As a Personal Trainer you would hope that we know about energy drinks a little!
The reality is when we teach personal training courses we only just delve into it a small part as there are so many areas that we need to cover.
So I’ve put this together to help educate both trainers and our members and followers.
An energy drink or pre workout has basically 3 Main components that the ingredients focus on
- Part Stimulant for focus and motivation
- Part Fuel source for actual energy (Not in all)
- Part Improved Vascularity (Pre workouts primarily)
This can vary as you can see in the picture above some of the drinks have either high sugar content or zero sugar so this isn’t what we class as a stimulant.
There are MANY supplements/ingredients to these drinks that act as a type of stimulant to help with focus or improve motivation. They are not all bad a lot of them are naturally occurring in small amounts others are not these are some examples:
- Green tea extract
Now the one that everyone knows a little about is Caffeine! So what are the effects of too much caffeine?
- Anxiety & Nervousness
- Insomnia & Fatigue
- Digestive Issues
- Increased Blood Pressure
- Rapid Heart rate
- Increased Urination
But how much is too much?
It is estimated that around your body weight in kilos multiplied by 6 is a maximum safe limit in milligrams daily so what does that mean:
100kg = 600mg
90kg = 540mg
80kg = 480mg
70kg = 420mg
60kg = 360mg
What does that mean?
So knowing the milligrams (mg) is one part the other is knowing what that actually means when it comes to a cup of coffee, Monster, Red Bull, Pre workouts etc.
Be careful the pre workouts are normally packaged with scoops that supply more than 1 serving.
Grenade Pre Workout = 275mg- 550mg (11.6g serving or full scoop)
N.O. Explode = 275mg-550mg (18.5g serving)
B4 Bomb = 150mg-300mg (6.4g serving or 12.8g)
The Curse = 147mg (5g serving)
Amino Energy = 100mg (9g serving)
Dr Jekyll = 100mg (10.2g serving)
Monster = 160mg
Rockstar = 160mg
Relentless = 160mg
Red Bull = 80mg
Store Alternatives 75mg
Coffee e.g. Americano
Small/Short 236ml = 75mg
Regular/Tall 254ml= 150mg
Large/Grande 473ml= 225mg
X-Large/Venti 591ml= 300mg
So below are the basics on what you’ll find in these drinks but as there are thousands, yes thousands of different drinks we are looking at this from upon high and giving a brief overview.
These drinks have such a variety of ingredients but its safe to say there is a lot more artificial sweeteners and sugars in these types of drinks. It is no wonder these have been banned to under 16 due to the stimulant and hyperactive effect the chosen supplemented ingredients have.
When it comes to Zero Sugars we know they will have mainly stimulants and artificial sugar alternatives. Please be aware though that a lot of studies have been done in this area and the majority have been linked to that the stimulants that replace the sugars have been known in laboratory tests to have undesirable effects in humans at high quantities. Example is having head aches after ingesting a zero sugar energy drink can be an obvious reaction to the contents of the can.
In most energy drinks it is highly likely that the fuel source will be sugar and in your average 250ml can you would expect 15-30g of sugar and this rises with the bigger cans so you could potentially double that to 30-60g+.
Normally the pre workouts are designed for the user to take with water and come in a liquid form but some come pre-made.
Every company that produces a pre workout have different amounts of stimulants and sugars in their products. The other thing that a pre workout does is it normally provides the body with more supplements that vasodilate so that this means you get a bigger ‘PUMP.’
To the layman this means that your muscles fill up more with blood and have a more swollen effect which is more desirable to body builders as the muscles they are working out will look bigger after the workout.
Pretty straight forward the only extras are the optional sugar, syrups or chemical substitutes such as sweeteners. Doing a bit of math if you like a sugar (5g) with every coffee and you have 4/5 coffees a day then you are basically have the equivalent of a 500g bag of pure sugar every month! (Not good)
I think like alcohol or smoking, energy drinks or pre workouts are there as a little booster to help on the odd day that you are feeling under motivated and just need that little kick up the backside. Some people will not touch these types of things but as a personal trainer for over 13 years it is obvious that in my industry a lot of trainers rely on these heavily to be able to maintain high energy for our morning workouts and keeping energy high throughout the day and then to train the clients in the evening.
Caution is advised and I would definitely recommend to track how much you are currently having on a daily basis and compare to the numbers I’ve put above. The only time I can recommend to have these types of drinks is before a workout as you are basically upping your heart rate ready for exercise.
I hope this has been useful and I personally will continue to have the odd energy drink/coffee but in balance will try harder to drink more water or have herbal teas more frequently.