If you need a boost of energy for an alert mind and increased physical performance, you shouldn’t resort to energy drinks — but to natural, energy-boosting drinks that offer the same efficacy without causing severe side effects.
You may mistake energy drinks for sports drinks. But actually, these two are different. The former has a lot of caffeine content in it and these are drinks that claim to improve your energy, help you lose weight, increase your endurance and improve you concentration. Ingredients of energy drinks are extracts from the guarana plant, taurine, sugar and B vitamins. Meanwhile, sports drinks are made to rehydrate your body after physical activity.
The production of energy drinks is a growing industry. It is estimated that is a $21-billion industry, as it mainly targets teenagers. It is true that those who consume energy drinks get a physical and mental boost because of their ingredients. However, every energy boost that these drinks give to a person’s body comes with a cost.
An average bottle or can of energy drink contains around 200mg of caffeine, which is already equal to two cups of a brewed coffee. It also has the same, or more sugar content than soft drinks. With high caffeine and sugar content, the drink is linked with several health problems such as irregular heartbeat, elevated blood pressures, dental problems, poor mental health and in worse, rare cases, excessive consumption of energy drinks can lead to seizures or cardiac arrest. In fact, in 2007, there were 1,145 emergency room visits for energy drink-related issues, and these only accounted for teenagers aged 12 to 17.
Boost your energy naturally
Rather than risking your life on one of the various energy drinks on the market, try these natural energy-boosting drinks instead.
- Coffee – This is a no-brainer. Coffee is a part of the diet of most people, and coffee shops are everywhere. Compared to energy drinks, coffee contain less caffeine, yet enough to give you energy boost, enhanced memory, improved focus and an alert mind. Moreover, this drink contains antioxidants that promote good health. According to Diane Vizthum, research nutritionist for Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, “Caffeine is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about coffee. But coffee also contains antioxidants and other active substances that may reduce internal inflammation and protect against disease.”
- Green tea – This also contains caffeine, but aside from that, it also has two important compounds — epigallocatechin and l-theanine. These compounds are linked with positive mood, enhanced learning, improved focus and alert mind. Moreover, green tea may give a person relief from anxiety and strengthened resistance against stress.
- Matcha – This tea has almost the same benefits as green tea, but it could give more health benefits as it has 137 times more epigallocatechin contents. Matcha tea can also help enhance positive mood and help a person concentrate better. It also helps your mind to be calm and relaxed.
- Yerba mate – Compared to artificial energy drinks, yerba mate tea contains 100 times more antioxidants and polyphenols. It is reported that drinking this tea results to greater energy, better mental focus, reduced fatigue, weight loss and enhanced sports performance. In addition, it is said to have the “strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate.”
- Turmeric – Despite having no caffeine content, this tea can still boost your energy. Drinking turmeric tea raises the levels of serotonin and dopamine in your brain. When these neurotransmitters are active, they raise a person’s cognition, focus and positive mood. This tea also offers a lot of medicinal uses, such as being used to treat digestive problems, skin conditions, obesity and may help reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease.
So next time that you are in need of an energy boost, try one of these natural, energy and mind-boosting drinks instead.
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