During an exercise, it’s important to stay hydrated. But with which beverage should we stay hydrated? Energy drinks seem to be the popular option especially for a high intensity workout session. There has been much debate about the role energy drinks play in relation to exercise.
Benefits of Energy Drink
Energy drinks are the most popular option during a workout because it awards the consumer with many benefits. The benefits provided by an energy drink is given here:
- Energy boost
As the name suggests, energy drinks provide for a significant energy boost. It increases the feeling of alertness and productivity making you more attentive about basically everything.
- Regulated caffeine
In a normal coffee, the caffeine amount can vary drastically. This varied caffeine in your system can never give the desired results. This is where energy drinks are the healthy option since they have caffeine in regulated quantity, the quantity which is safe for our body while being the most productive. It also helps the consumer know just how much caffeine they are intake for those conscious about their caffeine intakes.
- Quick caffeine delivery
The fact that energy drinks are served cold makes it easier for it to be drunk quickly in comparison to your normal coffee. This quick consumption makes the caffeine getting in your bloodstream even quicker giving a faster result.
- Abundance of different flavors
For those picky to the normal taste of a coffee or tea gets a great alternative in the form of an energy drink. They come in a variety of flavors, each flavor containing the same benefits to appeal to a vast majority of consumers.
Apart from caffeine, most energy drinks are also accompanied with several more supplements which give added benefits in and of themselves. These supplements include vitamin B, ginseng etc and are considered highly effective for long term effects. Some energy drinks even provide for a vast variety of useful supplements without the use of caffeine.
- Easy to use
This might not seem much but it is still a benefit over a normal coffee or tea which needs to be brewed every time while an energy drink is a simple ready to consume product.
The caffeine content coupled with the carbonated nature of an energy drink offers a very refreshing experience to the consumer. Even after a workout when the body is hot due to the intense labour it went through, the carbonated energy drink provides for a cooling experience while also enhancing the body’s recovery process due to the caffeine and the supplements embedded in the drink.
- Zero caloric content
For the calorie conscious consumers, there is also a zero calorie option in many of the energy drinks while still providing the adequate caffeine and refreshing experience.
Benefits of sports drink during exercise
Even during moderate exercise, the body loses upto 0.5 to 2 litres of water just through sweating. To stay hydrated this loss needs to be compensated. Which can be done with plain water.
But essential electrolytes are also lost with the water loss which are also required to be compensated for. Though loss of electrolyte isn’t an issue for workouts of small or less intense sessions. These electrolytes include sodium, potassium, phosphate, calcium, magnesium and chlorine.
This loss in electrolyte can cause muscle cramps, dizziness and nausea. Water can’t compensate for the loss of these electrolytes and hence a sports drink is beneficial as it contains these electrolytes in ample and regulated amounts.
Benefits of energy drinks in relation to brain function during workout
Energy drinks not only benefit in the physical aspect of a workout, but also the mental aspect of it. Energy drinks can improve major brain functions like memory, concentration and attentiveness which increases the reaction time while also reducing mental fatigue. This is backed by many experimental studies.
Best energy drink during workout
It’s recommended to consume any energy drink of your choice at least 45 minutes before you begin your workout to get the best results. This is because it takes about 45 minutes for the energy drink to reach its peak level. Here is a list of energy drinks that might best suit you for your workout needs.
- Monster Energy Drink
A high caffeine content of about 160 mg makes it an obvious energy booster capable of keeping you wide awake. Monster is a widely known brand and very loved by its consumers. Though the high sugar content and a pretty hefty price can be a deal breaker for many.
- Red bull Energy Drink
Another very familiar brand which is not only famous for their drinks but also their advertisements. With a calorie content of only 80mg it is a great pre workout drink that ensures no side effects.
- Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy RTD
Designed to provide supplements to maximize people’s workout. It has two critical ingredients which includes caffeine at 100mg and 5 g of amino acids. These ingredients help in a boosted workout while also providing for supplements which help in post-workout recovery.
With a caffeine content of about 160 mg, it is the same as a monster drink and is equally capable of giving you a big boost in your workout. Both energy drinks are strong energy drinks. Though in comparison it is a bit cheaper than a monster drink
- Xs Energy drink
With the caffeine content just touching 80mg coupled with a zero sugar formula, this is definitely one of the best energy drinks though it won’t give you the huge boost the others on this list can but this also keeps you safe from any side effects.
For those looking for a more natural alternative to an energy drink. Here’s a list of homemade/naturally made energy drinks for you to consume but get the same result which you require.
- Beetroot juice
A simple blend of beetroot which is then topped with some lime juice and a pinch of salt all according to your taste, stir well and then drink away. Beetroot is one of the healthiest vegetables and is loaded with nutrients so it’s an excellent choice as an alternative energy drink. The lime juice and salt is just to improve its taste.
Coffee is an easy homemade drink which is rich in caffeine. Caffeine works in improving physical activity while reducing fatigue. Though make sure to keep your caffeine intake in check. Too much caffeine can have negative impacts on your body and health.
- Green Tea
Green tea has a very tiny amount of caffeine but enough to make you feel productive. On top of the caffeine content it is also bombarded with antioxidants which will give you a relaxing experience with each sip.
- Orange Juice
Orange is a great source of VItamin C. Adding grapes to your juice can give you the added benefit of natural glucose and help avoid unnatural sweeteners.
- Pomegranate Juice
Pomegranate Juice coupled with the pulp of passionfruit not only enhances the exercise performance but also helps in post-exercise recovery.
What to drink during a workout to lose weight?
Many of the homemade drinks mentioned above are perfect drinks for consumption if your workout is focused towards weight loss. This is because the homemade drinks lack calories and artificial sweeteners which play a major role in weight gain. A few more beverages focused on losing weight are.
- Black Tea
Black tea is high in polyphenols which is a powerful antioxidant that may help in reducing body weight. Polyphenols help in weight loss by reducing the calorie intake and also stimulating fat breakdown. Just like green tea, even black tea provides a relaxing experience when taken during a workout and even after.
- Grape Juice
Just like Black tea, even grape juice is filled with the nutrient polyphenols antioxidant and is naturally sweet. As discussed above polyphenols help in reducing weight while the natural sweeteners energize your workout.
Drinking ample water is the easiest way to stay healthy. Water helps in weight reduction by keeping you full between meals which in turn decreases your calorie intake.
Water keeps you hydrated during workouts while not giving you any extra calories or glucose to add on your weight.
- Coconut Water
Coconut water is a simple and tasty hydrating solution. Since during a workout you’re likely to lose electrolytes, if you start a workout by staying hydrated the chances of losing electrolytes even after an intense workout is reduced.
- High-Protein Drinks
Beverages which are filled with high proteins can not only curb your hunger, the extra proteins help in a longer and more intense workout by urging you to build up an appetite.
Which is the best type of beverage to drink during exercise?
The best beverage to drink depends on the intensity of your workout. Less than an hour of average workout can be maintained by normal water. Any workout ranging for more than an hour or which is of high intensity will require a sports drink to maintain the electrolytes levels.
If you’re working out in hot and humid conditions then also sports drinks might be required as these conditions make a person sweat more profusely which loses electrolytes more quickly.
Simply put if you’re not doing an intense workout stay hydrated using water, if not then sports drink is your best companion.
Energy drink after workout
A recovery drink is more soothing after a workout as an energy drink’s main purpose is pre workout boost. After an intense workout all that’s required is for the electrolytes to be replenished and healing of the muscles. An energy drink can also act as a recovery drink depending on the desired result though it is best to consult a trained professional first as it varies depending on the intensity of the workout.
Energy drinks are excellent energy boosters which can make a drastic difference in the way you workout and its results. Energy drinks may have a lot of benefits but they also possess a few unwanted side effects.
These side effects are only caused if the intake of these energy drinks and their contents is not regulated. You yourself will have to administer this regulation as every person is different and hence has a different intake level.
All the drinks mentioned in this list will have the desired result as mentioned under them as long as they are consumed in regulation.
An average person should never cross more than 400gm of caffeine in a day. Though it’s still better to consult a trained professional first regarding your own personal limits and how much you can endure these drinks in a safe way.