Why Do Energy Drinks Make Me Tired? Expert Answers
Imagine going to the bank and taking a loan when you don’t have the money to spend on an important thing. Energy drinks are similar to that loan you take when you don’t have the time to spend resting and sleep because you want to stay energized and awake.
But as you know loans can do more harm than good. And that’s why you are not wrong if you say energy drinks don’t work on me.
But why is that? Why do energy drinks make me tired instead of energized, you ask? Let’s find out!
Why Do Energy Drinks Make Me Tired?
When you have a last-minute project and don’t have time for sleep what comes to mind? Let’s have a cup of coffee. Or let’s have a shot of Red Bull.
Whatever your hydration technique, whether it’s red bull, coffee, or any other energy drink, it shouldn’t be making you feel tired, right?
After all, caffeine and sugar – the main ingredients of energy drinks are stimulants. They provide instant energy and alertness to your brain to focus on the task at hand and not the rest you should be taking.
So, why do energy drinks make you tired?
It is simply due to sugar and caffeine which can make you feel sleepy or tired.
Let’s learn more about the side effect of energy drinks in the following sections.
How Does Sugar Make You Tired?
Sugar makes you tired because it takes more energy for your body to process than other types of food.
Sugar depletes your nutrients:
The fructose and glucose in sugar need a lot of nutrients from our body for the process of oxidation and metabolization.
So, sugars displace a chunk of nutritionally superior foods from our diet because of which our body doesn’t get their benefits. Much of this nutrition is necessary to keep our organs functioning actively and to keep us energized.
Sugars damage your mitochondria:
Most of us consume refined sugar in our energy drinks. Refined sugar can cause damage to our mitochondria which helps convert energy from the food we eat to the energy our cells can use.
With damaged mitochondria, this conversion doesn’t happen and the body doesn’t get the energy it needs.
Sugar lowers orexin:
Sugar is a carbohydrate. It gets metabolized fast and therefore provides instant energy. But, as soon as the effect of sugar wears off, you feel sleepy. That happens because glucose decreases orexin levels.
What is orexin? It is a multitasking neurotransmitter that affects our mood and energy levels. It also has control over our feeding behavior and sleep/wake states. With low orexin, your body doesn’t have control over its energy levels and gets tired and sleepy easily.
The solution is to avoid sugary energy drinks. But sometimes, even that’s not enough.
If you have tried sugar-free energy drinks, you may still be experiencing unexplained tiredness.
It’s time we answer your question – why do sugar-free energy drinks make me sleepy? In short, the answer is ‘caffeine’. Let’s understand it better.
How Does Caffeine Make You Sleepy?
Caffeine is famous as a stimulant. It stimulates your brain and nervous system, making you alert. It’s mostly one of the first things suggested for getting relief from drowsiness or headaches.
Found in teas, coffees, cacao plants, and of course, energy drinks, caffeine can be your ultimate friend when it comes to staying awake and alert.
But unfortunately, this friend doesn’t stay a friend for long. And that brings us to your question.
Why does coffee make me tired immediately?
Caffeine is a diuretic:
That’s right! When you drink more than 4-5 cups of coffee daily, the caffeine promotes more urination. Its diuretic nature can cause dehydration.
The fluids that get lost are necessary for many body functions including that of keeping you energized and awake. And that’s why as soon as you drink that extra cup of coffee, the dehydration kicks in, and you lose your energy.
You may have developed caffeine tolerance:
Imagine your mom waking you up with a splash of water on your face. For a few days that may work. But eventually, it won’t be a surprise for you, and you may get back to sleep even after the splash.
That’s how your body behaves when you drink coffee or any caffeinated energy drink for long and regularly. It gets used to it.
Caffeine blocks adenosine receptors:
The way caffeine gets rid of your drowsiness is by blocking adenosine receptors. Adenosine is the neurotransmitter that takes care of your sleep. When its receptors get blocked, you don’t feel sleepy anymore.
However, that doesn’t mean the body isn’t producing it anymore. And once you have more adenosine in your body than the consumed caffeine can handle, or when the caffeine wears off, you experience the effects of all that produced adenosine and the blocked adenosine in the form of drowsiness.
That’s like having to repay all your loans in one go.
Your body reacts differently to caffeine:
For some people with anxiety and depression, even five shots of espresso might not do anything. Whereas, for some people sensitive to caffeine, one shot of espresso may be too much.
Depending on your health conditions, it’s possible that caffeine isn’t working on you. It would be better to get checked by a doctor, in this case.
6 Alternatives of Energy Drinks to Stay Awake
The best way to wake up and stay energized without worries of jitters and unexplained tiredness is to not depend on energy drinks like coffee and Red Bull.
Here are 6 natural drinks free of caffeine and refined sugar for you to stay awake and work on your dreams.
Another way to get your hydration and energy levels up without sugar intake is through sugar free electrolyte drinks. An electrolyte drink supplies your body with electrolytes vital to restore your energy levels. A sugar free hydration drink has the added advantage of providing these energy levels without making you feel tired. So, the next time you need to get hydrated, reach out for a packet of Healthystripe sugar free electrolyte powder. Mix it in a glass of water and drink up.
If you like your drinks sweet, do not add sugar or artificial sweeteners to them. You can use natural sweeteners like honey, agave nectar, and stevia leaves.
You can also try other methods to stay awake without caffeine and sugar, like breathing techniques.
The truth is out!
Now you know your answer to – why do energy drinks make me tired? It’s due to excessive sugar and caffeine in them.
It’s time you reduce your dependence on these drinks and cherish the alternatives we talked about.
Have more questions? Drop them in the comments below!