How Long Do Energy Drinks Last? (Impact & Alternatives)

How Long Do Energy Drinks Last?

The popularity of energy drinks has skyrocketed in recent years. Many people have their favorite brands and flavors. They can be helpful for waking up or giving you the energy to go the extra mile in your workout. Most energy drinks contain caffeine, which is the main element that gives our bodies energy. However, have you ever stopped to think about how an energy drink affects our bodies?

After consuming an energy drink, it takes about 10 minutes for the caffeine to hit your bloodstream. From there, you will feel an energy boost that will last about 1-2 hours. After about 6 hours the caffeine will have cycled through 50%. These effects vary based on a person’s age, gender, food consumption, and caffeine tolerance.

In this article, we will talk about what makes an energy drink, how these drinks affect the body and anything else you need to know about energy drinks. Stay tuned for more information!

What is in Energy Drinks?

Energy drinks usually have bright colors on the packaging that grab your attention and promise maximum energy. But what is inside that bottle?

Caffeine is the main element in many of these energy drinks. This ingredient provides our bodies with energy. The amount of caffeine in an energy drink can range from 80mg to 500mg. Some energy drinks use plant-based energy-boosting ingredients such as Ginseng and Guarana.

The nutritional aspect will vary from brand to brand, so it is important to check the labels when choosing your drink of choice. Some options contain a high amount of sugar. This can contribute to the energy you feel but will cause a crash quickly after consumption.

It’s best to find a drink with as little sugar, carbohydrates, and sodium as possible. These elements can lead to weight gain if consumed at a high rate.

How Does an Energy Drink Affect the Body?

As we mentioned earlier, it will take about 10 minutes for your body to feel the effects of caffeine after consuming an energy drink. Take a look at this breakdown to see how energy drinks affect our bodies at different time frames:

  • 10-20 Minutes: Initial caffeine absorption, which triggers the heart rate to rise
  • 15-45 Minutes: Caffeine peak, you’ll feel awake, alert, and happy
  • 1-2 Hours: The beginning of caffeine wears off
  • 4-6 Hours: Caffeine is at half-life, or 50% power
  • 12 Hours: Caffeine has fully cycled out of your body

Factors that Impact Energy Drink Tolerance

This time frame will vary based on personal factors. Our bodies are all unique and process food and activities in different ways. Age, gender, body type, caffeine tolerance, and a few others can all play a part in how long this caffeine intake will last.


The speed of caffeine’s effects tends to increase as we age. An adult will cycle caffeine much faster than a child.


Just as we said earlier, our bodies can process things in different ways. Caffeine is no exception. It has been proven that some people can process caffeine up to 40 times faster than others. This means that the caffeine cycle can look a lot different for you than for someone who drinks the same amount at the same time as you.

Food Intake

Have you ever consumed alcohol on an empty stomach and felt the effects much faster? The same can happen with caffeine. Someone who drinks caffeine with no food will absorb it much faster than someone who had a large meal with their energy drink.

Caffeine Tolerance

If you frequently consume energy drinks, you will build up a tolerance to the effects. This will cause your body to need a higher level of caffeine to feel the same energy boost. A high tolerance can shorten the energy boost you feel.

How Long Do Energy Drinks Take to Kick In?

Depending on how your body processes the caffeine in your energy drink, it will take anywhere from 10-20 minutes to feel the effects kick in. At 15 to 45 minutes, you will be riding the energy boost and feel most efficient.

Again, this can depend on many different factors that are specific to your body. But in general, it does not take very long for the caffeine in an energy drink to reach your bloodstream.

How Long Does an Energy Drink Keep You Awake?

How long an energy drink keeps you awake will depend on how your body processes caffeine and how much you consume. Caffeine works by blocking adenosine receptors. These are the brain chemicals that are responsible for sleep and making you feel tired.

Once the caffeine reaches your bloodstream, you will start to feel more awake. It takes 4 to 6 hours for caffeine to reach its “half-life.” This means that for those 4 to 6 hours prior, caffeine is running through your bloodstream keeping you alert.

How Long Does a Caffeine Energy Drink Last in your System?

After a few hours, you will start to feel the energy you once had wearing off. You might think that since you are feeling tired again, the caffeine has cycled out of your body. However, this is not the case.

At 4-6 hours following an energy drink, caffeine is at 50% power. You may start to feel tired again. For most individuals, it will take a full 12 hours for the caffeine you consumed in your energy drink to leave your system.

How Long Does Monster Energy Last in Your System?

Monster Energy is one of the most popular energy drinks. After hitting the market in 2002, it skyrocketed and is now available in most grocery stores, gas stations, and anywhere else you purchase energy drinks. There are many sizes, varieties, and flavors.

In one serving, you can find 86 milligrams of caffeine and 27 grams of sugar. How long this drink lasts in your system will depend on your specific body type. In general, the effects of Monster will last between 4 to 6 hours, with the caffeine fully cycled out of your system after 12 hours.

How Long Does Red Bull Last in Your System?

Red Bull holds the highest share of energy drinks on the market. Everyone knows the phrase “Red Bull gives you wings!” Just like Monster Energy, you can find many varieties and flavors of Red Bull.

One 12 oz. can contains 111 milligrams of caffeine and 37 grams of sugar. Both of these numbers are a little higher than a Monster Energy drink, but not enough to feel the effects much longer. After consuming a Red Bull, you will feel the energy boost for about 4 to 6 hours.

How Long Do Energy Drinks Last Before You Crash?

How long an energy drink will last will vary. After considering your personal body’s factors like age, weight, genetics, and food intake, we can look at the additional factors pertaining to the energy drink itself.

The amount of caffeine and sugar will have an impact on how quickly the crash comes. An energy drink with a high amount of sugar will cause a greater crash. Additionally, you will feel alert for longer after drinking an energy drink with higher caffeine content. The average amount of time you will feel the peak of caffeine consumption is 1-2 hours. At about 4 to 6 hours, the crash will set in.

Are Energy Drinks Bad for You?

Energy drinks can have great benefits such as increased accuracy, mental clarity, and endurance. For example, a study found that the endurance levels of a group of trained cyclists increased after they each consumed an energy drink. Some energy drinks even have added vitamins and minerals that you may not get from your diet.

On the other hand, too much of anything can be a bad thing. Energy drinks can contain high levels of sugar, sodium, and carbohydrates. Continuous and excessive consumption of these elements can lead to obesity.

Additionally, it has been proven that caffeine can cause heart and blood vessel problems. These can include heart rhythm disturbances and increased heart rate and high blood pressure. Caffeine also may harm children’s cardiovascular and nervous systems as they continue to develop.

What Happens If You Drink Energy Drinks Every day?

If you regularly drink energy drinks, you may develop a caffeine tolerance and dependence. With caffeine dependence, comes possible withdrawal symptoms. If you are used to drinking caffeine beverages every day, you will feel these symptoms if you miss a day of your normal caffeine dose.

These can include nervousness, extreme fatigue, headache, and fever.

Long-Term Effects of Energy Drinks

The American Beverage Association has researched and signed off on the safety of energy drinks.

Everyday caffeine consumption is safe in moderation for the average adult. But, due to the effects caffeine could have on a child’s growing system, they should avoid energy drink consumption.

In addition to children, certain groups such as pregnant women, people taking specific medications, and individuals with caffeine intolerance should not consume energy drinks.

To avoid health issues, it is best to limit caffeine intake to 400 milligrams per day. Depending on which brand of energy drink you choose, this could be between 1 to 3 cans.

Additionally, if you want to ensure optimal health, it is best to choose an energy drink with a low amount of sugar.

Healthier Alternatives to Energy Drinks

1. Green Juices

Ingredients such as spinach, parsley, and kale are a source of Vitamin B, which boosts energy. You also get the added benefit of other vitamins and minerals these healthy foods contain. This green juice mix has over 13,000 positive reviews on Amazon!

Our pick: Country Farms Super Green Drink Mix

2. Green Tea

Green Tea contains caffeine which provides energy but has much lower levels than coffee or energy drinks. Additionally, green tea has benefits such as a decreased risk of heart disease and cancer.

Our pick: VitaCup Green Tea Instant Packets

3. Protein Shakes

Low protein is often a cause of fatigue. By mixing protein with carbohydrates, your body will feel a sustainable boost of energy. We’ve linked a top-rated protein shake with vitamins and minerals below.

Our pick: Orgain Organic Nutritional Shake

Related Guides

Choosing Nutrition Team

Here at Choosing Nutrition, our goal is to help people with making smarter food choices. Whether you're wondering about vegan, keto, paleo, or other diets, we'll help you determine which options fit your nutritional lifestyle. Our staff is composed of registered dieticians, nutritionists, and health-conscious individuals.

Recent Posts