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Energy drinks are tasty and can provide that sweet boost of energy you need to improve athletic performance. Even more, if you have a bad day and feel sluggish, an energy drink is the ideal quick fix many people reach for.
But what stands behind the sweet taste and vivid colors?
Major brands promote their products using images and videos of highly energetic people doing incredible stunts. This way, we are led to believe that energy drinks are an athlete’s best friend and can truly give you superhuman powers.
On the other hand, there are those who don’t see this market segment with good eyes. As usual, the truth stands in the middle.
You will not become a superhuman athlete by drinking these beverages. However, if you know how to use them to your advantage, energy drinks can be useful to your athletic performance.
Do Pay Attention to the Ingredients
Just like with any type of product, not all energy drinks have the right ingredients to support athletic performance.
As such, before you reach for your favorite brand because you love their commercials, take a peek at the list of ingredients (we know, it’s long and complicated). You should look for elements that support muscular endurance and physical performance (such as Trimethylglycine, sugar beets, or Beta-Alanine).
You can learn more about the ingredients to look for in energy drinks in this article.
On the other hand, it’s best to avoid beverages with a high sugar content or the ones that deliver an overdose of caffeine. While almost all energy drinks have caffeine, it’s important to follow the dose (a regular energy beverage contains somewhere between 140mg and 300mg of caffeine in a 16oz).
If the dose is too high, you risk developing a tolerance, which renders the energy boost ineffective.
Don’t Overdo It
The drive to become better faster can push you to think that energy drinks are the answer to athletic performance.
This is not the case and, it’s in fact, a dangerous way of seeing things. The recommended dose is two drinks per day and you shouldn’t consume such beverages right before high-intensity physical activities.
Do Your Research
Before you start consuming energy drinks to improve your stamina, make sure you are in good health (do a medical exam) and your current state allows it. Also, read about the various ingredients that can help your specific situation. For instance, if you’re looking for muscular definition you will need a different set of ingredients compared to someone who wants to get leaner.
It also helps to use fitness apps to keep track of your progress. This way, you can tell if these beverages are truly helping.
Don’t Mix Energy Drinks with Alcohol
Alcohol is a big no-no for athletes, but it can be consumed on occasion. Sadly, there are people who think that energy drinks and alcohol mix up nicely in all sorts of cocktails. While the taste may be intriguing, the effects on your health and degree of intoxication can take a negative turn.
In the end, the most important aspect to remember is that moderation and good research can help you find the right type of energy booster for your needs.