Healthy alternatives to energy drinks

Tired from work? Sluggish from the Doha traffic? Getting ready for the gym or a football game? The answer: take an energy drink. You can find energy drinks in every supermarket and local store in USA. A lot of people seem to be a fan of the caffeine-induced drinks which come in different sizes and flavors.

However, energy drinks may not be your best option if you feel your energy levels are going down or if you need an extra boost. It can do more harm than good.

Do energy drinks really give you an energy boost?

Yes, but with a nasty caveat. Most energy drinks, because of their high caffeine and sugar content, will give you a perk for around 30 minutes to even an hour. However, it does have a price. Once the effects wear off, you will feel a lot more sluggish compared to when you drank the energy drink. If you take energy drinks regularly, there’s more bad news.

  • If you have a heart ailment, energy drinks can cause heart contractions which will worsen your condition.
  • Frequent intake of energy drinks can case insomnia and high blood pressure.
  • Energy drinks can also result in gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, flatulence and hyper acidity.
  • Frequent drinkers can also experience behavioral changes like nervousness and irritability because the high and regular intake of caffeine overstimulates the nervous system.
  • The high acidity of energy drinks can erode the enamel of your teeth.
  • Energy drinks may have untested chemical and herbal ingredients which could have an adverse effect on your health.
  • According to com there have been a lot of deaths, especially among teenagers, which are linked to energy drinks.

So what are the alternatives to energy drinks?

To make a long story short, energy drinks will let you crash and burn. Which leaves people with a dilemma of where to get their energy fix. Fortunately, there are natural and healthier, as well as better tasting alternatives to energy drinks.

Water. Water is still the undisputed champion when it comes to getting your energy fix. Dehydration is one of the common reasons your energy gets zapped. When our body lacks water, its metabolic reactions slow down which leaves you feeling sluggish. A drink of water refreshes the body. If you think water is too bland for your taste, add fresh fruits slices like orange, apple or lemon to provide flavor, vitamins, minerals and natural sugar.

Green tea. Low cortisol levels mean lower energy. To encourage and increase the body’s production of cortisol, drink green tea. The natural drink has just the right amount of caffeine which will helps your body produce the needed cortisol. Also, drinking green tea has additional health advantages like boosting metabolism to help in weight loss, as well as brain and heart benefits.

Smoothies or green juice. Another alternative is juice from dark green vegetables like spinach, kale and even parsley. Dark green vegetables have a high level of B vitamins that helps you metabolize faster. A high metabolism means you can produce energy faster, but the high fiber content of the green foods will prevent your energy levels from crashing. Add honey for a natural sweetener. If you’re not really into vegetable juicing, then try smoothies. A combo-smoothie from banana, apple, low fat milk, even a few berries can pack an energy punch. Plus, it definitely tastes better than an energy drink. However, as much as possible, try to make the smoothies yourself, so you can control what goes into it. Most commercial smoothies are packed with sugar and fat.

Protein shakes. One reason people often feel sluggish is a lack of protein. But adding a protein powder to a shake may not be enough to increase your energy levels. In order to be more effective, protein needs carbohydrates to convert into energy. So the best way is to add yoghurt, fruits, or low-fat milk to your shake.

Although it’s tempting to grab a can of energy drink from your office vendomachine or the nearest supermarket, try to choose the healthier alternatives instead. Going natural is still the best choice to get your energy fix.

Sources:

http://www.menshealth.com/health/side-effects-energy-drinks

http://www.caffeineinformer.com/top-10-energy-drink-dangers

http://www.livestrong.com/article/141389-monster-drink-side-effects/

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/228087