As I watched one of our teammates down his customary pre-race energy drink, I decided that it was time for a blog post on the topic. I know some people swear by them (I have listened to a commercial for a 5-hour energy drink no less than 5 times while writing this)... so what exactly is the magic ingredient?!? I remember reading an article a while back describing what's inside Red Bull - glucose, caffeine, and niacin were the only things I recognized! Turns out, Red Bull also contains a lot of other interesting things, the majority of which have unknown effects. Full Throttle is much of the same, my favorite ingredient being glycerol ester of wood rosin (mmmmm... sounds tasty). Also came across an article describing the "generic formula" for energy drinks.
Ok, so what does all this mean for the runners, swimmers, and cyclists among us? Well, as it turns out, energy drinks may not be the worst choice. Caffeine is known to enhance performance, we need glucose to keep from bonking, and Niacin is good for you. While I might stick with PowerGel, that's mostly because I might be too busy bouncing around after drinking an energy drink to realize the race had started! #20