The Hawaiian Ola Guide To Energy Drinks & Working Out

With all the information available about how energy drinks can impact your workout, it can be hard to establish a healthy practice, which incorporates both. Some people swear by them and others tell you to stick to water. How do you know what’s true and what’s hearsay?

To help answer this question, we’ve collected all available information about what energy drinks do for your body.

If there’s one thing we’re certain of, it’s this: not all energy drinks are created equal. Some of them are great workout fuel, while others will only make you jittery.

In the following article, we’ve broken down what your body needs for exercise—and what it doesn’t. When you’re considering what to drink before and during your workout, evaluate based on these criteria:


Did you know that caffeine can boost your workout? It stands to reason that it would provide a slight energy boost, but energy drinks provide more than that. A 2010 study found that they can actually increase your lung volume threshold, improving the body’s response to physical exercise.

People still warn against energy drinks as workout fuel, though. This is because for all their benefits, most contain a large amount of sugar, which can spike your blood sugar. This will cause it to crash later on, effectively negating the effects of the caffeine.

Additionally, some energy drinks contain far too much caffeine, which can interfere with coordination and sleep. Find one that isn’t loaded with sugar, but contains a moderate amount of caffeine—between 100 and 200 milligrams.



You need to stay hydrated while you exercise. Physical exertion causes you to lose fluid through sweat, and if they are not replaced, you could end up with a headache.

Many energy drinks claim to be thirst-quenching, but there is no substitute for the all-time best hydration specialist: water.

Even energy drink companies that manufacture drinks with a higher volume of liquid specify that they are not designed for re-hydration. Some even advise combining these drinks with water in order to ensure proper hydration.

The bottom line is that water has to enter into the equation somewhere. You could alternate a 12- or 16-ounce energy drink with an equal amount of water, but then you risk having to interrupt your workout for a bathroom break.

You’re better off sipping an energy drink that isn’t designed to fill you up—something that’s only one or two ounces. Hawaiian Ola is a great example, and it can be added directly to your water so you can caffeinate and hydrate in one convenient drink.


This is a word you often hear in conjunction with exercise, especially on television. This might lead you to believe that electrolytes should be included in anything you drink during your workout, but that’s not necessarily the case.

It is true that you lose electrolytes, which include sodium and potassium, when you sweat. However, most people get adequate amounts from food.

We’re a big proponent of noni fruit as a source of potassium. We combine it with several other organic fruit juices in our Hawaiian Ola line of energy drinks. They contain several important electrolytes, including calcium and sodium.

However, only time you’d need to worry about replenishing your stores of electrolytes is if you exercise for an hour or more.

If you’re not a marathon runner or a professional athlete, in other words, you don’t need to look for electrolyte replacement.



We usually think of calories as they relate to food, but they’re actually a unit of heat energy. Your body uses this energy to run, just like a car uses gasoline.

This why exercise is a key component to weight loss: you need to burn off the excess calories you’ve consumed.

Some of the drinks you’d sip while exercising have a certain caloric content, but that’s only necessary if you’re trying to provide yourself with extra fuel. If you’re eating enough, drinking your calories as you work out is counterproductive.

If you need extra energy for your workout but you don’t want extra calories, find a drink that contains caffeine but is low in sugar and carbohydrates. Sports drinks are your enemy, as are the many sugar-packed energy drinks on the market. Water won’t hurt you in this area, but it won’t help, either.


Sugar is a main ingredient in several energy drinks, as well as many sports drinks. However, sugar is something to avoid during exercise.

Simple sugars cause a large surge in insulin, which causes a sharp decrease in blood sugar. Insulin also prevents you from being able to use fat for energy, which causes you to burn carbohydrates at an accelerated rate.

Why do sports drinks contain so much sugar, then? It turns out, for the same reason they contain electrolytes: they’re meant for athletes who are planning long, hard workouts.

If your exercise regimen is moderate, sugar will only slow you down. Find a drink that will boost your energy without causing you to crash—that means minimal sugar and a fair amount of caffeine.


Overloading on caffeine can cause insomnia, which can wreak havoc with your fitness routine. If you’re tired, you’re more likely to skip your workout.

This can set off a vicious cycle. Science suggests that exercise affects sleep quality, so if you’re too tired to exercise, you might still find yourself wide awake when it comes time to sleep. The next day, you’ll be exhausted again, and so on.

You can prevent this from happening by avoiding drinks that contain too much caffeine. Exercising too close to bedtime is another bad idea, since it elevates your heart rate.

Getting plenty of exercise in general is great for your sleep habits, though. As long as you stay hydrated, don’t over caffeinate, and you choose a drink with minimal sugar, an energy drink is a great way to fuel your workout.

Image courtesy of Being808

Chris Whidden