Just judging by the name, energy drinks are definitely synonymous with sports and athletes. In fact, it’s common for energy drink brands to sponsor teams and famous sports personalities, such as in the case of Formula One, skateboarding, and even gaming.
Like any other sport, hockey players consume energy drinks too. It’s no wonder: energy drinks have been proven to increase energy levels, alertness, and cognition.
But no two brands have the same formula, and many brands contain different ingredients and nutritional values. If you’re into hockey, you might be wondering which one is the best fit for you, this article has all the answers for you.
Table of Contents
How Do Energy Drinks Affect Your Body?
True to its name, energy drinks provide an extra boost to your body.
Every product may certainly differ in its ingredients, but they all guarantee enhanced performance due to the effects of caffeine and other nutrients.
Moreover, your body receives more than energizing compounds and vitamins and minerals you will benefit from sooner or later. It’s also a bonus that these products rehydrate you after a strenuous activity compared to sweetened beverages such as carbonated drinks and juices.
Energy drinks are often associated with bad health since people assume that the ingredients of every product are always high and dangerous. These instances occur when people abuse their beverage consumption or do not follow a healthy lifestyle.
Here is a table that lists all the common ingredients you can find in an energy drink and how they can affect your body!
|Caffeine||Heightens cognitive functions, decreases fatigue, & improves reaction time|
|Taurine||Aids nerve growth, Improves heart health, & lowers blood pressure|
|L-Carnitine||It helps in burning body fat, boosts metabolism, & improves the immune system.|
|Antioxidants||Protects cells from free radicals, boosts ts immune system & repairs cell damage.|
|B-Vitamins||Maintains healthy cells, helps in food conversion, & relieves stress|
|Ginseng||Lowers blood sugar levels, prevent fatigue, & builds a better immunity system|
|Vitamin C||It helps in the formation of collagen & absorption of iron; improves the immune system.|
Benefits of Energy Drinks for Athletes
The caffeine and nutrients in energy drinks help athletes stay energized and alert for their daily workouts.
Since sports can become a game of who gets to be on top, athletes must always be equipped with the right beverage, aside from strict routines and meals.
Energy drinks mainly owe their prowess to Caffeine. Studies have revealed that its positive attributions to the body do not stop at the physical performance alone but even extends to uplifting one’s mood and alertness.
Most vitamins and minerals included in energy drinks are essential to many of your body functions and can help in reducing fatigue, muscle cramps, and maintaining your cells’ healthy state. Those with sugar-free formulas erase the possibility of experiencing a sugar crash, too.
You can also view this article to know more about the beneficial attributions of including energy drinks in your sports career.
What to Look for in Energy Drinks
While energy drinks share similar ingredients, there are still those that stand out. Before buying or consuming an energy drink, I highly suggest going over the supplement list and find these ingredients and their amount.
The AHA recommends that women consume only 25 grams/ 100 calories of sugar daily, while men can ingest 36 grams/ 150 calories. So consuming a beverage whose sugars are close to 25 or 36 will not end well for a hockey player who needs to be energized every second of the game.
However, you can also opt for artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols to substitute for the natural sugars, preventing Reactive Hypoglycemia, commonly known as a sugar crash.
For scale, an artificial sweetener is 200-700 times sweeter than table sugars, while sugar alcohols contain half the calories their natural counterparts possess.
Most energy drink brands have recently turned to calorie-free artificial sweeteners like Sucralose for healthier and tastier products.
While Caffeine is an essential ingredient of energy drinks, you should always look out for its amount per serving on every brand you will encounter.
I personally think that brands that contain 50mg to 100mg of caffeine are the ones you should consider since there are studies that revealed how effective this bracket is when it comes to energizing individuals without causing negative effects such as irregular heartbeats, anxiety, and hunger, among other side effects.
However, how much caffeine you consume daily is entirely up to you as every person has different caffeine tolerance. That’s why you need to know if you are caffeine sensitive or not so you don’t have to suffer the side effects of not knowing sooner.
For a start, the recommended calorie intake for men is up to 3,000 calories, while women’s maximum calorie consumption is at 2,400.
Since hockey players are very active people, they can easily shed off the stored calories that may cause weight gain and other disorders in the body.
Purchasing calorie-free beverages can also be favorable since it eliminates other factors which may or may not be helpful during the game. But in my opinion, as long as you don’t push yourself too much when consuming a product with calories, then you are good to go.
Spoiler Alert: Calories aren’t bad for you. They’re essential to your body’s energy conversion, but of course, there’s always a right balance. Check out the video below to know more!
Should I Drink Energy Drinks with Sugar?
While this is beneficial for blood sugar production in the body, researchers have proved that the decline by such carbohydrates lowers alertness and increases fatigue within an hour of consumption. Its high presence in any energy drink brand can cause a player’s decline in their performance.
These are the symptoms those who are experiencing a sugar crash will feel:
Relative hypoglycemia can become life-threatening if the blood sugar levels drop to 70 milligrams per deciliter or lower. This can cause seizures and trauma to the patient involved.
And as a player, a decline may put you and your team at a disadvantage if left unchecked. Some may be forced to sit on the bench and recover until they show the other team how it’s done again.
Consuming too much sugar is also worrisome considering that sugar addiction is a serious problem worldwide. Good news, though: artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols do not cause a sugar crash.
When is the Best Time to Drink an Energy Drink?
It would be best if you took a sip from your energy drink of choice at least 10 minutes before the game. During this time, your body is already absorbing the caffeine and other nutrients in your bloodstream.
Half an hour to a quarter minutes later, the caffeine fully peaks in your bloodstream. By this time, your body is continuously being stimulated as the nerves and cells respond to the new chemical status of your body after consumption.
This is when you can fully maximize your caffeine boost! But if you drank an energy drink containing natural sugars, then I suggest you take it easy as sugar crashes usually start at the one-hour mark. You’ll feel more tired than usual and will usually feel the other symptoms I mentioned.
These effects last for a few hours but it takes at least 12 hours for the caffeine to leave your bloodstream completely.
The Best Energy Drinks for Hockey
So now that you know what to consider when picking and purchasing the energy drink you’ll depend on, here are some brands that you may like!
Since Hockey is a physical and strenuous sport, you need more than an energy boost and a couple of nutrients. You may need GFuel.
This tub of wonders recommends a single serving of 7g where you can get 25 calories and 150mg of caffeine with no sugar. Its supplement list comprises at least three complex groups: the energy, focus, and antioxidant ingredients, which means that this product is not just some powdered brand.
GFuel also comes in 35 flavors that you will absolutely love and will eventually call a ‘game buddy,’ maybe even a ‘lucky charm’!
If you want to know which is the best flavor of G Fuel, I’ve covered everything you need to know in my other article.
You can have fun experimenting with their 11 original flavors. And then maybe, you can go and take a look at their Reign Inferno Line as a potential game buddy.
REIZE (10 out of 10)
If you aren’t fond of strong energy drinks or you’re still new to the beverages, then I suggest you try out REIZE.
This wonderful drink contains a low 50mg of caffeine, 11 calories, and a sugar-free formula. These qualities greatly lessens the risk of you experiencing any pesky side effects. In every game, you can chug a REIZE without every worrying about crashes! The only way is up, my friend.
REIZE also has several beneficial nutrients like Taurine, Ginseng, and B vitamins that will enhance your mental and physical performance. And have I told you about the taste? It’s a light and fizzy drink that will surely refresh you.
If you’re always on the go, this travel-friendly product can provide just the right amount of energy you may need for your upcoming match as the drink comes in handy 4g sachets you can take with you anywhere.
You can even have REIZE shipped right to your door for only around $1 per drink.
Isn’t that just a steal?
So if you’re still deciding on your next beverage to take to the ice rink or field, you may want to try REIZE today and see it change your mind one sip at a time.
Other Noteworthy Brands
Still undecided? You can check out these brands too:
To sum things up, I think the best energy drinks for hockey players are ones with moderate amounts of caffeine, no sugar, and a decent amount of vitamins. This will help you maximize their benefits and avoid side effects.
Ingredient-wise, I highly suggest consuming only the healthiest one for you and not abusing energy drinks’ power. You can also try lots of flavors before you settle on your favorite brand so that you’ll know what to get on your next purchase.
All in all, hockey and energy drinks can live harmoniously without risk the players as there are supplement lists on every product in the market for you to check the amounts per serving of every ingredient. Contrary to popular beliefs, energy drinks will not cause fatigue and sugar crashes to a player as long as they consume them in moderation.
So rest assured that as long as you do your homework, the right energy drink brand can be your companion to hockey games. Just remember that energy drinks are made for a support role, and proper diet and exercise are still best for good health!