“So much to do, so little time” is a common theme in our fast-paced world. A typical solution to this problem is the use of energy drinks to allow the body to get more done and feel “energized” to do it. But the reality is, you can’t get something for nothing. There is a price to pay for the use of energy drinks that goes beyond the dollars spent on these popular drinks.
Energy drinks contain high amounts of caffeine, sugar and artificial ingredients. These ingredients can cause serious short term and long term side effects. Short term side effects of energy drinks include headaches, heart palpitations, insomnia and an exacerbation in psychiatric symptoms. Energy drinks are increasingly part of the “perfect storm” that causes sudden death in some young people. Energy drinks, consumed in rapid succession or with drugs or alcohol are particularly dangerous. Energy drinks can also increase risk of injury or death due to the effect of large amounts of caffeine on a consumer’s judgment.
Long term side effects can include diabetes, heart problems, kidney problems and obesity.
There are natural alternatives to energy drinks that carry little risk to your immediate or long term health. And believe it or not, you will feel better.
5 Ways to Increase Energy Without Energy Drinks
1. Pucker Up
Add the juice of one lemon to a glass of water. You will be surprised at how refreshing, alkalizing and energizing this simple and low calorie drink is. It is a perfect start to your day.
2. Cut Carbs
High carb or high sugar meals and snacks will give you some quick energy but leave you feeling lethargic. Instead, reach for higher protein and high fat snacks and meals.
3. Go Nuts
Nuts are an excellent alternative for a pick-me-up. They are full of protein and nutrition. But read your labels. A number of roasted and flavored nuts contain MSG. Look for nuts that have only sea salt added.
4. Add Some Heat
Hot peppers are a great source of energy. They increase your circulation and open up blood vessels to your brain. Add cayenne pepper to your food. You can even add cayenne pepper to a beverage. Start with no more than ¼ teaspoon. Your body will adjust to the heat and you may be able to tolerate more.
5. Go Green
If you must have caffeine, green tea is a less drastic way to get it. Green tea also has numerous health benefits. If you are out with friends and have few options, try unsweetened green tea or carbonated water with lemon. Your friends will envy your clean freedom!
Have you experienced side effects from energy drinks? Or have you found a super alternative? Please send us some feedback!