You’re sitting in your home office, it’s nearing midnight, your to-do list isn’t exactly shrinking, and your eyes are starting to droop shut.
Nothing sounds better than slipping on your comfiest set of pajamas, jumping in bed, and forgetting about the incredibly long laundry list of things you have to get done before that 9am meeting. But, you have to buckle down and power through, which may seem near impossible.
Enter: energy drinks.
Energy beverages almost seem way too good to be true when you really think about it. A fizzy, soda pop-like drink that gives you a quick boost of energy and productivity? Sign us up! But there has to be a downside, right?
In short - yes.
The primary ingredients in almost any energy drink are caffeine and sugar. These two popular ingredients work in tandem to give you a temporary boost in energy. However, in some cases, they do the exact opposite and can leave you feeling sleepy. But why does this happen?
Do Energy Drinks Cause Fatigue?
In the U.S., energy drinks come in second to multivitamins as the most popular dietary supplement. Initially, these popular beverages were marketed to young athletes who needed a burst of energy for peak performance, but these days, energy beverages have become the drink-of-choice for people of all different ages, backgrounds, careers, and hobbies.
Take a quick stroll down the grocery aisle, and you will see dozens of energy beverages marketed as either a drink or a dietary supplement. These popular elixirs provide a shortcut to combatting daytime fatigue, sleepiness, and lethargy, making consumers more alert and energized after drinking.
Although some studies show that energy beverages can help improve performance and brain function, many feel that the effects are short-lived. We can chalk this up to two of the primary ingredients commonly found in energy drinks: caffeine and sugar.
As an active ingredient in energy drinks, caffeine does all the heavy lifting by increasing performance and mental alertness.
But doesn’t it sound counterintuitive that a stimulant can also cause fatigue? You are not wrong there, but here’s the thing: caffeine is a popular stimulant that provides a quick shot of energy, allowing you to run tasks faster and think much more clearly. It blocks the effects of adenosine, which is a naturally created chemical in the body that helps induce sleep.
Great news, right? But there’s a caveat: this effect only works for people who are new to caffeine. If you have been guzzling energy drinks or coffee in excess for a long time, the result will be the opposite.
Caffeine disrupts your body’s natural processes. As a result, your brain fights back to the overstimulation by producing even more adenosine. So, you feel sleepy and tired directly after chugging that can of go-juice.
How much caffeine do energy drinks have?
Most energy beverages contain around 80 milligrams of caffeine - which is approximately the same amount found in a cup of java. By comparison, soda pop contains about 29 mg per can on average.
It still doesn’t seem like a whole lot, but caffeine’s long-term effects negate its stimulating effects. Frequent consumption of caffeinated drinks causes changes to your baseline energy. As your body produces more adenosine, you feel lethargic when you’re not caffeinated.
Another reason why you might be feeling sleepy after drinking an energy beverage is due to all the sugars.
Sugar comes in many different forms (sucrose, fructose, glucose, etc.) so if you don’t see “sugar” on the label, check for its other names.
Okay, so how does sugar make you exhausted, you ask? First, let’s examine how much sugar is commonly found in an energy drink.
An 8 oz. can contain about 21 g to 34 g of sugar. That is equivalent to taking 5 to 8 teaspoons of sugar.
Combined with caffeine, this excessive amount of sugar commonly found in popular energy beverages will give you a jolt of energy, but as soon as the sugar rush wears off, you will feel drained and sleepy. Here’s why.
The rapid rise of blood sugar lowers orexin, a neurotransmitter in the brain responsible for keeping us energized and awake. This makes you feel exhausted even after consuming an energy beverage. But that’s not all-low orexin could also lead to obesity and other negative outcomes.
Also, refined sugar depletes your body of nutrients that it needs to produce energy. If your diet already lacks the nutrients your body craves to function properly, your energy levels are more likely to suffer.
Are There Healthy Alternatives To Energy Drinks?
While energy beverages can help boost performance, the effect is only short-lived.
More importantly, the potent combo of caffeine and sugar may cause you to overclock yourself. To get the same performance-enhancing benefits, look for an energy drink that is made using organic green tea caffeine like the ones found here at Proper Wild.
Proper Wild’s Clean All Day Energy Shots use a combo of organic caffeine from green tea paired with L-Theanine for increased focus and productivity, without the notorious caffeine crash. Additionally, these shots are made with zero grams of added sugar - which is pretty rare to find in anything these days!
Stay away from energy drinks that are loaded with synthetic caffeine, sugar, and artificial ingredients. When looking for a healthy energy drink, stick with clean choices, like Proper Wild.
A Final Word
Guzzling down energy drinks can help you to stay awake when you need to power through tasks, but your energy levels will soon start to dwindle down, and you’ll begin to feel more sleepy and tired.
If you want to lay off refined sugar and synthetic caffeine, opt for healthier beverages with other benefits like our Clean All Day Energy Shots.
Here at Proper Wild, we use organic caffeine from green tea to provide clean, long-lasting energy. We never add any sugar and sweeten our energy shots using natural fruit juices. With 2x more Caffeine than a shot of espresso and 15x more L-Theanine than a cup of green tea, it’s no wonder why people all over the globe are making the switch from commercial energy drinks to healthy, plant-based options.
If you have been searching for a healthy way to get a boost of energy, look no further and give Proper Wild a shot!