Healthy alternatives to energy drinks do exist (and, I’ll get more into that in a moment)…
But, hectic routines and sleepless nights call for a quick and easy alternative to gear up for the next day.
And what could be more quick and easy than one of hundreds of those ultra convenient (ready to go) flashy labeled energy drinks?
Not so fast though…. As convenient as they may be, energy drinks are far more injurious to health than they are advertised! Some can even have you feeling high and jittery almost like you were on drugs! YIKES!
Also See: Can Nootropics Get You High?
Sleek bottles and tempting cans on television or social media are bound to distract the consumer away from the darker side of the energy drink industry.
We have found some great and natural alternatives to these energy drinks. The ones that aren’t overloaded with sugar or caffeine, but instead, provide the body with a subtle (but impactful) kick to start the day!
Quick List of Healthy Energy Drink Alernatives:
Why Are Energy Drinks Harmful?
Let’s dig into a generic ingredient list that most (if not all) energy drinks follow.
In order of toxicity:
- B vitamins
- Gingko Biloba
Energy drinks are loaded with caffeine.
And such an amount could lead to high blood pressure, increased heart rate, and even increase the risk of developing heart diseases in the long run.
Caffeine may also contribute to anxiety and insomnia.
This bad boy needs no introduction.
Sugar is inflammatory by nature and the amount of sugar that goes into these energy drinks is just WOW!
Fizzy drinks or sodas are really bad for your health too.
But what distinguishes them from energy drinks is the relatively less amount of sugar incorporation.
Sugars are a leading cause of heart diseases and silently transition the human body into a state of chronic inflammation.
It causes an insulin surge which swells up arteries and damages their lining/walls and is hence a major contributor to drastic events such as stroke, heart attack, and even heart failure.
And sugar-free energy drinks are no better!
This ingredient managed to stir up quite a lot of controversy when people acknowledged its origin: bull semen!
However, it is now being produced synthetically.
In general, taurine is not a bad element if used in moderation – in the human body, it can even lead to the growth of nerves, muscles, and also help lower the blood pressure!
Taurine is an amino acid that is naturally found in our bodies; some of it is also gained via diet.
The only concern with this ingredient is the long-term side effect that it may pose, especially when combined with excessive amounts of sugar and caffeine.
The nature of taurine is inhibitory; by blocking the excitatory GABA receptors, it helps induce sleep.
Combining it with caffeine produces an antagonistic effect – which might provoke negative side effects.
B vitamins are great for the body.
But only if used in moderation!
These energy drinks are jam-packed with an unbridled amount of such vitamins that may lead to nausea, vomiting, and stomach upset.
They may also cause blurred vision and skin rash!
Ginseng, Ginkgo Biloba, Guarana
These are the least toxic of all ingredients found in energy drinks.
When used individually in moderation, they offer some great nootropic effects thus proving to be excellent for the body!
What makes them look bad in these energy drinks is their excessive quantity and over-processing.
Great Alternatives To Energy Drinks…
Ginseng Tea For Energy
This herb is rich in oligosaccharides and polysaccharides, both of which cater to higher energy levels in cells. It also tones down oxidative stress.
When used for longer periods, it helps eliminate the symptoms of chronic fatigue!
With lowered fatigue levels, it gears up the body for physical exercise!
Matcha For Brain Power
Matcha is a cleaner and healthier version of caffeine!
Think of it as coffee without jitters!
There are many studies and researches on how Matcha has been able to improve brain functioning amongst individuals.
It boosts concentration and sharpens memory.
It is rich in L-theanine, an amino acid that efficiently enhances focus whilst promoting a state of calm by generating alpha-brain waves!
Yerba Mate For Wakefulness
Another caffeine variant, but better!
Yerba mate enhances energy levels and alertness, in a similar manner to that of caffeine.
But without the crash!
And since it aids in powerful muscular contractions, one can make use of it for a strenuous physical exercise session!
Green Tea / Moringa Tea
Rich in L-theanine, these refreshing drinks help promote clarity and concentration.
The antioxidants lower oxidative stress and thus eliminate brain fog.
And let’s not forget the calming effects of the alpha brain waves that result from the consumption of green tea or moringa tea!
When taken in the morning, they would prove to be a great start to the day!
Water (Yes, plain old water!)
This is by far the most under-rated alternative to energy drinks.
I can not emphasize enough the strengths of water.
Hydration instantly boosts brain clarity while keeping you active and running.
Balanced osmotic levels in the body are an essential part of a healthily functioning brain!
Protein Shakes With Carbohydrates
Lethargy easily meddles with alertness levels in individuals.
And a quick fix for this solution would be amino acids that boost protein levels!
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for the very same reason; it potentiates the functional capacity of the brain and keeps it alert.
But if you’re not exactly a breakfast person and wish to find a fast solution to your worries, then opt for protein shakes instead!
Not necessarily the commercial protein shakes you’d find in stores; one with soy milk, natural whey, yogurt, and organic protein powder is equally nutritious and much healthier!
But don’t forget!
To gain maximum benefit of proteins for energy, one must incorporate carbs along with it.
So make sure to pop a fruit or two into your protein shake.
Greens Superfood Supplement
(#1 Recommedation By far!)
This is a great alternative for those who need instant energy without any hassle, and this would include individuals with a hectic and busy schedule.
I actually have a product recommendation for this one which is the Jacked Nutrition Green Surge Powder.
Make sure to check it out here!
Not only is it much more affordable than other heavily marketed greens powder supplements, it has great reviews and tastes absolutely delicious!
(I literally take this stuff every single day!)
Green powder supplements in general are a great source of energy and nutrition.
They offer the same benefits as energy drinks do, but without any side effects.
And they taste great too!
I actually wrote a complete review on Jacked factory’s Green Surge which you can check out here.
4 Great Dietary Elements To Substitute Energy Drinks!
This decadent treat is more than just a tastebud enticer.
Pure dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants that waive off oxidative stress that is responsible for brain fog and lethargy.
Chocolate causes the release of Nitric Oxide (NO) which relaxes the arteries.
This, in turn, enhances blood flow by dampening resistance offered by the constricted arteries.
Optimum blood flow to the brain makes it active and sharp.
This dietary flavonoid is known for its ability to amplify physical endurance.
It has an anti-inflammatory nature and is also a great source of antioxidants, and thus helps boost concentration and energy levels.
Quercetin can be found in cherries, leafy green veggies, grapes, and citrus fruits.
Glutamine is a common inclusion of sports supplements.
It maintains the protein content of muscles and also helps overcome fatigue or lethargy.
Glutamine is abundant in eggs, meat, poultry, spinach, and kale.
Due to its involvement in a large plethora of chemical reactions in the body, Magnesium makes a great source of energy.
It is directly linked to the reaction whereby the food we eat is converted into energy.
It also boosts physical performance by eliminating lactate in the muscles and substituting it with sugar instead.
You can enjoy the benefits of magnesium by consuming seeds, nuts, grains, and wheatgerm.
Useful Swaps Against Harmful Ingredients In Energy Drinks
#1) Caffeine With Matcha
For clean and crash-free energy!
#2) Synthetic B vitamins With Green Juice
Extracting the juice of spinach, kale, and other green leafy vegetables with a high powered juicer can prove to be a miracle in a glass.
Deficiency in these vitamins can easily lead to chronic fatigue and lethargy.
Green juice is rich in B vitamins and other nutrients that provide the body the energy it needs and also keeps you satiated long enough to suppress the appetite.
Click here to see the most popular juicers to help you get started!
#3) Taurine With Milk
Sounds odd but milk is a great way to bypass the excessive processing procedures that synthetic taurine goes through.
And it also provides energy and nutrients to keep you on your feet all day long!
#3) Ginseng, Guarana, and Gingko With Tea
Minimum processing reaps the maximum benefits!
What Are Some Healthy Alternatives To Energy Drinks? – My Final Thoughts…
I know energy drinks are very tempting and an easy way to gain temporary energy.
But they are also silent killers!
Play around with these healthy alternatives and trust me, your body will thank you in the long run!
My Main Recommendation?
In short, I would highly recommend drinking a full gallon or more of filtered water per day, and also supplement with Green Surge greens powder (cheap and very effective!)
Start there, and please share your results with me! This has been a part of my daily supplement regimen for over a year now!
To make it easier, I VERY HIGHLY recommend getting a BPA Free gallon jug water bottle from Gallon Gear Like This.
This amazing jug has been a life saver for me. It’s much more durable than a regular milk jug that you’d purchase at the grocery store, plus a lot less embarassing to carry around!
I have the blue one, but it comes in other colors, plus they even have some cool add-ons like a cell phone carrier that sits over it.
(Perfect for going to the gym if you want to take your phone, keys, or wallet with you to each station as it’s just attached to your water bottle!)
It’s all I use now to keep my daily water intake up.
You can buy it on Amazon here.
** Once again, you can read my full Jacked factory “Green Surge” Greens Powder Review Here.
About David Gracey
Founder of SuperMindHacker.com
In other words, I am completely obsessed with anything and everything related to cognitive brain enhancement!
Whether it's nootropics supplements, challenging brain puzzles, or even meditation techniques, chances are, I've tried it! This website is my outlet to give back and share what I've learned in the past 15+ years in this field of study.
You Can Read my Other Posts Here: David Gracey's Articles