As a working professional in digital marketing, one is often found behind the screen creating valuable, innovative content for the companies and brands they work for. This can be tiring as you are constantly challenging yourself for new ideas that can be effective and engaging. Now, imagine trying to create this content while battling fatigue, low energy, and feeling sluggish. It can be extremely difficult to remain agile and productive. I conducted a survey and asked different digital marketers from various job environments and cultures, to see if there was a pattern among them in what they consumed to stay energized. Their response? Caffeine. Though caffeine can be helpful in moderation, overconsumption of caffeine can have negative side effects. This is the most common mistake when it comes to digital marketers and choosing what they consume for energy.
Caffeine Can Lead to Energy Crashes Faster
When asked questions such as how often you drink caffeine, or what do you eat for breakfast, many digital marketers said multiple cups throughout the day, or even opt for a cup of coffee or energy drink instead of an actual meal. We all know that digital marketer. The one that is already half way done with their venti cup before they walk through the door, or midday is throwing back their extra strength five hour energy. However, as I got deeper in my research, I found that a common trend throughout digital marketers are those who choose caffeine as their source of energy feel a crash in energy faster than those who prioritize consuming actual nutrients.
Meet Digital Marketer, Stephanie
Recently, I interviewed Stephanie, a digital marketer for the last two years who has experienced this exact problem. Stephanie would start her day with a double shot of espresso, followed by a midday run to Starbucks. Though these beverages were chosen for the sole purpose of staying focused and alert, she found that the more she relied on it, the less effective it was. Stephanie said what she found so surprising was how fast her dependence on caffeine grew with the more projects she was working on. As time went on and the cycle continued, she found herself feeling sluggish and defeated faster than she would before. Though she relied on the caffeine based drinks to allow her to stay up for extended periods of time in order to meet deadlines, she found she was sleeping less and waking up even more fatigued as the days went on.
Prioritizing Caffeine Can Lead To More Unhealthy Diet Choices
This response aligned with the majority of the individuals I interviewed and that the choice of prioritizing caffeine intake led to more unhealthy diet choices throughout the day. Many also experienced more symptoms of insomnia, restlessness or even felt more anxious which would negatively affect their productivity, the exact thing they were trying to increase. After comparing the responses of those who said their caffeine intake was regular to excessive to those who would focus on intake water, and eating balanced meals, I was fascinated by the difference in their diet choices and energy levels on a day to day basis. Those who chose caffeine to start their day were more likely to choose food out of convenience, such as fast food or vending machine options.
Prioritizing Water Intake And Meals Lead To Healthier Diet Choices
Some of the digital marketers that said their caffeine intake was low to none, seemed to have a significant amount of more energy throughout the day and rarely ever experienced a crash midday. One of the digital marketers that said they drank only water, never caffeine whether it be coffee, energy drink, even soda, said they would begin the day with a 5 am workout, followed by balanced meals to fuel his energy throughout the day. Though he agreed that digital marketing can be a very high stress job, he believes there is no quick fix or caffeine filled beverages that will help increase energy long term. The digital marketers who responded in the same fashion, explained their day to day routine as one that is incredibly productive in both their professional and personal lives.
Choosing Nutrients Over Caffeine Can Allow You To Be More Productive
After analyzing the responses from those I interviewed, it supported that there is a pattern of overconsumption of caffeine among digital marketers. Though it can be easy to assume that a cup of coffee, or energy drink will be what helps get you through the day, the responses of those who choose water or a healthy snack, support that it is what helps sustain energy more long term. It helps lead to healthier lifestyle changes that allow them to accomplish more with a clear, focused mind. Digital marketers that have a limited caffeine intake have been able to avoid the midday crashes and increased dependency and are more productive than ever.