There’s no getting around the fact we’re a nation of caffeine guzzlers, but when it comes to knocking back energy drinks, your quick fix could be doing you more harm than good.
Red Bull – the famous pick-me-up sold by Austrian company Red Bull GmbH – is one of the main culprits; and marked as the biggest selling energy drink in the world, it’s sure got a lot to answer for.
Just one 250ml can of the sweet, fizzy stuff contains 80mg of caffeine and 27.5g of sugar – that’s roughly the equivalent of six teaspoons of sugar. In one measly drink.
So while it might give you a boost in times of need – note its pledge to ‘give you wings’ – you might get more than you bargained for when the buzz dies down. Here’s how it can take effect…
10 minutes is all it takes for the caffeine to enter your bloodstream. As with any drink of its kind, your heart rate and blood pressure will begin to rise.
15-45 minutes in and the caffeine hit from your Red Bull is at its peak. You’ll feel more stimulated, more alert, and your concentration levels will be at an all-time high.
At 30-50 minutes, the caffeine is fully absorbed and, in turn, your liver will respond by absorbing more into the bloodstream.
1 hour has gone by and the caffeine effects are starting to die down – but you know what that means: major sugar crash. Your body will start to feel tired and what was an energy high is now a lull.
5-6 hours is otherwise known as the half life of caffeine – indicating 5-6 hours after your first glug of the stuff, only half of the total caffeine intake remains in your bloodstream.
12 hours is the time it takes for the average person to rid their body of any caffeine; but this can depend on many factors – for example, women on an oral contraceptive will see the time doubled.
12-24 hours later and regular drinkers of caffeine will begin to suffer withdrawal symptoms – and they’re not pleasant. Think irritability, constipation and headaches until your next hit. Vicious cycle!
7-12 days on. Yes! A huge 7-12 days on from your can of Red Bull, is the time it will take for your body to become tolerant of your daily caffeine dosage. After this time, your body has simply accepted it.