We all know that feeling when you’re super tired and lazy, and you really don’t want to work out, but you know that you should. If you’re struggling to find the motivation, you might be tempted to pick up a coffee or an energy drink to give you a boost.
But what is best? Will an energy drink help? Are energy drinks better than coffee before a workout?
We’ve taken a closer look at what you should take before your workout. Read on to learn everything you need to know about drinking an energy drink before a workout.
Does Caffeine Help Improve Your Performance During A Workout?
It’s a bit complicated to simply say yes or no to this question. There is evidence that caffeine can give your mind and body a boost, but energy drinks and exercise aren’t always a good idea.
But the short answer is that drinking an energy drink before working out can give you a temporary boost of energy to help you focus on your workout and get more done. As well as helping you focus and motivating you to work out, an energy drink could help improve your performance by increasing muscle strength and stamina.
However, some people argue the difference is negligible, and the effect of an energy drink before a workout is really just a placebo effect. You might perform better simply because you think you should.
Benefits of Having An Energy Drink Before A Workout
So, with the truth up for debate, what are some of the reasons why you might want to drink an energy drink before heading to the gym?
Well, drinking an energy drink containing caffeine or a natural caffeine substitute might actually give you the motivation to work out in the first place. One of the most popular reasons people choose to drink an energy drink is because it means you’ll actually work out rather than stay at home.
But more than giving you motivation, an energy drink can help focus your brain. This can be especially useful if you want to target specific muscles during your workout, as you’ll be able to pay attention to your form, movement and repetitions more effectively.
The caffeine may also help sustain your energy throughout a workout, so you tire more slowly. This will allow you to push yourself more during your workout for better results and better performance.
Some energy drinks may also include taurine. This is a specific amino acid that can help improve your performance during a workout by boosting your muscles. If you see pro-athletics drinking an energy drink before competing or training, chances are, it has both caffeine and taurine.
Most energy drinks also contain a small amount of sodium which is very helpful for working out. When your body is low on salt, it can’t retain water properly, which can lead to muscle cramping and affect your nerve function. For a better workout, you should be looking to replace any salt lost during sweat, and an energy drink could help with that.
Downside Of Having An Energy Drink Before A Workout
With so many positive reasons to have an energy drink before a workout, you might wonder why everyone doesn’t have one. Better performance, no stamina and more motivation. Sounds like a no brainer.
But in fact, there are a few things to consider before opening a can of energy drink pre-workout.
Firstly, since energy drinks give you a boost, they can also leave you feeling very flat and tired when they wear off. This post-caffeine crash can happen halfway through a workout and make finishing your reps or ending your run even more difficult. If you plan on doing a long workout, you might want to skip the energy drink. Alternatively, you can have a second can at the ready to open when you start to feel tired.
Since caffeine metabolises differently in different people, it can cause you to become jittery and shaky. This can make working out much more complicated and make your performance worse. If your muscles are shaking, they won’t be as effective during exercise.
If you plan on drinking an energy drink, you will also need to make sure you drink lots of water or other hydrating sports drink. Since caffeine is a diuretic, it can lead to dehydration unless you make sure to rehydrate. Sports drinks can also help replace any lost salt and electrolytes.
Some energy drinks such as Early Bird and Raze contain some valuable nutrients such as potassium to help make them better pre-workout drinks.
The only other reason some people choose to avoid energy drinks is that they are usually fizzy, and the carbonated bubbles can cause bloating and nausea. Many people who drink fizzy drinks before working out can also suffer from excess gas, which can be uncomfortable and embarrassing.
You can get a non-carbonated version of popular energy drinks to avoid this problem. This means you get all the energy and none of the gas.
The non-fizzy version of Red Bull, Krating Daeng, has the same energy-boosting effect without nausea and bloating. Another option is Monster Hydro which is non-carbonated. Celsius Live Fit is another popular non-carbonated energy drink which is excellent for consuming pre-workout.
Energy Drinks Before Or After A Workout
Drinking an energy drink before or after a workout is a personal choice. Some people choose to drink an energy drink after a workout to help them recover. An energy drink can be a great way to get some energy back if you’re exhausted after a workout.
Since most energy drinks also have some sodium, they can be an excellent way to help replenish electrolyte lots in your sweat. Combined with water, energy drinks can aid recovery.
If you’ve really pushed your muscles to the limit, an energy drink with caffeine can also help with muscle recovery. Caffeine can speed up glycogen which your muscles use as fuel for recovery.
Because of the many benefits of drinking an energy drink after a workout, some people choose to drink one before and after exercising. It’s really a personal preference. Research has found that you should wait at least 10 minutes before starting exercise if you drink an energy drink before working out. But you can drink an energy drink immediately after working out.
Final Thought On Pre-Workout Energy Drinks
There are both benefits and drawbacks to drinking energy drinks before working out. Energy drinks can give your mind and body the extra boost it needs to get up and work out and really push yourself. The caffeine can help you focus properly as well as improve your stamina and endurance for a more effective workout.
However, the caffeine can also cause a crash mid-workout making it much harder to exercise. Furthermore, the caffeine and bubbles can lead to feeling jittery and nauseous and cause excess gas.
If you are going to consume an energy drink before working out, you should look at how much caffeine you will be ingesting and make sure you also drink water or a sports drink to keep you hydrated.
So, grab that energy drink and water bottle and make sure your next workout is the best yet.