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How Long Do Energy Drinks Last? (Answered)

How Long Do Energy Drinks Last? (Answered)

There are just some days when a cup of coffee isn’t enough to keep us awake, or when the afternoon slump hits so hard you find it hard to keep your eyes open, so what’s the best and most convenient option?

Energy drinks!

Energy drinks not only have around the same amount of caffeine found in coffee, but they’re also a quick source of energy and help enhance your performance. Though, the energy supplied by energy drinks isn’t infinite, which leads to the question: how long do energy drinks last?

Answer: The effects of energy drinks can last from 1 to 5 hours depending on your caffeine metabolism and the amount of caffeine you consumed.

For a more in-depth discussion on the effects of energy drinks, read on as I explore the amount of time it takes for the effects of energy drinks to kick in and subside, and how often you can have energy drinks.

Let’s get started…

What Do Energy Drinks Contain?

Caffeine

Brown and black coffee beans piled together.
Energy drinks contain varying amount of caffeine, so pick the one that suits your energy needs.

The most important ingredient in energy drinks is caffeine. Being a stimulant, caffeine is obtained from natural sources like tea leaves and coffee beans.

The way caffeine functions is by stimulating your brain and central nervous system, blocking adenosine, sleep-regulating transmitters, which causes the release of adrenaline and dopamine.

Caffeine has several benefits in addition to making you feel more alert and awake. Consuming caffeine-containing products can improve your physical performance and enhance cognitive functions.

Besides, caffeine can also increase your mood and performance in stressful situations. A review reported that the consumption of caffeine-containing energy drinks enhanced or/and maintained mood and performance during tiring and cognitively-demanding tasks compared to a placebo.

The best way to have caffeine is in moderate amounts on an intermittent basis. This is because consuming large quantities of caffeine could increase your tolerance toward caffeine, which reduces the advantageous effects of the stimulant.

For guidance, the FDA recommends a daily caffeine intake of 400mg for healthy adults. Any more than that, and you might end up with adverse effects like:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle breakdown
  • Digestive issues
  • High blood pressure
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Fatigue

Hence, you need to make sure that you moderate your caffeine intake per day to stay safe from potential side effects.

Though, to be honest, whether you experience side effects from having caffeine or not depends on your caffeine metabolism. Everyone breaks down caffeine differently.

Veteran caffeine drinkers have a higher tolerance to caffeine from consistent consumption while novice caffeine consumers would have a lower caffeine tolerance of course.

So, it’s also important to understand your limits well and adjust your caffeine intake accordingly.  

Sugar

A sugar heart atop a sugar pile.
Sugar is really tasty, but it becomes deadly in excess.

Sugar is another component you’ll discover in most caffeinated drinks. Not only does the sugar function to help improve the flavor of the beverages, but it also enhances the texture of these drinks and preserves them from getting spoilt over time.

Having sugary energy drinks from time to time isn’t bad for your health, but once it becomes a habit, it will leave a negative impact on your overall wellbeing.

For reference, the AHA states that the recommended daily sugar intake is 25g and 36g for women and men respectively. An excessive intake of sugar would eventually lead to health-related issues like:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Weight gain
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure

Thus, you should consume sugar-containing energy drinks in moderation and regulate your intake to stay under the daily limit.

Thankfully, however, we have sugar-free energy drinks as alternatives nowadays that can help us to cut down on our sugar intake while satisfying our cravings.

If you want to know more about sugar-free energy drinks, check out my article about the best sugar-free energy drinks where I’ve listed several amazing recommendations.

Vitamins

Aside from caffeine and sugar, energy drinks also usually contain B-group vitamins. The purpose of B vitamins is to ensure our bodies’ functions are working properly.

B vitamins play a large role in many of the functions in our bodies, from creating new blood cells to generating energy from our food through metabolism.

For an in-depth explanation about the purpose and benefits of each B vitamin, Harvard has an extensive article about it.

I’ve listed the types of B vitamins commonly found in energy drinks in the table below:

Types of B VitaminsPurposeTolerable Upper Intake Level
Vitamin B3 (niacin)Helps the body release energy; keeps skin healthy.35mg
Vitamin B6Store energy from protein and carbohydrates; formation of red blood cells100mg
Vitamin B12Release energy from food; forms red blood cells; keeps the nervous system healthy
The types of B vitamins commonly found in most energy drinks.

How Long Does It Take For An Energy Drink To Wear Off?

An energy drink takes around one hour to wear off depending on your caffeine metabolism and the amount of caffeine you had.

According to this article, it takes around one hour after consumption for the effects of the caffeine within the energy drink to wear off. It’s around this time that you’ll start feeling tired again and you might even experience a sugar crash if you had a sugar-containing energy drink.

This doesn’t mean that the caffeine has completely left your system yet. Caffeine has a half-life of 5 hours whereby the amount of caffeine you consumed will get halved after 5 hours have passed.

For example, if you had 100mg of caffeine, there’ll be 50mg left in your system after 5 hours.

Though, depending on how quickly your body breaks down caffeine and the amount of caffeine you had, it can change the amount of time it takes for the effects of your energy drink to wear off.

For regular caffeine drinkers, you’ve probably built up a tolerance from frequent caffeine, intake so the effects of these energy drinks will not last long for them, whereas it’s the opposite if you are having your first energy drink.

How Long Does Red Bull Energy Drink Last?

The effects of a Red Bull Energy drink can last between one to four hours depending on how quickly your body processes caffeine.

An 8.4 fl.oz can of Red Bull Energy has 80mg of caffeine and 27g of sugar. If you have a high caffeine tolerance, 80mg is too little for you, and having only one can of this drink won’t leave much of a significant effect for a long time.

But if your tolerance is low, the caffeine within Red Bull could increase your energy levels profoundly and improve your performance, and these effects could take a longer time to wear off entirely.

Do Energy Drinks Shorten Your Life?

Energy drinks don’t immediately shorten your life. But, if you practice a regular consumption of energy drinks without exercising or eating healthily, energy drinks might shorten your life span in the long run.

Energy drinks are great when you need a boost for the day. Plus, it helps you push through cognitively-demanding tasks and exercise sessions.

As such, they make a good temporary source of energy when you’re driving for long periods on the road since they can reduce your sleepiness.

But like everything we eat and drink, we should probably stick to having energy drinks in moderation. As beneficial as these beverages are, having too much can eventually ruin your health and wellbeing.

Energy drinks are reported to even cause fatal changes to our bodies by increasing our blood pressure and the heart’s electrical activity after consumption.

This was observed through a 2017 study where it was found that the ingestion of energy drinks significantly elevated the participants’ blood pressure and QT intervals.

QT intervals refer to the amount of time taken for the heart to beat again and apparently, these changes can be dangerous for us.

Thus, if you have a heart condition or any pre-existing medical condition, it would be better for you to avoid energy drinks, especially the ones with high caffeine content.

And if you insist that you want to use energy drinks in certain situations, make sure to consult a doctor first before you do.

How Bad Is One Energy Drink A Day?

Having one energy drink a day isn’t bad unless you regularly consume it without a healthy lifestyle to balance it out.

Having one can of energy drink per day isn’t going to send you straight to the emergency room, but you need to make sure that energy drinks aren’t a staple in your daily life.

Exercising regularly and eating healthily to burn off the excess calories from energy drinks and providing your body with proper nutrients doesn’t hurt too.

You should also take care to have energy drinks that are well within your limits with caffeine. Having too much caffeine at a time, especially if your tolerance is low, can lead to unpleasant side effects.

The most important thing to remember is to consume energy drinks in moderation while caring for your health.

How Long Does Monster Energy Drink Keep You Awake?

Monster Energy drink can keep you awake for around 5 hours.

A 16 fl.oz can of Monster Energy drink contains 160mg of caffeine.

Considering that the half-life of caffeine is 5 hours, the remaining amount of caffeine left in your body after 5 hours is 80mg, which is still quite a lot (and it equals to a can of Red Bull!)

I wouldn’t recommend having Monster too close to your bedtime as caffeine can disrupt your sleeping hours. A 2013 study discovered that having caffeine 6 hours before bedtime could decrease your sleeping time by one hour.

Unless you’re pulling an all-nighter, you should drink Monster in the morning or afternoon to avoid a night of tossing and turning in bed.

If you’re looking for an energy drink to keep you going through the night which isn’t a can of Monster, check out the article I’ve written on the best energy drinks for all-nighters for some great alternatives.

And for more information on how caffeine within energy drinks can keep us awake, check out this video:

How Long Do Energy Drinks Take To Kick In?

Energy drinks generally take around 10 minutes to kick in.

The effects of energy drinks will become noticeable after about 10 minutes. But the caffeine in your body reaches peak blood concentration after around 45 minutes.

It’s at that time you’ll feel the stronger effects of the caffeine-like getting jitters and an increase in mental focus.

Energy Drinks For You

There’s a huge variety of energy drinks out there that suit all levels of caffeine tolerances and energy drinks. Here’s a list of option for you to get started on:

Aside from your usual canned version, energy drinks also come in powder form. Powdered energy drinks are great go-to options too as they’re customisable and can be adjusted to your preferences:

REIZE (10 Out 10)

A glass of REIZE Energy is being poured with water from a bottle on a beachside.
REIZE is the best choice for all your energy needs.

REIZE is a powdered energy drink that comes in light 4g sachets, making it easy and convenient for you to bring it anywhere you go.

With a reasonable 50mg of caffeine, REIZE is additionally sugar-free and has just 11 calories for each serving.

Though the caffeine present in REIZE is less compared to other energy drinks, it can still supply you with a boost that’d last for several hours, ample time for you to complete your tasks and workouts.

Plus, with REIZE’s low-calorie content, you don’t have to worry about additional calories affecting your overall diet.

In addition to that, REIZE is also packed with a great blend of ingredients like ginseng, taurine, and B vitamins that combine to provide you with the perfect energy boost – no crashes involved.

The best part? REIZE ships to your doorstep for only $1 per drink, shipping included.

Give REIZE a try, and you might agree that it’s the smarter option compared to other energy drink brands.

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