Being tired and relying on caffeine is so commonplace here in the United States that there are coffee shops on every corner and energy drinks and bottles of coffee throughout gas stations and convenience stores. Too much caffeine isn’t good for anyone – but what about different caffeinated drinks? Are energy drinks or coffee better for you, or is there even a difference? Which should you opt for if you’re always tired?
Here is what you need to know about energy drinks vs coffee. If you’re always tired, it’s helpful to know which caffeinated drinks are better for you – but it’s also important to know whether or not your tiredness is the result of an underlying condition. Maybe you’re just not getting enough sleep, but if you find yourself reaching for caffeine all the time, there could be something more than a caffeine addiction at hand.
If you’re always tired, an energy drink or a cup of coffee may help wake you up a bit, but it’s important to see a medical professional to determine whether or not there is an underlying cause that should be treated.
How Much Caffeine Is Healthy?
In general, the CDC states that:
- Healthy adults can have up to 400 mg of caffeine in a day.
- Pregnant women should not have more than 200-300 mg of caffeine per day.
- Adolescents should not have more than about 100 mg of caffeine per day.
Of course, these are general guidelines and science is always uncovering new information. Talk to your doctor about what is right for you.
About Energy Drinks
Energy drinks typically have fun packaging and lofty promises, like helping to burn body fat and clearing brain fog. Caffeine can indeed enhance physical performance and help people feel more alert, however, the caffeine used in energy drinks tends to wear off quickly. Some energy drinks exceed 300 mg of caffeine, meaning that you can feel jittery, anxious, and surpass the general safe consumption of caffeine by having a soda or two in addition to your energy drink.
If you use energy drinks once in a while, like to get home when driving late at night or to get more studying in preparation for a big exam, they may be safe. However, if you are consuming energy drinks on a daily basis, this can be too much caffeine, sugar, and other chemicals for your body. This can result in health problems further down the line. As the saying goes, if you can’t pronounce the ingredients in something, it’s probably not good for you.
While sugar-free energy drinks may seem like a healthier choice, they have artificial sweeteners which are not good for you. So if you want to have an energy drink, save them for when you really need the boost. If you’re reaching for energy drinks on a daily basis because you can’t function without them, this could be the result of a caffeine addiction or it could be the result of underlying health problems.
Be honest with your doctor when they ask about how much caffeine you have, as this can impact your health further down the line.
Coffee in and of itself only has two ingredients: coffee beans and water. Getting different coffee drinks can expand that ingredient list to include sugar, creamer, and all sorts of different flavorings and toppings. But if you’re worried about your sugar consumption or artificial flavors, you can get plain old coffee with plain old milk and still get your boost.
Coffee has all sorts of antioxidants and benefits. Like energy drinks, it can boost your mental and physical performance thanks to the caffeine present in coffee beans. It can also decrease your risk of multiple different types of cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, chronic kidney disease, and more.
Since coffee does have caffeine in it, you need to be mindful of how much of it you have to ensure that you do not exceed daily limits. This is easier with coffee than energy drinks since coffee drinks tend to have less caffeine than energy drinks.
Pregnant women and people who don’t typically drink caffeine need to be careful about how much coffee they drink. If you ever want to know about how much caffeine is right for you, it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor.
Which Is Better: Energy Drinks Or Coffee?
Wondering whether energy drinks or coffee are a better source of caffeine? Coffee wins, hands down.
While energy drinks aren’t great for you, you know the age-old saying: “everything in moderation.” Having an energy drink every once in a while probably won’t hurt you. But on a regular basis, all the extra chemicals and sugar and high levels of caffeine can be harmful. Since energy drinks are relatively new, research about their safety is very limited.
Coffee, on the other hand, has been in use for centuries, and thus extensively studied. Coffee even has health benefits associated with its use. While energy drinks tend to be drunk quickly, coffee tends to be sipped, making you less likely to get jittery from drinking too much caffeine too fast.
A common argument energy drink advocates have is that energy drinks can sometimes have less caffeine and less sugar than certain coffee drinks. However, even when this is the case, energy drinks still typically contain many artificial ingredients and dyes.
Additionally, energy drinks have an increasing list of caffeine overdose cases that resulted in hospitalization due to their use, while this is extremely rare with coffee.
Regardless of whether you have energy drinks or coffee, it’s important to be mindful of what’s going into your body. Too much caffeine, sugar, and other ingredients can be harmful to your health.
Is Caffeine Good For When You’re Tired?
In our previous blog, How Caffeine Impacts Your Adrenal Glands: Combat Exhaustion And Stress, we talked about whether or not caffeine is good for you, such as when you are tired. Caffeine is a stimulant, so it can certainly make you feel more alert when you need the boost, but it’s important to be careful about your caffeine consumption. Having caffeine in the afternoon and evening can impact your ability to sleep and worsen cases of insomnia.
Reasons Why You’re Always Tired
If you’re always tired, it’s important to address the root cause of your tiredness rather than relying on caffeinated drinks to get you through the day.
Some reasons why you’re always tired can include:
- Adrenal fatigue
- High fat diets
- Being overweight
- Having too much caffeine, thus causing you to not get enough sleep
- And more
What Should You Do If You Are Always Tired?
If you’re always tired, you should consult with a doctor to determine whether or not there is an underlying cause. Once the root cause of your tiredness is addressed, you may find that you’re not relying on caffeine as much in order to get through the day.
Regeneration Health is here to help you boost your natural energy. Our functional medicine doctors provide treatment for many conditions that can cause fatigue, including depression, adrenal fatigue, and being overweight. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you in your mission for a healthier, happier lifestyle.