It might seem like drinking an energy drink before you work out is a good thing, but is it? The word energy is in the title, and they can give you a boost of energy, but there are other dangers associated with drinking them. We’re looking at whether energy drinks can really help you work out or not.
A little caffeine never hurt
Most people know that energy drinks come packed full of caffeine. If you drink coffee, then you’ll know that a little caffeine boost can really get you going and it certainly makes your heart pump faster. Caffeine is a stimulant, so if you struggle to get into your workout, then a big dose of caffeine is the perfect way to kickstart your gym session, right?
Stimulating the wrong things
By drinking an energy drink packed full of caffeine, you are going to be stimulating your kidneys, which encourages your body to need the toilet. That process dehydrates you, but you will be working out, so that’s only going to increase your levels of dehydration. Doing exercise makes you sweat, so doing it with a ton of caffeine coursing through your veins can be dangerous.
Drinking an energy drink before working out can put you at serious risk of dehydration. There is often the same amount of caffeine in an energy drink as a cup of coffee, but there is far less water. You’re going to need fluids when you work out but loading yourself up with caffeine is only going to take that away.
Energy drinks vs. sports drinks
There is a difference between an energy drink and a sports drink. Energy drinks come packed with caffeine, while sports drinks are loaded up with electrolytes. While caffeine dehydrates you, the electrolytes are actively trying to rehydrate you instead.
When working out, it’s important that your body maintains a level of hydration, which means you are better packing a sports drink in your gym bag than an energy drink. It’s also important to listen to your body when exercising, and you should only take a drink if you feel as though you need it.
Feeling thirsty is a sign that you should drink, but drinking when you don’t need it means you could over hydrate yourself. Sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade were specifically designed to keep athletes rehydrated, helping them to perform better for longer.
Another health risk from drinking energy drinks before your workout is the pressure it puts your heart under. The caffeine is a stimulant, and sometimes an entire can of energy drink can be like a double dose. That’s going to put your body under serious pressure, and that can cause your heart to beat irregularly.
The extra work your heart has to do can make your workout a danger, especially if your blood vessels and brain cells are also overstimulated. This dangerous combination of body functions working overtime can lead to seizures. We might see energy drinks associated with sporting events and presume they are good for exercising with.
In truth, energy drinks can be dangerous because they reduce your levels of hydration while putting extra strain on other parts of the body. Considering you are already pushing your body because you are working out, adding the added risk of overstimulation is probably one to avoid.