The rise in the natural energy drinks market is quite justified in context to their popularity and the benefits they provide.
Energy drinks are, no doubt, the new cool these days. Right from boosting energy to providing hydration, these are the go-to choice for many people worldwide.
However, many natural energy drinks sold in the market contain an added amount of sugar, caffeine, sweeteners, and colors, thus making them unhealthy to a certain extent.
According to the U.S. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), a daily intake of up to 400 mg of caffeine is taken as a safe criterion and anything more than that can be harmful to the body.
Adhering to this guideline and the health consciousness among people, the need for sugar-free energy drinks and prominently the ones without much caffeine, are in demand.
Moreover, people are also switching to homemade energy drinks to get an unfiltered, pure, and fresh feel of the drinks without being worried about the extra caffeine, sugar, or other harmful ingredients.
So, to save you the trouble we have here the 7 best homemade natural energy drinks:
- Ginger and cardamom
How to make- Cut 2 thin slices of peeled ginger in your cup and juice ½ inch of fresh ginger root in it. Add ¼ tsp ground cardamom, ¼ tsp turmeric powder, and 1-2 tsp honey (as per taste) in the mug and fill it with hot water.
Benefits- Ginger is known to boost circulation and improve metabolism whereas turmeric serves as an all-time antioxidant.
Cardamom is credited with boosting energy levels and keeping the blood circulation in place while also giving a unique flavor to the drink.
- Matcha green tea
How to make– Take 1 cup of water and add 1 teaspoon of organic pure maple syrup and 2 teaspoons of matcha powder. Mix well and enjoy hot or cold.
Benefits- Matcha is mainly made from green tea leaves which contain L-theanine and small amounts of caffeine.
Both these ingredients are known to enhance performance, boost energy and pump up your metabolism. The best part is the caffeine content is not over the line which makes it a healthy energy drink to sip on.
- Banana and green smoothie
How to make- In a blender jar, add 1 ripe banana, 2 tbsp almond butter (or ½ cup raw almonds), 2 washed and chopped kale leaves (you can also use spinach), ½ cup yogurt, 1 cup non-dairy milk of your choice and ½ tsp ground flax seeds (optional).
Now add 2 tbsp curd water in its place. Blend until smooth, pour in a glass, and drink immediately.
Benefits- This energy drink is very useful for people who are into high-intensity workouts and muscle training.
Banana and green smoothies are a rich source of whey protein ( if you add them to the drink) and also replenish the electrolytes.
The drink also provides a good amount of carbs to pump up the energy and enhance the working capacity to a maximum.
- Coconut iced tea
How to make- Thinly slice ⅛ cucumber and put it in the fridge to cool. In a jug, add 1 cup cold brewed green tea, 1 tbsp honey, ¼ tsp rock salt, and 1 cup coconut water and stir everything together. Add the cold cucumbers to the drink and serve fresh.
Benefits- Thus coconut water iced tea provides an instant boost to energy and is a great source of antioxidants which prevents the body from free radical damage and oxidative stress.
- Spinach, Pineapple, and Apple Energy Drink
How to make- Take 1 cup spinach, 1 cup pineapple chunks, 1 cup apple, and 3 tbsp lemon. Blend them all in a juicer or mixer and serve fresh!
Benefits- Spinach is packed with antioxidants thus preventing the body from inflammations and oxidative stress.
Apples are a direct source of major minerals like potassium and also contain natural sugars whereas lemon is a well-known addition for electrolytes.
- Beetroot, lemon, and apple blend
How to make- Juice 1 small beetroot, 1 apple, 1 lemon, 2 celery stalks, and 1 handful of spinach. Serve with ice.
Benefits- Beets are rich in nitrates which helps to reduce the amount of oxygen needed by blood vessels and muscles to function.
Nitrates are converted to nitric oxide in the body which reduces blood pressure and allows free oxygen flow.
- Berry Fresh Juice
How to make- Blend 1 cup water, 1 cup mixed berries, and the juice of 1 lime. Serve fresh and drink immediately to pump yourself up!
Benefits- Berries are rich in fiber which helps to slowly release the energy from their natural sugars.
The lime adds a tangy flavor to the drink also fulfilling the electrolyte requirements and serving as a refreshing choice.
Health benefits of natural energy drinks
Natural energy drinks have a ton of health benefits that artificial, marketed brands might not have.
While we look for a sudden energy boost and performance improvement through artificial energy drinks, the high content of caffeine and sugar in them are a cause for concern. That’s where natural energy drinks are a savior for you.
The health benefits of natural energy drinks include-
- Strengthening the immune system
Natural energy drinks are loaded with healthy nutrients and antioxidants that provide strength to the immune system.
Antioxidants play a very important role in preventing free radical damage and Vitamins like A, C, and E present in natural energy drinks are also a plus for rejuvenation and rehydration while maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance.
- Fewer calories
Natural energy drinks are also beneficial because they are very low in calories. Some of the most popular energy beverages on the market today contain over 200 calories in a single serving which is quite harmful to the body.
With low calories, the risk of obesity and other co-related health disorders reduces significantly, and thus, natural energy drinks pave the way to be one of the best choices to lose weight as well.
- Boosting brain function
Caffeine from natural sources such as green tea has been proven to improve various aspects of brain function, including response time, memory, alertness, and mood.
While excess amounts of caffeine can be significantly dangerous for the body’s metabolism, a limited capacity is present in natural energy drinks.
Along with caffeine, the presence of L-theanine enhances GABA activity which results in antidepressant effects and relaxes and enhances mood levels.
- Clean energy source
One of the most important health benefits of natural energy drinks is cleaner energy. While with artificial energy drinks, you might be gulping down many added preservatives and high sugars! the energy you get is in turn not as effective.
With natural energy drinks, the scenario is different. They provide cleaner, organic energy due to the incorporation of pure and natural ingredients in their making.
Energy drink vs electrolyte drink
Energy drinks, as we have already seen, are an easy supplement to boost energy and enhance performance. They contain stimulants like caffeine and guarana and a fairly high amount of sugars.
While artificial energy drinks can lead to headaches, anxiety, and heart issues, natural homemade energy drinks are a great option to restore hydration, balance mood levels, and pump up the lost energy.
Children and teens are generally advised not to consume an excess of energy drinks in order to avoid the dangerous side effects they have. But they can consume natural substitutes to recover their body functions.
Electrolyte drinks, on the other hand, are flavored beverages that often contain carbohydrates, minerals and electrolytes, and sometimes other vitamins and nutrients. They are generally consumed by sportspeople in endurance activity for rehydration purposes.
Electrolyte drinks are also artificially produced and sold but they are not recommended for general consumption or as a substitute for water due to their high-calorie content.
But just as we have healthier choices for everything, natural electrolyte drinks like coconut water, milk, electrolyte infused water, smoothies, etc. turn out to be a great source of electrolyte and fluid replenishment with no harm.
Energy drinks can be a great fit for energy and hydration if one knows the moderation and ways to consume them. Artificial drinks might not always be a good choice, but natural energy drinks can be an easy go-to option if you are in a dilemma.