What Are the Best Energy Drinks

A Good Use for the Best Energy Drinks

This is my testing ground for only the best energy drinks -- a steep road with no traffic, my bicycle, and a sunny day.
This is my testing ground for only the best energy drinks -- a steep road with no traffic, my bicycle, and a sunny day. | Source

What Are Your Criteria?

Choosing the best energy drinks is a very subjective assignment. Much depends on what you want from an energy drink. What is important to you -- the flavor, the energy quality, how long it keeps you going, what side effects are you willing to tolerate?

I am not here to name which are the best energy drinks, but -- as a long-time fan of energy-increasing products -- I'd like to suggest a few criteria you may not be considering.

If you plan to drink energy drinks frequently because you really like them, here are some factors you should consider:

Are the ingredients Healthy? Will anything in my favorite brand(s) cause me any damage?

Will they make me gain weight? If they are made with sugar in the usual quantities most people like, they will contribute to weight gain.

Can I avoid Weight Gain and the Bad Effects of sugar by switching to Diet Energy Drinks? The short answer is, "No". Ironically, artificially-sweetened energy drinks have been shown to cause more weight gain than sugary ones. (No time to explain -- it's a long story. Google "can artificial sweeteners cause weight gain" for the whole explanation.) On top of the weight gain, you may experience (migraine) headaches, mood swings, a peculiar addiction to diet sweeteners, an inclination toward metabolic syndrome and diabetes, and finally, (in the case of Aspartame), possible brain and nervous system damage later in life. Whew!

How Can I find a No-Crash energy drink? It is important to read and be able to understand the ingredient label if you're looking for long-lasting energy. Caffeine is the kind of stimulant that gives you the exciting big rush a few minutes after drinking -- then, it lets you down and you crash and may want another drink just to keep awake and feeling good. Guarana is a mellower form or caffeine that goes into your blood stream more slowly, so the buzz lasts longer. I have seen several energy drinks that use mainly caffeine, but also some guarana to lengthen the effects. I personally prefer the guarana buzz by itself or with green tea extract for a long, non-jittery effect. Guarana also has some antioxidant properties that the caffeine anhydrous doesn't have. Another factor that invites a crash is the presence of a lot of sugar (of any kind) in the drink. Sugar puts a damper on the buzz and has some terrible side-effects apart from tooth decay, such as depression and lowered IQ.

Is there an energy drink that picks me up every time? No. This is just a fact of life -- The more you do of something, the less impact it will have. The best energy drinks will still leave you yawning if you drink too many of them every day. The first one of the day is usually the best. So this is one of those times when "Less is more" -- You will get a bigger kick out of the best energy drinks if you limit the amount you consume. In fact, if one can is too much buzz, then save the rest for later! This is why powdered energy drink mix is a more controllable option.

What is the strongest energy drink? I don't care to find out. I am beyong the age where I find nervous shakes and powerful rushes to be anything more than an amusing distraction, but everyone is different. It probably has too much caffeine anhydrous or other weird additives like L-phenylalanine or Ephedra in it. Look out for a wicked crash, if you find such a powerful energy drink!

What is the best energy drink for amateur athletes? Again, I like to do grueling bike rides, so energy drinks that use guarana are the best for this because they don't make your heart race.

What is the best energy drink in terms of how long the Buzz lasts? Again, guarana and a low natural fruit sugar content are a good combo, if you want a long-lasting buzz. Also important are the B vitamins and the other herbal adaptogens such as panax ginseng.

Is there a best energy drink for dieters? Here again, it is wise to keep the natural sugar content low -- and find a drink that uses stevia, xylitol, and/or D-Ribose to boost the sweetness. This way, the drink gives you the pep to get off the couch and do something that will burn lots of calories, while not adding a bunch. But the key is to use the energy to do something physical like dancing and not just play video games and eat pizza all night.

Are there really Diabetic-Friendly Energy Drinks? I am not a medical doctor, so I can't address your specific requirements for how much sugar you can tolerate. From what I have read and what I've learned from Type 2 Diabetics, some sugar is okay if you keep it to a minimum and stay active to burn it off. Check with your physician to learn how many grams of sugar would be safe for you. (If you just ask your doctor if you can have energy drinks, he will probably say, "No," so show him or her a specific energy drink label with no more than 12 grams of sugar, per serving.)

Which energy drink tastes the best? I put this last because it is the least important to me. The taste only lasts for the few minutes it takes to drink it -- and from the occasional burp -- but the energy effects are why I drink these beverages. That's why they call them "Energy Drinks", after all, isn't it?

So, if you're interested in the best energy drinks from a healthy energy standpoint, they are available but you need to be selective. Most energy drinks on the grocery store or convenience store shelves will Not fit the bill.

That's my take on the best energy drinks, based on more than 20 years of experience. Hope it helps you choose ones you can enjoy for a lifetime of healthy fun.

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Comments 2 comments

unknown spy profile image

unknown spy 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

Wow, very interesting topic. Used to drink Gatorade, the only energy drink that i like..but now, when i heard from my friend that she knew a kid died because of drinking too much energy drink, switched to more water :)

Very neat and great hub!


Paul Kemp profile image

Paul Kemp 4 years ago Author

Thanks, unknown spy, glad you liked this Hub. Gatorade has so much sugar in it! I am very sensitive to sugar's effects, so it was easy for me to avoid it. I used to do a lot of long bike rides and found out what helped me go the distance and what didn't -- and Gatorade made my energy level crash, making getting home very difficult.

I will agree most energy drinks are junk and the way they're marketed, when paired with youthful overindulgence, is a dangerous combination. Water is good if it doesn't contain fluoride, which promotes hypothyroidism.

Thanks for popping by. I must read some more of your Hubs, you have a nice style.

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