Natural Energy Drink Swaps For When You Need A Pick-Me-Up
When you're constantly on-the-go and in need of an energy boost, it's easy to reach for energy drinks for a quick hit, but more often than not, conventional energy drinks may be doing you more harm than good.
The problem with most energy drinks is that they contain extremely high amounts of caffeine and sugar which can have negative effects on not only your heart and nervous system, but your overall health. Not to mention they are low in nutritional value, high in kilojoules and typically packed with other nasties such as artificial flavourings.
Sure, you might get that initial buzz you were craving, but once the caffeine and sugar hit wears off, you may experience adverse affects such as "the jitters", difficulty concentrating, trouble sleeping, nervousness, anxiety, a rapid heart rate and headaches, just to name a few.
Caffeine is a stimulant which can make you feel more alert and energetic. It's found in things like coffee, black tea, green tea, cocoa (read: chocolate) and other energy snack bars. Guarana (a popular additive in energy drinks) is also a source of caffeine.
Upon consumption, caffeine works to increase activity in your brain and nervous system and increases the circulation of hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline in the body. In moderation, caffeine can play a part in a healthy balanced diet, however to avoid negative effects outlined above, we don't want to exceed these limits.
Energy drinks typically contain the following ingredients in varying amounts:
- Caffeine (a stimulant)
- Taurine (an amino acid)
- Herbal extracts (ie. guarana)
- Water-soluble vitamins (ie. vitamins B3, B5, B6, and B12)
- Sweetening agents (ie. glucose, sucrose).
In true GMB style, we also want to look at the ENTIRE ingredients list and opt for all-natural ingredients where possible.
Here are some of our favourite savvy swaps when it comes to natural energy drinks:
Remedy Good Energy Blackberry
Contains all the benefits of kombucha with the added good vibes of raw green coffee bean, green tea and ginseng for a natural energy boost minus the nasties. Unlike conventional energy drinks, it doesn't contain sugar, unsafe levels of caffeine, guarana or artificial chemicals.
By comparison, Remedy Good Energy contains around 25mg caffeine per 100ml or around 60mg per 250ml can. A cup of instant coffee sits at around 80mg of caffeine. Other energy drinks contain around 80mg per 250ml can (which is the legal limit in Australia).
Can you believe this energy drink contains NO CAFFEINE? Yep! Instead, it's made with fulvic acid to give you a natural energy life. Fulvic acid is rich in antioxidants and understood to help improve cognitive function. Other benefits of fulvic acid are understood to include; increased nutrient absorption, removal of toxins in the body, improved digestion and decreased inflammation. When it comes to brain health, fulvic acid is also believed to have a positive impact on Alzheimer's!
You can find both these energy drinks and more in the June Brainfood Box!