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6 Best Energy Drinks For Athletes (Detailed List)

a variety of energy drinks
Best energy drinks for athletes

Athletes always need to be well-prepared to push their limits in the sports that they’re participating in. They require a lot of energy to do their best in both games and in training.

Apart from their healthy diets and fit lifestyles, another question that could arise is this – How can they get so much energy to prepare themselves in the tournaments?

Short answer: Energy drinks!

Energy drinks can be your companion in training by boosting your energy levels. The caffeine content and other ingredients in energy drinks can also help you to improve your performance.

Read on as I cover how energy drinks can bolster your performance, along with the best energy drinks for improving athletic achievement.

Let’s get started

Do Energy Drinks Improve Sports Performance?

Energy drinks are known to improve sports performance.

Caffeine is the main ingredient of energy drinks, which doesn’t come as a surprise. According to this article, low doses of caffeine can actually enhance sports and exercise performance.

This study revealed the effects of a caffeine-containing energy drink among 19 participants. In this case, the energy drinks increased their ability to repeatedly sprint during a soccer game.

Apart from that, energy drinks can also:

  • increase attention and alertness
  • boost weight loss
  • improve brain function
  • boost long-term memory

How Do The Energy Drinks Improve Your Performance?

Energy drinks contain ingredients like taurine, sugar, caffeine. These ingredients can directly contribute to your athletic performance.

I’ll elaborately discuss these ingredients below.


Coffee beans
Caffeine is one of the main ingredients of energy drinks

Caffeine is a stimulant that can be found in coffee beans, tea leaves, and cocoa beans. It stimulates your brain and nervous system, making you alert while reducing your fatigue.

It can also keep you awake by mitigating the effects of adenosine, so you shouldn’t consume it close to your bedtime.

That said, caffeine can enable an athlete to train at a greater output for a longer time. But you shouldn’t drink too much caffeine as it can lead to some caffeine-related health complications.

The FDA recommends that you shouldn’t consume more than 400mg of caffeine per day. Otherwise, you may experience these symptoms:

  • insomnia
  • digestive issues
  • muscle breakdown
  • fatigue
  • addiction
  • hypertension
  • fast heartbeat
  • frequent urination and urgency


Taurine is an amino acid that can stimulate metabolism. It naturally occurs within our body and is essential for several body functions.

Its important functions in the body include:

  • regulating calcium levels in certain cells
  • creating bile salts
  • balancing electrolytes in the body
  • supporting the development of the nervous system

This study shows the effects of a taurine-containing energy drink among 10-endurance athletes. It also reveals taurine’s positive effect on hormonal responses which leads to better performance.

Other than these, taurine helps to support nerve growth. It can also calm the nervous system and lower blood pressure.

Watch the video below to know more about taurine!

How does the taurine in energy drinks can actually help you?


Sugar is an ingredient that can be good or bad for athletes depending on the amount consumed.

Although there are mixed feelings about sugar, it is perfectly okay to consume it in moderation. However, a regular high intake of sugar can lead to a sugar crash which isn’t good during a competition.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the recommended limit of daily sugar intake is:

GenderDaily sugar limit
Man36g (equivalent to 9 teaspoons)
Woman25g (equivalent to 6 teaspoons)
Daily sugar limit for men and women

Consuming more sugar than the recommended limit can lead to health issues such as:

  • tooth decay
  • cardiovascular disease
  • acne
  • high blood pressure
  • aging skin

You should keep an eye on your daily sugar intake so that you don’t experience any side effects that can hamper your performance.

Are energy drinks OK for athletes?

Energy drinks can be somewhat good for athletes.It depends on various factors such as the type and amount of energy drink consumed, the individual’s health status, and the physical activity being performed. Energy drinks can provide a quick boost of energy and improve physical performance to some extent

However, they can also have negative effects such as increasing heart rate and blood pressure, and leading to dehydration. It is important for athletes to consult with a healthcare professional before consuming energy drinks and to limit their intake. Water is the best option for staying hydrated during physical activity.

Why should athletes drink energy drinks?

Athletes should drink energy drinks if only needed. Athletes may choose to drink energy drinks for several reasons, including increased energy, improved endurance, and hydration. Many energy drinks contain electrolytes and other hydrating ingredients that can help athletes maintain proper hydration levels, especially during intense physical activity.

It’s important to keep in mind that energy drinks can have side effects and may not be appropriate for everyone. Some athletes may be more sensitive to caffeine and other stimulants, so it is important to drink energy drinks in moderation to avoid detrimental effects.

What is the best drink for student-athletes?

Energy drinks can provide a temporary boost in energy and mental alertness due to their caffeine content. This may be beneficial for some student-athletes during workouts or competitions, helping them feel more awake and focused. The ingredients in these drinks are also beneficial and helpful in moderation.

However, it’s essential to be aware of potential risks associated with energy drinks. Excessive caffeine intake can lead to side effects like jitteriness, increased heart rate, and disrupted sleep patterns. Additionally, energy drinks may not be as effective as water for hydration during physical activities.

Are Energy Drinks good for running?

Energy drinks can offer a temporary boost in energy and mental alertness, which may be appealing for runners seeking an extra push during long or intense runs. The caffeine content in energy drinks can stimulate the central nervous system, leading to increased focus and reduced feelings of fatigue.

Some runners may find this beneficial, especially during races or challenging training sessions when they need an extra burst of energy to maintain their performance and stay motivated. Additionally, the convenience of energy drinks in ready-to-drink form can make them a convenient option for runners.

When Should You Drink Energy Drinks?

You should consume energy drinks 30 minutes prior to your exercise or physical activities.

The caffeine in energy drinks starts to affect your body pretty quickly. It takes around 30 to 60 minutes for caffeine to reach the peak level in your bloodstream.

The effects stay for 4 to 5 hours depending on your caffeine metabolism. It takes 5 to 6 hours for your body to reduce half of the caffeine that you consumed.

If you don’t have any caffeine sensitivity, your body should flush out the caffeine after 10 hours.

Which Are The Strongest Energy Drinks?

If you’re looking for the strongest energy drinks in the market, you can try:

These energy drinks have around 300mg of caffeine which is quite close to the daily limit by the FDA.

However, it’s actually better to try energy drinks with a modest amount of caffeine so that you don’t experience a massive headache during your games.

You should try to stick with energy drinks that contain around 50mg to 200mg of caffeine. If you want to try something from the strongest ones, you should drink them in a few sips and never gulp them down at once!

I’ll be sharing the details about the best energy drinks for athletes in the next section.

Best Energy Drinks For Athletes


A can of Aspire energy drink
Aspire energy drink is sold in cans of 12fl. oz.

Aspire energy drink is rich in natural ingredients, and it has a great taste too. It doesn’t contain any sugar or calories and contains only 80mg of caffeine.

If you’re looking for an energy drink with low caffeine, it can be an excellent choice for you.

Its modest amount of caffeine should give you a good amount of boost you need in training sessions or games.

They cost around $3 per can, with great deals on Amazon and eBay.

Celsius Energy Drink

Celsius energy drink in different flavors
Celsius energy drink in different flavors

Celsius energy drink is another great option for you. It has a special blend called “Metaplus Proprietary Blend”.

Celsius contains around 100-300mg of caffeine depending on the version. All versions of Celsius energy drinks are sugar-free and only contain 10-15 calories. You don’t have to be concerned about any sugar crash from drinking them.

Each can of Celsius energy drink costs around $2 depending on the version and where you buy it. It is quite cheap as most energy drinks cost around $3.


2 cans of C4 energy drink
Cotton Candy and Purple Frost flavors of C4 energy drink

C4 energy drink is a creation of America’s top pre-workout selling company Nutribolt. C4 energy drink also has 4 versions, namely C4 Original, C4 Smart, C4 Natural Zero and C4 Ultimate.

C4 Natural Zero is the version with the lowest amount of caffeine. C4 Original and C4 Smart have around 200mg of caffeine while C4 Ultimate has the most amount of caffeine (300mg per 16fl. oz.).

C4 energy drinks contain lots of amino acids and B-vitamins that can really help you a lot with physical performance.

Each serving of C4 energy drink costs around $2.50 to $3. The cost of each serving may vary depending on where you get it. You should buy it in bulk to save some money.

Red Bull

red bull energy drink
Red Bull Energy Drink

When it comes to energy drinks, Red Bull ranks among the most popular ones around the world. It also has the most market share among energy drinks.

Red Bull can give you a nice boost while adding only 80mg to your daily caffeine intake. However, it also contains around 27g of sugar which can be harmful to you if you end up consuming too much sugar.

You can find Red Bull both online and offline because of its popularity. If you want to buy it online, you can check Amazon, eBay, or Walmart.

On the other hand, you can buy it from physical stores as well. You’re likely to find it in the nearest Walmart or 7-eleven stores.

Red Bull costs around $2 per serving which is really cheap compared to some energy drinks.


A can of Reign Inferno
A can of Reign Inferno

Reign is packed with high-quality ingredients, and it can be a good option if you’re looking for a stronger caffeine kick.

It has 300mg of caffeine, BCAAs, B-vitamins, and only 0-10 calories. And that’s why it can deliver the strength you need to bring out your best.

Another good news is Reign is completely sugar-free meaning you don’t need to worry about the drawbacks of sugar.

Each 16 fl. oz. can of Reign is priced at around $2.


Raze energy drink in different flavors
Raze energy drink in different flavors

Raze energy drink is produced by Repp Sports Company. Its “ReFresh Performance Complex” can enhance five core elements of your health.

It’s a calorie-free energy drink that uses artificial sweeteners like sucralose and acesulfame potassium instead of sugar.

Raze contains a whopping 300mg of caffeine that can give you a quick boost to reach your goals on the field.

However, you shouldn’t drink more than one can of Raze, or else you may end up with the symptoms of caffeine overdose.

A 16fl. oz. can of Raze costs around $2.50.

The Final Say

Overall, these energy drinks can deliver what an athlete wants—an energy boost to perform their best!

The caffeine amount and ingredients vary across these energy drinks. This is why you should choose the energy drink that matches your need for caffeine. You can also try a few energy drinks to see which one suits you the most.

However, don’t drink these energy drinks irresponsibly as too much of them can actually backfire. It will end up worsening your sports performance.

The right energy drinks will definitely help you perform at your peak level if you consume them in moderation.

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