Chances are that if you are reading this blog it means you too procrastinated until the last minute like me. If this is the case, there is also a good chance that you are using the effects of an energy drink’s stimulant to keep you wide awake and alert. However, you might not realize what the rest of the effects are having on your body.
Effects by the Hour
The effects of drinking an energy drink begin as soon as 10 minutes after taking your first sip. That is when the energy drink, and mostly the caffeine, begin to enter your bloodstream. Once the drink has been in you for a half hour you will reach peak caffeine levels. The 30 to 45-minute mark is when you will become most alert and concentrated. Also in this time zone the caffeine will become fully absorbed and the liver will begin to absorb more sugar into your bloodstream. When you finally reach the one-hour mark after consuming your energy drink you will begin to feel the sugar crash and the caffeine will begin to die down. It won’t be until 5 hours later when the effects of the caffeine decrease to half of their strength. It takes your body an entire 12 hours to rid your body’s bloodstream of caffeine. However, if you drink high-caffeine energy drinks for around two weeks your body will become more tolerant and used to the effects of caffeine making the effects of caffeine less effective.
Not all energy drinks use caffeine as the main stimulant though. Some energy drinks use a plant-based stimulant such as ginseng which is found in Monster Energy. These drinks will still have similar effects on your body.
Comparisons Between Coffee and Energy Drinks
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration says that an energy drink can have anywhere between 80 to 500+ mg of caffeine (a regular 250 mL can of Red Bull has 80 mg). The average 5 oz. cup of coffee will usually contain around 100 mg of caffeine for comparison.
So what are the pros of drinking an energy drink? While energy drinks seem high in caffeine, most of them are under 100 mg which is well within the guideline maximum of 400 mg. A Starbucks coffee usually contains more caffeine, including the Venti Caffe Americano at 300 mg.
Still, I wouldn’t recommend drinking energy drinks often due to all the harmful effects such as causing anxiety, stomach upsets, dehydration, and increased heart rate. Just make sure to drink them non-regularly and only if you really need the caffeine in order to stay awake.
Whiteman, Honor. “How Energy Drinks Affect Your Body within 24 Hours.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, 15 Aug. 2015. Web. 02 Dec. 2016.