We’ve all been there! Hammering back an energy drink to kick start the day, or as a pick me up in the afternoon, but surely there’s a better alternative to energy drinks like Redbull and Monster to provide that little extra zing and zip, the fast acting boost to mental and physical stimulation we require from time to time?
Energy drinks may make you feel energized and pepped up for an hour or two, but then comes the dreaded crash, which often leaves you feeling worse than before. Not to mention, the worry of recent studies showing these drinks containing health-damaging ingredients, plus enough sugar and caffeine to wake the dead!
Are there any safe energy drinks?
The simple quick answer is NO! The active ingredients in popular energy drinks, including big brands such as Rockstar, Red Bull and Monster are absolutely fine to consume when ingested individually, but can become dangerous when mixed with other ingredients like caffeine and sugar. A high intake of taurine could lead to drastically lower blood pressure.
Ginseng, Gingko Biloba, Guarana and Taurine (amino acid) mixed with the main energy providing ingredients “sugar and caffeine” can lead to unwanted side effects including: heart palpitations, high blood pressure, insomnia, headaches, fatigue, unusual swelling, dehydration and in extreme cases even kidney failure. Scary, I know!
What can I use instead of energy drinks?
So, you want to stop fueling your hectic lifestyle with potentially damaging energy drinks, but wish to remain living in the high productivity fast lane? Luckily, there are some healthier and sometimes more effective alternatives to substitute your usual heavily caffeinated soft drink fix. Let’s review some comparable energy drink replacements.
Coffee is the most common “get-up-and-go” drink on the planet, and being derived from a natural organic source much healthier than the chemical cocktail contained in energy drinks. Low-blood sugar or dehydration are also common causes of energy slumps so eating slow energy release snacks every 3 to 4 hours, and consciously keeping hydrated will stop you reaching for quick fix sugary alternatives.
You don’t need to spend a fortune on a smoothie blender to reap the rewards. This smoothie machine by Hamilton Beach usually costs under $20 to buy, it’s compact mobile size is perfect for blending at home, use it at the office and even take it with you when traveling. The one touch system makes smoothie making a breeze!
2. Green Tea
There’s also evidence that antioxidant rich green tea may improve mental performance and increase cognitive clarity, making it an ideal alternative to an afternoon cup of coffee and healthier than sugary energy drinks. You can stock up with this huge affordable box of green tea, containing 240 bags. I enjoy a little honey and lemon in mine!
3. Protein Shakes
This complete nutritional drink containing high amounts of protein produced by Boost Nutritional Drinks is the solution your looking for. Packed with 26 vitamins and minerals, 20 grams of protein and 240 calories this great tasting rich chocolate protein shake is the perfect way to kick start your day, or as an afternoon pick-me-up.
This vacuum insulated stainless steel drinking bottle created by MIRA will keep your water cold for up to 24hrs, uses an innovative copper lining technology, is built from high quality rugged stainless steel to prevent rusting and breakage and the caps are BPA and phthalate plastics free. One of the best ways to stay energized all day long!
Why pay a fortune for sub par coffee on your local high street, when you can buy this super strong coffee created by Death Wish Coffee at a more reasonable rate. You can even keep it warm in the thermos reviewed above. Marketed as “The World’s Strongest Coffee” this organic and fair-trade USDA certified beverage is sure to get your motor running!
Are energy drinks bad for children?
This is a fantastic video outlining the potential harm energy drinks can do to young children and teenagers. In short, anyone under the age of 16 should choose an alternative listed for health reasons. Caffeine is harmful for kids!
Energy drinks getting a lot of bad press recently, and I expect this trend to continue! The list of dangers associated with these drinks is growing all the time. These heavily sweetened, caffeinated and other energy stimulating ingredients can cause severe headaches when drank daily, increased anxiety and can can become addictive.
Quitting energy drinks can be a nightmare, due to the addictive nature of caffeine, not to mention the other substances and does increase blood pressure, which is further exacerbated by increased anxiety, lack of sleep and high sugar intake.
Studies have shown 18 – 40 year-olds (men and women) who drink energy drinks on a regular basis show a significant increase in QTc intervals, an abnormal heart rhythm. Be healthy, make the change today!