But sometimes our brains don’t cooperate and leave us feeling a little foggy. And it’s during these times when we need a little boost.
Energy drinks are great for doing just that. Energy drinks can provide you with a much-needed boost and can help clear some of the brain fog and enhance your cognitive functions.
If you’re looking for some recommendations on some energy drinks that can give you a little more brainpower, you’ve come to the right place.
Stick around to learn more about energy drinks, from their benefits in terms of cognitive function to a list of great recommendations to increase your mental performance.
Let’s get started…
Table of Contents
Do Energy Drinks Improve Brain Function?
Energy drinks generally are made out of various ingredients that work together to enhance cognitive functions and even improve exercise performance.
Do Energy Drinks Help You Concentrate?
Caffeine definitely helps you think more clearly by increasing your cognitive performance.
Cognitive performance covers several mental abilities like learning, thinking, reasoning, problem-solving, and attention. In other words, we exercise our cognitive functions every time we solve problems, make decisions, and process and remember information.
Thus, it’s really important to have efficient and reactive cognitive functions because we depend on them daily.
A 2016 study found that moderate doses of caffeine can significantly enhance cognitive functions like alertness, vigilance, attention and reaction time.
So, if you’re experiencing brain fog or having a hard time focusing, perhaps you could try having an energy drink to help you think more clearly.
Does Caffeine Improve Focus?
Caffeine can significantly improve your focus. A 2020 study found that the consumption of caffeine can significantly improve mental focus and problem-solving abilities.
However, in the same study, it’s also noted that while caffeine has beneficial effects on convergent thinking skills, it didn’t have any impact on working memory or creativity.
The amount of caffeine you consume also plays an important role in how your body responds to caffeine. According to Healthline, you need to consume the right amount of caffeine to experience these benefits.
More does not equal better. Consuming a moderate amount of caffeine yields better results than consuming a large amount of caffeine, which can often make you jittery and unable to think clearly.
Depending on your caffeine metabolism, the acceptable caffeine intake for you might be different from your family or friends.
Do Energy Drinks Improve Mood?
Energy drinks definitely do improve your mood.
A review involving three studies showed that energy drinks were found to enhance and/or maintain mood and performance during exhausting and mentally demanding tasks.
Energy drinks that are high in sugar can lead to a sugar rush, which makes us happier and more motivated to push through our tasks.
For sugar-free energy drinks, sugar is replaced by artificial sweeteners that still satisfy our sugar cravings and fill us with a pleasant feeling too.
Thus, if you’re down in the dumps and need something quick to lift up your spirits, you may want to try drinking an energy drink to make yourself feel a little better.
Can Energy Drinks Improve Reaction Time?
Energy drinks certainly can improve reaction time. A 2014 study discovered that the reaction time of 20 participants improved significantly after the consumption of an energy drink.
Good reaction time enables us to be more competent when dealing with everyday stimuli and situations like playing video games, studying, driving, and even when starting a conversation with a stranger.
When you’re quick to process and react to a situation, you’ll be able to act more accurately and appropriately.
Can Energy Drinks Help When You’re Driving?
Energy drinks certainly can help you when you’re driving by increasing your concentration and reaction time while you navigate through traffic.
Driving requires a lot of concentration since your life is literally at stake while on the road, especially during long drives.
Staying focused to get to your destination should be your number one goal while you’re behind the wheel. But at times, it can be difficult to give your full concentration while you’re driving, especially if you’re tired from work.
Energy drinks are a great choice to help you feel more awake and alert.
I should mention here; there’s nothing particularly unique about Red Bull that makes it more effective than other energy drinks. Most energy drinks will yield the same results.
Of course, an energy drink can only keep you awake for so long, so if you feel sleepy again afterwards, you should pull over somewhere safe (like a gas station) to stretch and refresh yourself before continuing on the road.
Is It Good To Drink Energy Drinks While Studying?
It’s good to drink energy drinks while you’re studying as they can help you focus longer and improve your concentration.
Energy drinks contain caffeine, sugar, vitamins, and other ingredients that all contribute to a more productive studying session.
Of course, there are sugar-free energy drinks too, so not all energy drinks contain loads of sugar.
A 2017 study reported that the mood and cognitive performance of 24 volunteers in multiple tests improved significantly after the ingestion of a Red Bull. In fact, the study stated the intake of a regular Red Bull induced higher results in all of the tests compared to a sugar-free Red Bull or a placebo drink.
Besides that, since caffeine is a stimulant, it can temporarily increase your energy levels and help you stay awake to keep studying.
In proper doses, your mental performance will improve too and you’ll be better able to absorb and remember the information that you’ve learned.
Energy drinks can help you pull all-nighters while giving you the mental focus you need, but make sure not to make a habit of it.
An energy boost is awesome once in a while but nothing beats a good night’s sleep.
Sufficient sleep is actually the best way to ensure your energy returns to optimum levels and prep your mind to process new information the next day. In fact, studies have found that sleep deprivation can have negative effects on your brain functions, namely memory, and attention.
In short, consume energy drinks in moderation to prevent experiencing any side effects, especially in the long run.
Does Red Bull Help You Concentrate?
Red Bull can definitely help you concentrate better.
If you find yourself getting distracted easily, Red Bull might just be able to fix that.
Compared to your regular 16 fl.oz energy drink, Red Bull is on the smaller side, coming in 8.4 fl.oz cans instead. A can of Red Bull contains 80mg of caffeine and 27g of sugar.
In my opinion, 80mg of caffeine is a good amount of caffeine. However, I prefer sugar-free energy drinks over sugary ones since I’m trying to reduce my sugar intake.
Though Red Bull has an ideal amount of caffeine, it does contain an excessive amount of sugar in my opinion, which could lead to a sugar crash due to the sudden spike and dip in your blood sugar levels. A sugar crash will hinder you from properly concentrating.
If you want to use Red Bull to improve your mental concentration, I’d recommend having it in moderation to avoid any potential nasty side effects.
Potential Side Effects Of Energy Drink Ingredients
Some ingredients in energy drinks can lead to unpleasant negative effects if you’re not careful with your daily intake.
Keep in mind that the effects can differ from person to person depending on your tolerance.
Let’s look a little closer at some of the main ingredients in energy drinks…
Caffeine is the main ingredient in energy drinks that boosts your energy levels. It can increase your alertness, improve physical performance and increase your mental performance.
Caffeine really is wonderful and it’s no wonder that it’s the world’s most popular drug.
However, although it’s beneficial in many ways for you, it can lead to side effects if consumed in excess.
- Restlessness and shakiness
To avoid these potential side effects, you should always consume caffeine in moderation, especially if you have a low tolerance to caffeine.
Sugar can give you a quick boost of energy for a short period and can help give your mind more clarity too. Though, be prepared to experience a sugar crash after the effects are gone.
For reference, the AHA recommends a maximum daily sugar limit for both men and women, as below:
Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with a little sugar every now and then, but having too much sugar too often can lead to health issues like:
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
Artificial sweeteners are often found in sugar-free energy drinks to substitute regular sugar while still maintaining a sweet taste. You’ll usually find sweeteners like Sucralose and Acesulfame Potassium in energy drinks.
These sweeteners contain zero calories and won’t cause any drastic changes in your blood sugar levels.
As much as these sweeteners are more beneficial than sugar, there’s still a lot we don’t know about them. In fact, some studies have linked these sweeteners to an increased risk of diseases like diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Like many modern chemicals, there’s isn’t enough conclusive data that can confirm the side effect of these ingredients so it’s best to consume them in moderation.
For more info about artificial sweeteners, check out this video:
Best Energy Drinks For Cognitive Function
In no particular order, let me suggest some great brands that you might like to check out if you’re looking to get your brain into gear…
Raze is completely sugar-free, and substitutes regular sugar with artificial sweeteners instead, so sugar crashes won’t be an issue.
Aside from its high caffeine content, Raze is loaded with tons of amino acids and vitamins that could enhance your focus and concentration.
The price for a 16 fl.oz can of Raze might be a little on the high-end though; it’s roughly $2.50 to $3 per drink depending on where you get it. If you decide to buy entire cases online, you might be able to use special promo codes to get discounts on them.
Check out my Raze review article for more info.
Guru Energy supposedly sits on the healthier end of the spectrum compared to most energy drinks with its naturally sourced ingredients like organic Panax ginseng extract and organic echinacea flower extract.
Guru energy drink’s caffeine content of 100mg of natural caffeine is made up of green tea leaf extract and guarana seed extract.
However, Guru does still contain 21g of sugar, which comes from cane syrup and white grape juice concentrate. This probably makes Guru slightly better than other energy drinks that are made of processed sugar.
With its moderate caffeine content and natural ingredients, Guru Energy makes a good choice in improving cognitive functions and helping you to think clearer, though it’s leaning towards the high side in terms of sugar.
The good news is that Guru has a sugar-free version if you prefer to do away with sugar entirely.
The price of a can of Guru is usually around $2, which is fairly average for an energy drink. I actually think Guru is worth the price considering the natural ingredients it contains.
Read more about Guru in my review article.
Available in four different product lines, Celsius is a sugar-free energy drink with 200mg of caffeine and only 10 calories per serving.
Celsius also has lots of vitamins, minerals, and natural ingredients like ginger root extract, green tea leaf extract, and vegetable juice. With these ingredients combined in one 16 fl.oz drink, you’re sure to see an improvement in your reaction time and attention span.
Another perk to Celsius is that it’s way more affordable than the two energy drinks mentioned above, usually costing around $1.60 to $2 per can.
If you want to get your hands on some great Celsius deals, check out my other article that covers where you can get it.
REIZE (10 out of 10)
In all honesty, I believe REIZE is the best energy drink for cognitive function.
REIZE is a great powdered energy drink that contains a sensible 50mg of caffeine and has only 11 calories per serve. Plus, REIZE is also completely sugar-free.
Unlike most energy drinks, REIZE has the perfect balance of caffeine, taurine, ginseng, and B-vitamins to enhance your cognitive functions without overwhelming you with any adverse side effects or crash.
REIZE also highlights convenience and versatility, coming in neat 4g sachets. It’s so easy to make your REIZE energy drink: tear open a sachet and pour it into an 8-ounce glass of water, and your drink is ready!
You can also mix REIZE with almost any other beverage that you like including tea, sparkling water, and even juice.
The best part?
REIZE ships right to your home for only about $1 per drink.
That’s excellent value for money.
Give REIZE a try and I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s the best energy drink for enhancing your cognitive functions.