Sometimes Water Isn’t Enough
We’ve heard it time and time again when we’re working out — Drink water! And that’s sound advice. The last thing you need when you’re trying to push your body to get stronger, is to have your efforts undone by dehydration. Fainting at the gym isn’t going to do much for your cred, after all. But what about those times when water simply isn’t enough, and you need more?
To answer this question, I teamed up with the cool people at Enerzal, to talk about giving your fitness efforts an extra boost that water simply can’t provide. And amazing people that they are, they sent me a bunch of their energy drink to taste and test as I workout.
Let’s talk about energy drinks and whether or not we need them. As with most things, the answer to this varies from person to person, so I’m going to break this down.
For those of us who lead relatively sedentary lives (desk jobs, little to no exercise), an energy drink might be an unnecessary addition to the daily calorie intake (Yes, energy drinks have calories too!). But for people with moderate or high activity levels, it could be a great source of electrolytes.
Fairly strict diets can also result in the body being deprived of sodium or other trace minerals that can affect physical performance and endurance. Here, an energy drink could be the difference between a killer workout, or collapsing on the gym floor!
For all the potential benefits an energy drink can offer though, some ingredients can also work against your fitness efforts. For starters, a lot of energy drinks contain caffeine in varying doses. While caffeine can definitely give you a boost in energy, consuming too much of it can have side-effects. Additionally, caffeine content makes these drinks unsuitable for children to consume. Enerzal however, contains no caffeine. So yay!
Anyway, now that I’ve given you a rundown off the good & bad of energy drinks, let’s get down to actually trying Enerzal!
First things first, take a look at the packaging. It’s all bright and sunshine-y, and is refreshing simply to look at.
Now Enerzal claims to be a great drink to have before, during, or after your workout. In fact, they even recommend drinking it during the day when you’re at work, to keep your energy levels up. So I tried it in all these scenarios (on separate days), and here’s what I found.
Before My Workout: I drank some Enerzal about 15 minutes prior to my (decently intense) 45-min workout. I definitely felt like I had more stamina than most other days, and I managed to do more reps & sets than usual. I also felt like I had less muscle soreness after, possibly thanks to the electrolytes and trace minerals. Definite win!
During My Workout: I alternated between plain water and Enerzal for my drink breaks in the middle of my workout, and once again, felt like I had a little more stamina than most other days. I also felt like I was sweating more, but I can’t say for certain whether that was because of the drink, or simply because the weather has gotten a little warmer lately.
After My Workout: This was probably my personal favourite, because it was when I could sink in and enjoy the drink more. Sipping on Enerzal after my workout was refreshing (it’s best chilled, but tastes good even otherwise), and I felt a lot less tired than I usually do after exercise. I also had markedly less DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) the next day.
Just Because: I could not personally feel any major difference in my day when just sipping on this while on my laptop or watching TV, etc. That might be because the rest of my day is usually quite sedentary, or because I chug quite a lot of coffee through the day regardless.
So what’s the verdict?
I think Enerzal (or any energy drink you prefer) is a great addition to your routine if you’re considerably active. And even if you do, it’s very important to keep an eye on the ingredients you consume. Ideally, avoid ones that contain a large amount of caffeine, like the drink that promises to give you wings, for instance. Just as importantly, make sure you keep an eye on the amount of minerals in your energy drink, especially if you have blood-pressure-related conditions.
Last but far from the least, make sure you check how much sugar is in a serving of your energy drink. Whether or not you’re on a strict diet, we can all agree that sneaky added sugars do a whole lot of damage to our overall nutrition & fitness. Enerzal, for instance, contains about 2 tsp of sugar per 200ml serving. That’s a fair amount, so it’s important not to OD on it.
So I’m definitely going to be keeping some Enerzal around the house for when I’ve got a particularly intense workout scheduled. I have a feeling it’ll really help me amp up my routines!
Do you have a favourite energy drink, or any homemade recipes? I’d love to hear them. 🙂 Leave me a comment below!