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Do Energy Drinks Make You Dumber? (Find Out)

A person taking out a can of energy drink from a freezer in a store
Energy drinks can cause rapid heartbeat, however, they won’t make you dumb

Energy drinks are the powerhouse for many people, especially highly caffeinated energy drinks. These beverages have become much more popular as compared to any other beverage as they can provide a boost of energy that can last for a significant period of time.

While energy drinks are unlikely to make you dumb, they can cause a number of other side effects like anxiety, rapid heart rate, and more.

People have become quite addicted to caffeine and energy drinks, however, it’s understandable as energy drinks provide several benefits, the most alluring one is increasing mental and physical performance.

Furthermore, energy drinks include many ingredients in different doses and often in large quantities which can be bad for some people.

For instance, the most common ingredients used in energy drinks are sugar and caffeine, both are usually included in large doses and according to the research, excessive sugar and caffeine can induce many health complications.

Keep on reading to find out more about the effects of energy drinks.

Do Energy Drinks Make You Smarter?

Energy drinks are created with several ingredients, however, caffeine is the prime ingredient in every energy drink.

Caffeine may not make you smarter, nevertheless, it can increase your mental performance which can make you work efficiently, making you look smarter. Moreover, caffeine keeps you focused and concentrated which can increase your productivity.

In addition, most energy drinks include l-theanine, which affects your mind by increasing cognitive performance.

L-theanine has many benefits which include:

  • Boosts mental focus.
  • Improves sleep.
  • Can keep you relaxed.
  • Increases cognitive performance.
  • Promotes weight loss.
  • Can boost your immune system.
  • Reduces blood pressure.

Can Energy Drinks Affect Your Brain?

A mug of coffee
Caffeine is the prime ingredient used in energy drinks

Energy drinks contain ingredients like caffeine, l-theanine, and sugar which can have an effect on your brain. The most visible effect is a boost of energy and a focused mind which comes from caffeine primarily.

While caffeine can be derived from natural as well as synthetic sources, natural caffeine can be much healthier than synthetic caffeine as natural caffeine may not contain some of the harmful compounds that can be found in synthetic caffeine.

In my opinion, the mental and physical boost from natural caffeine feels healthier and it doesn’t make you jittery, so go for the energy drinks that get their caffeine from natural sources.

Here’re some benefits of natural caffeine sources:


Guarana is a Brazilian plant indigenous to the Amazon basin and it’s also known as Paullinia cupana. Guarana consists of the highest caffeine concentration, which makes it an ideal source of caffeine for energy drinks.

Here’s a list of benefits:

  • Rich in antioxidants.
  • Can reduce fatigue.
  • Can improve focus.
  • May help you learn better.
  • Promotes weight loss.
  • Can relieve chronic diarrhea and can treat constipation.
  • Boosts heart health.
  • Can provide pain relief.
  • Improves skin appearance.
  • Consists of anti-cancer properties.
  • Contains antibacterial properties.
  • May protect against eye disorders associated with aging.

Green Tea

Green tea is considered to be one of the healthiest plants on the face of this planet, it can provide several benefits which include:

  • Consists of many healthy bioactive compounds.
  • Can improve brain function.
  • Increases fat burning.
  • Can reduce the risk of some cancers.
  • May protect your brain from aging.
  • Can reduce bad breath.
  • Can prevent type 2 diabetes.
  • Can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Promotes weight loss.
  • Can help you live longer.

Green Coffee Beans

Green Coffee Beans are used quite often as a source of caffeine, they can provide a similar boost of energy that any caffeine source would.

Check out the list of its benefits:

  • Promotes weight loss.
  • It regulates blood sugar.
  • Can control blood pressure.
  • Consist of potent anti-aging effects.
  • Can lower the risk of cancer.
  • Can boost your mood.
  • Acts as a detoxifier.

Negative Effects Of Caffeine/Energy Drinks

Cans of different energy drinks
Energy drinks are quite dangerous for human health, so keep them in moderation

Caffeine is one of the prime ingredients included in energy drinks in large doses in order to provide a much long-lasting and effective boost of energy.

While caffeine in moderation may make your mind focused and lift your energy levels, excessive caffeine intake has been associated with a number of side effects which include:

  • Restlessness and shakiness.
  • Insomnia.
  • Headaches.
  • Dizziness.
  • Fast heart rate.
  • Dehydration.
  • Anxiety.
  • Dependency.

According to the FDA, you must keep an intake of 400 mg of caffeine per day, more than that can lead to side effects that may worsen with time.

Energy drinks aren’t for everyone, they’re marketed to only adults, however, teenagers and young adults have been exposed to them as well which should raise health concerns.

Besides that, even some adults are unable to consume energy drinks because of the high caffeine content.

There’re many people who’re sensitive to caffeine and can get side effects by even consuming a small dose of caffeine.

Here’s a list of side effects associated with caffeine sensitivity:

  • Abnormal heartbeat.
  • Headache.
  • Jitters.
  • Nervousness.
  • Anxiousness.
  • Restlessness.
  • Insomnia.

Moreover, researchers have associated a number of side effects which the consumption of energy drinks like Red Bull which include:

  • May give significant rise to blood pressure levels and heart rate.
  • Can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Can cause damage to your teeth.
  • May cause a negative effect on your kidney health.
  • May increase high-risk behavior, especially among teenagers.
  • Can cause caffeine overdose and possible toxicity.

Researchers say that your chances of getting exposed to these side effects are more if you consume energy drinks on a daily basis and in immoderation.

Effects Of Sugar On Energy Drinks

Sugar may just be worse than caffeine because excessive intake of caffeine won’t kill you but excessive intake of sugar just might. Sugar is used to mask the bitterness of certain ingredients and to include another source of energy as sugar can lift your energy levels for a short period of time.

Sugar isn’t necessary for your diet and lack of sugar hasn’t been found to cause any side effects, however excessive intake of sugar can give rise to a number of health complications.

Here’s a list of side effects associated with excessive sugar intake:

  • Headaches.
  • Irritability.
  • Fatigue.
  • Difficulty in concentrating.
  • Feeling jittery or anxious.
  • Feeling shaky.
  • Dizziness.
  • Hunger.
  • Bloating.
  • Crashes.
  • Higher blood pressure.
  • Inflammation.
  • Weight gain.
  • Diabetes.
  • Fatty liver disease.
  • Increased risk for heart attack and stroke.

According to the AHA, women and men should keep an intake of about 25 g and 36 g of sugar. However, energy drinks often exceed the sugar limit.

For instance, an 8 oz can of Red Bull has 27 g of sugar and a 16 oz can of Monster has 50 g of sugar. In addition, Monster Energy drink is quite popular among teenagers and young adults, and to my surprise, people have had heart attacks from the chronic and immoderate consumption of Monster Energy drink.

There have been many deaths that are claimed to be caused by the intake of Monster, now sugar alone may not have caused that, but it did contribute.

Check out this video to know how energy drinks are slowly killing you.

Energy drinks are especially bad for you when consumed in immoderation

Is One Energy Drink A Day Ok?

Energy drinks are being consumed at a gross rate by adults as well as teenagers and young adults, despite the fact that these beverages are only marketed to adults.

Nevertheless, energy drinks can be good for you if you just choose the right energy drink. As long as you’re consuming the right energy drink with zero to low sugar and calorie contents, one serving would be fine per day.

Here’s a list of energy drinks with zero sugar content and low-calorie content:

Energy DrinksSugar ContentCalorie ContentCaffeine Content
Monster Energy Zero Ultra, a Sugar-Free Energy Drink0 g10140 mg
G Fuel Energy Drink0 g0300 mg
Marquis Sugar-Free0 g0100 mg
Rockstar Energy Drink0 g25161 mg
XYIENCE Energy Cherry Lime Drink0 g20160 mg
Hiball Energy Vanilla Seltzer Drink0 g0160 mg
Zevia Zero Calorie Energy Drink0 g0120 mg
Aspire Healthy Energy Drink, Mango Lemonade0 g080 mg
Bang Star Blast Energy Drink0 g0300 ml
List of healthy energy drinks

Alternatives To Energy Drinks

I get that you’re addicted to energy drinks, but you have you understand that for every benefit, there’s a price to pay.

Energy drinks can be extremely dangerous for your health if not consumed with responsibility, so here are some alternatives to energy drinks that you should introduce to your diet.

  • Green Juice.
  • Green and Fruit smoothies.
  • Herbal Tea.
  • Kombucha.
  • Green Tea.


  • Energy drinks are likely to give rise to many side effects, however, making you dumb isn’t one of them.
  • Energy drinks include many ingredients, but caffeine is the most used ingredient as it can increase your focus.
  • Energy drinks can cause many side effects if consumed in immoderation, in fact, several people have had heart attacks and strokes from chronic and immoderate intake of energy drinks like Monster.
  • Energy drinks are good for you as long as you consume them in moderation.
  • Furthermore, I would suggest you steer clear of energy drinks with high sugar content as sugar can be bad for your health.

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