BECKY STRIEPE, writing for the online site Care2 Make a Difference, suggests that, instead of buying commercial energy drinks, you may want to try five natural ways.
Striepe cites reports of recent deaths in the United States that are suspected to be the result of energy drinks. She says energy drinks are “pretty unhealthy (being) loaded with unhealthy additives,” like:
Sugars, often as much as, if not more than, that in soda
Artificial sweeteners like aspartame
Artificial flavors and colors, as “most energy drinks on store shelves are not made from real juice, so they need chemical flavorings and colorings to make them look and taste more appealing”
Stimulants, like caffeine, along with a cocktail of other stimulants such as ginseng and taurine. “In moderation and on their own, these ingredients aren’t necessarily unhealthy. It’s all about the amounts, and energy drinks contain high doses of stimulants,” Striepe says.
If you want a quick and healthy energy boost, Striepe recommends:
Water—“Staying hydrated is one of the best ways to keep your energy up. The best way to get water’s benefits is to sip on a reusable bottle throughout the day. If it helps you out at first, try setting yourself a reminder to sip your water every 30 minutes.”
Healthy snack—Striepe says a sudden energy slump may be because a regular meal is hours past or hours away. She suggests that, instead of having an energy drink or sugary snack, you should try something healthy with a little bit of protein like carrots and hummus, toast with peanut butter, or a homemade granola bar.
Get moving—“When you feel yourself fading, try getting out of that chair and going for a quick walk,” Striepe says. She adds that a five- or 10-minute walk can make a big difference in energy level. If going out for a walk is not possible, she says you can just “stand up at your desk next time you take a call, and try to move around while you talk.”
Don’t forget to breathe—That may sound like an unnecessary reminder but Striepe says, “When we’re feeling run down or stressed, we tend to slump our shoulders and take shallower breaths. Give your body a burst of good ol’ oxygen with this simple breathing exercise:
Sitting in your chair or standing up, draw your shoulders up and back, and imagine a string going up your spine, out the top of your head, and to the sky. Let the string pull your back straight, and close your eyes, if you can. Take 10 deep breaths, inhaling to a count of four and exhaling to a count of eight.”
Go juice, but not sugar juices—Striepe says while sugar juices can give you energy, you will have a “crash” to deal with later. “Instead of sweet juices to give your body a kick-start, doing juice shots give your body a kick-start of healthy vitamins,” she says. Striepe adds that unsweetened juice may be a little bit hard to drink at first, but eventually your palate will adjust. “Once you’re used to the intense taste of these juices, you can save a little time by combining them in one glass and chugging it down or even sipping it, as your palate gets used to it.”
‘Kamote’ tops juice
I once went to an informal discussion on the merits of virgin coconut oil (VCO). The discussion eventually veered away from VCO and strayed into other subjects, including energy drinks. One mother, who has elementary school-aged children, enthused about the high-energy kamote tops juice. She said she boiled the tops and added honey to the juice produced. Her kids, she said, were full of energy the whole day, and had since become regular kamote juice drinkers, even bringing it as baon. Even their yaya has picked up the habit.
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