If you often feel like you need a quick energy boost, it may be tempting to grab an energy drink to help get you through the day. Today, there are many types of energy drinks, many of which are high in added sugar and caffeine, as well as healthy energy drinks, such as coffee and teas. Rather than getting into the habit of consuming high-calorie and potentially dangerous beverages, it’s best to first address the underlying issues that keep you feeling tired all the time. Then you can consider giving yourself an extra boost by consuming moderate amounts of beverages like green tea, mate, or organic coffee.
What are energy drinks?
Energy drinks are defined as beverages that contain high levels of stimulant ingredients, usually caffeine, along with sugar and often supplements, such as vitamins or carnitine, which are advertised as products capable of enhancing mental alertness and physical performance. Some energy drinks are marketed as beverages, while others are considered dietary supplements.
What ingredients are commonly found in these drinks? They understand :
Sugar (a typical energy drink contains between 54 and 62 grams of added sugar).
Vitamins B6 and B12
Amino acids, including taurine
St. John’s wort
While many of the vitamins, minerals, and herbs listed above can be beneficial on their own when used in proper amounts, the addition of large amounts of sugar and caffeine makes most energy drinks a poor choice. Most manufacturers distinguish energy drinks from “sports drinks,” which are generally caffeine-free and contain electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, that help with hydration. Although sports drinks may seem like a better solution, since they can help replace water and electrolytes lost during vigorous exercise, they are usually sugary drinks that contain artificial colors, flavors and other ingredients you should avoid.
Dangers of Commercial Energy Drinks
Most people drink energy drinks to increase their mental alertness and physical performance, but are energy drinks bad for your health? Ultimately, it depends on the type of drink, but most of those that are bottled and sold in stores are far from healthy choices. While some energy drinks contain vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and other compounds meant to keep you alert, research suggests that the uplifting effects of energy drinks are primarily due to their caffeine content. A moderate amount of caffeine might not be a bad thing for most adults, but some are sensitive to the effects of caffeine, including teenagers, children, and the elderly.
Here are some potential dangers and side effects associated with energy drinks:
Caffeine overdose: Most types of beverages contain between 70 and 240 milligrams of caffeine per drink, compared to about 35 mg of caffeine in a soda and 100 mg in a cup of coffee. Drinking multiple energy drinks each day can really spike caffeine intake, which can lead to a number of symptoms.
Anxiety, nervousness and nervousness
Heart palpitations, heart rhythm disturbances and increased heart rate and blood pressure.
Sleep problems and insomnia
Digestive disorders, including nausea, diarrhea and loss of appetite
Dependence on caffeine and sugar, resulting in fatigue and headaches.
Weight gain due to high sugar and calorie intake: A typical energy drink contains a similar amount of calories and sugar as a soda, which is linked to an increased risk of problems such as obesity and diabetes.
It is estimated that one third of teenagers under the age of 17 regularly drink energy drinks. About 25% of college students consume alcohol along with energy drinks.
Consuming these beverages, especially those high in caffeine (especially when mixed with alcohol), has been shown to have adverse effects on the developing brain and cardiovascular system of young people. Sugary and caffeinated beverages can also worsen symptoms for people with asthma, high blood pressure, anxiety, seizures, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Healthy natural alternatives for an energy boost
Which energy drink is best for you? Here are some examples of natural energy drinks that have real health benefits and are less risky than most commercial energy drinks:
Green tea, the energy drink that is probably associated with the most metabolism-boosting effects, such as increased energy, fat burning, and reduced fat storage. Green tea naturally contains some caffeine, but less than coffee. It is also rich in antioxidants, such as catechins, which have free radical fighting effects.
Matcha green tea is exceptionally rich in a compound called EGCG, which has stimulating effects.
Regular coffee, which contains antioxidants and caffeine but is generally safe to drink in moderate amounts. To get the most benefits, consume unsweetened, organic coffee.
Black tea, which is also high in tannins and antioxidants and contains some caffeine (less than coffee).
Yerba mate, a type of tea native to South America, greenish in color and with an earthy, herbaceous aroma. It contains polyphenols and other antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
What is the cheapest energy drink that is also good for your health? Look no further than (preferably organic) coffee and tea.
How many energy drinks can you drink per day? To be on the safe side, limit yourself to several cups of coffee or tea a day, three to five maximum.
Other ways to increase your energy level
Along with opting for healthy energy drinks over sugary, processed drinks, here are some other tips for boosting your energy levels:
Get enough sleep: Adults should aim for seven to nine hours on average to avoid sleep deprivation and feel most alert and productive.
Exercise: Regular physical activity can improve your mood and motivation and help you sleep better.
Try herbs, like ginseng: Certain herbs, including ginseng and ginkgo biloba, tend to make people more alert, usually without serious side effects when taken in recommended doses.
Manage stress: Chronic stress can rob you of energy, contribute to brain fog, and disrupt your sleep. Try stress-reducing activities to help you relax, such as meditation, reading, journaling, aromatherapy, yoga, etc.
Eat brain-boosting foods: Anti-inflammatory and nutrient-dense foods give you the nutrients you need to feel your best. Prioritize foods such as leafy greens and other vegetables, high-quality meats and proteins, eggs, wild-caught fish, nuts, seeds, berries, cocoa, coffee, tea, herbs and spices.
Energy drinks are beverages that contain high levels of stimulating ingredients, usually caffeine and sugar, and are claimed to be able to improve mental alertness and physical performance. While some ingredients in these drinks may be beneficial, such as certain herbs, amino acids, and B vitamins, they tend to be high in added sugar, calories, and caffeine, which can lead to side effects.
As an alternative, try healthy energy drinks that can boost your mood and focus without adding a lot of sugar to your diet, such as green tea, matcha tea, black tea, yerba mate, and coffee.