As gym participation has skyrocketed in recent years, a focus has been placed on optimizing the experience. Protein powders, sauna treatments, and supplements represent a variety of ways that people tailor their work out to their needs. One thing that’s universal, however, is the need for energy to complete an effective workout.
While pre-workout has been the standard for hardcore lifters for years, energy drinks have burst onto the scene with a variety of brands and flavors. They’re found in nearly every gas station, convenience store, and supermarket in the world, and are the most convenient way to get your energy kick before hitting the gym.
Which one should you choose? Here are the 5 factors to consider when choosing a pre-workout energy supplement:
The first factor to consider when choosing an energy drink is the impact it will have on your health. Some energy drinks can be loaded with sugar and other ingredients that can cause negative health effects. Look for options that are low in artificial ingredients and are made with natural, healthier alternatives.
If you're looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, it's important to choose an energy drink that is low in calories. Many energy drinks can be sneakily high in calories and can sabotage the progress you made in the gym.
Similar to choosing any other food or drink, pick the brands that are low in calories or have no added sugars or artificial sweeteners.
If your goal is to build muscle, then choosing an energy drink that contains ingredients that promote muscle growth is essential.
Beta-alanine is an amino acid that helps reduce muscle fatigue during exercise. It works by increasing the levels of carnosine in the muscles, which helps to buffer acid build-up and delay the onset of fatigue.
Creatine is a naturally occurring compound that helps to provide energy to the muscles during exercise. It works by increasing the production of ATP, which is the primary energy source for muscle contractions. By increasing ATP production, creatine can help improve strength, power, and endurance during exercise.
Prioritizing these two components as well as a variety of other amino acids will improve lifting results.
The two keys to look out for here are caffeine and electrolytes.
Everyone has heard of caffeine. It is a natural stimulant that can help improve focus, increase alertness, and reduce fatigue. It has been shown to enhance athletic performance, particularly in endurance activities like running and cycling.
Electrolytes help to regulate fluid balance in the body, which is important for maintaining proper hydration levels. When electrolyte levels are low, it can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, and dizziness.
Electrolytes such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium play a vital role in muscle function. They help to regulate muscle contraction and relaxation, which is crucial for movements such as running, jumping, and lifting weights.
Look for options that provide sustained energy and hydration to help to keep you alert and focused throughout your workout.
Finally, consider your budget when choosing an energy drink. While some options may be more expensive and seem like premium products, they don’t always offer more benefits than cheaper alternatives. There are many affordable options on the market that offer great results without breaking the bank.
Best For Overall Health: Proper Wild Energy Shots
One of the greatest benefits of Proper Wild is that you know you are consuming natural ingredients. Organic Caffeine and L-Theanine harvested from green tea leaves provide the perfect source of energy to take your workout up a notch.
You will also find that Proper Wild is free from artificial sweeteners and flavors. All six diverse flavors are sourced completely from nature. These drinks strike the perfect balance of low sugar, natural flavors, and great taste.
Also unique to Proper Wild as a pre-workout drink is its convenience. Proper Wild Energy Shots come in a small, compact bottle that are easy to take with you on the go. Whether you're heading to the gym or going for a run, you can quickly and easily take a shot of Proper Wild to give you the energy boost you need to power through your workout.
The Caffeine and L-Theanine combination in Proper Wild is its biggest X-factor. Multiple studies support that using Caffeine and L-Theanine together can reduce jitters and heighten concentration and cognitive alertness, while also boosting your mood.
Best Low Calorie Drink: Celsius Live Fit
Already popular with those looking to maintain a healthy diet, Celsius Live Fit is the brand’s foray into the fitness drink market. They use a unique ingredient combination of amino acids, Vitamin D3, electrolytes and caffeine to provide both energy and nutrition to the average or elite gym goer.
Celsius is free of sugar and artificial preservatives. Instead, it is sweetened with sucralose and acesulfame potassium, two no-calorie sweeteners. While this is useful for those wanting to reduce their calorie intake, there have been a variety of health concerns associated with sucralose.
Best for Muscle Growth: C4 Energy
It’s most important to know C4 Energy’s three primary ingredients: caffeine, beta-alanine, and creatine. Those three work together to enhance performance and increase endurance. When consumed before a workout, they can help you push yourself harder and for a longer duration, leading to better results. The C4 energy drink contains 1.6g of beta-alanine, 1g of creatine, and 200mg of caffeine per serving.
In addition to these key ingredients, the C4 energy drink also contains a range of vitamins and minerals that are important for overall health and well-being. These include vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, niacin, and folic acid. These nutrients help support the body's natural energy production processes and can help to reduce the risk of nutrient deficiencies.
Best for Sustained Performance: Gatorade Fast Twitch
Just by name alone, you know a great deal of science and research has been put into developing Gatorade Fast Twitch. It combines the pre-workout kick of a caffeine-based energy drink with the typical ingredients that make Gatorade an effective sports drink.
One of the key benefits of Fast Twitch is its ability to provide a rapid source of energy. The drink contains a blend of fast-acting carbohydrates that are easily absorbed by the body. Additionally, the drink contains electrolytes, which are essential for maintaining proper hydration levels during exercise. When you sweat, you lose electrolytes, and drinking Gatorade Fast Twitch can help replenish them quickly to extend your workout.
Another advantage of Gatorade Fast Twitch is its variety. It comes in a range of flavors, allowing athletes to choose the one that suits their taste preferences. Additionally, it is available in both powdered and ready-to-drink forms, making it a convenient option for athletes who are on-the-go or have busy schedules.
Best on a Budget: ZOA Energy Drink
At $1.48 a can at Walmart, ZOA Energy Drink contains everything you need in a pre-workout energy drink. It is a zero sugar blend of green tea, guarana, yerba mate, and other natural ingredients.
Staying hydrated is crucial for a successful workout, and ZOA Energy is designed to help with just that. The drink contains electrolytes to help replenish the body's fluids and minerals lost during exercise. This can help prevent dehydration and improve overall performance during your workout.
The drink comes in a variety of flavors, including Super Berry, Wild Orange, and Lemon Lime, and you can order them in large quantities for greater savings through a variety of online retailers.
Choosing the right pre-workout energy supplement is a critical aspect of optimizing your workout experience. Whether you're looking to lose weight, build muscle, sustain performance, or stick to a budget, there are energy drink options available that cater to your specific needs.
If your goal is to simply maximize your health while exercising, give Proper Wild’s Clean All Day Energy Shots a try. Its Organic Caffeine and L-Theanine will empower you to exercise well and feel good while doing it.