As you know if you read this blog, I have frequent problems with insomnia. I’m just not a day person. Even though I do like the daytime, I’m just more awake at night. Unfortunately, not sleeping properly at night means you’re groggy or even downright sleepy the next day. Not good if you’re working. I used to try to use Pepsi (my previous caffeine vehicle of choice) but that comes with all kinds of less-than-desireable side effects, including caffeine headaches (or, worse, withdrawal headaches), having to pee constantly, and sugar rushes/crashes. It does the trick but, boy, it makes a mess of you while it does it.
Knowing this about myself, and knowing that it was going to become an issue at least once during this new contract, I picked up some berry-flavoured 5-Hour Energy at a local convenience store a couple of weeks ago. Had seen commercials for it but didn’t know anyone who had actually used it before. Looked worth a try. Haven’t needed it…until today.
Couldn’t stay awake this morning, especially since I was doing a monotonous task that I was going to be doing ALL day. Tried to move around, take little stretch breaks, graze continuously but by about 1:30, I was done. A time if ever there was one to try the 5-Hour Energy.
Have you ever chewed a blueberry flavoured vitamin C tablet? Pretty tart tasting, yes? Picture chewing a handful of those with a packet of artificial sweetener. That’s what this tastes like. Not a bad taste, exactly. But really sour and really sweet at the same time. If you’re going to drink this, for the love of god, have a chaser waiting. Water will do. That’s tip #1.
I can still smell it…and taste it a little. Mind you, it seems to have caused a little acid reflux so that’s probably why.
It didn’t have the “wow!” factor of mainlining a little Pepsi or Red Bull but it seems to done what it promised, which is keep me awake without the jitters and sugar crash associated with many other energy drinks. It didn’t suddenly make me hyper perky but it stopped me from falling asleep at my desk. Tired, I can handle. Sleepy, not so much. My afternoon task was even more monotonous than the morning but I didn’t have to get up to move around to stay awake. I even stayed an extra 1.5 hours at work to finish what I was working on.
I developed a little bit of what I recognize as a caffeine headache at about 7 or 8 and, as I mentioned, had some acid reflux problems (trust me, it doesn’t taste any better coming back up). Probably best not to take it right after lunch so consider that tip #2 from me to you. Tip #3 would probably be don’t take it after mid-afternoon. It’s 11pm and I’m just now starting to feel really sleepy again. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t have been able to go to sleep if I’d gone to bed as soon as I came home from work — I don’t know because I didn’t try — but if you have insomnia, why do something that might make it worse?
I see from their site that they now have a decaf version. Not quite sure how that’s supposed to work. The ingredients in their regular versions are vitamin B6, B12, B3, and B9 plus Citicoline, Tyrosine, Phenylamine, Taurine (ooh, like cats need for eyesight health), Malic Acid, Glucuronolactone, and caffeine. Do those really work as well without the little kick of caffeine?