Healthy Alternatives to Energy Drinks

Energy drinks. They are sugar and caffeine-packed beverages that for many, are the key to making it through a long day. Whether you use them first thing in the morning or to get over that afternoon slump, there are so many people out there that rely on energy drinks each and every day. However, if you are one of the energy drink-addicted, these little power-packed cans may be way worse for you than you think.

Although they seem relatively harmless, a 16 oz. can of Red Bull alone has 52 grams of sugar. Plus, most of these energy drinks, including Red Bull, tend to only provide about an hour or so of energy, until the person who drank the beverage crashes completely. In addition to being filled with sugar, many of these energy drinks also have and exorbitant number of stimulants and caffeine in them that can cause sleep issues, increased blood pressure and even anxiety and irritability.

Most experts will agree that energy drinks are simply bad for you, no matter what brand you drink or if you decide to go with the “lower sugar” options. The good news is, there are healthy alternatives that can still help you get that extra energy that you want and may even help you get better, longer-lasting and more clean feeling energy to get you through your day.

Here are some of our healthy alternatives to energy drinks that you may want to try next time you need a little pick-me- up: 

Water

So, water may not have caffeine in it, and it may not seem like a particularly energizing liquid, but it actually may be just what your body needs to feel ready to take on the day. Many times, when we are dehydrated, our body’s natural metabolic reactions start to slow down. This often results in people feeling tired or sluggish. All of those naturally occurring metabolic reactions actually happen in water inside our body.

In short, one of the main reasons people start to feel less energy in the middle of the day is because they are simply dehydrated. Instead of reaching for sugar next time you are feeling down and sluggish, drink a few glasses of water—you may be surprised to find it was just what you needed. Besides, water is one of the best and healthiest things you can drink.

Green Tea

Green tea is one of those magical beverages that just seems to be filled with perks and benefits. Green tea has a small amount of caffeine in it, which can give you that boost you need, yet it has less caffeine than coffee, which gives you a more natural source of energy and less of a crash after words. Green tea has also been linked to a number of different health benefits includes faster metabolism, improved mental clarity and some studies have even found it can decrease chances of cancer and heart disease—how is that for a healthy beverage alternative?

Green Juices

Juicing has become extremely popular over the past few years, mostly because there is so much evidence to support how good all natural juices are for you. However, rich green juices aren’t just great for those who are dieting or looking to eat healthier—they are also great for people who need a little pick-me- up during the day as well. If you drink juices that are made of dark green leafy vegetables, you are not only getting a whole bunch of vitamins and nutrients, but you are getting a major source of B vitamins—which helps the metabolism run at its highest level.

Get your entire day started off right and beat that mid-afternoon slump by starting your morning off with one of these juices—by the time 2 o’clock rolls around, we know you will be happy you did.

Protein Shakes

Dehydration is typically the number one cause that people tend to feel sluggish during the way, but a lack of protein actually comes in a close second when it comes to fatigue. A simple solution? A hearty protein shake. This can be a great way to fill an empty stomach, give your body the nutrients it needs and to get an extra boost of energy to help you through the day.

However, in order to really take advantage of the benefits of protein shakes, you need to make yourself a real shake—not just protein powder in water. This means soy milk, yogurt, fruit, quinoa and other healthy, natural sources of protein. Blend them together and you will have something that can get you whatever mid-afternoon hump that may be getting in your way.

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