Do you workout? If so, do you feel sometimes as if you don’t have enough energy to get you through that cardio? We all have been there.
You are consumed with obligations, work-life balance, having a social life, and still hitting the gym – how can possible a simple human being achieve so much in a day?
Still, we do it. Sometimes with less energy, sometimes with much more energy, but we do it. We have to.
Being and staying healthy is crucial for a longer, happier, and more profound life.
Still, sometimes people need a push to inspire them to achieve and do more. Therefore, they often go for an energy push, especially before their workout sessions. But…
Is this something that should be done? Should it be a practice? Is it harmful? Can it affect your sleep? Should you even be reaching for that energy drink?
Consumption of Energy Drinks
In the last two decades, consumption of energy drinks significanly increased. This is especially seen among adolescents and young adults.
This comes as no surprise since energy drinks are aggressively marketed all over different channels that young people tend to use.
Energy drinks are usually promoted with the claim that these products give an energy boost to improve cognitive and physical performance. However, different studies claim otherwise.
In fact, several adverse health effects have been related to energy drinks and not many can dispute them – this is why many are raising the question of whether these beverages are safe or not.
Energy Drinks Introduction
Simply said, energy drinks are beverages.
They are special beverages that contain specially selected ingredients that can increase energy and mental performance.
Energy drinks, such as Red Bull, Monster, NOS, and others are examples of popular energy drink products that communicate energy efficiency and happiness after you consume them.
Did you know that these companies create energy drinks primarily on caffeine?
Caffeine is used to stimulate brain function and increase alertness and concentration.
Is the amount of caffeine identical in every energy drink? No, the caffeine amount will always differ from product to product.
If you want to know more about caffeine in products, check this link.
Energy drinks contain several other ingredients next to caffeine. A few of them usually include:
- Sugar. If you tend to care about your calorie consumption, you know that energy drinks are packed with sugar. In fact, sugar is usually the main source of calories in energy drinks, although many are promoted as sugar-free and low-carb.
- B vitamins. This vitamin is important when it comes to converting the food you eat into energy that your body can actually use.
- Amino acid derivatives. Examples are taurine and L-carnitine. Both of these acids are naturally produced by the body and have a significant role in many biological processes.
- Herbal extracts. Some energy drinks, like Guarana, are more likely to add more caffeine, while ginseng may have positive effects on brain function.
All in: Energy drinks are specially designed to boost energy and mental performance. They contain a fair combination of sugar, caffeine, vitamins, herbal extracts, and amino acid derivatives that make them so appealing.
Can Energy Drinks Help People Function Better When They Are Tired?
People tend to consume energy drinks when they are tired.
They also use them when they are sleep-deprived or when they need that extra push to keep them alert while driving.
Still, this shouldn’t be a regular practice when you are on the road. It’s much better to pull over and have a good sleep than test traffics safety.
Similarly, night-shift workers tend to use energy drinks to help them fulfill their night obligations.
Energy drinks can help people stay alert and awake.
Caffeine And Sports Performance
Surprisingly, but athletes are usually the first ones to talk about caffeine benefits when it comes to exercise capacity.
Although there are still many unknowns on sport and caffeine effect, one is known – caffeine is a powerful substance that can improve physical and mental performance.
In fact, a single caffeine dose can improve exercise performance, focus, and even help you burn fat.
Even the US Special Forces even use it to enhance performance and awareness.
Caffeine is so present in everyday products, that you may intake it without knowing so.
Its found in many foods and beverages. Due to the positive effects that it has on the human body, caffeine is a must ingredient when it comes to great gym performance.
Since it has strong effects on exercise performance, some organizations — such as the NCAA — have even started to ban it in high doses. Different studies confirmed that caffeine affects athletes’ performance.
For example, scientists claim that:
- Caffeine is superior to carbs and water
- Regular coffee drinkers are up to 4 seconds faster than those who like their coffee decaf
What About Caffeine and High-Intensity Exercise?
Science doesn’t have a strict direction when it comes to caffeine and high-intensity exercise mix.
Still, it’s known that for trained athletes, caffeine has strong benefits, but is less effective for beginners and untrained.
For professional athletes, caffeine can improve in power.
One study focused on trained and untrained swimmers and how they react to the effects of caffeine. As expected, there was an improvement in the trained group.
On the other hand, there were no seen benefits in the untrained swimmers.
Conclusion: For high-intensity sports, such as swimming, caffeine may benefit trained athletes.
What About Energy Drinks And Sleep?
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), sleep is one of the biggest factors when it comes to great health.
Did you know that an adult person should get between 7 to 8 hours of sleep, while you should always get enough sleep based on your age?
Of course, many factors can disturb your sleep, like unpredicted events and external factors that you cannot control, but some things are still manageable, like what you intake on a daily level.
For example, if you want a sounder sleep, you should avoid taking large amounts of caffeine late at night, and you should always choose to have your first coffee after breakfast, and not on an empty stomach.
Otherwise, you could experience poor sleep quality that will weaken the body’s immune system and make you more susceptible to various infections, such as flu or cold.
Energy drinks contain caffeine, taureine, sugar, guarana, ginseng, and B vitamins, with caffeine taking the largest part of ingredients.
As such it works as stimulants that cause increased alertness and affect the overall body system which may lead to:
- Increased blood pressure
- Palpitations, and
This should be more than enough to keep you away from those sugary energy drinks all year round, at least before bed.
These drinks are rich in sugar and caffeine and can make it hard for you to fall asleep, which results in reducing your total sleep time.
Did you know that energy drinks can contain two to three times more caffeine than soda or coffee?
Other Drinks To Avoid Before Going To Bed
You cannot deal with restless nights anymore? There is a real chance that your body is stress because you drinking something that could be harming you. What we eat and drink affects our sleep patterns and lifestyle.
The wrong drink at the wrong time can lead to poor sleep quality and how long you get to sleep.
Here are drinks, next to energy drinks, that can easily disrupt your sleep:
It’s no secret that alcohol makes you drowsy.
You may think that alcohol helps you sleep, but in reality, there are more negative than beneficial effects of drinking alcohol before bed.
Alcohol forces you to urinate at the night, which can easily disrupt your sleep pattern.
It can also decrease your rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and fragment your sleep.
As mentioned earlier, caffeine gives you energy and can make you suffer in terms of sleep.
Drinking coffee too often and in large amounts can lead to sleep-related issues, and beyond. What about decaf? Even decaf coffee contains caffeine, so be careful.
Isn’t water what makes us move? Yes, but too much of it can disturb our health in some way.
You should stay hydrated all day long, but you shouldn’t drink large amounts of water close to your bedtime.
A glass of water is fine, as it can even help with overall health overnight, but unlimited water can create more issues than benefits. Plus, too much water can lead to frequent bathroom visits.
Try to drink less water in the evening to avoid waking up in the middle of the night.
The Bottom Line
Unless you are drinking water in a fair amount before sleep, you should avoid beverages.
Energy drinks are popular sugary drinks that are heavily marketed, that people believe they cannot survive without it.
However, there are far better and healthier options that can help you get that extra boost for workout time and overall alertness.
Think about incorporating green tea into your drinking routine – this way you will get enough caffeine, but in a healthier way.