Energy drinks - what really happens to our body

Whether it's overpowering the 3pm slump, or mixing with a few drinks to make the party last longer, energy drinks are bound to have been a feature for all of us at some point – whether occasionally or on a regular/daily basis. We all know there are many healthier options to improve our energy, but there are times when a quick fix seems the only answer. Hopefully, after you read on, you will think twice about your afternoon pick-me-up habit!


What happens in the 24 hours following energy drink consumption? According to leading food researcher Dr Stuart Farrimond:

0-10 mins

It takes roughly 10mins for the drink to enter your bloodstream, at which time your heart rate and blood pressure will start to rise.

15-45 mins

Caffeine levels peak around this time, you will feel more alert and energised, and have improved concentration.

30-50 mins

All of the caffeine is absorbed, your liver responds by dumping sugar into the bloodstream.

1 hour

Your body starts to experience a dive in blood sugar, or “crash” as the caffeine starts to die down, leaving you feeling low in energy.

5-6 hours

This is the half life of caffeine, meaning the time it takes to reduce to 50% concentration in your blood stream.

12 hours

Most people take around 12 hours to fully remove caffeine from their system, though this can be dependent on many factors.

12-24 hours

Regular caffeine consumers may start to experience withdrawals, symptoms of which can include lethargy, headaches and irritability.

7-12 days

Studies have shown that this is the amount of time your body needs on average to become tolerant to your regular caffeine dosage, meaning you will need a higher dosage to get the same stimulating effect.


SO, still can’t kick the afternoon habit? Based on the above, if you were to slowly wean off or replace with something more healthful like a green tea, a burst of fresh air, a healthy stimulating snack such as an apple – likelihood is you will sleep better, and therefore have less of a “crash” to need to attend to at 3pm!

Check out our recent blog on 5 tips to overcome the afternoon slump that doesn't include sugar (or caffeine!).