A couple of people have recommended drinking a can of Red Bull before a race for a bit of an extra kick. The trick apparently is to pour it out in to a bottle and shake vigorously, releasing all the bubbles to give you a belch free run! I didn’t think much of it as one hears so many of these ‘tips’, but at the weekend I happened to have a can in the fridge before a 10k race so I downed the lot. Psychosomatic or not, I definitely felt a little more energetic than normal… so I thought I’d look in to Red Bull may actually have a positive effect on your running performance.
Firstly the ingredients of Red Bull; Caffeine, B-group vitamins, sucrose and glucose (sugar), taurine and Alpine spring water (who knew!).
This is the most instantly recognisable as a performance enhancer, there is around the same amount of caffine in a can of Red Bull as in one cup of coffee (around 80mg). As Red Bull state on their website:
“One of caffeine’s primary sites of action in the human body is its stimulating effect on cognitive functions. Caffeine helps to improve concentration and increase alertness.”
So this may help you remain focused on your run, your time and the finish line.
Runner’s World tested the effects of caffine and found:
- Runners who have caffeine sprint faster than those who don’t have caffeine. Researchers think the stimulant enhances reaction time and running speed.
- Helps with recovery – Researchers found that having a drink with caffeine rebuilds glycogen stores 66 percent more than a carb-only drink.
- Cyclists who have caffeine ride farther and think faster on cognitive tests
Vitamins, B1, B2, B3 and B6 help variously with energy and endurance, longevity, joint support and muscle gain and recovery. all good for runners! This is cited by a brand that makes supplements for runners so take as you will…
Red Bull themselves (again they have a slight sales agenda) say
“B-group vitamins contribute to normal energy-yielding metabolism, such as the build-up and break-down of carbohydrates and proteins and contribute to normal mental performance (pantothenic acid) and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue (niacin, pantothenic acid, B6, B12).”