Wake up and smell the coffee…or perhaps don’t. Drinking a steaming cup of java is one of the first things that most of us do each morning. Whether you’ve got a coffee machine at home or you just grab a takeout cup from a local cart, drinking this caffeinated treat may be part of your daily routine. However, have you considered trying natural energy drinks instead?
If you’re looking for a way to boost your health, switching to some of the leading caffeine alternatives could be the answer. Perhaps you have realized that you’re physically addicted to the caffeine and need to cut the habit. Or maybe you want to try something new that will boost your energy just as effectively (if not more effectively) without all those artificial energy drink ingredients.
Either way, there’s no harm in trying something new, especially if it might benefit your health. But wait, where should you start? Let’s take a look at some of the facts about coffee and the all natural energy drinks that you might want to try instead.
- 1 What Caffeine Does To Your Body
- 2 Side Effects and Signs of Caffeine Addiction
- 3 The Potential Dangers of Energy Drink Ingredients
- 4 10 Natural Caffeine Alternatives
- 5 Summary: What Should You Do Now?
- 6 Action Steps: Tips for Enjoying Natural Energy Drinks
- 7 Get a Healthy Boost with an All Natural Energy Drink
- 8 References
What Caffeine Does To Your Body
Many of us never take a moment to consider how caffeine affects our bodies. Some reports claim it has positive effects. For instance, some studies have suggested that coffee helps to burn fat. What’s more, other research has suggested that it could lower the chances of medical conditions, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Despite these claims, coffee has an immediate physiological effect on the body. Do you actually know what caffeine does to your body when you drink it? When you take a sip of that delicious java, research suggests that it could boost your blood pressure. Those struggling with mental health issues should beware that coffee could worsen the symptoms of anxiety, according to animal studies.
Other issues may include headaches, sickness, tiredness, and achy muscles. While studies go back and forth about the benefits of coffee, there is a lot of information out there so you can be better informed. It’s important to recognize that caffeine does have an effect on your body and you need to take precautions to keep yourself as healthy as possible. In fact, you may want to consider scaling back and switch to drinking caffeine alternatives instead.
Side Effects and Signs of Caffeine Addiction
Should you suffer a caffeine overdose, the consequences could be fatal. According to an article in the Forensic Science International Journal, while fatal overdoes are rare, they do happen. For that reason, it’s important to take note of how much coffee you consume.
Some of the signs of caffeine addiction include an increased heart rate, fatigue, irritability, and poor sleep patterns. If you find that you have some of these symptoms, it could be the case that you’re drinking too much caffeine and you may want to look into some caffeine alternatives or natural energy drinks.
What’s more, there could be rather dangerous and worrying side effects of consuming copious amounts of caffeine. For example, if you’re pregnant, avoiding coffee is a smart move as caffeine consumption has been linked to high risks of miscarriages.
Another study found that caffeine could boost your stress hormones and blood pressure if you’re not a regular coffee drinker. As though that weren’t worrying enough, there’s also research to suggest that coffee could raise cholesterol levels dramatically. Needless to say, all of the above could be cause for concern.
The Potential Dangers of Energy Drink Ingredients
While we already understand the potential dangers of drinking too much coffee, that doesn’t mean that all of the caffeine alternatives on the market are 100% safe. Some energy drink ingredients could be quite dangerous and, if you don’t know what you’re consuming, you could be putting your health at risk. While one of the main energy drink ingredients is caffeine these products could be full of all kinds of additives and sugars as well.
So, what are the potential dangers of some of the most common energy drinks? Research has linked consumption of these products to seizures in some cases, which could mean that we’re all at a higher risk. The dangers could be higher for young people and some studies have linked energy drinks to insomnia, childhood obesity, and hyperactivity disorder.
What’s more, despite the fact that many of the seemingly best energy drinks have “low fat” labels, they are often high in calories. The amount of sugar in these drinks can be quite shocking. That means that drinking them regularly could lead to extreme weight gain. So, it is only logical that we look at some safer, healthier caffeine alternatives.
10 Natural Caffeine Alternatives
Here are 10 all natural energy drinks that you can try to get a healthy energy boost when you need one.
How often do you drink fresh water? Research actually shows that mild dehydration can lead to low mood and fatigue in men. The theory is that the same is true for both men and women. That means that if you’re suffering from tiredness during the day, the cause could be as simple as not getting the water that you need. You should make this a top priority.
One of the easiest ways in which you can solve this problem is by carrying a water bottle around with you. Simply having it on your desk when you’re working could be enough to remind you to drink it on a regular basis. While we might not leap to it right away, water could be one of the best caffeine alternatives out there.
2. Banana Milkshake
Have you got something of a sweet tooth? If you like the odd sweet treat, this next all natural energy drink should please you. A healthy banana milkshake could be just what you need to give you that jolt of energy. Packed with calcium, Vitamin C, and potassium, it’s clear to see that this particular drink is going to be a real winner. Simply add a banana and half a cup of milk to a blender and get to work. The results might just surprise you.
3. Coconut Water
If you’ve tried coconut water before, you’ll know that you either love it or hate it. This all natural energy drink has a special combination of electrolytes that will naturally hydrate and fuel your body. Our bodies need calcium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, and magnesium to function properly, and coconut water has them all.
Thanks to its electrolyte content, a lot of people choose to drink coconut water instead of (or in addition to) regular water when they are exercising strenuously. Studies even suggest that it boosts your physical performance and offers many other health benefits as a caffeine alternative.
Fun Fact: Did you know that coconut water has been used successfully for decades as an intravenous fluid? That is because its makeup is similar to blood plasma.
4. Green Smoothie or Vegetable Juices
For many people, sipping on a drink is a lot easier than eating a plate full of leafy green vegetables. To naturally boost your energy levels, try a green smoothie or juice made from green vegetables. Even if you have a “regular” fruit smoothie, just throw in a handful of spinach each time to enrich the nutrients without having too strong of an effect on the flavor.
Although you might prefer a sweet taste, having a fruit smoothie is a lot of sugar all at once. Try having mostly vegetables with just a bit of fruit if possible to offset the sugar intake. This homemade energy drink is oh-so-simple to make.
5. Yerba Mate
Yerba mate is highly popular in parts of South America, and consists of only herbs from the yerba mate plant. It tastes similar to green tea, although its effects are ultimately a fair bit stronger. In fact, its effects are similar to coffee regarding the buzzy energy you will get from it, but you won’t end up with poor sleep, a crash, or a feeling of jitteriness after drinking it. Win-win.
The yerba mate tree, also known as the South American rainforest holly tree, grows naturally in the rainforest. The leaves of the plant contain caffeine as well as antioxidants, amino acids, and two dozen vitamins and minerals. These features make it a healthy all natural energy drink and one of the top caffeine alternatives.
6. Protein-Based Smoothie
Make no mistake, protein is important when it comes to making you alert and focused. Luckily, you can add protein to pretty much any smoothie to turn it into an all natural energy drink. Remember, this nutrient doesn’t only come from meat! In this case, the best protein-rich options would be some kind of nut butter, chia seeds, hemp, or a powder supplement that you can buy at your local health food store. Try making a protein smoothie today as one of the tastiest caffeine alternatives.
Fun Fact: Not all protein comes from meat! Pulses, legumes, and even whole grains can be excellent sources of plant-based protein to use in natural energy drinks!
7. Chia Drink
When we’re talking about caffeine alternatives, it would be a crime to overlook chia drinks. The nutrients and protein in chia seeds make them ideal energy drink ingredients. Chia seeds work to keep your body fueled up and equipped for action, but they don’t have the added sugar and other additives like many sports drinks.
Different cultures have been consuming chia seeds for thousands of years, often specifically to fuel up for running. One culture, in particular, the Tarahumara people of Mexico, would run hundreds of miles in order to get from one place to the next. They would drink chia seeds mixed with water to prepare for it. It could be the best all natural energy drink you ever try.
Ginseng is another excellent natural way to boost your energy levels. It has been documented in raising performance both mentally and physically, making it one of the most attractive caffeine alternatives and an excellent ingredient in an all natural energy drink.
This is because of its “actoprotective properties”, according to a 2013 analysis that looked at the effects of ginseng. The research suggests that actoprotectors can increase physical performance. Additionally, many of the studies analyzed in this article show that, via both human and animal trials, ginseng was found to increase the capacity to work both intellectually and physically.
9. Beet Juice
If you’re big into the running scene, you might already be aware of the energy-boosting effects of beetroot juice. This is especially popular among long-distance runners because of its stamina-enhancing properties. In fact, according to a study done by the University of Exeter and published in 2009, drinking 500 milliliters of beetroot juice actually helps people to exercise for a whopping 16% longer.
If you want to try drinking beetroot juice, it is recommended that you consume 500 milliliters on a daily basis. This is best done before you exercise (whether it’s a race or just a regular daily workout) to get the full effects of this all natural energy drink.
Fun Fact: Beet juice could also help people with heart disease to exercise more! Research has found that drinking this all natural energy drink could increase activity capacity for those who have suffered with cardiovascular disorders.
10. Lemon Water
Electrolytes are salts and minerals that your body needs to conduct impulses and basically function well. When you exercise or use up your energy, you will find that your electrolytes start to diminish as well. It’s important that you replenish them as soon as possible so that you can energize yourself and give your body a little boost.
That’s why one of the easiest natural energy drinks you can make is simply some water with lemon juice in it. The citrus fruit is packed with the right nutrients to help you replenish the electrolytes you may have lost. If you’re looking for awesome caffeine alternatives, you can’t go far wrong here. Make this all natural energy drink at home in mere minutes!
Summary: What Should You Do Now?
When it comes to natural energy drinks, coffee is the second most consumed beverage in the world (only after tea, an even more ancient beverage). Unfortunately, it has some controversial reports surrounding its effects on the human body. Sure, it’ll give you a big energy boost, but it could also be dangerous when you drink too much of it and can cause you to crash after that burst of energy.
Luckily for you, there are plenty of other ways to start feeling energized without consuming too much caffeine. Now that you are equipped with the information you need about natural energy drinks, what should you do next? Let’s look at a few steps to get started on your new lifestyle of drinking coffee alternatives.
Action Steps: Tips for Enjoying Natural Energy Drinks
1. Start slow
If you’re new to the world of natural energy drinks, you might want to take things slowly. Gradually decrease your intake of coffee until it is down to none or reduced to below the recommended limit. Doing this all at once could have a detrimental effect on your energy levels, although your body should adjust within a few days to a week.
2. Introduce healthy habits
Of course, you can’t overhaul your lifestyle all at once. In addition to switching to a new all natural energy drink, try introducing a new, energy-inducing habit into your life. For example, purchase a water bottle to carry around with you so that you drink water consistently throughout the day.
3. Try one of the natural energy drinks
Ready to get started? Try one of the suggestions above that was not familiar to you before. You might have to go to a natural food store to acquire some of the natural energy drink ingredients. If so, you’ll discover a new place to purchase more healthy foods in the future.
4. Enjoy the journey!
Becoming healthier and more energetic won’t happen overnight. Sadly, that’s not how things work. You need to enjoy the journey toward a healthy lifestyle – one step at a time. Don’t beat yourself up when it’s hard. Just keep moving forward and keep drinking natural energy drinks.
Get a Healthy Boost with an All Natural Energy Drink
Whether you don’t want to drink coffee because of its potential adverse effects, or you just don’t like how it tastes, you’re ready for a change. You can start boosting your energy right now by following these steps and starting your journey to a more energized you. It doesn’t take much time or money – just a little commitment. Give some of the natural energy drinks on this list a try!
Looking to reap the health benefits of an all natural energy drink? Try our recipe for homemade beet juice.