The Top 5 Healthy Alternatives for Energy Drinks
We all need a pick-me-up sometimes. Long hours at a desk can sap your energy even after getting a full night’s sleep. While energy drinks may be convenient, they’re also filled with tons of sugar and artificial flavors that can pose health risks.
Switching from energy drinks can be tough, especially if you’ve gotten used to drinking a lot of caffeine each day. The average energy drink has 100 to 300 milligrams of caffeine, compared to 80 to 100 mg found in an 8-ounce cup of coffee.
Weaning yourself off energy drinks might feel difficult now, but it’s well worth the health benefits. These healthy alternatives to energy drinks can boost energy levels without all the sugar.
Is Quitting Energy Drinks Worth It?
You can naturally support high energy levels without relying on high doses of caffeine. In fact, too much caffeine can put you at risk of heart problems. Consuming large amounts of sugar also increases your risk of obesity, which then makes you more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Going without energy drinks means lowering your health risks. By choosing a healthy alternative to energy drinks, you can enjoy “clean energy” free from artificial ingredients.
Using fruit juices and teas, it’s easy to make an energy-boosting beverage that’s both tasty and healthy. What’s more? These alternatives to energy drinks contain loads of other health benefits that support your whole body.
Top Alternatives for Energy Drinks
1. Green Tea
Many people who want to drink less caffeine switch from coffee to green tea. Likewise, you can cut out energy drinks and replace them with three to five 8-ounce cups of green tea each day.
It’s safe for adults to consume up to 400 mg of caffeine each day without running the risk of side effects. Since a serving of green tea has around 30 to 50 mg, you can drink more green tea with far fewer risks than energy drinks.
Green tea is great because it’s filled with antioxidants. These are compounds good at fighting inflammation throughout your body. When your tissues are inflamed, they can’t absorb as many nutrients from your food. This makes you feel less energetic.
You can also help your body benefit more from a healthy diet by reducing inflammation.
2. Greens Powder Smoothies
Greens powders are filled with leafy greens in powdered form, which increases their vitamin and nutrient density. One scoop of the best super greens powder can be your daily serving of greens!
You already know how important it is to eat vegetables. However, getting your recommended dose of 2.5 cups per day can be tough. A greens powder blended into a smoothie with energy-boosting fruits is a great way to stay healthy and feel energized throughout the day.
Consider adding a scoop of greens powder to 1-cup skim milk (or your favorite plant-based alternative), along with one banana and a half-cup of strawberries. This easy, just-about-instant breakfast smoothie is a great way to start your day.
Okay, it may seem too good to be true, but water is really the epitome of clean energy. Your body is 70% water, and the average adult needs between 2 to 3 liters of H20 each day. Some people think they can supplement their water intake with energy drinks, coffee, and tea, but this isn’t entirely true.
While any fluid is better than none, caffeinated beverages have mild diuretic effects. This means you’ll need to use the bathroom more frequently. In addition, more bathroom breaks also means losing more fluids, so having too much caffeine can actually result in mild to moderate dehydration.
When you don’t have enough fluids, your body can feel weaker because it has to work harder. This means lower energy levels, a poorer mood, and greater difficulty concentrating. By ensuring you get the recommended amount of water each day, you can naturally increase energy levels without becoming overly dependent on energy drinks.
4. Citrus Fruits
Get over that mid-afternoon slump with some vitamin C! Energy-boosting fruit juices like pomegranate, orange, and lemon are great additions to your diet. You can enjoy them in a blend (especially the more sour variety) or eat one whole.
Vitamin C is particularly beneficial for increasing energy thanks to its impact on absorption. A greater vitamin C intake improves the transport of essential fatty acids throughout the body. In turn, this improves your metabolism, helping your body produce energy more efficiently.
So, a burst of ascorbic acid (vitamin C’s other name) is a great way to promote more energy without relying on any artificial drinks.
5. Protein Smoothie
A scoop of high-quality protein powder in a smoothie can help your body feel more energized throughout the day. There are plenty of smoothie-worthy sources of protein, too: peanut butter, almond butter, pumpkin seeds, and even just plain yogurt all work great.
You should also add a few carbohydrates to the blender for added impact. Why? Because protein and carbs work together. Carbohydrates boost protein absorption, and protein helps your body perform better by aiding muscle growth and repair.
You don’t need energy drinks to stay alert throughout the day. Swapping your typical drink for the best super greens powder smoothie with green tea extract, or even just a glass of orange juice, could have the benefits you’re looking for.