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best energy drinks for a workout

Your Guide To Choosing The Best Energy Drinks For A Workout

by Martha Simmonds

Whether you’re a regular gym rat or just started working out, you already know how popular energy and sports drinks are. They work as a nice pick-me-up and give you a boost of energy to help you power through your workouts. This is especially helpful if you exercise for more than an hour.

This article presents an overview of how energy drinks can benefit you along with a list of some of the best energy drinks for a workout.

When To Drink Energy Drinks?


There is no universal answer to this question. When to have an energy drink would largely depend on your needs. However, ideally, drinking it before working out rather than during your exercise routine is the best.

Before Working Out?

Since energy drinks give you an energy boost, drinking them about an hour before your workout is a good idea. It will allow enough time for the caffeine, the energy-boosting component, to take effect and be fully absorbed into your bloodstream. This can take nearly 45 minutes.

If you’re planning on an extensive workout or see yourself needing more energy than usual, you can drink one can of energy drink and expect to feel the peak of its effect about an hour after consumption. This energy boost will gradually wear off. In some cases, particularly if your energy drink has too much sugar, you may even experience a crash.

During Your Workout

You can also drink your energy drink while working out. However, you should know that caffeine has mild diuretic properties, so it may cause you to pee more often while exercising.

Caffeine can also impact you differently due to its laxative effect. Following up the energy drink with a couple of rigorous exercises will have your whole GI working double time, causing you to go to the bathroom urgently and frequently. Additionally, you’d have to wait at least an hour before you can feel that energy boost.

Whereas consuming energy-boosting protein powder before or after a workout can help with recovery and muscle building. For instance, High-Impact Plant Protein promotes healthy muscle development, maintains lean muscle mass, provides a complete plant protein source, and reduces digestive issues.

Is It Safe To Drink Energy Drinks While Working Out?


Yes, it is safe to have an energy drink while exercising. The main component of most energy drinks is water, so if you intend to hydrate your body while working out, an energy drink is a good option. But, make sure you choose an energy drink with zero sugar and pair it with plain old water to balance out the caffeine.

How Long Do Energy Drinks Last?

Once the caffeine from the energy drink enters your body, it will take 15-20 minutes for it to enter your bloodstream and trigger a rise in blood pressure and heart rate. The sugar content will be absorbed in your bloodstream about 30 minutes after consumption. And within 45 minutes to 1 hour, you will feel more alert and energetic.

After two hours, the effects will start to wear off. This is when the tiredness kicks in.

On average, your body will need at least 12 hours before it can get rid of the caffeine entirely from its system. But, this timeline may be longer based on factors like age, weight, fat, genetics, caffeine tolerance, and food intake.

What Should You Look For In Energy Drinks?


#1. Nutrients

You want your energy drink to give you a much-needed energy boost, but you should also consider other nutrients that can impact your overall health. Opt for energy drinks containing taurine, ginseng, L-carnitine, ginkgo biloba, and guarana.

#2. Caffeine Concentration

Caffeine is the common denominator in all energy drinks. And while caffeine is what gives you that boost of energy, too much of anything is not good. A healthy choice for an energy drink has more than 300 mg of caffeine. Apart from the energy drink, you may also be consuming other beverages with caffeine, so may go beyond the daily recommended limit of 400mg.

#3. Vitamins

Look for energy drinks that have B vitamins in them. It can help you reduce and manage anxiety and stress and improve your cognitive performance.

6 Best Energy Drinks For Workout

If you want that added energy boost, this list of the best energy drinks for a workout is what you need.

#1. Celsius


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The Celsius energy drink can help you maximize your caffeine intake, without the sugar crash. It’s made with no added sugar and has 1.81-grams of “MetaPlus Proprietary Blend,” which is composed of 200mg of caffeine. Beyond an energy drink, it also claims to promote vital and functional energy.

Pairing Celsius with an active and healthy lifestyle can improve your metabolism and aid in weight loss. Studies have shown that the Celcius energy drink has thermogenic properties, so your body can maximize your workout and reap 100% of the benefits.

#2. Bang


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Made by Vital Pharmaceuticals based in Florida, this is one of the most popular caffeinated beverages today. The Bang energy drink includes branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and creatine, and it has a whopping 300mg of caffeine (per 16-oz), roughly drinking 3 cups of coffee for every can.

This energy drink is vegan and gluten-free. It comes in plenty of flavors like Mango Bango, Nectarine Blueberry, Raging Raspberry, and Candy Apple Crisp, and it has zero carbohydrates, zero calories, and zero sugar.

#3. Monster Ultra Zero


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Monster energy drinks are perhaps the most well-known energy drinks in the world. The Ultra Zero is not just an energy booster but also a refreshing and light beverage. One can of Monster Ultra Zero contains 150 mg of caffeine. And although it uses artificial sweeteners like erythritol and sucralose, it is blended and balanced and provides a satisfying after-taste.

You also don’t have to worry about this sugar harming your digestive system because these sweeteners easily flow out of your body with proper hydration. This makes it the perfect energy drink without any sugar crashes.

#4. Red Bull Energy Drink

Red Bull

One of the best energy drinks for workouts and a staple on the market when it comes to energy drinks, Red Bull Energy Drink is a go-to. Even professional athletes rely on this energy drink.

It’s a popular favorite pre-workout drink despite its sugar content. It has 80 mg of caffeine, and drinking this before you start your high-intensity grind can help you easily burn that sugar, providing you with that burst of energy you need. It also has taurine and vitamin B, with its core ingredient as water to hydrate you while you sweat it out.

#5. ZOA Sugar-Free Energy Drink


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Owned, endorsed, and personally used by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the ZOA sugar-free energy drink is marketed as a clean and healthy energy drink enriched with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. It also lists acerola, camu-camu, green tea extract, and natural caffeine derived from green coffee beans as part of its ingredients.

The sugar-free ZOA energy drinks come in five flavors — Original, Lemon Lime, Pineapple Coconut, Super Berry, and Wild Orange. This is the perfect energy drink for those who want an energy kick without too much intensity.

#6. Reign Total Body Fuel


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Pegged as a fitness-focused drink for bodybuilders, athletes, and anybody who wants to stay fit, Reign Total Body Fuel is a great energy drink to partner in your fitness journey. It has CoQ10, BCAAs, electrolytes, and 300mg of caffeine to fuel your active lifestyle.

It can give you a pre-exercise boost courtesy of the caffeine, additional power through the CoQ10, and even help you recover faster post-workout with the help of vitamin B. Reign Total Body Fuel doesn’t have any artificial flavoring, colors, or sugar, and with ten flavors to choose from, your energy drink will never be boring.

Benefits of Energy Drinks

Energy Drinks

Energy drinks offer a number of benefits, but it is important to consume them in moderation. Here are some popular benefits of energy drinks.

#1. Instant Caffeine Boost

Energy drinks are marketed for that instant caffeine hit. They give you a temporary energy spike to make your workouts more effective.

#2. Different Flavors

One of the perks of energy drinks is that you get to enjoy a wide variety of flavors. You are not stuck with just a single option but can explore new flavors every time you pop a can open.

#3. Conveniently Accessible

Given how popular energy drinks are, you can find them in almost any store. Besides, you don’t need to heat or brew this beverage; just consume it and dispose of the can.

#4. Economically Affordable

Gourmet coffee can be expensive, but a can of cold energy drink would be less than half the price and give you more benefits. You can also keep an eye out for brand or store promotions for special deals and make bulk purchases.

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