It sounds like a good idea. You’re working overnight and you need just a little boost to get you through your shift. Energy drinks are sold everywhere and they can just give you the lift you need. But energy drinks are full of sugar and caffeine and aren’t the healthiest choice to help you stay awake through your night shift. What should you be drinking instead? Let’s take a closer look.
The Science of Energy Drinks
Unlike soft drinks, like sodas or sports drinks, energy drinks are a bomb of sugar and caffeine intended to give you a short-term boost. Right now, they are one of the most consumed dietary supplements among young adults and teenagers, which is a startling statistic. The big problem is that energy drinks don’t really have any oversight from the FDA, so you can’t always control what you’re getting when you drink them. And their short-term boost isn’t necessarily what your body needs to function properly.
There are a number of teas that can naturally give you the same boost as energy drinks. Instead of grabbing a Monster or a 5-hour energy, try brewing something much healthier. The three best teas for energy during your night shift are green tea, yerba mate and ginger.
Juice can also be a great alternative to energy drinks. And we’re not just talking the sugary orange juice you can grab at the gas station. Though, in some cases, that still might be a better choice than an energy drink. Instead, make your own juices. Healthy juice can contain iron, vitamins, antioxidants, and even protein. For example, use leafy greens, berries, and nuts to make a great juice to keep you energized throughout the night.
Coffee is a much-maligned beverage to be sure, but it is far better for you than most commercially available energy drinks. Don’t be afraid to reach for it at night. If you’re choosing between energy drinks and coffee, pick coffee every time. Try to reduce the amount of sugar you use to keep it on a healthier scale.
In the end, don’t forget good old-fashioned water. Dehydration is no joke and most of the time you don’t recognize the signs until it’s too late. You may be so focused on drinks that will help keep you awake that you forget to drink enough water to get through your night shift. Make sure you have water on hand at all times.