With earnings predicted to be more than $20 billion by 2017, according to a 2013 article published in Today's Dietitian, energy drinks are big business. But if you're buying them, you want to get the one that works the best. While there may be a few standouts as far as energy drinks go, other beverage options give you energy, too. Because energy drinks may negatively affect your health, consult your doctor before adding them to your diet.
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Red Bull is the original energy drink and makes a good choice for an energy boost. A study from 2001 published in Amino Acids investigated the effects of Red Bull on energy levels and mood in a group of volunteers and found that the drink not only physically energized the volunteers, but also improved mental capacity, including concentration and memory.
While Red Bull contains a number of ingredients touted as energy boosters, it's the caffeine that gives you the boost, according to Today's Dietitian. An 8-ounce serving has 80 milligrams of caffeine.
Like Red Bull, there is evidence that Monster Energy drink is effective at boosting energy. A study published in 2009 in The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology found that Monster Energy drink improved visual reaction time in a group of young adults. Monster Energy also contains 80 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce serving.
A 2014 article from Fox News considers Rockstar energy drink a good choice to give you that extra boost. Like both Red Bull and Monster Energy, Rockstar contains 80 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce serving.
5-Hour Energy Shot
5-Hour Energy Shot has only 4 calories per serving and makes a good option for those counting calories. Each shot contains 200 milligrams of caffeine.
If you're feeling a bit rundown, before downing an energy drink, consider drinking a glass of water instead. Inadequate hydration can zap your energy levels. Aim to drink enough water each day to turn your urine clear or pale yellow.
Since it's caffeine in the energy drinks that gives you the boost, you may be able to save money and calories by simply drinking a cup of coffee. While the caffeine content in coffee varies from cup to cup, it ranges from 120 milligrams to 230 milligrams per 8-ounce brewed cup.
Like a cup of coffee, a shot of espresso is also high in caffeine, with amounts ranging from 150 milligrams to 185 milligrams per serving, and it may serve as a quick boost similar to the 5-Hour Energy Shot.
You may not consider your regular cup of tea an energy booster, but it, too, is a source of caffeine, with 42 milligrams to 72 milligrams per 8-ounce cup. In addition to caffeine, black tea is also rich in flavonoids that may improve heart health and lower your risk of certain types of cancer.
Like black tea, green tea is also a source of caffeine, but not as much, with 9 milligrams to 50 milligrams per 8-ounce cup. But the tea is also rich in health-promoting flavonoids and may offer some assistance with weight loss in those following a reduced-calorie diet.
Sport drinks may not be the best energy booster for everyone, but if you're an endurance athlete, sport drinks provide the hydration and carbs you need to continue your workout or race.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Today's Dietitian: The Truth About Energy Drinks
- Fox News: 5 Best Energy Drinks
- Amino Acids: The Effects of Red Bull Energy on Human Performance and Mood
- The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology: Effects of Monster Energy on Cardiovascular and Renal Function
- University of California at Davis: Some Facts About Energy Drinks
- 5 Hour Energy: Supplement Facts
- 5 Hour Energy: Home Page
- Clemson Cooperative Extension: Fluid Needs
- Center for Science in the Public Interest: Caffeine Content
- Linus Pauling Institute: Tea
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Nutrition and Athletic Performance