Hiking is a sport of endurance. It requires a lot of stamina and strength. For hiking, you need to have a mechanism that can hold you for hours. You will have to be prepared mentally as well as physically to complete your hike.
You should be attentive to how hydrated you are while hiking so that you don’t lose all of your stamina.
Preps for hiking is the most important part, what you will be eating, wearing, carrying especially drinking during your treks. Powdered energy drinks can be the best possible option you can opt for while hiking. It gives you a decent boost that you need for your hike.
So what are the best ones for hiking?
So if you’re planning a hike and don’t know about choosing the right energy drink and what to look for in an energy powdered drink then you are at the right place.
What should you drink before hiking?
You should be properly hydrated before hiking, this means you need to have every help possible in your body to avoid exhaustion. You can get these with coffee, pre-workouts, or energy drinks.
With that, you should opt for a drink that’s high in caffeine, and with nitrifying ingredients to provide you with hydration.
These are often found in pre-workout drinks, coffee, sports drinks, or what I’d suggest does the trick very well, energy drink powders. It’s also best to carry around water with you as it can get dehydrating.
Drinking sports drinks during a hike can be beneficial as they are often formulated with electrolyte supplies because of the sweat you have lost during your hike.
As for coffee, it’s going to give you the boost you need but it’s also likely you’ll feel slugging and fatigued fairly quickly, depending on the caffeine content of your consumption.
Pre-workout drinks can be good for you in retaining hydration but they don’t often cover a wide variety of caffeine and flavors, unlike powdered energy drinks.
As for short hikes, powdered energy drinks are still highly preferable. This is because energy drinks cover caffeine, calories, and a pack full of vitamins and minerals, as well as electrolytes.
Are powdered energy drinks good for hiking?
Yes! Powdered energy drinks are a good choice for hiking as they provide you boost in energy. They can surely prove their worth during long hike hours.
This is due to their caffeine, sugar, and any available vitamins and electrolytes. But if you are feeling some laziness before the hike, I suggest you start with water to keep yourself hydrated and opt for the boost later on.
Energy drinks can also be a solid consideration if you are someone with low stamina. The best ones are the ones with a considerable amount of caffeine, sugar, and electrolytes that can help you go a little longer.
It is important to note the doses of the product being consumed so that you don’t overdose on sugar or caffeine as they have potential health risks. We’ll dive a little more into that later.
What should you look for in an energy drink powder?
Energy drinks provide you the boost that you need in a short span of time and this is due to their ingredients. So if you’re opting for an energy drink, what exactly is it you should be looking for?
You should be mindful of the inclusions of caffeine, sugar, calories or carbohydrates, and nutrients such as sodium, B-vitamins, and taurine.
You can take its packaging and flavor into considerations too. Let’s dive into more details;
Caffeine is normally found in tea leaves, cocoa, and coffee. It’s a known natural stimulant of the brain and the central nervous system. What this does is block off the adenosine receptors that make you feel tired. It is one of the most common ingredients found in energy drink powders.
This is beneficial for a hike as you’d like to last the entire time without coming to a lack of energy. This is one of the most accessible stimulants in the market and it’s great to have it readily available in options such as energy drinks.
However, it is important to know that a caffeine overdose is likely to happen if you don’t consume it within the limits given by FDA.
The FDA states that a healthy individual should consume no more than 400mg of caffeine daily.
It’s important to keep a tab on your caffeine intake as its overdose can cause side effects such as:
- Abnormal heart rhythm
In my opinion, you should note how your body reacts to caffeine and then start adjusting your caffeine intake according to that to avoid such health effects.
Hiking can leave you exhausted after a while. Sugar gives you a nice instant boost, it’s also the second core ingredient of energy drink powders. But be wary, too much sugar can lead to a sugar crash, or worse, it can lead to health complications such as high blood sugar or diabetes.
Therefore, you have been recommended, a daily dose by the American Health Association (AHA), the maximum daily intake of sugar for adult men is 36 g, for women its 25 g and for children under age 6 is 19 g
With all that being said, if you have access to low-sugar content drinks, that’s good. But it’ll be better if you can opt for a sugar-free drink it can save you from possible side effects.
More and more energy drinks are coming to a sugar-free formula and are switching to artificial sweeteners instead. This is a good choice as sweeteners are high-intensity ingredients, giving you more sweetness in lesser amounts.
Nutrients in Energy Drinks
Energy drinks also contain nutrients as these make their formula considerate of the body’s entire function. These nutrients can range from carbohydrates to amino acids that help regulate that body functions when at the lowest.
Sodium is one of the most important nutrients in energy drinks. It increases the body fluids absorption system, thus regulating your thirst mechanism.
This ingredient is also often included as it functions to retain water in the body.
Hiking can cause dehydration, hence sodium helps to maintain and restore plasma volumes by increasing body fluid retention. Sodium can improve the rate at which the small intestine absorbs nutrients and prevent muscle fatigue.
A vitamin is a micronutrient necessary required in small quantities for proper functioning. These function in a variety of ways and are greatly helpful for any physical activity.
B-Vitamins are beneficial depending on which type has been administered into the drink. There are a variety of B-vitamins such as:
- Pantothenic acid
Vitamins such as thiamine help the switch up cells to fuel, as well as riboflavin in breaking down protein to transform into energy. There’s also pantothenic acid that helps bump up your energy during any physical activity.
Taurine is a type of amino sulfonic acid. The best sources for taurine are meat, fish, and eggs.
The inclusion of taurine in energy drinks is done to boost the effect on mental and athletic performance. Here Taurine has been linked to improving your capabilities for exercise and can help you meet your goals.
This ingredient with help of caffeine acts as a powerful boosting combo.
Can energy drink powders improve energy for hiking?
Yes! A powdered energy drink can certainly improve energy while hiking. Energy drinks contain caffeine and sugar the two most important ingredients to boost your mechanism and give you endurance, strength, and energy for your hike.
The international journal of sports medicine had a study, in which they found out that caffeine can normally have a positive spot on performance at low altitudes but it shows a greater response of performance at higher altitudes.
This means that this scientific evidence proves that energy drinks do provide you with the energy you need for boosting your mechanism. And that moderate amount of caffeine is good for improving performance at higher altitudes, which can be helpful to hikers.
Besides this, the electrolytes and amino acids such as sodium, B-Vitamins, and taurine help maintain optimum performance.
Do energy drinks help in hydration?
Energy drinks do have nitrifying ingredients such as Vitamin D and C that are helpful for hydration.
Electrolytes are mainly minerals such as potassium, calcium, sodium, and magnesium that can help you maintain your body’s fluids equilibrium.
In addition, energy drinks have electrolytes that can keep you well hydrated. But I suggest you seek out your hydration elsewhere as energy drinks aren’t formulated for this purpose.
For proper hydration, I suggest you better stick to water to bring you the best results.
Best Energy Drink Powders for Hiking
Preferable energy drink powders are the ones with a good amount of caffeine and sugar content. I’ve collected a brief analysis on some powdered energy drinks which are also very convenient to carry around that you can give a try to before you plan that hike.
ZipFizz Energy Drink
Zipfizz contains a total of 100mg of caffeine, which is pretty decent in keeping with the FDA daily dose limit in mind. This amount can be on the lower side but that just means you can opt for another serving at 200 mg of caffeine and still be within the daily limit.
This is also sugar-free, with a good amount of Vitamin B-12 that’s greatly helpful for hydration which is great for hiking.
ZipFizz Energy comes in a variety of different flavors that you can choose from, a total of 11 flavors. This means you can switch up flavors whenever you want to.
Here’s a helpful article for more of Zipfizz Energy’s details.
G-Fuel is another great energy drink being sugar-free, but with a higher caffeine content of around 150mg. It can give you just the right amount of boost for hiking.
G-Fuel also consists of an Energy Complex and Focus Complex which are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help optimize your body’s function while you hike.
If you are not a fruit lover, G-fuel has got your back as it comes in 40 different flavors to choose from. That’s a wide variety of flavors to choose from.
If G-fuel is new to you, check out my article with all of the information you might want.
Advocare Spark is a vitamin and amino acid supplement that also works like an energy drink powder.
Just like G-fuel Advocare is sugar-free too and has 120mg of caffeine, a little less than G-fuel, but is enough to give you a boost during your hike.
It has 10 different fruit flavors such as Grapes, Watermelon, Cherry, and more. It comes in handy sachets which can be convenient for you to carry around while hiking.
Check this out for more ingredients on Advocare spark.
With that, the best powder energy drink to give you a boost for hiking is the one with the right amount of caffeine, which is not higher or lower than your preferences. It’s also highly preferable that you opt for something packed with hydrating nutrients.
My top picks are Advocare Spark, G-Fuel, and Zipfizz as they supply both vitamins and caffeine in their formula.
Every energy drink is packed with not only caffeine but with sugar, carbohydrates, sodium, and amino acids. These nutrients vary in quantities more or less so it’s best to look out for that.
Hiking, and carrying along an energy drink can be your best bet so I hope you make the best choice for yourself.