I discussed a pre-competition “mental alertness” or “neurotransmitter” drinks in the article The top 5 supplements to take (or top 3 if you’re on a budget)
Basically, these drinks compose of caffeine and Tyrosine or Taurine. Tyrosine blocks the release of Tryptophan in your brain, which is the amino acid that gives you the sleepy (sedative) feeling, especially halfway in the 400m!
Tryptophan is also found high in turkey meat and warm milk, both of which can make you sleepy, but whether it can cross the blood-brain barrier is another topic for discussion.
I even heard rumours of athletes taking Deprenyl, but that is a prohibited substance in the 2007 IAAF Prohibited list.
Here is a summary of some of the common pre-competition drinks to give you energy, stay focused and be mentally alert and awake! I will also present some not-so-common drinks, and may only be available in the USA.
Note that most of the items below are ready to drink (RTD) cans but some are powder or capsule forms.
- Vitalyze (by SNAC). Ingredients: DL-Phenylalanine, L-Tyrosine, Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus Senticosus), Vitamin B-6, Chromium Polynicotinate, Copper Sebacate, Caffeine Anhydrous
- Power Drive (by Biotest). Ingredients: L-Tyrosine, Phosphatidylcholine, DMAE, Ginkgo Biloba, Vitamin B6
- Red Bull primarily contains caffeine and Taurine. Ingredients: Carbonated water, sucrose, glucose, sodium citrate, taurine, glucuronolactone, caffeine, inositol, niacin, D-pantothenol, pyridoxine HCL (i.e. vitamin B6), vitamin B12, artificial flavours, colors
- Monster drink (by Monster Beverage) is also good at a fraction of the price of Red Bull. It used to taste like stale lemonade! Monster has been reformulated with an improved taste. Ingredients: carbonated water, sucrose, glucose, citric acid, taurine, natural flavors, sodium citrate, l-carnitine, panax ginseng root extract, ascorbic acid, caffeine, sodium chloride, niacinamide, riboflavin, guarana seed extract, inositol, glucuronalactone, pyridoxine hydrochloride, cyanobalmin
- Spike (by Biotest). Ingredients: Spike Formula and T-Max (which is a BiotestÂ® proprietary thiamine di(2-methyl-propionate) disulfide and caffeine)
- Fierce (by SAN). Ingredients: Cell Hydration Matrix (Dicreatine-Malate, Creatine-Malate, Creatine-Ethyl-Ester HCI), Neuro Substrates (L-Taurine, N-Acetyl-L-Glutamine, L-Tyrosine & Caffeine Anhydrous), Creatine AssimilatorTM (Betaine Anhydrous & Glycocyamine, Guanidinopropionic Acid (3-GPAâ„¢), DuralastTM Matrix (Glucuronolactone & L-Aspartic Acid, b-Alanine), Nitro NO (L-Arginine-Alpha-Ketoglutarate & L-Ornithine Alpha-Ketoglutarate)
- Xenergy (by Xyience). Ingredients: Niacin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Sodium, and Proprietary Blend of Taurine, glucoronolactone, caffeine, guarana extract, panax ginseng extract, inositol, l-carnitine.
- Redline RTD (by VPX). Ingredients: Caffeine Citrate, Caffeine Anhydrous, Evoburn (pure Evodiamine), N-acetyl-L-tyrosine, Yerbe Mate, Green Tea, 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan, CAMP (adenosine Cyclic 3′,5′-monophosphate), Vinpocetine, Yohimbine HCL
- AMP (by ErgoPharm). Ingredients: Chocamine (Theobroma cacau seed), Geranamine (constituent of Geranium oil), Caffeine Anhydrous
- Mad Croc (by Mad Croc). Ingredients: caffeine, taurine, and B complex vitamins
- Full Throttle (by Coca-Cola). Ingredients: caffeine, ginseng extract, guarana extract, carnitine fumarate, B Complex vitamins B3, B6, B12
- Jolt silver / Jolt Cola CX2 (by Xoxide). Ingredients: caffeine
- Rockstar (by Rockstar69.com) Ingredients: caffeine, taurine, ginko biloba, ginseng extract, guarana extract, L-carnitine, inositol
- NO-Xplode (by BSN). An all-in-one pre-workout supplement designed to address all 4 of these critical issues simultaneously: energy, mental focus, work inensity, and maximum pump.
Natural Ways to Supplement?
Derek Hansen, the Head Coach at our Metro Athletic Club, recommends two natural ways to supplement for alertness and energy:
- InSight Natural (by Advantig). For a winning state of mind & healthy mental balance and staying alert.
- PowerThru (by Advantig). Energy Tablet with Green Tea Concentrates without peaking you too high.