PepsiCo has recently moved the Fast Twitch brand from under its Muscle Milk Maker Cytosport to Gatorade, opening up the pre-workout to the masses.
(You may have already seen Fast Twitch on the NFL sidelines because Gatorade inked an exclusive deal before the season).
Now available as a ready-to-drink energy drink, Fast Twitch is surely to rise in popularity as soon as it gets a wider distribution. But should you get on the bandwagon?
Stick around as I break down the beverage ingredients and their respective effects. We also go into the pros and cons of the energy drink. By the end of this post, you will know how this Gatorade energy drink fares against traditional energy beverage market leaders.
Fast Twitch Energy Drink Ingredients: What’s Inside?
Fast Twitch’s debut in the world of energy drinks is very recent. That’s why its entire ingredient list hasn’t been scrutinized or publicized. However, I made a few orders of the available flavors and have compiled the ingredients present across all of them. Here is what’s inside Fast Twitch:
Taurine is one of the oldest supplements in the world, as it was discovered in 1827 by German scientists. Because of its multifold benefits, it has been used for various purposes, including physical fitness, improvement in sex drive, and focus enhancement.
There is no conclusive data on Taurine’s effect on physical fitness, but plenty of non-academic evidence points toward tangible benefits, which is why most energy drinks have started incorporating Taurine in their formulae.
Glucuronolactone is another supplement that can help improve focus and alertness in short and medium timeframes. This is an ingredient that becomes more effective with regular intake.
With alertness and focus, you can have a higher degree of self-control which can help you push yourself during workouts. If you’ve been hitting the gym for a while, you already know that physical fitness is more mental than outsiders realize.
This one is not a stimulant like the previous two but may have an acute stimulating effect. Its primary purpose is to reduce fatigue while working out and expand your exercise ability. The more you can exercise, the better you can bulk up, providing sufficient recovery time and nutrition.
Before Fast Twitch became available as an energy drink in a ready-to-use bottle, it was positioned as a pre-workout mix. The main job of a pre-workout supplement is to pump up your active performance. You are responsible for including sufficient recovery supplementation in your diet to make up for the extra mile you go in the gym.
Caffeine is one of the most widely used supplements in the world. Where coffee has become a staple among corporate workers, artists, and entrepreneurs, energy drinks have become the lifeblood of athletes.
Preworkout is unlike coffee and energy drinks as it contains more caffeine than coffee and fewer calories than energy drinks.
Fast Twitch’s ready-to-drink Energy Drink follows its pre-workout mix nutrition in that it contains 200 mg of caffeine, equivalent to 3 shots of espresso or just under two 12-ounce cans of Red Bull.
This sufficiently illustrates how much caffeine Fast Twitch contains. Given that the recommended human caffeine consumption limit is around 400 mg/day, you should avoid having more than two servings of this energy drink.
As mentioned earlier, pre-workout drinks differ from energy drinks mainly in their calorie contents. Fast Twitch energy drink continues to follow its previous pre-workout mix formula regarding sweetener selection.
Sucralose is a calorie-free sweetener that tastes like sugar. This flavor profile closeness is because sucralose is derived from sugar.
Unlike other sugar-free sweeteners, this one doesn’t contain aspartame or Ace-K, which are controversial for not being tested enough for consumer safety. Sucralose is more natural, with fewer controversies around it.
This supplement will boost your body’s nitric oxide production.
What does nitric oxide do?
It helps your blood vessels relax, and as a result, your blood flow improves. Fast Twitch can help your muscles receive more blood, which can help you work out for a more extended period. Again, this increases the rest burden on your body.
Remember: Recovery is mostly your responsibility!
Betaine helps improve liver function alongside carnitine production. Overall, Betaine is helpful in cellular reproduction and has a recovery advantage. Carnitine actually helps burn fat and turn it into energy, which is good for working out.
But it should not be confused with similarly titled Creatine, which actually helps one recover. Recovery adjacent supplements like Betaine can help but should not be considered a post-workout replacement.
B-group vitamins collectively improve skin health because of their cellular function advantages.
However, their main compound effect is on your metabolism. By helping various enzymes do their jobs more efficiently, B-group vitamins speed up the process of turning carbs into energy. The quicker energy is made available to your system, the sooner you can feel invincible in the gym.
Caffeine has a dehydrating effect, as does sweating. Where sweating is a reality of working out, caffeine is a reality of pre-workout. Dehydration while working out limits the workout’s duration and contributes to muscle cramps and injuries.
Electrolytes act like sponges that retain water. The presence of electrolytes in a pre-workout presented by Gatorade/PepsiCo is poetic but very much needed.
Pro-Tip: To get the most out of the electrolytes in Fast Twitch Energy Drink, you should sip water throughout the workout.
Flavoring agents are camouflaged as “artificial flavors” or “natural flavors.”
Beverage makers rarely disclose flavors because they have to protect their recipes.
These terms are largely unregulated, and there is a small likelihood that some of the flavorants might be harmful. But this is the case with any packaged drink.
Generally, we assume that the larger the corporation, the more it has to lose by being irresponsible with its flavorant selection.
Fast Twitch Energy Drink Pros (The Good)
Now that you know the advantages and effects of different ingredients in Fast Twitch Energy Drink, let’s look at the advantages of the beverage. Here are the functional plus points of Fast Twitch Energy Drink.
It Improves Your Focus
Whether you consume this energy drink as a pre-workout or for your daily tasks and activities, you probably need a bump in focus and mental clarity.
Thanks to supplements like Taurine, Fast Twitch Energy Drink keeps you focused and clear-headed for a few hours. This can be very helpful if the task at hand is a physical one.
It Makes You More Alert
Caffeine in Fast Twitch Energy Drink makes you alert instantly. It is present in this beverage in a higher volume than mainstream energy drinks like Red Bull. However, caffeine is most effective when it is paired with empty calories like the ones offered by sugar.
To get a maximum kick out of your Fast Twitch, make sure to consume 2 to 3 spoons of Nutella or Peanut Butter of your choice. Stay away from sugary bites if you’re on a diet, though.
It Helps You Go the Extra Mile in the Gym
Fast Twitch contains beta-alanine. As mentioned earlier, this supplement reduces fatigue during your workout. While caffeine charges you up to lift weights with relative ease, beta-alanine makes you tireless. These supplements complement each other to help you go further in your workouts and break your previous records. For non-athletic consumers, this potential benefit doesn’t hold as much value.
It Prevents Dehydration
While going the extra mile is beneficial in making gains, it can also have adverse effects. Burning out in the gym or in a humid climate is partly due to dehydration. Caffeine can accelerate dehydration, and Fast Twitch contains plenty of it.
Moreover, Fast Twitch is an athletic beverage, so most consumers are likely to engage in activities that naturally promote water loss.
Electrolytes in Fast Twitch Energy Drink ensure that consumers can retain water and help prevent dehydration.
Fast Twitch Energy Drink Cons (The Bad)
I have been experiencing and documenting different sports beverages and have yet to find an energy drink that has upsides only. Every liquid has its drawbacks, and Fast Twitch has its fair share. In this section, we will look at the cons of this energy drink so you can decide if it is right for you.
Has Too Much Caffeine
The first drawback is sort of a meta-drawback, as its effects are many. If you’re not used to 200 mg of caffeine, there can be a potentially unpleasant reaction from your body.
One effect is that you’ll feel more awake than you have ever felt in your life. But on the flip side, you might get anxious, jittery, and have diarrhea.
Whether these effects occur depends entirely on your biology and how used to caffeine you are. Fast Twitch used to be a pre-workout mix only, which meant that its ideal customers were probably used to it. However, now it is being marketed to the masses, and this information is worth bringing up.
Doesn’t Work Well When Fasting
Another point worth mentioning is that despite having 200 mg of caffeine, the beverage isn’t very efficient at energizing. The absence of sugar makes it marketable due to its “low calorie” positioning. However, it also pulls the rug from under its caffeine content.
Caffeine itself doesn’t produce energy — it makes energy from simple carbs like sugar available to the body immediately.
It is Hard To Quit or Switch Away From
Finally, it is one of the more complicated beverages to quit if you get used to it. I had to space out my consumption of fast Twitch because I didn’t want to get addicted to it. It has a unique physiological signature (taste+active substance makeup).
If your body gets addicted to 200 mg of caffeine in one sitting and pairs the signal with electrolytes, even Bang energy won’t satisfy you the same way. You’ll be fine if you’re already used to plenty of caffeine.
Is Fast Twitch Energy Drink Good for You?
Fast Twitch Energy Drink is good for you if you’re a bodybuilder, gym goer, or athlete.
Fast Twitch is unsuitable for people who lead a sedentary lifestyle and need caffeine for desk work. Red Bull is a better coffee replacement for non-athletic consumers.
How Much Caffeine in Fast Twitch Energy?
Fast Twitch Energy Drink contains 200 mg of caffeine, which is nearly twice that of Red Bull 12-ounce cans and 3 times the caffeine in an espresso shot.
One serving reaches half the daily consumption limit advised by most medical professionals.
Fast Twitch Vs. Other Pre-Workouts
Fast Twitch is different from other pre-workouts, mainly in its electrolyte content. Whereas pre-workouts primarily contain plenty of alertness, focus, and energy-boosting stimulants, Fast Twitch contains those and electrolytes.
Energy Drink Vs. Pre-Workout Vs. Hydration
Traditionally, one of the best ways to compare drink categories is with a table or chart. As you can see in this table, those distinct differences between energy drinks, pre-workouts, and hydration drinks are blurring.
|Energy Drink||Pre-Workout||Hydration Beverage|
|Contains caffeine||Yes||Yes||No/Sometimes (see Monster Hydro)|
|Purpose||To energize for a range of tasks||To prepare for heavy athletic activity||To hydrate after the loss of water through sweating or diarrhea|
|Example||Red Bull, Monster||Fast Twitch by Gatorade||Biosteel, Prime Hydration, Propel Water|
How Athletes Benefit From Pre-Workout & Energy Drinks like Fast Twitch
Athletes can consume pre-workout or energy drinks to pump up their energy levels when working out. The caffeine content in either beverage can help them go the extra mile.
When Red Bull used to have a steep popularity lead, energy drinks were very different from pre-workout. Most energy drinks had no more than 100 mg of caffeine, while pre-workouts had 150 mg minimum.
But with energy drinks like Monster Ultra and Bang Energy, the line between pre-workout and energy drinks is blurring. The latest move from PepsiCo, turning its Fast Twitch pre-workout mix brand into an energy drink brand under the Gatorade label, shows this further.
Still, the benefits of energy drinks and pre-workouts remain the same: athletes can break previous personal records by getting energized by the stimulants in both energy drinks and pre-workouts. And with sufficient rest and recovery supplementation, they can improve their muscle mass.
Consume energy drinks if you are bulking as they contain sugar. And stick to pre-workout beverages if you’re cutting weight, as they are usually calorie-free. But you can always have a spoon of Nutella with your pre-workout or choose a calorie-free energy drink.