It can be physically and mentally gruelling to keep up with your workouts and strict diet. Over time, you may feel exhausted and need a quick energy boost.
Energy drinks are a great option to get that quick boost to enhance both your physical and mental performance.
This article will answer some of the questions you may have on the topic of consuming caffeine when cutting and help you to make the best choice for your energy needs.
Can energy drinks help improve exercise performance?
Short answer: Yes!
Want to know more? Stick around…
Table of Contents
What Is Weight Cutting?
In simple terms, weight cutting is a fat-loss process that bodybuilders, athletes and fitness enthusiasts use to get as lean as possible.
Weight cutting is often used to qualify for lower weight classes in a sports competition where having a lower weight is advantageous. The goal of cutting is to lose more fat and maintain muscle mass to accomplish a lean weight.
A couple of the ways to achieve weight-cutting is to adhere to a strict diet and perform aerobic exercises.
What To Do When On A Cutting Diet?
A cutting diet essentially consists of mainly carbs and protein to provide your body with enough energy and preserve muscle mass while being at a calorie deficit at the same time.
When on a cutting diet, it’s also important to do weightlifting to combat muscle loss and increase muscle growth.
One of the most crucial parts in a weight cutting diet is increasing your water intake.
Keeping yourself hydrated helps suppress your hunger and prevents you from losing energy through dehydration. Plus, water is calorie-free with zero sugars and is really beneficial for your body.
You should also choose fibre-rich foods that contain complex carbs such as:
- sweet potatoes
When you’re cutting weight, you should also avoid sugar as much as possible.
Sugar can be beneficial as brain food but it’s the type of sugar you should be aware of. There are two types of sugar, which are ‘good sugar’ and ‘bad sugar’.
‘Good sugar’ comes from natural and unprocessed foods like fruits and vegetables that are low in sodium and abundant in water and nutrients.
On the other hand, bad sugar, or added sugar, comes from processed foods like doughnuts, cakes and sodas that can cause weight gain, heart diseases, and other negative health effects.
Sugar isn’t a huge issue if consumed in moderation. The AHA has laid out guidelines for the maximum recommended daily sugar intake:
Sugary foods tend to have more calories, which isn’t ideal when you’re cutting weight.
When you’re on a cutting diet, you must also understand that you need to resist your feelings of hunger. It’s normal to feel hungry when you’re bored or during random hours of the day, and that’s when your endurance and patience is put to the test.
Like they say, no pain, no gain. If you want to get shredded, you’ll have to persevere through these mental challenges and find creative and beneficial ways to combat your hunger.
Don’t starve yourself though, depriving your body of food is a sure way to lose your muscle mass and cancel out all the hard work you’ve put in.
Can Caffeine Help You Build Muscle?
Caffeine doesn’t directly build muscle, but it can supply you with enough energy to hit the gym and start working out to build muscle.
Aside from providing you with an extra energy boost, caffeine can also increase fat burning during exercise.
But the process of fat burning even after the ingestion of caffeine goes together with exercise, as you need to burn calories to lose fat.
According to Healthline, when you drink caffeine, adrenaline is produced in your body which in turn travels through your blood and triggers the release of fatty acids from your fat tissues into your bloodstream. As you exercise, you also effectively burn the fatty acids that have been released.
This is important for you if you’re cutting since the process emphasizes losing fat while maintaining muscle mass.
Plus, caffeine also increases metabolism. The more fat you burn, the faster your metabolism becomes. If your metabolism is high, you’ll have an easier time losing weight even when you’re resting.
That’s the reason that after workouts, you’re advised to have a meal that consists of carbs and protein to replenish your muscle glycogen stores, or your muscles will eat away at themselves for fuel.
In the long run, your muscles will eventually break down from overused and unrecovered exercise injuries.
With that said, caffeine should always be consumed in moderation. The amount of caffeine a healthy adult can have in a day is no more than 400mg, according to the FDA.
Consuming too much caffeine can lead to unwanted adverse effects such as:
- Chest pain
When you’re cutting weight, you want to lose tons of calories and fat while preserving muscle mass.
Losing so much of your weight will put a toll on your body, so you want to be sure you take necessary precautions to remain fit and well during the process.
Do Energy Drinks Maximize Exercise Performance?
Energy drinks contain a number of ingredients that can maximize exercise performance.
All energy drinks contain caffeine, an energy-boosting ingredient that increases your stamina and strength for exercising. In addition to that, some energy drinks also contain sugar that’ll turn into glucose in your body and provide glycogen for your muscles to utilize when you’re exercising.
Many studies have confirmed the benefits of caffeine in exercise performance.
A study performed on 9 cyclists reported that work load increased by 7.4% and fat oxidation went up by 31% following the ingestion of caffeine.
A 2008 study found that a moderate amount of caffeine could increase power during high-intensity exercises.
Another 2016 study also observed an increase in running performance among elite field hockey players. After consuming a caffeinated energy drink, the hockey players were able to cover more running distance at high-intensity running and sprinting.
Thus, it’s pretty obvious that energy drinks can help you in exercising. But you must remember that an improvement or a deterioration in your exercise performance depends on the energy drinks you choose and how you use them.
Moderation is key.
To get the best results for your workouts when you’re cutting weight, you should drink energy drinks in moderation.
Energy Drinks And Mental Performance
When you’re cutting weight, the process doesn’t simply require disciplined physical activity, but it also needs tons of mental perseverance and resistance.
To have full concentration when you’re exercising regularly while also following a strict diet and losing calories can be challenging.
That’s where energy drinks can help. Caffeine can actually boost your brain functions according to this article. There’s also a bunch of scientific evidence that caffeine can improve your mental performance.
A study conducted on 24 participants reported that the consumption of caffeine enhanced alertness and performance in several cognitive tasks like simple and choice reactive tasks, and a task requiring sustained response.
Furthermore, a 2008 review found that caffeine consumption enhanced mood and vigilance. Another review covering 36 volunteers discovered that drinking Red Bull helped improve reaction time, concentration and memory.
With energy drinks, you’ll find it easier to focus on your workouts, plus you’ll be more alert and energized too.
When Should You Drink Energy Drinks For Workouts?
Drink energy drinks around 30 minutes – 1 hour before you exercise to experience the optimal effects of caffeine.
The reason for this is because caffeine takes about that much time to reach peak blood concentration levels, and it’s also around that period of time that you’ll start to feel the stronger effects of caffeine.
Besides, it gives more time to build up an energy boost that’ll help you through your workouts. When the effects of the caffeine peak, you’ll easily burn calories and fat while you exercise.
Can Caffeine Suppress Appetite?
Caffeine can suppress appetite, though the effects are quite minor and last for only a short time.
Caffeine may also be able to decrease feelings of hunger and your desire to eat temporarily.
However, there have been conflicts in studies regarding this aspect of caffeine, as one study found that caffeine has little to no effect in reducing appetite.
Even if caffeine can decrease your appetite briefly, you shouldn’t substitute your meals with it.
It’s crucial for you to follow a suitable and healthy diet when you’re cutting as you want to make sure you remain healthy once you’ve achieved your desired weight.
Plus, caffeine can’t supply you with the adequate amount of protein and carbs you need to have after workouts.
Can You Drink Energy Drinks Daily?
It’s perfectly okay to drink energy drinks daily but that also depends on the caffeine content of the energy drink that you choose.
Energy drinks should be consumed in moderation, and while energy drinks are great for boosting energy, nothing truly beats a glass of plain water and a healthy meal.
As we know, energy drinks are loaded with caffeine and sometimes a large amount of sugar. If you aren’t mindful of how much you consume each day, you might end up with some nasty side effects instead.
If you’re curious to learn about the best energy drinks for daily use, check out this article I’ve written where I cover the topic in a lot more detail.
Best Energy Drinks For Cutting
Reign energy drink contains 300mg of caffeine, 0 calories and is sugar-free.
Reign also contains BCAAs and other good ingredients like B vitamins that might provide you with energy for your workouts.
The price of one can of Reign is about $1.60, which I think is a pretty reasonable deal.
However, Reign might not be suitable for you if you’re sensitive to caffeine or have a low tolerance to caffeine.
I explore Reign in a lot more detail in this article. Check that out for more details on Reign Energy.
Xyience is marketed to a health-conscious audience as it contains 0 calories, 0g sugar and has 179mg of caffeine.
Since Xyience doesn’t contain any sugar, it relies on its high caffeine content to provide a powerful energy boost.
If you regularly drink caffeinated beverages, Xyience’s caffeine content won’t be a problem for you. I can’t say the same for people who don’t though, and if you have a low caffeine tolerance, you should probably go for lower-caffeine energy drinks instead.
Xyience also contains guarana seed extract, which also contains caffeine, though whether or not it’s counted towards the total caffeine content isn’t clear.
While Xyience does have plenty of perks, the price might be a huge turn-off for you if you’re looking for more affordable energy drinks. A single can of Xyience is usually around $4, which is pretty hefty in my view.
If you’ve got extra money to spare, Xyience may be a good investment, but if you want something more affordable, Xyience is probably not the best option.
Powdered energy drink options:
Zipfizz is a powdered energy drink that comes in colorful tubes with a wide selection of flavors.
Furthermore, Zipfizz contains 20 calories, 100mg of caffeine, and is completely sugar-free. Zipfizz is a good sugar-free option and you won’t get bored with the taste if you consume them regularly given the wide variety of flavors.
However, what makes Zipfizz fall slightly behind is that it doesn’t have any taurine, which is helpful for exercise performance.
Not counting shipping, a tube of Zipfizz costs around $2.25, but prices will vary depending on where you find it.
REIZE (10 Out Of 10)
Like Zipfizz, REIZE is another awesome sugar-free energy drink mix. With a sensible 50mg of caffeine, REIZE also contains just 11 calories per serve.
With taurine, ginseng and B vitamins that work together with the caffeine, REIZE gives you the perfect energy boost, without the crash.
One of the things I love about REIZE is that it has 1000mg of taurine, which will really help to maximize your physical performance.
You can also mix REIZE with almost any beverage of your choice. For your workouts, I recommend mixing REIZE with regular water and drinking it at least 30 minutes before you start your session for the best results.
REIZE ships straight to your door for only about $1 per drink, including shipping!
Give REIZE a try and you might also find that it’s the perfect energy drink for when you’re cutting.