Energy or energizing drink: What's the point?

Do you have to drink a energy or energy drink to have more strength or endurance during sports?

It is often difficult for consumers to determine what a name means or if it even matters. A drink can be labelled as energy, tonic, energizing, sports or isotonic.

Although the choice between one drink or another may seem trivial, you will understand that this is a serious matter. You must choose what best suits your sport activity and your nutritional needswithout risking your health.

Testoprime

What is an energy drink?

More than 40 years ago, the sports drink industry was inspired by Dr. J. Robert Cade, the inventor of the Gatorade© brand. He developed it to help the University of Florida soccer team stay hydrated as long as possible.

Those who like to speak English still call this type of drink energy sport drink, because it always appears on famous brands coming from the USA.

The purpose of the range of energy drinks, used in addition to plain water, is always the same since rehydration is the main requirement during exercise.

Their interest in sports

These drinks are flavored and contain carbohydrates, minerals and electrolytes and sometimes other vitamins and nutrients.

Electrolytes are circulating mineral salts, in ionized form: sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), calcium (Ca++), magnesium (Mg++). Each has a specific physiological role that helps regulate nerve and muscle function, maintain acid-base balance and improve the absorption of water and carbohydrates in the intestine.

During the effort, the sportsman loses these substances by sweating. The energy drink will offer him a good hydration and, thanks to the electrolytes, will delay the appearance of tiredness. It is a significant plus for the sportsman who needs energy.

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Composition of energy drinks

The nutritional analysis varies from one brand to another, but the following components are essentially present

  • water ;
  • carbohydrates with rapid assimilation (dextrose, sucrose, etc.) or slow assimilation (maltodextrin, fructose, etc.) according to their classification; 
  • mineral salts (sodium, potassium, magnesium, etc.)
  • group B vitamins (for energy production and red blood cell synthesis),
  • antioxidants (often in the form of vitamin C).

The different types of energy drinks

There are 3 types to recover or improve sports performance with different distributions of fluids, electrolytes and carbohydrates:

Hypotonics

It is a drink with a very low carbohydrate content and a higher concentration of salt and sugar than the human body. It quickly replaces the fluids lost during exercise.

Isotonics

This well-known type of drink contains a salt concentration and a good sugar ratio similar to the human body. It quickly replaces the fluids lost during exercise with a higher carbohydrate intake than the hypotonic drink.

Hypertonics

This drink with a high percentage of carbohydrates provides a fast maximum energy. This is very useful in a competition that draws heavily on physical resources and glycogen reserves (carbohydrates stored in the muscles).

These different hydrating and toning liquids can be consumed without risk by teenagers when justified by a sport activity. This is especially the case after one hour of intense effort.

Of course there are other energy products for good sports performance with an excellent sugar ratio. These solid and liquid foods are very useful to promote endurance in all types of sports. This is the case with energy gels, among others.

What is an energy drink?

energy or energy drink

Known for their stimulating virtues, energy or tonic drinks can also be beneficial in the exercise of a sport. But only if the athlete is an adult and with much more precautions than for the consumption of those that are isotonic for example.

Energy drinks first appeared in Europe and Asia in 1960. Since then, they have invaded the world market.

What justifies the word "energy" in the product name?

The stimulants in energy drinks

Mainly because energy drinks contain stimulants such as the caffeineTaurine and guarana with varying amounts of protein, sugar, vitamins, sodium and other minerals.

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Although the best energy booster by far is sleep and a balanced diet, we all need a little boost sometimes. That's when a cup of coffee or an energy drink is welcome.

However, according to a recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, some energy drinks can contain up to 14 times the amount of caffeine found in the average cola.

It is known that a small amount of caffeine (the content of 50 cl of energy drink) taken before sport can improve physical performance.

Consumption of these beverages also shows positive effects, such as prevention of increased blood pressure in the face of stress, development of pain tolerance, and improved performance, concentration and endurance.

However they are not without risks, as you will see now...

The dangers of energy drinks

Too annoying

High caffeine consumption can have negative effects. When a person consumes more than 250 mg of caffeine per day, they may experience headaches, difficulty sleeping, increased anxiety and heart palpitations.

Unfortunately, energy drinks are very attractive to young people for whom these harmful effects are even more pronounced. In addition to these effects, there is a nervousness that leads to the search for sensations or an increase in risky behaviors.

Too much sugar in energy drinks (simple carbohydrates)

Simple carbohydrates (such as sugar) play an important role in providing quick energy for physical activity or mental acuity.

As with stimulants, the problem lies in the perfectible sugar ratio of these drinks.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises that safe levels of energy drink consumption have not been established for adolescents.

In general, an energy drink (50 to 70 cl) contains 200 to 300 calories. This corresponds to more than a quarter of a cup of sugar per can. It is no longer necessary to make the link between sugar consumption and obesity and dental problems, just to name a few.

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Not regulated enough

There is also a risk of addiction to the stimulants contained in these drinks. Caffeine intoxication and addiction is called "caffeism". The lack of sleep caused by these addictions leads to many health problems.

The major problem is that there are no European or French regulations on these products. At best, you can only know if the product complies with anti-doping regulations if the AFNOR standard is applied. You can consult the prevention sheet of the French Triathlon Federation for this purpose.

So you have to be extremely careful with their consumption, because it's not like taking vitamin C 😏

Energy drink or energizer : What to remember?

sports drink called energy drink will allow good hydration and delay fatigue during sports activities. Do not use them to replace water during meals or snacks. Water is always the best choice before, during and after physical activity.

Note that you can easily make your own your isotonic drink with some ingredients from your kitchen. The average price has nothing to do with their cost in the trade. Unbeatable value for money! And you make them to your taste...

energy drinkIt is a stimulant like a strong coffee. Its use should therefore be extremely limited, if at all possible. A good coffee with a little protein powder will do just as well. In any case, this is the choice I made for my bodybuilding sessions.

What do you use to energize yourself before and during your workouts? Tell me about it by writing to stephane@sportchezsoi.com

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Related words: lack of potassium dietician sports nutritionist comparative drinks

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