Energy Drinks By Lee Cherry, BSCPT, CSCS, HFS, USA Weightliftingwww.inhome-personaltrainer.com
Testing High Energy Drinks• They are popular across many age groups and sometimes used in athletics for a performance boost. – Heavily marketed to younger athletes as a performance enhancing substance and weightloss aide• Most beverages in this category include similar ingredients: – Hefty doses of caffeine and sugar, some B-vitamins, and a sprinkle of amino acids.• This particular study tested Red Bull, the self-described original drink in this category. – Red Bull contains taurine, glucoronolactone, caffeine, niacin, vitamin B- 6, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-12, sucrose, and glucose.
Study• The purpose of this study – “The Effects of a Commercial Energy Drink on Repeated High Intensity Anaerobic Cycling Performance” • Was conducted to measure the effects of Red Bull on anaerobic cycling performance. – Published by Stefan M. Pasiakos, Robert Petrancosta, John Wygand, and Robert M. Otto)• Methodology – The study was a double-blind, placebo controlled, crossover trial in which 13 male subjects participated. – Trials consisted of a modified Wingate Anaerobic Power Test after consumption of either Red Bull or a Red Bull-flavored placebo drink. – The Wingate Anaerobic Power Test used in this trial consisted of six bouts of 15-second supra-maximal cycling with a load equal to 0.1 kg/body weight with 45 seconds of recovery time between bouts. – The data from this test can be extrapolated to other high intensity sports, such as sprinting, basketball, and soccer.
Results• The results showed that some of the resting metabolic variables.• Including heart rate and respiratory exchange ratio, were significantly higher in the group that consumed Red Bull vs. the placebo group.• In addition, exercising heart rate and lactate levels were significantly higher in the experimental vs. the placebo group.• There were no significant differences seen, however, in repeated anaerobic cycling performance in the two groups.
Take Home Message• Take home message: – Considering there were NO differences in performance outcomes, it is recommended that athletes not rely on Red Bull or similar energy drinks when looking for performance assistance. – Because such drinks raise athletes heart rates and respiratory exchange ratios, they should especially be avoided by athletes exercising in extreme heat.
Caffeine and Performance• Caffeine is a known ergogenic aid. Research supports this finding.• It has been shown through numerous studies to enhance endurance performance and increase mental focus.• The following study, The Effects of Caffeine on Athletic Agility: – by Andrew J. Lorino, Lisa K. Lloyd, Sylvia H. Crixell, John L. Walker, and Jack W. Ransone)• The study was conducted to examine whether caffeine also has an effect on athletic agility and, therefore, on overall anaerobic performance.
Study• Sixteen adult men performed two trials of two drills with two to three days of rest in between.• They participated in a: – Pro-agility run test to measure agility) and a… – 30-second Wingate test (to measure anaerobic power).• Subjects were not blinded for this study.• They all received six mg of caffeine per kg of body weight before one of the testing days, and a placebo on the other.• The order in which they received the supplement was randomized.
Findings• The researchers found no significant differences between either the placebo or caffeine trials in either of the outcome measurements.• They suggested a number of possible limitations to this study, however. – The caffeine dosage may have been too low, – Habitual caffeine use by some of the athletes may have hindered the results, and… – Training status of subjects could have influenced the results.
Take Home Message• Caffeine does work for many outcome parameters, but this study did not prove it affects agility and anaerobic performance.• Most researchers suggest that athletes be very careful before using caffeine as an ergogenic aid, and this study reiterates that view. – Study was published in the May 2005 issue of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, the official journal of the ACSM. It can be accessed at: www.ms-se.com.
Energy Drinks Available on Today’s Market• A Few Popular Brands – Red Bull – Monster – NOS – Rock Star• Click Here For an “Extensive” List of High Energy Drinks