We've all been there before. You’re tired but you know you need to get off the couch and exercise. You want a little pick-me-up before hopping on your bike or slipping on your running shoes, so you stop by your local market on the corner and grab an energy drink to get you going.
Which energy drink should you grab? What ingredients should you be keeping an eye out for? Should you even be reaching for one of these popular drinks?
Let's talk about the consumption of energy beverages before exercise.
Energy Drinks and Sports Performance
As soon as you enter your local market, you see racks of popular energy drinks filled with colorful packages, all somehow claiming to be the best of the best.
So how do you choose the best gym energy drink for everyday use?
In our opinion, the most important thing is to know which ingredients are included in the drink that you are choosing, and in what amount.
One of the main ingredients found in energy drinks is caffeine, but does it help with sports performance?
The answer is a little tricky. Let us explain.
Drinking caffeinated beverages like energy drinks, stimulate your nervous system. This stimulation will provide you with a temporary boost of energy. With the right caffeine dosage, your mental performance will receive a boost as well.
Studies have shown that your cognitive functions can greatly improve as a result of consuming energy beverages. This will allow you to get much more done in a short period of time.
Studies have also shown that the right amount of caffeine before a workout may improve your running endurance as well as muscle strength endurance. While caffeine can help, it does need to be taken in moderation, as too much of the stuff can cause ill effects during and after exercising.
But, wouldn't you much rather have a longer-lasting energy boost than just a short energy spurt? If so, look for an energy drink with naturally-sourced caffeine like the ones at Proper Wild, rather than the typical energy drink with synthetic caffeine.
Yup, you read that right! Synthetic caffeine is the most common caffeine source that makes up most energy drinks on the market these days - synthetically-produced caffeine from Chinese pharmaceutical plants, to be exact.
Synthetic caffeine is absorbed quickly into your body, providing you with energy faster than naturally-sourced caffeine. However, synthetic caffeine often leads to an unpleasant crash and a nasty headache.
On the other hand, green tea caffeine is a naturally-sourced caffeine that your body reacts to better than with synthetic caffeine, meaning reduced jitters and no crash.
Additionally, you won't get the caffeine rush you would normally get guzzling down an energy drink. Instead, naturally-sourced caffeine works to provide long-lasting, sustainable energy throughout your day.
Plus, with green tea caffeine, you can avoid unwanted over-caffeinating side effects thanks to the amino acid L-theanine, which works synergistically with caffeine to give you calmer energy versus jittery energy. Who would want to be shaky, jittery, and twitchy when they are trying to enjoy a long run or bike ride? Definitely not us!
Caffeine is also a natural diuretic, meaning it will cause you to urinate more frequently, which can possibly lead to dehydration if you don't replenish your fluids during that bike or run. If you are going to drink these ingredients before you exercise, be sure to offset them with water and electrolytes to help with hydration.
The second most prevalent ingredient found in energy drinks is sugar.
The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests no more than 25g of sugar per day for healthy adults, but unfortunately, many popular energy beverages have double and sometimes even triple that amount of sugar in each can. A diet with too much sugar can lead to many health issues, such as weight gain, heart disease, and even acne, just to name a few.
A sugar-rush only adds to the caffeine buzz that you'll experience from gulping down an energy drink, but will it help or hinder your exercise efforts?
On top of sugar being a less-than-ideal addition to a healthy and active lifestyle, sugary beverages are known to make you prone to losing fluids. With no added nutrients like electrolytes in most leading energy beverages, this sugar will only work against you and work to dehydrate you. Not exactly what you want when exercising.
Do natural-caffeine energy drinks without added sugar even exist?
Yes! Proper Wild’s Energy Shots are made with clean and simple ingredients, backed by science, and designed to maximize your productivity. With absolutely zero grams of added sugar and nothing artificial, Proper Wild’s Energy Shots will give you clean, long-lasting energy, paired with a deliciously sweet taste that boasts 0g added sugar.
So, what should I bring with me if I run versus going on a bike ride?
When it comes to running, energy shots like Proper Wild’s are going to be your best friend because they are light, portable, and at just under 3 ounces, won’t slosh around in your stomach. Proper Wild’s energy shot is small enough that it can fit into a fanny pack, pocket, or running belt, but it packs enough of a clean, long-lasting punch to give you that extra boost of energy you might need halfway through the run.
When it comes to biking, clean, compact energy shots are still an ideal option, but, if you bring a backpack along or have a spot for a sports bottle, you have the option of a larger energy drink, though we still aren’t fans of the extra sugar and synthetic caffeine.
Wrapping It Up
So, are energy drinks even good for workouts like biking and running?
The answer is: generally, no.
Popular commercial energy drinks that are loaded with synthetic caffeine and sugar are not ideal for exercise.
Because if you overdo it, too much caffeine and sugar can be counterproductive to your workout and leave you feeling sick, unable to think straight, and nauseous thanks to dehydration paired with a sugar hangover.
There are a ton of energy drinks available on the market, and the truth is that they are not all created equal.
If you're searching for an energy boost before heading out on your bike ride or run, skip the commercial energy beverages in colorful cans and reach for Proper Wild’s Clean All-Day Energy Shots instead.
Our 100% plant-based energy shots are made using organic caffeine from green tea to provide clean, sustained energy. Plus, with 15x more L-theanine than a cup of green tea, it's easy to see how our energy shots can provide focus and productivity without the jitters or notorious caffeine crash.
Here at Proper Wild, we're passionate about delivering great-tasting energy shots with transparent ingredients that actually work, without compromising your health.
The next time you are getting ready to throw on your running shoes or hop on your bike, do your body a favor and avoid energy drinks made with synthetic caffeine and way too much sugar.
Try our Proper Wild Energy Shots today and see the difference that clean energy can make on your health and your workout!