Do you always feel lazy, tired, and sleepy? Well, then you must have thought of getting a highly caffeinated energy drink! But it did not work for you and you ended up feeling even lazier?
Maybe you are drinking it in a totally wrong way. There can be several reasons why energy drinks that are intended to provide you energy end up making you lethargic.
An energy drink is a drink that is composed of several ingredients. A few common ingredients found in energy drinks are caffeine, taurine, and sugar. These ingredients are effective in providing an immediate energy boost, however, with each passing time, the positive effects diminish and take a turn into negative effects, for instance, making you feel tired.
Are you curious to know more? Then do not stop here, let’s analyze what do energy drinks actually do.
Common Ingredients of Energy Drinks
Before analyzing the effects of energy drinks, we should know the ingredients present in energy drinks.
Even though each energy drink has different vitamins, minerals, and other active ingredients but there are a few ingredients that these energy drinks share such as caffeine, taurine, vitamin B complex, etc.
Let’s have a detailed discussion on what certain ingredients can do to you.
Caffeine is a psychoactive drug which means that it can have effects on certain functions of the nervous system; from altering mood to having effects on other cognitive functions.
Positive Effects of Caffeine:
Caffeine is associated with the following positive outcomes such as:
- Better memory.
- Sharpened focus and an increased ability to concentrate.
- A sudden sense of alertness.
- May lower type 2 diabetes risks.
- Helps with weight mangement.
- May help with liver problems.
- Improve cardiovascular health.
Negative Effects of Caffeine:
However, caffeine too has a moderate amount of consumption. If you cross the intake limit then you are likely to feel the opposite effects of caffeine.
A few negative effects of caffeine are:
- Upset stomach.
- Jitters and crashes.
- Fast heart rate.
- Chest pain
You consume caffeine to make yourself active and alert but end up lazing around in the bed. Sounds familiar?
Do not worry, let’s see why this happened!
When you are a regular consumer of medium to high dosage of caffeine then you are likely to experience this.
Adenosine is a chemical compound that is likely to make you feel tired and drowsy after a tiring day, the more you stay up, the more adenosine starts accumulating in your brain and attaching itself to the receptors of adenosine present in the brain.
However, caffeine and adenosine molecules are similar in structure. When you consume that big cup of coffee, the molecules of caffeine attach themselves to the adenosine receptors and you feel all alert and awake.
However, over a period of time, the brain creates more adenosine receptors and then you start needing more caffeine. But when you do not get enough caffeine, you end up being even more tired than before and this is when you experience a caffeine crash.
Energy drinks having loads of caffeine and sugar such as red bull, monster, etc can also make you tired if you consume them regularly.
There are many energy drinks available in the market, most of them contain caffeine. You must’ve heard of a few like the Mixt Energy drink, if you’re thinking about its caffeine content before giving it a try then here you can find all you need to know.
Taurine in Energy Drinks
Taurine is an amino acid which is another major ingredient that is present in most energy drinks due to the positive effects of taurine on cognition.
One of the many benefits of taurine can be that it might also be involved in the proper development of the brain.
Does Taurine Make You Sleepy?
Yes, taurine can make you feel sleepy. However, this is quite opposite of what we just analyzed.
You do not have to feel confused. Surely taurine is linked with the positive effects of taurine on the mind and body. However, this solely depends on the dose of taurine according to a study.
When a person receives taurine in a smaller amount then taurine can induce effects of wakefulness and alertness. However, high dosages of taurine are likely to make a person tired and sleepy.
Sugar in Energy Drinks
We often know sugar as simple table sugar (Sucrose), however, there are many other forms of sugar such as Glucose, Lactose, and Fructose. They are all classified as carbohydrates.
The most common form of sugar, sucrose is often added to energy drinks; it is a sweetener with no nutrition.
Even though it can provide you with a sudden energy boost up but it does not last any longer.
There are many harms of consuming too much sugar such as:
- Unnecessary calories leading to weight gain.
- Absolutely an enemy towards patients of diabetes.
- Making your skin look more aged.
- May add complications for the patient of heart disease.
- Might cause acne.
- Can increase the chances of cancer.
If you’re intrigued about whether sugar-free energy drinks still lead to weight gain, I have the right explainer for you, check out my article Does Sugar-free energy drink powders cause weight gain?
What Is a Blood Sugar Crash?
Do you have a sweet tooth? Then you must have noticed that when you consume sugary items, you suddenly feel happy, fresh, and energized. But then you start feeling tired, sleepy, and lazy after a while. Been there?
You might be facing the aftermath of consuming that load of sugar. Ain’t clear enough? Do not worry. Let’s take a detailed look!
When you eat a sugary item, the sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream through the intestines. This gradually makes a rise in blood sugar and reaches a peak point within 30 minutes, and that is the time when you feel the most active.
This happens because at this point dopamine and serotonin increase in the brain. They are responsible for providing you with a sensation of pleasure, activeness, mood regulation, etc.
However, when the pancreas sense high blood sugar, high insulin is released and gradually the blood sugar lowers down even more than the starting point which makes you extremely sluggish, tired, unenergetic, and lazy. You start craving more sweets as the low blood sugar level provides you signals to consume more sugar.
This sudden fall of blood sugar and sluggish, lazy, nauseous, and tired feeling ending up with craving more sugar for the body is called blood sugar crash.
Energy drinks containing high sugar content can make you feel tired instead of providing you the energy it intends to. So avoid drinking energy drinks containing sugar or too much of artificial sweeteners.
Why Do Sugar-Free Energy Drinks Make You Sleepy?
We discussed above how sugary items and energy drinks can make an individual sluggish and lazy. However, you must be wondering why do sugar-free energy drinks make an individual sleepy?
A quick answer, sugar-free energy drinks still contain other ingredients like caffeine and artificial sweeteners.
In a study on artificial sweeteners, it was evaluated that artificial sweeteners can confuse your brain into producing insulin to the sweet taste. This might cause your blood sugar to become even much lower and you will end up craving more sugar.
Caffeine, on the other hand, makes you feel tired as well. Regular consumption of too much caffeine can produce more adenosine receptors and when there are not enough caffeine molecules to attach from adenosine receptors, adenosine attaches itself and makes you feel more tired than before, again, a negative effect!
Does an Energy Drink Cause Sickness?
A few energy drinks are likely to make you feel weird or sick due to the presence of caffeine, sugar, or any similar ingredient. These ingredients might give an energy spark at the start of consuming energy drinks. However, with time one can start feeling lazy and lethargic.
On the other hand, if a person is caffeine sensitive, then it is possible that the high dosages of caffeine can make him/her puke, nauseous, dizzy, etc.
Even though most of the energy drinks have evolved over time and there are energy drinks now which contain certain vitamins, minerals, and a safe amount of caffeine yet one must read the label of energy drink to make sure that the ingredients a drink contain are good and suitable for him/her.
If a person does not consider the above factors, then they can cause opposite effects of energy drinks which are completely different from what energy drinks are intended for.
How Long Do Energy Drinks Last?
When an individual consumes energy drinks, the effects of energy drinks are felt after 10-15 minutes of consumption. The peak time of feeling that energy kick in can be somewhere after 45 minutes.
However, after 2-4 hours, the effects start declining. This also depends on the content of caffeine present in the energy drink and how your body reacts to caffeine and other ingredients which have stimulating properties.
If you’re interested to know more about this, read my full-length article How long does caffeine stay in the body?
Can stimulants make you tired?
As long as you continue using stimulants or psychoactive drugs, you feel active and alert. However, as soon as you stop using them, you start feeling tired as these drugs have the capability to temper your physical and psychological abilities.
Energy drinks contain caffeine which is a stimulant. If you are a regular consumer of energy drinks and you quit consuming them suddenly, then there are chances that you will feel low on energy and all tired up.
What happens if you drink energy drinks every day?
Drinking energy drinks daily is safe. However, if you consume them more than the advised quantity, then you can create a dependency on them due to the presence of stimulants such as caffeine, guarana, taurine, glucuronolactone, etc.
Looking for a few options of highly caffeinated energy drinks, so you can make a better choice? I’ve got all you need to know covered in this discussion.
Energy drinks are beverages that intend to increase your energy level by providing you sufficient amount of caffeine, minerals, and vitamins.
However, energy drinks can have opposite effects sometimes due to the presence of stimulants, sugar, and other such ingredients.
It is always better to consume energy drinks within a moderate limit or else you can become dependent on these energy drinks.
If you are deciding to buy a good energy drink for yourself but are unable to decide, then you should check out my comparative article between top energy drinks Celsius On-The-Go and Rogue Energy!
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