I am having trouble choosing the perfect drink to start off my workout

The beginning of soccer season gives me the perfect opportunity to find my choice pre-workout beverage. Yes, water is always the best choice for hydration, but when seeking an extra push, it’s difficult to sample multiple due to the rather pricey tag they are paired with. While Celsius has become my go-to, it’s being challenged by a few other top contenders. 

Liquid IV

Liquid markets as a hydration multiplier, it is safe to say I am hooked. They are pumped with electrolytes as well as essential vitamins, and they are created to hydrate efficiently. The hydrating branch of this product comes in nine flavors as well as additionally selling tangerine as hydration multiplier in addition to the immune-boosting qualities. Along with a hydration amplification of about two to three times that of regular water, it comes with a really hefty dose of sugar tags along with each serving. However, to aid a workout or cure a headache, I would diagnose a glass of passion fruit Liquid IV.


I’ve written on Celsius before, and I am just as addicted as ever. I have since tried the Peach Mango and loved it. The drink kick starts my day—especially workouts—and it is hard for me to avoid when in reach. I have never been one for carbonation; this is my only exception. Nonetheless, since my last research on the drink, I have been looking into a few more red flags. If a serving of Celsius has ever been soon followed by a sickening stomach ache, the source is the ingredient Guarana. In essence, Guarana, native to the Amazon, is basically a super caffeine. While the only side effect from the drink I have endured is an upset stomach, there is a multitude of possible effects when consuming the plant in large doses. Now, this ingredient is not included for no reason; the performance-enhancing properties are majorly beneficial. I can take the stomach ache, I won’t be turning down Celsius. 


Zipfizz promises the same benefits as the multitude of other beverages in its “performance-enhancing” category. It also includes a large dose of vitamin B12, which, as a vegetarian, is majorly beneficial to my diet because a plant-based diet makes it difficult to find. It has 100mg of caffeine per serving, which is half that of a Celsius, but more reasonable. However, the flavor profile is one I don’t really love. I’ve only tried a few, but for those I have, they have been overly carbonated—maybe that should have been apparent to me by their title.  


Any athlete was first introduced to Gatorade before anything else. The small packs that came with two shades of blue, red, and purple were the token post-game parent snack accompanied by oranges and a little bag of goldfish. Maybe it was my parents telling me they are unhealthy, or that I really don’t like the flavor, but I have never been a fan—especially not of the purple. The purpose of Gatorade has less of the performance enhancement qualities and more so just focuses on hydration. The goal is to replenish electrolytes lost in physical activity. Gatorade has 36g of sugar, and while it is marketed as a health drink, it isn’t necessarily healthy.

Maybe it was my parents telling me they are unhealthy, or that I really don’t like the flavor, but I have never been a fan—especially not of the purple.”

Alani Nu

On a journey to Detroit one early morning before a game, me and a friend stumbled upon an Alani Nu when looking for a—you guessed it—Celsius. When looking at the ingredients, it contains L-theanine. This helps create “smooth energy”—avoidance of the jitters. Along with this, it is designed to benefit your workout and boost your metabolism. However, like most energy drinks, upset stomachs, headaches, and sleeplessness aren’t a foreign occurrence when regarding the drink. I have tried only a few flavors, but I have nothing but good things to say. Not too carbonated, not too sweet, the perfect combination. I would definitely recommend.

For this season, I think I will mix it up—keep it interesting. However, when possible, I think I’ll be staying away from Gatorade.