If reaching for an energy drink to get over the mid-afternoon slump is part of your daily routine, consider this: a 16 oz. can of Red Bull contains 52 grams of sugar, about the same amount as 11 Oreo cookies. Although energy drinks claim to provide a boost to mental and physical stimulation, these effects are short lived. You may feel energized for an hour or so and then a couple of hours later you crash and [may end up] feeling worse than you were prior to the energy drink.
Even more concerning are the health-damaging ingredients found in these drinks including excessive doses of caffeine and other stimulants that increase your heart rate and blood pressure and can lead to irritability, anxiety and an inability to sleep. Some of these stimulants last in your body for several hours so if you're having one mid-afternoon, it could still be in your system at ten o’clock at night.
Here are 7 all natural drinks that serve as alternatives to energy drinks:
1. Lemon Water
The simplest way to get a boost, ever! Adding lemon to water transforms regular H20 into a natural energy drink that is packed with electrolytes, critical for cells to produce energy. Hydration, in general, is key to a mood boost; a study found that women who were mildly dehydrated reported feeling fatigued.
2. Fresh Fruit
The natural sugar in fruit provides a quick pick-me-up and helps keep blood sugar levels steady thanks to its dose of fiber. Make an energizing breakfast smoothie with blueberries (helps you focus), strawberries (high in vitamin C, which helps turn fat to energy) and yogurt (rich in magnesium, which helps regulate the release of energy). Or toss in a tropical fruit like pineapple, which contains iodine to help control how quickly your body burns energy.
We’ve been pumped about the health benefits of chocolate since chocolate milk was dubbed a perfect way to refuel post workout. But that’s not all cocoa is capable of. A study from the University of Nottingham found flavonoids in chocolate (especially dark) stimulate bioactive compounds in the brain, boosting energy.
Water is the world’s best energy drink. All of the metabolic reactions that happen in our body happen in water. As soon as we're dehydrated all those metabolic reactions start to slow down and you start to feel sluggish. Dehydration is one of the main reasons we experience a drop in energy. If you think drinking water is boring, spruce it up by adding fruit slices or some blueberries or strawberries. The fruit provides some carbohydrates and B vitamins for an extra nutritional punch.
5. Green Tea
It contains a smaller amount of caffeine than coffee does, and Curley says that the many health benefits of green tea (including decreased risk of heart disease and cancer) make it a great energy drink option. There’s also evidence that green tea helps improve mental clarity and performance, making it a great alternative to an afternoon cup of coffee.
Substitute this antioxidant for caffeine to nix the nervousness the latter can provoke. According to a 2010 study, quercetin blocks brain receptors for sleep chemicals and can also increase the mitochondria in your cells which translate to greater muscle performance. Add a green juice with apples and kale to your meal plan to get a supercharged dose.
7. Power Nap
If all else fails, tap into the science of sleep. According to researchers, a 10 to 20-minute nap can boost alertness. To get the most alertness from your nap, have a cup of coffee prior to resting your eyes. A short snooze will satisfy your body’s levels of adenosine, the chemical responsible for causing drowsiness. By the time you wake up, the caffeine will kick in and have less adenosine to compete with.
Energy can be replenished naturally and without the use of energy drinks that can damage the health. There are a lot of available alternatives that not only boost and replenish energy but also boost healthy lifestyle. In this post, I shared with you 7 all natural alternatives to energy drinks for the same results.
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