on Wednesday, July 8, 2009in Diets & Foods
Walk into any grocery chain, gas station or convenience store and you’ll surely come across a huge selection of energy drinks. Sugary, colorful, carbonated beverages like Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar, Beaver Buzz and Full Throttle line the shelves with their eye catching labels and graphics. Trendy, expensive energy drinks like these have been marketed as fat burning, performance improving, brain boosting, potent potions of athletic stimulation.
It has become commonplace to see other gym rats guzzle down an energy drink before heading over to a loaded barbell squat rack for maximum reps. Do energy drinks actually offer an advantage to our workout performance or increase our fat burning potential enough to hand over our hard earned dollars?
Energy drinks are loaded with caffeine, containing anywhere from 80 to 150 milligrams per serving. Caffeine, like pretty much everything else in life, can be beneficial in small amounts. If consumed in moderate doses, caffeine can boost energy, stimulate the mind and offer athletes a kick-start to their workout. In large doses however, energy drinks may cause a number of complications including increased heart rate, irritability, insomnia, anxiety and dehydration.
Studies performed on athletes have shown that caffeine delivered through these sugar-heavy energy drinks doesn’t offer a significant advantage to exercise intensity or increase fat burning. In many cases the placebo groups have demonstrated as much of an increase in maximal effort as the subjects given large doses of caffeine.
Keep in mind that unless your favorite energy drink is sugar free, it is loaded with empty calories and will cause a surge in insulin levels which is the last thing you want if fat burning is the goal.
Downing an energy drink before a workout can be beneficial on those occasions when you’re feeling drained, sleepy or unmotivated. Making a habit of it however does not appear to offer any real advantage and in the long run may have detrimental effects on both your health and the thickness of your wallet.
A nutritious, well balanced diet along with consistent workout routines and plenty of sleep are still the best ways to boost energy and reap full benefits from your fitness program.Found this post useful and want more? Subscribe to our Blog feed
About TravisTravis Steffen is a Master Trainer and founder of WorkoutBOX. After years of experience training professional athletes and thousands of others just like you, he knows exactly what it takes to get you in serious shape. Follow his expert guidance and you're guaranteed to get amazing results.Want to hear even more of what Travis has to say? Keep in touch with him on Facebook and Twitter!
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