Energy Drinks for Running
Bang Energy Drink
Bang could potentially give you a very high energy boost that would make you are run faster and easier, but it is still not recommended for everyone due to its high caffeine content.
Bang has a high caffeine amount of 300mg per can. It is also sugar and calorie-free. But the high caffeine amount can make you jittery and leave you with potential side effects if not taken in moderation. For further understanding, check out my article on the review of Bang Energy Drink.
Red Bull is a classic choice for your next run.
Red Bull has a comparatively low caffeine content of 80mg per 16 fl.oz. But it contains more sugar than other brands with 27g of sugar per serving which can lead to a faster sugar crash. The calorie content of Red Bull is a staggering 110 calories which is a pretty high amount of calories to be consumed in a single drink.
Red Bull also has its sugar-free diet versions for the health-conscious. So you can still have the energy boost without the sugar and calories. It also has a number of B vitamins that are typical in many energy drinks.
Red Bull is also very accessible and can be found in all stores near you. For further knowledge, you can check out my article on the review of Red Bull Energy Drink.
REIZE (10 out of 10)
REIZE is a great energy drink for running.
Personally, I prefer REIZE to any other energy drinks for my daily runs. REIZE has a sensible 50mg caffeine and is sugar-free. It has only 11 calories which can burn off easily during the run.
Best part about REIZE is how affordable it is. REIZE ships straight to your door for just $1.
Give REIZE a try! And you may find your next workout buddy that keeps you energized while thinking about your health.