If you don't need to be wired for hours on end, Ito En's healthy blue-tea drink does the trick.
For my purposes, anything that gives me more energy -- especially late in the day -- before I exercise is desired. I just won't have anything that has sugar, or a crazy amount. That's why sugar-free Red Bull is one of my favorites. Logging all my workouts and intake of energy drinks has shown that Red Bull gives me very good results.
Tonight (it's 3 a.m . as I write this), took a detour away from energy drinks and dipped into the forest of tea drinks. I drank a small 6.4-ounce can of Oolong Shot -- a "blue tea" that is nothing more than a few ingredients: purified water, oolong tea and ascorbic acid. The can reads: "Unsweetened, All Natural, No Calories."
The result: I burned 368 calories in my 40-minute stationary bike workout. That's a record by far. My previous "personal record" was 355 or so. I'm not saying that Oolong Shot is a superior product to Red Bull. I'm in better shape -- stronger legs -- than I was a month ago, so any drink might work fine for me. But unlike Red Bull, Oolong Shot has no additional stuff like taurine or guarana, so I have no lingering spike in energy after exercising.
According to TheNibble.com, what I experienced makes perfect sense.
There is 40 mg of caffeine -- less than coffee, slightly more than most sodas. The naturally-occurring amino acid theanine allows for the slow release of the caffeine and produces a calming effect rather than jittery energy.
That's nice because Red Bull always has me up until 6 a.m. or later. (I'm normally up 'til 3 a.m.) With Oolong Shot, I got a good spike and might be crashed out by 4 a.m.
For people with fatty livers (I'm one), this statement by TheNibble.com is also intriguing.
The oolong polyphenols are believed to abet cardiovascular health and the healthy digestion of fats.
Here's another site, Nerditea.com, that has video of the host sampling Oolong Shot (after trying Ito En's other shot tea, Sencha.
Oolong shot is made by Ito En; product of Japan. There are a ton of different energy drinks and teas (many from Asia) out there. I might be testing out many of them in the next few weeks.
Man, sugarless, calorie-less tea drinks with a good kick and no after-effects -- in some ways better than typical energy drinks. Plus, a beverage like Oolong Shot has lots of health benefits (antioxidants). Tea better than energy drinks?
What a concept.