How many of us turn to energy drinks when we need a little boost at the end of a long day (or at the beginning of a long night)? Energy drinks seem like the quick and easy choice! But do you have any idea how they affect your body? Here is what happens when you drink energy drinks:
It takes about 10 minutes for the caffeine in the energy drink to hit your bloodstream. The boost isn’t instantaneous, but during those 10 minutes, your body is slowly feeling the increase in energy. With 80 mg of caffeine in the average energy drink, your body is going to react strongly. Your heart rate starts to rise, your pulse quickens, and your blood pressure increases.
15 to 45 Minutes
Depending on your metabolism, this is how long it takes for the caffeine levels in your body to peak, giving you that rush of energy you’re craving. You’ll have that alert and awake feeling you want, and the stimulants in the energy drink will give you the boost of both mental and physical energy that makes them such a popular choice.
30 to 50 Minutes
Once again, depending on your metabolism, this is how long it takes for your body to fully absorb the caffeine. By this time, your liver responds to the influx of caffeine and energy, absorbing more of the sugar from your energy drink. Considering that there’s about 28 grams of sugar in each drink, that’s A LOT of sugar being pulled into your bloodstream.
By the time you reach the 1-hour mark, your body has burned through all the sugar consumed via the energy drink. Now you’re about to experience a sugar “crash”, which is the result of your liver compensating for the high sugar levels. The effects of the caffeine are also wearing off at this point, so you start to feel tired and low-energy.
5 to 6 Hours
Caffeine has a half-life of 5 or 6 hours, meaning that it takes your body this long to purge just 50% of the caffeine from your body. Caffeine stimulates your central nervous system (not a good thing after a few hours), so you’ll experience that “wired” feeling that stops you from sleeping–no matter how tired you are.
By this time, the caffeine should have been purged from your body, though this depends entirely on a variety of factors like activity level, rest, metabolism, diet, etc. If you are a healthy, active person, your body should have flushed all the caffeine by this point.
What Happens Next?
Within a few days, you may feel the need for that energy rush again, and your body craves that “high” it got after drinking the energy drink. You may suffer from cravings or a hankering for the energy drink, and it can be hard to resist the urge. If you give it and drink more, you will put your body through the same cycle all over again.
How Long Does it Take to Tolerate Caffeine?
Your body only needs about 7 to 12 days to grow tolerant to caffeine, meaning it takes more caffeine to cause the reaction you want. You have to drink more and more caffeine, in many different forms, just to feel that “rush” that you remember from that first day. But you won’t feel that same “rush” again, no matter how much you drink. The only way to get that sensation is to stop drinking coffee and let your body become sensitive to it once more.