Now imagine this. It’s late, you’re tired, and you have a really important presentation due tomorrow. You decide to run down to the store to see if they have any energy drinks to help with your focus and memory.
Most energy drinks can help improve memory and cognitive function for a short while, but it’s not without cost, so you have to be sure you’ve got the right drink for the right job.
So let’s take a deep dive and figure out how exactly energy drinks can assist you with memory tasks, and which energy drinks can help you best when it comes down to crunch time.
What Do Energy Drinks Do?
Energy drinks are generally known for 3 things: increasing alertness, boosting exercise performance, and, of course, giving you energy.
To be precise, energy drinks do what they do mainly through their ingredients, especially caffeine and sugar.
Caffeine binds to the adenosine receptors in your brain, preventing you from feeling tired, while the sugar (often sucrose or glucose) breaks down in your body, giving much-needed energy to your cells.
The best way to describe the most immediate effects of energy drinks would be like having a cup of coffee (or two), with more sweetness and fizz.
This is just the quick version, however, and if you’re looking for something more in-depth, I’ve written an article on energy drink ingredients and what they do, so feel free to check that out.
How Do Energy Drinks Affect Memory?
Energy drinks are known for ‘increasing alertness’. The caffeine in energy drinks boosts cognitive function (and memory) for a short period of time.
According to this research paper, energy drinks have been suggested to improve memory and psychomotor performance and reduce fatigue, which further supports energy drinks’ role in improving memory.
The most important ingredient in energy drinks that contribute to the memory aspect seems to be caffeine, which reduces fatigue and improves attention, working memory and reaction time.
Here’s a quick video explaining caffeine’s effects on the brain a bit more:
Do note, however, that energy drinks just enhance what’s already there, allowing your brain and memory to be at it’s fullest potential when you otherwise might be too tired to continue on (it’s not some miracle potion that will make you smarter).
What To Look For In An Energy Drink To Boost Memory?
As always, picking out the right ingredients involves a bit of detective work. But don’t worry, all you need to do is look at the back of the can:
You’ll find a lot of nutritional information here, from calories to vitamin content, and it’s everything you need to make an informed decision on your energy drink choices.
If you’re new to the energy drink world, however, here are a few ingredients you should definitely keep an eye on:
Perhaps the most important energy drink ingredient, caffeine, is essential if you’re trying to boost your working memory for a short while (there’s a reason coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world).
The caffeine content in most energy drinks range from 50 to 300mg, depending on the brand you decide on. For context, your regular cup of coffee can contain anywhere between 95 to 500mg of caffeine.
In the debate on energy drinks versus coffee, one thing that is clearly on the side of energy drinks is that at least you know how much caffeine you’re getting in each can. With coffee, it’s much harder to know for sure.
While a small to moderate amount of caffeine can help improve your memory and cognitive abilities, too much caffeine in a short amount of time may be too much for your body to handle.
Therefore, it’s important to take note of how many energy drinks you have in a day, and be aware of any other beverages containing caffeine such as tea or coffee, which might also add onto that daily limit.
For reference, I personally prefer energy drinks with 50 to 100mg of caffeine per serving, as they provide me just enough to keep me going, but not too much that I get overwhelmed by the effects of caffeine.
For more information on what too much caffeine can do to you, I recommend checking out the article I’ve written on it here.
In small doses, sugar is a pretty good treat. Sugar’s sweet taste influences the brain in the release of dopamine receptors, which can help improve your mood and your short-term memorizing ability.
Too much sugar is, of course, pretty bad for you, however. The AHA recommends a daily added sugar limit of 25g for women and 36g for men.
In the short-term, excessive consumption of sugar may lead to a sugar crash, leaving you feeling slow and lethargic, not in a fit state for your memory to function at it’s fullest.
There are also long-term health and dietary consequences of eating too much sugar, such as:
- Weight Gain
- Type II Diabetes
- Poor dental health
- Increased risk of depression
So be sure to watch how much sugar you have in a day. You can definitely have too much of a good thing.
There are numerous other energy drink ingredients, some associated uniquely with their own brands, but here are the most common ones:
Taurine is an amino acid chain and is one of the more common energy drink ingredients, helping to boost exercise performance and other overlooked benefits.
Guarana extract is another one. This Brazillian plant extract contains many useful properties, such as being a stimulant as well as an antioxidant. However, guarana is also mostly caffeine. so do take that into consideration.
B-Vitamins are found in almost all energy drinks, being relatively easy to add to the mix. They contain a whole host of benefits and play an important role in the overall function of your body.
For more information, head on over to the article I’ve written all about energy drinks and their ingredients, which will explain everything with a bit more depth.
How Many Energy Drinks Can I Have A Day?
You should limit yourself to only having one energy drink per day, and ideally at the right time. When you drink an energy drink is as important of a factor as how many you have.
Of course, the number of drinks is totally dependent on the drink itself—how much caffeine and/or sugar the drink has. It’s not uncommon to have two or three sometimes, so long as you stay within the recommended daily limits of caffeine and sugar.
Still, one drink a day is a good baseline number, and I would advise you to have more than one only if you think you really need it.
To learn more about whether it’s safe to drink energy drinks on a daily basis, check out my other article where I cover everything you need to know to make an informed decision.
Will Energy Drinks Help Me Study?
It entirely depends on what your preferred study method is. If you’re someone who works in quick bursts instead of marathoning it, then energy drinks might be more suited for you.
Think of memory and memorizing points as either a short sprint or a distance run. Some people are good at the former, some at the latter, and everywhere in between the two extremes.
While energy drinks can help you when you study, its effects don’t really last that long and hence, aren’t truly suited for a long marathon session unless you’re constantly downing one every few hours.
Unfortunately, that is a lot of energy drink in a very short amount of time, which isn’t exactly healthy.
Still, if you’re looking for a quick burst of energy to get you through that final stretch, an energy drink may just be what you need to keep your mind energized.
Energy drink consumption is very common among students. Several studies have focused on the reasons this might be the case.
Fair warning, energy drinks act as a pick-me-up, not a substitute for an actual meal. So if you haven’t eaten in a while during a long study session, try making some food instead.
That said, if you’re keen on drinking some energy drinks, you can refer to my previous article outlining the best energy drinks for studying.
Should Teens Drink Energy Drinks to Improve Memory?
Generally speaking, teenagers and adolescents should probably stay away from energy drinks altogether, even if it might give them an edge in their studies.
This is due to the high amount of caffeine these energy drinks have, which can be attributed to causing dependency amongst teenagers and even adults.
Besides that, the sugar and caffeine content in most energy drinks are often geared towards adults; teenagers don’t quite yet have the same metabolism needed to process everything properly.
It doesn’t help that the branding for most energy drinks seems to be geared towards a younger audience. But in any case, if you’re a teenager, stick with lightly caffeinated coffee or tea for now.
Save the energy drinks for adulthood, there’s no need to rush things.
For more information on energy drinks and teenagers, check this article out.
The Best Energy Drinks For Memory
These are, in my humble opinion, some of the best energy drinks to help improve your memory, having just the right mix of ingredients to keep you going:
|Energy Drink||Sugar (g)||Caffeine (mg)||Calories|
|Celsius Energy Drink||0||200||10|
|Red Bull Energy||27||80||110|
|Bang Energy Drink||0||300||0|
|REIZE Energy Drink||0||50||11|
Celsius Energy Drink
Celsius might not be the most famous energy drink brand, but it’s certainly one of the healthiest.
At 10 calories, no sugar, and 200mg of caffeine in a 12 fl.oz can, Celsius energy drink is a great middle-ground option for those who want a moderate caffeine content without worrying about its effects on their diet.
It also has Vitamin C, a rarity in most energy drink brands. Adding onto this is their series of fruit flavors, so there’s sure to be a version of Celsius you’ll definitely enjoy.
My main issue with Celsius is the pretty hefty 200mg of caffeine in each can. Personally, I think it’s a bit much, but it might work for you.
Sometimes, you just can’t beat the classics, and nothing says classic energy drink better than Red Bull. It’s even been scientifically proven to substantially enhance your memory, as this research paper states.
Your standard 8.4 fl.oz can of Red Bull contains 110 calories, 27g of sugar, and 80mg of caffeine.
Though Red Bull’s caffeine content is suitable for those with a low caffeine tolerance, the high presence of sugar might deter you.
Ultimately, as long as you pace yourself and watch your sugar intake, a can of Red Bull can work in a pinch.
Bang Energy Drink
Drinking a can of Bang is the same as hitting the big, red emergency button. The last resort, if you will.
A 16 fl.oz can of Bang comes with 0 calories, no sugar, and a whopping 300mg of caffeine! For context, that’s almost 3 cups of coffee in a single can.
Before you ask, yes, Bang is one of the strongest energy drinks in the world.
Sure, it’ll certainly get you energized, but it’s only suitable for you if you have a high caffeine tolerance, or if you have grown a bit numb to the effects of caffeine.
For newcomers, I would advise staying away from Bang. You might be more susceptible to the detrimental effects of caffeine, which could derail your memory (or your sleep pattern) in the short-term.
REIZE (10 out of 10)
If you want true memory-boosting performance, there isn’t a better option than REIZE in my opinion.
REIZE is a powdered energy drink that comes in a convenient 4g sachet. With only 50mg of caffeine, it’s completely sugar-free and has just 11 calories per serving.
REIZE also contains taurine, ginseng, and B-group vitamins. These beneficial ingredients combine to create a smart mix, giving you the energy boost you need without the crash afterward.
Best of all, you can get REIZE shipped right to your door for only about $1 per drink.
Try REIZE today, and I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s definitely the best energy drink to help with that memory of yours.