In the past, energy drinks were the workout beverage of choice for many people. After all, companies were able to sell the idea that energy drinks increase one’s stamina when working out.
However, in recent years, it has been revealed that while energy drinks do provide energy boosts, their promising effects only last a few good minutes, but their negative effects last a lot longer.
Because of this, many people have sought alternative means to boost their energy levels without resorting to energy drinks. These include loading up on magnesium and getting better sleep.
Still, people do need to stay hydrated while working out, especially when doing intense routines. And since energy drinks are not recommended for this purpose, here are five alternatives you can bring with you to keep your hydration levels high while working out:
When it comes to pure hydration, nothing beats plain water. You can have water as a pre-workout drink and a post-workout drink, and your go-to refreshment in between sets. Aside from being the cheapest and healthiest alternative to energy drinks, another benefit of water is that it has no adverse effects on the body. In fact, it’s something we actually need to survive.
Moreover, it is the most convenient option, as most fitness gyms would already have water dispensers where you can get free refills.
2. Fruit Juices
Here’s the problem. Shifting from energy drinks to plain water might be difficult at first, because most energy drinks would have a strong flavor that’s almost soda-like, so water might taste utterly bland to you during the transition. You might yearn for something that tastes quite nice before you feel that your thirst has been quenched.
This is where raw fruit juices come in handy. These drinks are packed with all sorts of vitamins and minerals that can keep you healthy and hydrated while keeping your taste buds happy. There are endless flavors and drink combinations you can explore with fruit juices, so you can never go wrong with taking these as your workout drink.
3. Protein Shake
If your dietician signs off on it, you can have protein shakes as your go-to workout drink.
So if protein shakes are so good, why do you need clearance to drink it? Well, it’s because there are only very few instances where protein shakes are supposed to work. If you overdo it, you run the risk of encountering the hidden dangers of protein powders.
In moderation, though, and if your doctor recommends it, it is a much better alternative than energy drinks.
4. Chocolate Milk
Have you ever seen a kid on a sugar rush? That’s your proof that chocolate — and chocolate milk, for that matter — is the best workout fuel. Dark chocolate especially works wonders in stimulating bioactive compounds in your brain, therefore giving you the energy boost you absolutely need when working out.
When making chocolate milk, though, ensure that you’re using only black chocolate, since you don’t want all the sugar contained in any other kind of chocolate. Chocolate milk is a great post-workout drink too, so you can recoup the energy you lost while working out.
All the above-mentioned alternatives might not work at first if you’ve developed a resistance to energy drinks or even coffee. You might have to start your transition with tea, so you can get that caffeine fix without the harmful effects of post-energy drink-palpitations and jitters. The difference lies with the existence of a special amino acid in tea, which tempers the overstimulation that results from the consumption of pure caffeine in coffee.
Of course, you can put lots and lots of ice to turn your regular tea into iced tea, since all of us need that refreshing cold drink while working out.
This list proves that there are a number of good alternatives to energy drinks — you just have to be open to try new drinks the next time you get to the gym.