The best energy drinks for runners

Not all energy drinks are created equal. Jack Hart analysed the best performance-enhancing glugs on offer, from natural sources to those fizzing with electrolytes.

Black coffee

by Jack Hart |
Updated on

If you're wanting to boost your running performance, energy drinks can be a big help. However, it's a flooded market out there and some are a lot better than others. Consider our expert recommendations on the best energy drinks for runners.

While energy boosters and supplements can be useful, we want to stress how important a healthy, balanced diet is. Energy drinks are an extra, not to replace the nutritious food you need.

The drinks listed below cover a range of uses and all have a purpose within running training. Some are best consumed pre-workout like those caffeine-rich options, others high in energy and carbs work best when used during, and those with a big dose of protein are best used post-session to help speed up recovery.

Best energy drink for athletes

15 x 70ml

Beet It Sport Nitrate 400
Price: £20


As the most hyped ergogenic (performance-enhancing) aid of recent years, beetroot juice - like

Best coffee

227g 6-Pack

Cafédirect Intense Ground Coffee

Rrp: £28.5

Price: £25.5


Granted, what is the 'best coffee' is highly subjective. But we place Cafédirect (the stronger the

Best for electrolytes

Fruit Punch and Strawberry Lemonade 4-Pack

Nuun Sport
Price: £33.97


With little in the way of sugar or caffeine, what does Nuun bring to the table? Electrolytes. And

Best for a big energy hit

12 x 250ml

Red Bull

Rrp: £13

Price: £9.5


Beyond an F1 team, extreme cliff-diving and other adrenaline-fuelled sports, Red Bull still have

Best protein water

10 x 500ml Mixed Variety Flavour Pack

Vieve Protein Water
Price: £20.98


We’d always advise being wary of ‘low-calorie water’ because water has no calories. But the 20g of

Best energy drink powder

Mandarin flavour

Tailwind Nutrition Endurance Fuel
Price: £29.95


This powder from Tailwind mixes with water (2-3 scoops per 590-710ml) to power you up with

Header image: Alamy

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