Are There Any Healthy Energy Drinks Out There?

Are those cans you've been downing healthy energy drinks? They're everywhere... stores, gas stations, even nightclubs. We're in an energy drink craze!

First there’s the heavily carbonated energy drinks. They’re designed to give you a “buzz”, and they deliver… with large amounts of caffeine, tons of sugar, and harsh herbal stimulants, like “guarana”. If you do not use caffeine regularly, a large dose can raise your blood pressure, make you dehydrated, and cause intestinal discomfort. You may hit the ceiling after all that sugar, but what goes up must come down – especially after you realize you’ve consumed hundreds of calories! Many carbonated energy drink cans contain more than one serving, but most people just drink the whole can at once!

The newest incarnation of energy drinks: energy shots, depend less on caffeine and sugar to give you a lift. They are also faster and more convenient - often just two ounces per serving. Look for ones with a moderate amount of caffeine – 100 mg or less. Also, caffeine in green tea will feel smoother than other herbal or chemical sources. You also do not want to trade energy for weight gain, so less than 20 calories will do it. Vitamins and amino acids can give you the mental clarity you are looking for when you’re feeling sluggish.

Even healthy energy drinks do not replace a good night’s sleep. Although certainly, an energy shot can help in an emergency if you must be up when you normally sleep, energy shots are better used for the occasional energy lift. The best time for a healthy energy drink is when your body is awake, but your brain is tired. You’ll go from foggy to focused in minutes.

If you find yourself reaching for energy drinks on a daily basis, it is time for a daily vitamin supplement. Also, make sure you have a healthy sleep routine. Do not choose to stare at a screen when you could be out on a walk, or doing something active that you enjoy. Less television and even (gasp!) less internet time will help you sleep better.

Do not combine any energy drink, healthy or otherwise, with alcohol. Your body will metabolize alcohol differently with the added stimulation from the energy boost. Studies show that those who consume energy drinks with alcohol drink more alcohol than they would otherwise. They do not realize how intoxicated they have become. The energy drink offsets some of the alcohol’s affects. Meanwhile, their blood alcohol levels become dangerously high and they are more impaired than they think!

If you are looking for a healthy energy shot, give this one a try:

If you are addicted to soda-like energy drinks, remember this: carbonated beverages do not quench thirst and leave you more dehydrated than when you started! Try replacing energy sodas with green tea. With its mild caffeine, it can help you make it through a drowsy afternoon. Green tea also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that helps burn your own body fat for energy use. Can't beat that! If you must have your tea sweet, try calorie-free stevia powder!

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