The media is full of adverts for so called “energy drinks”. They are non-alcoholic drinks packed with stimulants like caffeine or taurine and refined sugars – they are supposed to help you fight fatigue.
There are have been some serious questions raised about the safety of these drinks, especially on young people. If you would like to avoid the artificial ingredients of these drinks but still want a boost of energy – here are some natural alternatives. These will not give you any side effects and will work in harmony with your body.
There have been difficulties in pinning down exactly which category the high energy drinks belong to. As a result, regulation of the industry can be difficult. They are not really soft drinks but are not strictly a dietary supplement either, even though they can act as stimulants. You have to be careful when consuming them because of the side effects they can cause if you consume them in excess amounts. They are also not suitable for people with certain health conditions.
Energy drinks – possible health risks
- The EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) have concluded that drinking energy drinks is not hazardous to health so long as the guidelines are adhered to.
- The risks are mainly presented by: taurine (which can affect your brain) and d-glucoronolactone (which can affect your kidneys). Risks only arise when the drinks are consumed everyday. For that reason, it was concluded that it’s best to not drink more than 125 mL a day.
- Further potential hazards of energy drinks are presented by the high caffeine and calorie content. It is even higher than other leading carbonated drinks. Drinking large amounts of caffeine can overstimulate the nervous system and cause headaches.
- Some people report that if they consume a lot of energy drinks, they suffer from arrhythmia and intestinal problems.
- There are some claims that the drinks contain natural elements in their ingredients but they are powerful diuretics, and caution should be exercised.
- The taurine, ephedrine, guanine and arginine can put people with coronary heart disease at risk of adverse health incidents.
- Studies have shown that people who drink two or three cans a day, can have headaches, anxiety, lack of concentration and mood swings.
The natural alternatives you can make yourself
Coconut and spirulina drink
- 500 mL coconut water
- 1 capsule of powdered spirulina (get them from health food stores, pharmacies and even supermarkets).
Put the coconut water into a bottle. Add the spirulina powder and then cover the bottle and shake. This is a very high energy drink because coconut water is rich in potassium. Spirulina contains magnesium, essential amino acids, and B vitamins (B1, B2, and B6).
Orange and linseed drink
- The juice from two oranges
- 2 tablespoons of linseed oil.
First, juice two oranges. Then, mix the orange juice with two tablespoons of linseed oil. Place it in the freezer for ten minutes if you want to drink it cold. This drink delivers plenty of magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C and regulates blood sugar levels.
Banana and spinach drink
- 1 banana
- 3 spinach leaves
- 1 glass of cold water
Wash the spinach well in fresh water. Peel and chop the banana and put it in the blender along with the spinach and a glass of cold water. Blend until smooth. You can add a few ice cubes and even a teaspoon of honey. This drink provides plenty of potassium, phosphorus and magnesium.
Ginger and turmeric drink
- 1 slice of fresh ginger
- 1 pinch of powder turmeric
- 1 small tablespoon of honey
- 1 glass of cool water.
First, wash and mash the ginger into a smooth paste. Then, put the ginger and turmeric in a cup of boiling water to make an infusion. Allow it to sit for stand for ten minutes and then strain it. If you wish you can add a glass of fresh water and ice cubes to make a refreshing drink. These spices deliver a great energy boost and they greatly improve your circulation. It also tastes great!