Many people reach for caffeine when they’re tired but the following three steps are essential for getting the most bang for your buck. Use these three easy steps to maximize your energy with and without caffeine.
Step One: Assess your Level of Fatigue.
The 5 Levels of Fatigue is all about assessing how tired you really are then responding with a solution (that’s a drink pun) that fits your Level of Fatigue.
Are you tired, sleepy, or just bored? Would a brisk walk or cold glass of water be enough to wake you up? Or are you so tired you could fall asleep standing?
By assessing how tired you are on the scale of bored-to-zombie, you can figure out how much caffeine you really need (or if you need caffeine at all).
Then Try This:
- If you are sleepy because you’re bored, take a brisk walk, do some plyometrics in the hallway, or climb a flight of stairs.
- If you haven’t eaten in more than 3 hours, eating a healthy snack will help you feel more alert.
- If you feel like a zombie and you’ve been up for more than 16 hours, embrace the fact that no amount of caffeine will be as rejuvenating as a 20-minute nap.
Step Two: Pick the drink that matches your fatigue level.
If you frequently use an energy drink that is stronger than what you really need, you may develop a tolerance and then caffeine will stop working when you need it the most. This is how caffeine addiction starts! But you can easily take action to fight that.
Then Try This:
In order of weakest to strongest, here are things to look for when you’re trying to figure out what caffeinated beverage you need:
- Cold Water
- Tea – usually 45 mg caffeine per cup
- Coffee – usually 100 mg caffeine per 8-oz cup (SIZE MATTERS!)
- Energy Drinks: CAFFEINE CONTENT VARIES WILDLY but the following characteristics make certain drinks feel stronger. Here’s the order from weakest to strongest:
- Non-carbonated, with juice
- Non-carbonated, no juice
- Carbonated, with juice
- Carbonated, no juice, “sugar-free”
- Carbonated, with sugar
Step Three: Nurse your caffeine.
Challenge yourself to drink only half a serving at a time and to wait 2-3 hours before reaching for another serving. Keep in mind that it will take AT LEAST 20 minutes for you to “feel” the caffeine kick in (not counting the boost from the placebo effect).
Biologically speaking, it takes 30 minutes for the first sips of caffeine to reach maximum concentration levels in your blood. If you think 30 minutes is long, think about this: only alcohol, aspirin, and caffeine get absorbed through the stomach, everything else has to wait until it enters the small intestine to get absorbed.
Then Do This:
- Time your energy drink consumption accordingly. Give the caffeine some time to get to work before you decide you need another dose.
- If you drink caffeine on an empty stomach, there’s a good
changeit will get irritated. The acids in coffee and the vitamins in an energy drink can irritate your stomach if there isn’t any food in there also being digested.
Choose your drink wisely, try to wake up sans caffeine as much as possible, and NEVER, EVER EVER CHUG AN ENERGY DRINK!
If you follow the three steps above, you can wake up more easily without caffeine, avoid caffeine addiction, and reduce your caffeine tolerance. This will help you feel more energized with and without caffeine.
Love this info? Want to learn more?
I’ve researched the science and safety behind energy drinks and their ingredients since 2003. This book is the culmination of my research:
- Get your copy of MY BOOK: “Are You a Monster or a Rock Star: A Guide to Energy Drinks — How They Work