Say goodbye to Red Bull and best bet on these natural options that give energy and do not harm the body.
The opinions expressed by collaborators are personal.
If having an energy drink to overcome mid-afternoon fatigue is part of your daily routine , consider this: A can of Red Bull contains 52 grams of sugar, which is comparable to 11 Oreo cookies. Although energy drinks claim to offer physical and mental stimulation, dietician Tristaca Curley says the effects of these are short-lived . “You may feel energized for an hour or a little longer and a couple of hours later you may end up feeling worse than you were before taking it,” he says.
Even more troubling than this are the harmful health ingredients found in these drinks, including excessive doses of caffeine and other stimulants that increase heart rate and blood pressure, which can lead to irritability, anxiety and insomnia. “Some of these stimulants remain in your body for several hours, so if you take them in the middle of the afternoon they will continue in your system at night,” he adds.
We share four healthy alternatives that can replace energy drinks:
Green juices and smoothies
Dark leafy vegetables, such as spinach, parsley, and kale, which are used in green juices, are good sources of the B vitamins our body needs for metabolism to function at its full potential. “If your metabolism is high, your body produces enough energy at a faster rate,” says Curley.
The best sources of energy are whole grains, so a high metabolism combined with a diet full of vitamins and nutrients will help you feel energized all day.
It contains less caffeine than coffee, and Curley says that the many health benefits of green tea (including a decreased risk of heart disease and cancer) make it an excellent energy drink option. There's also evidence that it helps improve mental clarity and performance, making it a good alternative to morning coffee.
Lack of protein is the common cause of fatigue. A protein shake can help your body meet nutritional requirements, but Curley cautions that mixing protein powders into a shake will not give you energy. Protein needs carbohydrates to convert them into energy. Add fruit and wheat germ to your shake with 10 grams of yogurt, milk or soy milk protein for more energy.
Curley calls water the best energy drink in the world. “All the metabolic reactions that occur in our bodies occur in water,” he says. “If we become dehydrated, metabolic reactions start to slow down and you feel fatigued.” Dehydration is one of the main reasons why we experience a power outage.
If you think drinking plain water is boring, add pieces of fruit like strawberries or blackberries. The fruit provides carbohydrates and vitamin B, very useful for a nutritional extra.