How do you get more energy when you work the night shift? How do you prepare for the night shift and recover from sleep-deprivation? Learn everything you need to know about preparing for the night shift in this virtual chat. Featuring Sleep and Fatigue Specialist Clinton Marquardt and Caffeine Scientist and Author GreenEyedGuide.
Inexpensive Fatigue Prevention tips – How to get a better night sleep when you work night shift
The 5S of Caffeine – How to get MORE energy with LESS caffeine
Other Fatigue Countermeasures – What can you do when you’re tired at work?
What defines "THE BEST" energy drink for night shift?
If you’ve ever wondered what to drink to help keep you awake on the night shift, this list is for you. While making the list of the best energy drinks for night shift, I used three criteria: 1) the drink has to be a top-selling brand, 2) it has to have the right amount of caffeine, and 3) it has to have other ingredients science has proven effective for boosting attention.
I know you have many, many choices when it comes to caffeinated beverages, but by sticking with the top-selling brands, you can be sure these brands taste good and are easy to find at grocery stores and gas stations. And, while caffeine does all the heavy lifting keeping you awake, there are several other ingredients that can be Robin to caffeine’s Batman.
Short on time? Download the Night Shift Energy Boost Shopping List – Includes the best energy drinks, ready-to-drink coffees, bottled teas, energy drink alternatives, AND some guidelines for healthier swaps
Energy Boosting Ingredients
If you want to overcome tiredness and get more energy working night shift, caffeine (and a short nap) is the most effective. But if taking a short nap isn’t possible, what should you drink to help keep you awake? To answer this question, we turn to science.
The good news is there are plenty of research papers on energy supplements for night shift workers and for the military.
The even better news is I’ve done all the hard work for you by reading this research! I’ll spare you the details and summarize the important parts.
My heart was pounding. I was out of breath, but I felt exhilarated. Something inside me was ready to explode with power, like an ocean wave the second before it crashes.
For me, energy drinks and bodybuilding have a lot in common. I’m not talking about the use of caffeine for a workout. To me, it’s much more than that: I’m a biochemist who studies energy drinks and trains for bodybuilding competitions.
One fine day in the gym I had just finished my warm-up when it happened. My competitive drive collided with the realization that my next bodybuilding competition was only 7 weeks away. Like a rubber band being pulled to the limit or the moment of transition after “for meeeeee” in “Bohemian Rhapsody”, I knew I was about to unleash considerable power. I always have caffeine before my workouts, but this energy surge was something new. I turned my music up two notches, took a deep breath, then launched into my set.
[Internal energy = potential energy + kinetic energy = Yay for Laws of Thermodynamics!]
I was doing a long jump/sideways medicine ball throw circuit. I honestly can’t remember the last time my legs have jumped that far and that fast. At one point my legs were springing from one jump to the next so fast, I thought I’d fall on my face. But I kept pushing forward. During the sideways med ball throws I felt I could have punched a hole in the wall, so I used the metal post of the multi-station instead. This surge of energy stayed with me through my entire workout. I hit a new max for deadlifts and didn’t feel tired like I normally do after plyo-pushups.
For me, hitting a new max in the gym and discovering a new level of strength is very similar to finding a new energy drink. In both scenarios, I feel like I’m acquiring superpowers and the confidence that comes from knowing I can do things that were previously impossible.
I remember the first few times I tried Monster for all-nighters in college: I felt calm and focused despite the fact I was memorizing metabolic biochemical pathways at 3 a.m. I also remember my left bicep would tingle sometimes – not all the time, and not consistently, just like an eye twitch (which I also got when I was stressed: correlation is not causation).
In the gym, a foundation of strength is a prerequisite to the exhilarating energy surge like the one I described above. With energy drinks, the prerequisite is trust in the brand and knowledge of the ingredients. If it’s a brand I know and trust, the science nerd in me gets excited before the caffeine enters my system. When I first laid eyes on Red Bull Purple and Lime sugar-free Editions, I was so excited I literally jumped up and down in the grocery store.
When it’s a new energy drink from a brand I don’t know, or when I don’t understand the logic behind the ingredients, that’s a different story. We’ll save that for Part Two.