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The Best Energy Drinks for Night Shift Workers

Whether you’re a student or a working adult, there may come a time when you need to stick it through the night, and it’s a pretty tall task to perform your best through those late nights while trying to stay awake.

It’s either you’re physically too tired or don’t have the mental capacity to do the work, neither of which are conducive for any productivity.

Guy on the desk doing midnight work
Energy drinks are known to enhance energy and mental performance

So if you’re looking for the right energy drinks to keep you up all night, you’ve come to the right place. I’ll present what I think are the most effective energy drinks in this post to help you stay up and be productive throughout the night.

Personally, the energy drinks that worked best for me during night shifts were Red Bull, Bang Energy, and Celsius Energy Drink. They have enough caffeine in them to help pull you through the night shift, but not enough to pose any danger to your health.

If you’re interested in learning more about it, keep reading.

Why Are Night Shift Workers Affected By Fatigue?

Night shift workers are affected by fatigue because when you transition sleep from night to day and work from day to night, it will disrupt your sleep’s circadian and homeostatic control.

Such work hours will pose a health risk in sleep and tiredness, cardiovascular disease, accidents, and cancer.

Our bodies and minds have evolved to relax and calm down after dark, then spring back into activity in the morning.

People who work the night shift should fight their bodies’ natural sleep cycle while being attentive and high-performing. It doesn’t matter if they get adequate sleep throughout the day. All the sleep in the world will not compensate for a misaligned circadian rhythm.

Does caffeine help night shift?

Caffeine is a stimulant that can help you stay awake and alert during your night shift, which can be particularly challenging because your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle is disrupted.

However, it’s important to use caffeine in moderation and to be aware of its effects on your body. Drinking too much caffeine can lead to negative side effects like jitters, nervousness, and sleep disturbances, which can make it even harder to get through your night shift.

It’s also important to remember that caffeine has a half-life of around 5-6 hours, which means that it can stay in your system for several hours after you consume it. So, if you’re working a night shift, it’s generally recommended that you avoid caffeine for at least 6 hours before you plan to go to sleep.

What vitamins should I take if I work night shift?

If you work night shifts, your body may have a harder time getting the nutrients it needs to function properly, so taking the right vitamins and supplements can be helpful. Here are some vitamins and supplements that you may want to consider taking:

  1. Vitamin D: People who work night shifts often have limited exposure to sunlight, which is a primary source of vitamin D. Taking a vitamin D supplement can help you maintain healthy bones and teeth, support immune function, and improve mood.
  2. Melatonin: Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Taking melatonin supplements can help you fall asleep and stay asleep during the day when your body is used to being awake.
  3. Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is important for maintaining energy levels and cognitive function. People who work night shifts may have a harder time getting enough vitamin B12 from their diet, so taking a supplement can be helpful.
  4. Magnesium: Magnesium can help reduce stress and anxiety, promote relaxation, and support healthy sleep.
  5. Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are important for brain health and can help reduce inflammation and improve mood. Taking a fish oil supplement can be a good way to get more omega-3s in your diet.

However, it’s important to note that everyone’s nutritional needs are different, so it’s a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider before starting any new vitamin or supplement regimen.

How do I prepare my body for a night shift?

Preparing your body for a night shift is important to help you stay alert and focused during your work hours. Here are some tips for preparing your body for a night shift:

  1. Adjust your sleep schedule: Try to gradually adjust your sleep schedule a few days before your night shift so that you’re gradually staying up later and sleeping during the day. This will help your body adjust to the new schedule more easily.
  2. Eat a healthy diet: Eating a healthy and balanced diet can help you stay energized and focused during your shift. Focus on whole foods that are rich in nutrients and avoid foods that are high in sugar and processed carbohydrates, which can cause energy crashes.
  3. Stay hydrated: Staying hydrated is important for maintaining energy levels and avoiding dehydration, which can lead to fatigue and headaches. Drink plenty of water and avoid sugary or caffeinated beverages, which can cause dehydration.
  4. Stay active: Regular exercise can help you feel more alert and energized during your shift. Try to incorporate some physical activity into your daily routine, even if it’s just a short walk.

By following these tips, you can help your body adjust to a night shift and feel more energized and alert during your work hours.

Guy sitting having a headache

Moreover, researchers have discovered that shift workers may have health issues. Ulcers, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease appear to be more common among people who work night or rotating shifts.

Here’s a video explaining the effects of working a night shift:

Are Energy Drinks Also Suitable for All-Nighter Studying?

Guy having an all nighter on his laptop
Caffeine in energy drinks affects your nervous system, resulting in a boost in energy and mental performance

Yes, they are! Energy drinks can also be for studying all night.

Caffeine has been shown in studies to assist students to enhance brain function such as memory, attention, and response speed while also lowering mental tiredness.

Caffeine in energy drinks activates your neurological system, increasing energy levels, and mental performance as long as the dosage is proper.

Some energy drinks contain ingredients like Taurine, B-Vitamins, and Inositol that may assist with mental disorders such as panic disorder, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder by balancing specific chemicals in the body.

Moreover, according to the study, energy drinks enhance the capacity to keep and recover information in short and long-term memory and the speed with which knowledge can be retrieved.

With that said, you should always keep in mind that FDA recommends no more than 400mg of caffeine and too much caffeine can have negative side effects.

Getting Energy After Night Shifts

Night shifts also interfere with the hormones and brain chemicals that regulate your mood, appetite, neurological and digestive systems, which can impact your weight, mood, and possibly your risk of heart disease. However, you may mitigate these impacts by making a few changes to your daily routine.

While many people struggle to shift to this work style fully, here are some tips to make a move smoother.

  • Manage sleep patterns
  • Watch your diet
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Take naps
  • Use caffeine wisely

If you’re having trouble falling asleep, talk to your doctor about taking a melatonin pill. Despite the fact that it is accessible without a prescription, some individuals wake up quite drowsy from it, and taking too much can cause significant adverse effects such as nightmares, so see your doctor before trying it.

Are Energy Drinks Suitable For a Night Shift?

Energy drinks are definitely suitable for night shifts. With their caffeine and energy-boosting components, they might be your best ally in completing your duties throughout the night.

How do they work you ask?

Cans of Energy Drinks
Energy Drinks

Caffeine in energy drinks activates your neurological system, increasing your energy levels and mental performance if the dosage is appropriate.

You see, caffeine is an “adenosine receptor antagonist.” Adenosine is a sleep-inducing chemical in your body. Caffeine prevents sleep by blocking the adenosine receptor.

As a result, caffeine is a popular component in beverages that provide ‘energy.’ Energy drinks, when combined with other energy-boosting components, are excellent tools for keeping you energized, whether for an all-nighter or other physical activity.

Energy drinks might be a fantastic pick-me-up after an all-nighter, but that doesn’t mean you should rely only on them to improve your mental performance.

A good night’s sleep and a well-balanced diet can still help you perform effectively in any mental or physical endeavor. So you should keep an eye on your entire diet as well because energy drinks only provide brief advantages and may even hurt you if taken excessively.

However, it’s important to note that energy drinks only have temporary boosting effects. So ironically, after the caffeine in your system subsides, you will feel the withdrawal of the caffeine, making you feel exhausted, irritated and may even cause headaches and mood swings.

This is what they call the ‘crash’ after drinking energy drinks. Luckily, I have an article all about energy drinks without this aftereffect, check it out if you’re interested.

The Best Energy Drinks For Night Shift

Now that we’ve covered everything from prepping you for an all-nighter to explaining how energy drinks work in our bodies let’s move on to the best energy drinks to aid you through your night shifts or all-nighters!

Here’s a quick overview of the contents of these energy drinks so you can see why I chose them.

BrandsCaffeine ContentSugarCalories
Red Bull80mg27g110
Bang Energy300mg0g0
Celsius Energy Drink200mg0g10

Please keep in mind that these energy drinks are not included in any particular order; I simply feel they are all worth a shot if you plan on staying up all night.

Now without further ado, here are the best energy drinks for a night shift:

Red Bull

Red Bull On a table
  • Caffeine content: 80mg
  • Sugar content: 27g
  • Calorie content: 110 calories

Red Bull also offers sugar-free versions, so there is no risk of a sugar crash. As a result, you’ll be able to stay up for much longer without sacrificing your total energy levels.

Bang Energy

Bang energy drink can
  • Caffeine content: 300mg
  • Sugar content: 0g
  • Calorie content: 0 calories

This energy drink is quite the bang! (Pun intended) This product has gone off like a rocket since its release. They have more than 22 varieties and are always adding new ones. So it’s no surprise that they’re one of the most popular study help pills available.

You may select between their standard 300mg caffeine, 0 calories, and a tall 16 ounce can with over 20 varieties. If artificial tastes aren’t your thing, the Natural Bang category has a few possibilities for you. If you still want energy and focus without the caffeine buzz, they provide numerous varieties that are caffeine-free.

Celsius Energy Drink

A Can of Celsius
  • Caffeine Content: 200mg
  • Sugar content: 0mg
  • Calorie content: 10 calories

Celsius is also an energy drink you can try if you have an all-night work ethic. The drink features a variety of flavors so if you ever get tired with one flavor while doing your work, you can always switch it up in between.

It carries a caffeine content of 200mg, more than Red Bull but less than Bang, which should be enough to keep the power going in your brain as you do your job.

Other Alternatives for Energy Drinks

As you can see, several of these energy drinks include a lot of caffeine and sugar.

And we all know that excessive coffee and sugar have negative consequences that we don’t want to experience, such as weight gain, palpitations, jitteriness, teeth decay, and so on.

And if you can’t handle this much coffee and sugar in one serving and want to avoid such side effects, you can always try healthier options to keep you going through your night shift.

Here is a list of energy drinks alternatives that you can try:

  • Coffee
  • Water
  • Green tea
  • Yerba mate

Are Energy Drinks Bad For You?

Energy drinks are not bad for you unless consumed excessively.

When you need a boost or a lift during mental or physical exertion, energy drinks may come in handy.

However, energy drinks’ primary drawbacks are their caffeine and sugar content. Many energy drinks include caffeine, and we all know that too much caffeine may be harmful.

They have no nutritional value so they aren’t really a healthy drink, but neither are they bad. All they do is give you a temporary power-up for when you need them.

Final Thoughts

Energy drinks are definitely a good go-to whenever you need to be awake at a time you should be sleeping. If you’re a nightshift worker, these drinks might even be your best buddies.

However, you should be cautious in their consumption as too much of anything can be awful. There are other ways to stay awake and if energy drinks are no longer on the table (perhaps you’ve exceeded your caffeine limit) you could always try doing other things.

Though it may not seem like it, your health is way more important than your job, and you should always keep it in mind.

I hope you find this article insightful. If you’re interested in energy drinks and what they can do for you, check out the other articles linked down below:

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