Your Expert in Managing Fatigue and Caffeine Use in the Workplace

GreenEyedGuide is now GEG Research and Consulting

Where It All Began

I’ve been helping people manage fatigue and caffeine use for decades now. DECADES. It’s hard to believe I’ve been studying caffeine and energy drinks for almost 20 years now – my goodness, I’m getting old…

In those years I’ve witnessed the evolution of the energy drink: in 2003 every energy drink looked like Red Bull or Monster Energy; now some energy drinks are indistinguishable from ready-to-drink coffees, teas, and juice beverages. Along with the evolution of the caffeinated beverage, my business has evolved too. I’m happy to announce that “GreenEyedGuide” is now “GEG Research and Consulting”. GEG, for short, is your expert in managing fatigue and caffeine use in the workplace.

Introducing GEG Research and Consulting - PREZI presentation
View the Presentation

The Importance of Fatigue and Caffeine

New Name, Same Mission

My ambition as the “GreenEyedGuide” has always been to help people see caffeinated beverages the way I do, through my green eyes. I wanted to share my science background to help people make the best choices for themselves, based on facts, not fear.

For example:

What to Drink and How to Think For Every Level of Fatigue

With the new business name and slogan comes a sharper focus to the “HOW” behind my “WHY”. With my 5 Levels of Fatigue system, I can help people identify where fatigue is doing the most damage. To boost my own system, I’ve incorporated the best practices used to keep tired nurses from killing people. As a result, my Fatigue Management Workshop helps people learn what to drink and how to think for every Level of Fatigue.

Caffeine and Fatigue Research and Consulting

I published my energy drink book in 2013. In 2020, I’ve got a new book and several research papers in the works. I’ve also got a new partnership with the Wisconsin Emergency Medical Services Association, and I look forward to leading more workshops with first responders. Suffice to say, it’s going to be a very busy year…

Thank you for joining me in this new chapter.

Managing Fatigue in the Workplace

It’s easy to imagine truck drivers, nurses, and first responders struggling to stay awake on the job, but fatigue impacts every occupation at every level. Fatigue includes physical tiredness, feeling mentally overwhelmed, even boredom. It’s easy to normalize fatigue – to accept it as a natural consequence of doing business, however, doing so not only hurts employees, it hurts the customers and the company’s bottom line.

The good news is anyone in any industry can make a Fatigue Management plan. In this post, we’ll talk about

  • Why you SHOULDN’T ignore or try to “push past” the fatigue,
  • How fatigue is reshaping the workplace in 2020,
  • The 5 Levels of Fatigue, and
  • The 5 steps to building your own Fatigue Management plan

If you haven’t addressed fatigue in your workplace, here’s what you need to know to get started.

Read more

How to drink caffeine strategically with the 5 Levels of Fatigue

Originally published January 13, 2017. Updated Sept 10, 2019.

During grad school, while working 2 jobs and researching full-time, I developed a system called the “5 Levels of Fatigue”.
It started out as a set of rules to help me consume caffeine more systematically – as I biochemist, I knew if I always picked the most potent drinks, caffeine wasn’t going to work on those days when I needed it the most.

Below, I’ll walk you through my system and how to use it to drink caffeine more strategically, MAXIMIZING caffeine’s benefits while MINIMIZING its side-effects.

For info on using the 5 Levels of Fatigue against boredom, burnout, and mental overwhelm, you’ll want to check out this page:
Click HERE

What’s the best energy drink? Everyone has their own preferences based on taste, but the scientific truth is “the best energy drink” depends on your body and your situation. Think of it this way:

An energy drink is like your favorite song: what gets YOU pumped up may do nothing for ME. A song that gets you up and moving on a Monday morning is probably not your go-to song to celebrate a Friday night.

Everyone is different, and different situations call for different solutions (that’s a beverage pun right there – in chemistry, a solution is a liquid mixture).

This is a picture of a card I made for a PhD student leaving my lab in grad school. To help her remember me, I drew a self-portrait. Big hair. Music. Caffeine.

I developed the 5 Levels of Fatigue in college and in grad school. I was juggling full-time studies with two part-time jobs. In addition to studying the science behind energy drinks, I was drinking them - a lot.

As a biochemistry major, I knew caffeine would stop working for me if my body got too used to it on a regular basis. Caffeine blocks adenosine, which prevents adenosine from sending you “YOU ARE GETTING SLEE-PY” signals. But after awhile your body realizes caffeine is blocking adenosine and MAKES MORE, so it takes MORE caffeine to feel the same energy boost.

Using the 5 Levels of Fatigue makes it less likely you'll develop caffeine dependence - it means you won't need more and more caffeine to feel awake.

Here's How It Works:

  • Every energy drink has a different amount of caffeine, juice, and sugar.
  • Some energy drinks are carbonated, some are not.
  • Carbonation, juice, and sugar content will all make one energy drink FEEL more powerful than another drink with the same amount of caffeine.

FATIGUE LEVEL 1: Dehydrated & Drowsy

At this level, you’re feeling a little drowsy, but not exhausted or overwhelmed.

SOLUTION = Do something Different. Go for a walk. Switch tasks. Take a 5 min break. Drink WATER. DO NOT drink any caffeine at this level.

Caffeine Informer Bai Antioxidant Infusion caffeine content

FATIGUE LEVEL 2: Too Tired

At this level, “I’m too tired” becomes the excuse for action. You’re not exhausted and not just bored or drowsy. You’re just a little bit off, a little sluggish, a little lethargic. You’re “too tired”.

SOLUTION = A LITTLE sluggish means A LITTLE caffeine. Look for caffeinated beverages with no more than 100 mg caffeine.

  • NON-carbonated beverages will provide a gentler boost because carbonation irritates the stomach lining so caffeine gets absorbed more quickly.
  • TEA-based beverages will also provide a gentler boost because L-Theanine has a calming effect.

FATIGUE LEVEL 3: Stressed & Struggling

At this level, you’re starting to feel overwhelmed. You’re trying to wake up but you’re really struggling to stay focused and engaged. A walk and a cup of tea aren’t going to cut it here, but it’s still not worst-case scenario “energy emergency” quite yet.

SOLUTION = Several scientific studies and international organizations say you should have no more than 200 mg caffeine at a time. So that’s what we’re looking for here.

  • HYBRIDS are the best option here – energy drink/coffee hybrids, energy drink/wannabe Gatorade drinks, caffeinated juice blends
  • Pick carbonated over non-carbonated for an extra boost if needed
  • Pick sugar-free or drinks where the only sugar comes from juice – save the full-sugar versions for those “energy emergencies” at Fatigue Level 4

FATIGUE LEVEL 4: Energy Emergency

At this level, we’re going to ignore health guidelines and go over that 200 mg caffeine per serving recommendation. This is an energy emergency. This is one step short of being a walking zombie. We’re talking just-trying-to-survive, counting-the-hours-before-I-can-go-home crisis.

SOLUTION = Choose a carbonated energy drink with more than 200 mg caffeine per can. You can also pick an energy shot because shots have higher caffeine mg per oz than energy drinks. Energy drinks with sugar will give you an extra boost though you may crash after a few hours so ONLY pick drinks with more than 10 grams sugar if you absolutely need that much more help.

FATIGUE LEVEL 5: Zombie

At this level, no amount of caffeine can save you. This is your absolute breaking point. This is worst-case-scenario.

SOLUTION = Only sleep can save you now.


This is the 5 Levels of Fatigue.

Watch GreenEyedGuide present the 5 Levels of Fatigue for Cal State Fullerton’s COMM Week 2017

In late April 2017 I had the pleasure of being involved in the Jack Up Your Life L.I.F.E (Living Incredibly For Ever) Symposium as part of California State University of Fullerton’s Communications Week. My presentation is finally available for those who were not able to attend the event in person.

Watch the GreenEyedGuide presentation below:

The 5 Levels of Fatigue and how to use this system to stay healthy, happy, and energized

[GreenEyedGuide starts ~26 min mark but I highly recommend listening to all the speakers]

NOTE:  the full Symposium page is located here.

WARNING: Video contains strong language! Discretion is advised.

 

Let’s connect!

 

 

GreenEyedGuide Caffeine Challenge Day 8/10 – Fatigue Level 3

For Day 8 we talk about Fatigue Level 3. Learn what distinguishes a Level 3 beverage from a Level 4 beverage. ***PLAY ALONG-share your favorite Fatigue Level 3 product on Instagram/ Facebook/Twitter and tag @GreenEyedGuide, or add your pictures to the Caffeine Challenge Event page at Facebook.com/GreenEyedGuide/events

Through this challenge, you’ll learn how to use the 5 Levels of Fatigue to reap the benefits of caffeine while avoiding addiction, dependence, tolerance, and toxicity.

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