Pulling all-nighters is a common thing for many people nowadays whether to meet deadlines or cramming for exams. You can find many tips and advices on how to pull off a successful all-nighter.
But what about getting through the day after pulling an all-nighter?
Some of us aren’t fortunate enough to have the next day to ourselves to rest. Sometimes even after a whole night of no sleep, you still need to get to work or attend classes.
So, what can you have to stay awake and functional when you’re sleep-deprived?
The answer: energy drinks.
Energy drinks can provide you with the energy boost you need to decrease your tiredness and improve your alertness.
Of course, you need to pick your energy drinks wisely.
Read on to find out what criteria you should consider when getting an energy drink for the day after an all-nighter and how to maintain your performance under sleep deprivation.
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Energy drinks after surviving an all-nighter: what should you look for?
When it comes to energy drinks, the most important feature you need to take note of is the caffeine content.
Normally, most people assume that a higher amount of caffeine supplies a stronger and larger energy boost, and while that is true, it might lead to an energy crash or caffeine overdose if you’re not careful.
However, for avid caffeine drinkers, smaller caffeine quantities may not be as effective in providing them with the energy boost they need.
It really boils down to your caffeine tolerance and how your body usually responds after you’ve consumed caffeine.
Personally, the amount of caffeine I prefer to have after pulling an all-nighter is 50mg – 100mg per drink.
I find that having more than 100mg of caffeine in my energy drink doesn’t help me stay awake after an all-nighter but instead just gives me headaches and hot flushes.
Since energy drinks are often combined with other energy-boosting ingredients like guarana and taurine, even energy drinks with a lower amount of caffeine can provide your body with sufficient energy and help you stay awake after your all-nighter.
Thus, keep an eye out on the nutritional information on the back of the can and make sure you’re going for the energy drink with the right amount of caffeine for you.
Another important criteria you should keep in mind after an all-nighter is the sugar content in energy drinks.
Generally, energy drinks with low or zero sugar will benefit you more than energy drinks with large amounts of sugar.
Energy drinks with lots of sugar will give you an energy boost, but the effects won’t last long and your energy levels will soon drop.
One of the most common side effect after consuming tons of sugar is a sugar crash.
You might get some nasty side effects that you’ll absolutely want to avoid after all-nighter.
Fortunately, sugar-free versions of popular energy drinks do exist in the market under names like Red Bull Sugarfree, Monster Zero Ultra, Rockstar Sugarfree, and REIZE Energy Drink.
Energy drink prices usually typically range from about $2 to $4 per drink. Prices of energy drinks also depend on the brand you choose and the place you buy them.
Normally we’d assume that the more expensive an energy drink is, the higher the quality. But sometimes a higher price tag doesn’t necessarily guarantee a better product.
There are some affordable energy drinks out there that are just as great in quality and won’t burn a hole in your wallet.
Powdered energy drinks are usually (though not always) more affordable than energy drinks that come in ready-to-drink cans.
Aside from being very convenient, powdered energy drinks can be prepared very easily by simply opening a sachet and adding it to water. And voila, your fresh and tasty energy drink is ready.
Why spend more than you need to when you can get the same great benefits from some more affordable energy drinks?
Can energy drinks help you after an all-nighter?
Energy drinks can help you stay awake after an all-nighter because of their caffeine content. Caffeine is a stimulant and works by stimulating your nervous system and brain to reduce fatigue and increase alertness. If you want to stay functional when you’re bogged down with tiredness, caffeine is the best thing to have to feel more awake.
Though energy drinks also have other ingredients that contribute to an energy boost, caffeine is usually the main reason you don’t feel sleepy anymore after consuming one.
Many energy drinks are advertised with ‘special blends of ingredients’ that can help you keep awake longer and better. In my opinion, this is all just marketing fluff.
In fact, if you remove caffeine from these energy drinks, they most likely won’t be very effective at all and won’t provide you with the energy boost you need.
How can you boost your energy after an all-nighter?
Drinking caffeinated beverages is one of the ways to boost your energy, improve alertness and mental concentration. They can also help prevent symptoms of tiredness.
To get the best out of your caffeine consumption after a night with no sleep, plan your caffeine intake for the rest of the day.
According to Webmd, having a certain amount of caffeine every few hours helps maintain the level of your performance even when you’re sleep-deprived.
A 2004 study of 16 participants reported that caffeine maintained the level of their physical performance even after pulling an all-nighter.
However, caffeine needs to be consumed in moderate amounts.
This is especially true during periods of sleep deprivation. Your body is already very exhausted and caffeine is just a way to mask the fatigue for a limited period of time.
The average adult can consume no more than 400mg of caffeine, with no more than 200mg in one serving, according to the FDA.
Thus, drink your energy drinks or coffee strategically throughout the day and you’ll still be able to perform well even after an all-nighter.
Tips to recover and stay awake after an all-nighter
If you’re thinking of pulling an all-nighter and figuring out how to stay functional the next day, you need to get ready with a proper plan and the right supplies for the difficult morning that will follow.
These tips also include foods and drinks to consume and avoid so you can stay awake after an all-nighter.
Prepare yourself for the morning slump
The day after an all-nighter is always the hardest, especially when the morning comes. At that time, your body is actually at your worst and you’ll have a hard time trying to stay awake and alert.
During this period, you also shouldn’t be driving at all.
Monotonous driving combined with your sleep deprivation might cause you to fall asleep unintentionally at some point. This is very dangerous as you could get into a road accident.
Sugar can only keep you energised for some time before you start experiencing a crash in energy levels.
For this reason, you should avoid eating or drinking anything sugary when you’re sleep-deprived.
Instead, have meals that are rich with carbs, protein and vitamins like whole grains, meat, fish, vegetables and fruits to supply your body with energy.
These kinds of foods will provide your body with nutrients and fuel that’ll energize you without a crash. Protein is known to increase wakefulness.
Though, make sure not to eat too much carbs as it can make you sluggish afterward.
And most importantly, drink a lot of water. When you’re dehydrated, your body and brain won’t function properly.
Get some fresh air
Make sure to move your body around after sitting for a long time to get your blood circulating to stave off fatigue.
A 2016 study discovered that performing physical activity during certain times of the day could improve mood, reduce exhaustion and food cravings.
So, make it a point to stand up from your desk and take a short walk outside. You can also try stretching to loosen your body.
Your working memory becomes impaired under sleep deprivation and wouldn’t be able to process a lot of information at the same time.
Hence, the best way for you to get around your tasks or classes for the day is by going through things one at a time.
Make a list of what you need to focus on and arrange it by difficulty. Tackle the more challenging tasks and projects when you’re more attentive.
Sleep normally in the following days
Once you’re done with work or class, go and get the sleep you need.
No matter what you do, your body can’t fight off the exhaustion for many nights without somehow breaking down afterward.
So, the best way to get yourself back to your best level of performance after an all-nighter is to catch up on the sleep you need.
You should turn your alarms off and let yourself wake up naturally after pulling an all-nighter. It’s normal to sleep 7 – 10 hours after surviving a night without any sleep, and when you wake up after that, you’ll feel fresh and energized.
Best energy drinks after surviving an all-nighter
|Price per can||around $3|
A single can of Monster energy drink contains 179mg of caffeine, an amount that I consider to be a lot. There’s no doubt the energy boost from Monster will keep you awake throughout the day.
Though in my opinion, if you prefer to start your day with something less potent, then Monster might not be the energy drink for you.
But if you’re planning to drink Monster to stay awake after an all-nighter, you should go for the sugar-free versions like Monster Absolute Zero or Monster Zero Ultra.
The reason for my recommendations is because one can of Monster contains 54g of sugar.
That goes over the AHA’s recommended daily sugar consumption limit, which is 25g -36g per person. That much sugar could end with you getting a very bad crash after a few hours of consumption.
At around $3 per can, it’s not the most affordable option to help you function after an all-nighter.
But if you like Monster’s taste and prefer a higher caffeine quantity, then you’ll find that you have more than enough flavors of Monster to choose from.
If you want more information about Monster, I’ve written a guide on the caffeine content and ingredients in Monster energy drinks.
|Price per can||around $2|
With 80mg of caffeine, I’d say that Red Bull has quite a balanced amount of caffeine that could provide you with the energy you need after an all-nighter.
At around $2, it’s pretty affordable too.
I’d suggest going for the sugar-free version of Red Bull, Red Bull Sugarfree.
A can of regular Red Bull has 27g of sugar, which can’t possibly be healthy if you’re planning to drink this every few hours to give you energy through the day.
I personally prefer Red Bull Sugarfree because it retains the same taste, ingredients and caffeine content without the sugar. Furthermore, you’ll be able to avoid any unwanted crashes once the effects start to wear off.
If you’re interested to learn more about Red Bull, I’ve written a complete guide on Red Bull energy drink’s caffeine and ingredients here.
REIZE Energy Drink (10 out of 10)
|Price per drink||$1|
My favorite energy drink to have after pulling an all-nighter is REIZE energy drink.
REIZE is a great powdered energy drink that comes in convenient 4g sachets.
As opposed to your regular energy drinks, it can be placed inside your pockets, bags and carried around easily without any hassle. This saves plenty of space and doesn’t burden you with extra weight.
Preparing REIZE is also really easy. All you need to do is tear open a sachet, mix it into 8oz (250ml) of plain water and your energy drink is ready!
With 50mg of caffeine, REIZE has the perfect amount of caffeine to supply you with the perfect energy boost and keep you functional after an all-nighter without any negative side effects afterward.
REIZE is also packed with a smart blend of taurine, ginseng, B vitamins and other ingredients that’ll provide your body with nutrients while you stay awake throughout the day following an all-nighter.
REIZE is also sugar-free and thus helps you avoid any subsequent sugar crashes after drinking it.
The best thing about REIZE is that it costs only around $1 per drink, including shipping right to your door.
That’s great value of money right there.
Give REIZE a try and you might also find that it’s the best energy drink to help you stay awake after pulling an all-nighter.