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Energy drinks have the reputation of giving you a quick boost exactly when you need it. They're not good for your health in the long run, however, and there are much better ways to boost productivity at work.

Everyone has days when waking up and getting out of bed seem impossible, and actually accomplishing something at work appears to be reserved for a parallel universe. All-day fatigue can be due to your lifestyle, health issues, or simply bad luck. You may be coming down with the flu, could simply be going to bed too late, might have a newborn, or are dealing chronic pain. 

What do you do when these days hit — or, if you're really unlucky, when every day is an all-day fatigue day? How do you still get your work done? 

Some people simply force themselves through the day without the assistance of anything special. Others, especially those whose performance depends on successfully interacting with other humans, are more likely to grab some stimulants to make themselves feel better. Coffee is the most well-known and the most prevalent of these, but some people use certain teas, or cola, or energy drinks instead.

Do you use energy drinks at work? You may want to rethink that. Today, we'll be discussing how energy drinks really work and what the healthier alternatives to these stimulants are. 

How Energy Drinks Work

Energy drinks are supposed to give users an immediate energy boost, something that should help them function better for a short duration of time. Three key ingredients accomplish this: caffeine, sugar, and suggestion. Other ingredients may play a role in boosting energy as well, or they may primarily be present to influence the drink's taste.

Caffeine and sugar speak for themselves. These things do give you additional energy, but we're talking about a short-term aid here, not something that will keep you going all through the day. The power of suggestion, or the placebo effect, may play a very important role in how energy drinks work on some users as well. Despite that, the effects of a single energy drink are bound to wear off sooner rather than later. Then, you may want another one. What happens if you become dependent on energy drinks to remain productive at work?

A Caffeine Overdose

Though safe amounts of caffeine vary from person to person and are dependent on different factors, the general consensus is that you're OK if you don't consume more than 200 to 300 mg a day. Possible symptoms of a caffeine overdose, which can certainly happen if you use a lot of energy drinks, are:

  • Increased thirst (which may lead you to drink more energy drinks rather than the water you really need!)
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Sleep problems
  • And even a fever
Those things don't really sound like they're going to increase your productivity at work, do they?

A severe caffeine overdose has even more serious symptoms that could land you in hospital. They include an irregular heartbeat, breathing difficulties, vomiting, chest pain, muscle spasms, and even confusion and hallucinations. Active charcoal, laxatives, and pumping the stomach are possible treatments. 

Too Much Sugar

Consuming a sugary drink, including energy drinks, does make your blood sugar levels go up. This can provide you with a short-term energy boost. When that energy runs out, however, you'll come crashing down — leaving you more fatigued than you were before your sugar spree. 

A diet that contains too much sugar will make you gain weight, is bad for your teeth, may lead to skin problems, and gets you into unhealthy dietary habits. 

Energy drinks are, then, a short-term aid that may lead to long-term problems you hadn't bargained for. Thankfully, there are better ways to make sure you'll be productive. Your boss will thank you, and your body will do the same. 

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