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Best Energy Drink For Athletes (Drink To Win)

by Liam Miller
3 mins read

Aspire, Red Bull, C4, Celsius, Monster, and Mountain Dew Kickstart are the best energy drink for athletes. 

In today’s sports, athletes may look for that extra way to boost energy, counter drowsiness, improve endurance, and quicken reaction speed.

Energy drinks are packed with caffeine, electrolytes, and carbohydrates to athletes who need an extra edge of energy.

Consuming energy drinks before endurance sports and high-energy activity helps a lot with one’s performance. In addition, enjoying an energy drink after a challenging game can help athletes achieve fast muscle recovery and elevated energy levels for the rest of the day. 

These power-packed beverages are countlessly available in the market with the promise to give you what you need before a game. 

So which energy drinks are best for athletes? We’ve picked the best energy drinks out there for you:

  • Aspire
  • Red Bull
  • C4 Energy
  • Celsius Energy drink
  • Monster Energy
  • Mountain Dew Kickstart

Read till the end to find out what makes them the best energy drink for athletes. Without further ado, let’s dig in!

Best energy drink for athletes

Different types of energy drinks

Here is a list of my favorite energy drinks and their caffeine content for athletes.

Aspire, Red Bull, C4 Energy, Celsius energy drink,  Monster Energy, and Mountain Dew Kickstart.

Energy drinksCaffeine content per serving
Aspire 80mg
Red Bull 80mg 
C4200mg
Celsius200mg
Monster 160mg
Mountain Dew Kickstart92mg
Best Energy Drink For Athletes

Aspire 

Aspire is an energy drink with no calories, no sugar, and no carbs. Plus, it has excellent taste!

One serving of Aspire contains 80 mg of caffeine. I consider 80 mg of caffeine best for athletes as it provides an energy boost without giving you caffeine crashes and after-effects.

Aspire is sugar-free and calorie-free, which means it is much healthier than most energy drinks.

Get the fuel you need before a game by having Aspire energy drink with no jitters, no crashes, and just refreshing energy. 

Red Bull

Red Bull is one of the leading energy drink brands in the US but what makes it best for athletes?

The drink has always been associated with extreme sports, which has given it a very “cool” image in the eyes of young people. The brand’s influence in extreme sports has taken the world by storm, including cliff diving, windsurfing, and rock climbing.

Red Bull contains 80mg of caffeine which is a reasonable amount. Apart from a decent amount of caffeine, Red Bull also contains 27g of sugar in one serving, which boosts your energy before an intense game and helps post-training recovery. 

However, 27g of sugar in Red Bull can be harmful to some athletes if they overconsume it. 

C4 Energy Drink 

This drink is specially designed for athletes made by Nutribol which is a great pre-workout. 

It comes in four different versions: C4 Original, C4 Smart, C4 Natural Zero, and C4 Ultimate. C4 energy drinks contain lots of amino acids and B-vitamins to help your physical performance.

It contains 200mg of caffeine per serving, which is not too much or too little. One version, C4 Ultimate, has the highest, with 300mg of caffeine per serving. 

If you can handle 300mg per day, go for C4 Ultimate. Otherwise, C4 Orginal will be your best bet. 

Celsius Energy Drink 

Celsius is another excellent option for athletes who are looking for healthy energy drinks. It consists of a unique “Meta plus Proprietary Blend.”

Celsius is higher in caffeine content. It contains 300mg caffeine per serving and only has 10 to 15 calories. It is also sugar-free which means you don’t have to worry about sugar crashes after drinking it. 

Only one serving of Celsius is enough to give you a powerful boost for any kind of training and match. If you wanna learn more about Celsius, read here.

Monster Energy Drink 

cans of Monster

Monster is famous among athletes, and that is for a good reason. 

You might have seen big names in the sport and athlete community endorsing this big green guy with the giant M on its can. Monster contains twice the caffeine (160 mg) as Red Bull.

It contains a lot of sugar and artificial sweetener that give it a sweet taste.

The regular and low-calorie versions of Monster Energy drinks are a good source of four out of eight B vitamins. One serving of Monster energy meets 100 percent of the daily value for vitamin B-12, niacin, vitamin B-6, and riboflavin. 

Mountain Dew Kickstart

If you are a fan of Mountain Dew, you should give its Kickstart energy drink version a try!

Mountain Dew kickstart contains a reasonably high amount of caffeine. One serving of a 16-ounce can contain 92 milligrams of caffeine which I think is a fair amount to have before a competition or a match. 

It also contains 20g of sugar, which gives you great taste. However, I prefer that athletes drink sugar-free energy drinks for they are a much better option.  Overall, Mountain Dew Kickstart is a decent energy drink choice for athletes. It’s a unique beverage that’s a combination of juice and caffeine. 

Will energy drinks improve your performance?

Energy drinks contain caffeine which is good for athletes as it enhances sports performance. 

Studies have shown that having caffeinated beverages before running can help you run faster and longer. Plus, it enables you to recover quickly after running. It also shows that those who consume caffeine improved 20% higher in their performance than those who didn’t consume caffeine before the game. 

Moreover, energy drink also helps with:

  • Better attention and alertness
  • improved brain function
  • Promoting long-term memory

Energy drinks alone won’t do any magic. Having a proper meal and a healthy lifestyle is also essential. 

How do energy drinks affect sports performance?

Energy drinks are packed with beneficial ingredients that contribute to better sports performance, including caffeine, sugar, and taurine. 

Caffeine

Studies show that some Olympic athletes actually use caffeine to improve their running performance. 

It mitigates the effects of adenosine and keeps you awake. It also enables you to train for longer without getting burned out. 

However, too much of this stimulant can cause many caffeine-related health complications such as:

  • Insomnia
  • Digestive issues
  • Muscle breakdown
  • Fatigue
  • Addiction
  • Hypertension
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Frequent urination and urgency

That is why it is best to avoid too much caffeine. Have a look at this video for a clearer explanation of what happens to your body if you drink too much caffeine:

Sugar

Sugar has good and bad effects depending on how much you consume in a day. According to AHA, recommended limit of sugar is 36g and 25g for men and women, respectively. 

Anything above it can cause sugar crashes or other health issues such as:

  • Tooth decay
  • Obesity 
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Acne
  • High blood pressure
  • Aging skin

So, keep an eye on your daily sugar intake and adapt foods containing natural sweeteners. 

Taurine 

Taurine is an essential amino acid that helps stimulate your metabolism. It is a naturally occurring acid in our body and performs several functions, including:

  • It regulates calcium levels in specific cells
  • It creates bile salts
  • It balance electrolytes in the body
  • It supports nerve growth and lowers blood pressure. 
  • It also supports the development of the nervous system.

A study also shows that athletes who drink taurine added energy drinks showed better performance in endurance sports. 

How much caffeine should an athlete have?

Athletes can have 2-5mg of caffeine per pound of bodyweight 60 minutes before the practice session or actual game. 

While NCCA has also limited daily caffeine intake for athletes to 3-6mg/kg(2 pounds), you should always look for the right brand that gives you maximum benefit without overcharging your stamina. 

Athletes and people, in general, should limit their energy drink intake to one serving/can per day. Energy drinks might have many benefits for athletes, but they are loaded with synthetic caffeine, sugar, and other unnecessary ingredients that can do more harm than good. 

Wrapping Up

A glass of blue water

Energy drinks are good for athletes but only in moderation. They are often loaded with caffeine, sugar, and herbal stimulants.

Some of the energy drinks that are best for athletes are: Aspire, Red Bull, C4, Celsius,  Monster, and Mountain Dew Kickstart are best energy drink for athletes. Time is crucial when it comes for athletes and that is why it is recommended that they have energy drinks as it has a direct effect on their sport. 

Lastly, you should know that no caffeine can replace a healthy meal. Make sure to take your meal correctly and adopt a healthy style. So, enjoy your favorite beverage in moderate amounts and get ready to win the next game!

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