If you want to know how to get more energy, effectiveness, and productivity from your energy drink, then you want to read this article!
Caffeine, the world’s most popular drug, and the powerful compound that fuels so many of us day in and day out through workouts, work, and just life in general. If you’re like most people, you probably started with just one cup of coffee in the morning, then after awhile you started needing a second cup just to make it to lunch.
And a little while, that second cup of coffee wasn’t cutting it anymore, you started adding in an afternoon energy drink to provide the last little spark of energy to help you finish out the work day.
Then of course, you have your afternoon training session at the gym, and you’re going to need a scoop of pre workout, which inevitably means more caffeine.
Notice a problem here?
Yes, you’re wasting a lot of money on cheap caffeine that’s only delivering a short term “upper”, but worse than that, you’re not really getting the most from the energy drinks you’re chugging throughout the day.
Caffeine is a wonderful productivity and performance enhancer, if you use it right, and we’re here to show you how to get more bang for your buck from your energy drink.
Get More from Your Energy Drink
Sip, don’t chug, your energy drink
Most people, regardless if it’s an energy drink, coffee, or pre workout, tend to chug their liquified caffeine to get the immediate rush of energy. It makes sense, the faster you down the energy, the quicker you’ll get to feeling more upbeat, alert, and “with it.”
But the problem is, to really maximize the effects of caffeine, it’s most effect if slowly sipped over a prolonged period of time. This way, the energy drink provides a smooth, sustained-release of energy that will power you over several hours.
Essentially, the brain and CNS handles smaller more frequent doses of caffeine from your energy drink more effectively than it does large doses. If given too large of a dose in too short of a timeframe, you run the risk of being overstimulated, thereby not being able to focus on the task at hand. This also sets you up for a nasty crash from your energy drink, something none of us want to deal with.
Slowly sipping your caffeine allows your body to slowly clear it out of your system, offsetting any crash and providing long-lasting energy, focus, and alertness.
Time Your Energy Drink Wisely
It’s frequently said that “timing is everything”, and it’s certainly true when it comes to drinking your energy drink. Consumed at the right time, your energy drink can have a profound impact on your energy, alertness, and motivation, but drinking it at the wrong time can essentially result in a waste of your precious energy drink.
The reason has to do with your hormone levels. If you’re like most people, you probably roll out of bed and the very first thing you do is have some coffee or a sip of yesterday’s leftover energy drink. You do this in the effort to get an immediate burst of energy to help get the day started, but consuming caffeine from an energy drink isn’t the best thing to do first thing in the morning if you’re looking to get the most out of it.
Early in the day, around 8-9 AM, cortisol levels are peaked. And while most think of cortisol as being the “stress” hormone, it’s also plays a big role in our alertness levels. So, by drinking your energy drink when you’re alertness is already pretty high, you’re essentially wasting the boost in alertness and focus you get from caffeine.
Why is this a big deal?
Well, the science of pharmacology has to deal with the “appropriate” use of therapeutic drugs (i.e. caffeine). An essential component of “appropriate use” is using performance enhancing compounds like caffeine at the right times. While you could argue that caffeine is good anytime, that’s not really the case. Dosing caffeine at the wrong time, essentially reduces the effectiveness of it, and just serves to increase your body’s tolerance to the compound. Basically, drinking your energy drink at the wrong time of day won’t do much for increasing your energy, motivation, or focus, it will just make you that more tolerant to caffeine, which means you’ll need more and more of it to get the same effects the next time.
Getting the most out of your energy drink starts with properly timing it, and the “best” times to drink your energy drink are when cortisol levels are low. The times when cortisol levels are high are between 8-9 AM, noon and 1PM, and 5:30-6:30PM.
By avoiding your energy drink at these times, you’ll reduce your tolerance build up and get a stronger boost in alertness, energy, and productivity when you do drink your favorite energy drink.
Take a Caffeine Break
Though this might seem completely crazy to some of you, the way to get more from your energy drink is to go without caffeine for about a week. You probably think we’re nuts for even suggesting that you go without caffeine, but it’s for a good reason. By avoiding caffeine (and other stimulants) for a week (or longer), you’re helping to re-sensitize your body to caffeine, so that when you do go back to your favorite energy drink, it “hits” a little stronger and feels more like the very first time you ever tried it.
If you currently have daily caffeine intake, it’s not going to be easy to go from caffeine-fueled to no caffeine at all. Doing so can lead to a lot of fatigue, irritability, brain fog, and mind-splitting headaches. Should you happen to be one of these highly caffeinated beings, fueled on nothing but energy drinks and coffee, you’d best be served to start gradually reducing your daily caffeine intake. Begin by switching to “half caf” coffee which is 1/2 caffeinated coffee, 1/2 decaf. Also, you might want to switch to darker roasts of coffee which contain less caffeine than lighter roasts, or even switch to green or black tea, which contains even less caffeine.
Remember to slowly sip your caffeine too, as you’ll get more out of it, and not have the need to constantly chug energy drinks, coffee or sodas.
Limit Intake of Simple Carbs & Sugar
Complex and simple carbohydrates can be an extremely valuable tool for taking your performance to the next level. Again, it’s when they’re consumed that determines whether they’re powering you to new heights of muscle and strength , or they’re setting you up for a really nasty energy crash.
Consumed immediately before, during, or after your workout, simple carbs are ideal for providing your muscles with energy to train and replenishing glycogen stores as they become depleted. Consuming simple carbs and sugars (like those typically found in energy drinks and sodas) provides a short term boost in energy, but ultimately it spikes your blood sugar and then bottoms it out, leading to the quintessential sugar crash we’ve all experienced a time or two before. Plus, consuming simple sugars incessantly throughout the day plays havoc with your insulin levels and eventually leads to a lot of unwanted fat gain. The end result of this is that you’re constantly drinking more and more caffeine to try to counteract the inevitable highs and lows that come with sugar consumption.
The answer to this is to avoid simple carbs outside of your training window and focus on slow digesting carbs that provide a sustained released of energy and don’t play hell with your blood sugar levels. This also means you’ll need to use less energy drinks and coffee during the day, which slows tolerance build up to caffeine.
Wait Before Grabbing an Energy Drink
Energy drinks are tasty and refreshing. That’s a big part of the reason we love drinking them so much, aside from the stout boost in energy they give, that is. While it’s tempting to grab another energy drink right after you finish the first one, it’s not exactly what you want to do if you want to maximize the effects of your energy drink.
First, pounding another energy drink immediately after one funnels even more caffeine into your body, which can lead to over stimulation, and potentially a caffeine crash, inevitably leading to a significant drop in energy, motivation, and focus. When this happens you reach for yet another energy drink to keep the energy up, and the cycle of up and down just gets worse and worse.
Second, cramming more and more caffeine on top of itself only increases your tolerance and dependency on caffeine, which means you’re ultimately reducing the effectiveness of your caffeine.
Giving your first energy drink time to run its course and let your body get the most from the boost in caffeine will reduce your overall caffeine intake, while maximizing the effects you get from it, ultimately keeping your tolerance and dependency low so that you energy drinks keep delivering the same great effects time after time.
Eat a Piece of Grapefruit
As crazy as it may sound, eating grapefruit may help you get more bang from your energy drink. Grapefruits contain compounds which delay the clearance of caffeine from your system, meaning the rush from your energy drink lasts longer, helping you to reduce your need to drink another one while also enhancing the effects of your first hit of caffeine in the day.
Get a Full Night of Sleep
Getting a full night’s rest is important for a lot of things -- stress, fat loss, muscle gain, brain function -- it’s also key to making your energy drink more effective. If you’re chronically deprived of sleep, no matter how many energy drinks you chug, you’re still going to feel tired and foggy headed.
Maximizing the effects of your energy drink includes getting proper sleep at night, which also means not drinking energy drinks too late at night, as consuming caffeine too late can interfere with sleep. With adequate sleep, your body will wake up feeling refreshed and naturally alert, meaning you won’t have to reach for an energy drink first thing in the morning. Then, when you do take your first sip (after 9AM), you’ll be rewarded with a robust hit of energy, focus, and productivity. Ready to tackle the day and make the most of your time!
Drink Plenty of Water
Similar to the previous point, getting the most out of your energy drink also entails drinking enough water. Following sleep, your body is thirsting for water (it’s been 7+ hours since you’ve had any!). Drinking water first thing in the morning helps rehydrate your body and support all the physiological processes that go on in your body, including energy production!
After you get your morning water in, then you can see about getting around to your energy drink, or you may find that when properly hydrating, you’re not as reliant on caffeine in energy drinks to get you through the day.
EAA Max Energy -- The All Day Energy Drink!
Energy drinks truly are awesome, but they’re typically full of sugar and unwanted calories, not to mention over priced. They also don’t last very long and either give you jitters or a horrendous energy crash.
EAA Max Energy from Primeval Labs is the answer to your energy drink woes. It’s packed with plenty of sustained-release energy to keep you riding high all day long. On top of that, EAA Max Energy also includes a full complement of essential amino acids, to support muscle repair and prevent catabolism. Best of all, EAA Max Energy is extremely low in calories and tastes great.
With EAA Max Energy, no longer do you have to suffer the sickly sweet tastes of expensive energy drinks and the nasty energy crashes they bring. Grab your tub of EAA Max Energy today and see what a real energy drink can do for you!
Debono M, Ghobadi C, Rostami-Hodjegan A, Huatan H, Campbell MJ, Newell-Price J, Darzy K, Merke DP, Arlt W, & Ross RJ (2009). Modified-release hydrocortisone to provide circadian cortisol profiles. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 94 (5), 1548-54 PMID: 19223520
Inouye, S.T., and Kawamura, H. (1979). Persistence of circadian rhythmicity in a mammalian hypothalamic “island” containing the suprachiasmatic nucleus Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America DOI: 10.1073/pnas.76.11.5962