Whether it’s that midday slump or early morning tiredness, low energy levels can be a real mood kill! So, what do you do? Many people find that grabbing a branded energy drink is the answer. However, there are many dangers of commercial energy drinks. If you want a burst of energy with no hazards, it could be worth making a homemade energy drink instead. Here’s everything you need to know about getting it right the first time around.
What Are the Dangers of Energy Drinks?
How often do you drink energy drinks? The energy and sports drink market is one of the biggest in the USA and it’s growing fast. An insightful report from Energy & Sports Drinks: U.S. Market Trends & Opportunities suggests that the industry is now worth a massive $25 billion, and that it’s risen by around 7% in the last decade alone.
While these drinks are categorized as those that improve productivity, energy, stamina, and athletic performance, they could be doing more harm than good. The fact of the matter is that some of the most common dangers of energy drinks are overlooked by most of us. However, there has been a wealth of research into how these drinks may affect people on a physical level. Here are some of the things you should know.
One of the major uses of energy drinks is to help people boost their sports performance. While research shows that some drinks can improve performance by between 3% and 7% in competing athletes, there are also some dangers of energy drinks that should be considered. For instance, the same research found that there are some worrying side effects related to drinking these beverages which take hold directly after consumption.
The Cambridge University study found that many athletes, including swimmers, footballers, and basketball players, experienced side effects after drinking energy drinks. These signs included increased bouts of insomnia and nervousness. Researchers suggested that the reason for this could be the high levels of caffeine in the drinks.
High blood pressure
High blood pressure (or hypertension, as it is termed in the medical world) is a worrying health concern. The NHS advises that this condition could lead to a high risk of heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease, and heart failure. If you’re over the age of 40, the advice is to ensure that you take measures to decrease your blood pressure levels.
Research from the American Heart Association links drinking energy drinks to an increased blood pressure. The study found that consuming as little as 32 ounces of a commercially available energy beverage could force your blood pressure up. That dramatic surge could have worrying health implications.
However, the research also found that the rate normalized relatively quickly after this boost. Regardless, it’s worth understanding that one of the many dangers of energy drinks is that they give you an unnatural increase in your blood pressure. Avoiding these drinks could help you maintain a healthier blood pressure rate.
One in every four deaths in the U.S. is caused by a heart attack. Cardiac-related illnesses are one of the biggest killers of our time and heart disease, specifically, is the leading cause of death for both men and women. With that in mind, doing all that you can to keep your heart as healthy as possible should be your top priority. One of the small lifestyle changes you can make is cutting back on caffeinated beverages and, in particular, commercial energy and sports drinks.
Research from the European Society of Cardiology suggests that one of the major dangers of energy drinks could be the way in which they affect the heart. The evidence laid out by this research suggests that drinking excessive amounts of these beverages could lead to health concerns including angina, heart problems, and even sudden death.
A massive 96% of the commercial energy drinks that the researchers studied had caffeine. On average, a 0.25 liter can of these drinks contained as much caffeine as you would find in a double espresso. The researchers explained that this amount of caffeine could lead to a massive release of calcium in the cardiac cells, which could lead to arrhythmia (an irregular heartbeat) or even cardiac arrest.
The ninth leading cause of death in the U.S. is kidney disease, with around 31 million people suffering from chronic kidney disease. The illness is typically associated with diabetes and high blood pressure. Protecting your kidneys from this issue and taking care of your general health is essential to a long and happy life.
One of the lesser-known dangers of energy drinks could directly affect your kidneys. Research published in Frontiers found that one of the common health effects of these beverages was an accelerated progression of chronic kidney disease. That means that cutting these beverages out of your diet could be a smart move in terms of your health.
Other health risks
As part of the research published in Frontiers, there were a number of other distressing health concerns that could be listed as the dangers of energy drinks. These included dental health problems, mental health issues, and metabolic problems. Experts warn that these rising health concerns could be related to consuming energy drinks. For that reason, it’s worth taking stock of how often you tend to drink the beverages.
Ingredients to Include in Homemade Organic Energy Drinks
Ready to make a homemade energy drink from scratch? Before we take a look at some all-natural energy drink recipes, it’s worth considering some of the key ingredients you should use. When it comes to how to boost your energy naturally, there are some seriously amazing superfoods that you don’t want to overlook. Here are some of the most effective ingredients to include in homemade organic energy drinks:
Most people wouldn’t consider water or plain old H2O to be a superfood, but when you realize its countless benefits perhaps you should. Dehydration has been shown to impair the mood and performance in men. Of course, one of the main benefits of water is that it can help you to prevent dehydration, which will slow you down and make you feel drowsy. What’s more, water has zero calories and can offer you a range of health benefits.
Using a little water as the base of your organic energy drink could be one way to ensure that it improves your health. It may also be worth thinking about other hydrating liquids that you can use as part of your recipe. Experimenting with juices and other beverages could mean that you come up with an exciting new drink.
While we’re on the topic of hydrating drinks, here’s one that you should take a taste of. Filled with electrolytes and bursting with flavor, coconut water could be one of the greatest ingredients for your homemade energy drink. The electrolytes help to keep your body hydrated as well as ward off problems such as muscle cramps. All of the above helps to keep your energy on track and ensures that your body has what it needs.
As though that wasn’t enough, coconut water also has anti-inflammatory properties and can help to aid digestion. The ingredient also offers high levels of calcium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, and magnesium. Needless to say, it’s a real superfood. Including a little of the stuff as part of your homemade energy drink is a savvy idea.
Looking for a creamy-style base for your organic energy drink? Try using some yogurt. Boasting carbs and simple sugars, you can’t go wrong with a healthy dose of yogurt. The good news is that your body can quickly and easily break down these sugars and turn them into energy. That’s why starting the day with a yogurt is a great idea, as is including the ingredient in energy-boosting recipes.
Another health benefit of yogurt is that it’s high in protein value. Research suggests that protein helps to slow down the digestion of carbohydrates and means that you get slow release energy for hours afterward. That means that sneaking an extra dose of protein into your homemade energy drink could help you keep going for longer.
Could adding beets to your homemade energy drink be a recipe for success? One study from the University of Exeter found that drinking as little as 500 milliliters of beetroot juice helped participants to exercise for around 16% longer than they usually would. As the study shows, the drink has stamina-enhancing and energy-boosting properties.
Another benefit of this ingredient is that it’s full of nitrates, which have been proven to help boost physical performance. The physiological side effects of eating beets or, indeed, drinking beet juice include increased blood flow and improved muscle contraction. Including a dash of beet juice or chopped beets to your organic energy drink could be particularly beneficial before a sporting event.
It’s no secret that you need vitamins to boost energy, and what better way is there to get them than by eating oranges? These fruits are high in vitamin C as well as dietary fiber, which means that they are one of the most healthful superfoods out there. If you’re looking for a way to get more vitamins in your diet, adding some oranges into the mix is an easy way to do it.
In particular, orange juice has been shown to have high antioxidant compounds which prevent oxidative stress. One of the lesser-known side effects of oxidative stress is bouts of fatigue. That’s why doing all you can to prevent this stress, such as drinking homemade organic energy drinks, could keep your energy levels at an all-time high.
Have you considered adding some ginseng to your natural homemade energy drink? Research shows that thanks to its “actoprotective properties,” this particular ingredient can help to boost both mental and physical ability. The ingredient is a natural source of actoprotectors, which have been shown to boost performance levels.
If you’re ready to get a mental and physical edge, trying this stuff is the way to go. Perhaps the easiest way to use this ingredient as a natural energy booster is to get it in dried root form. You can then grind it up and put it in hot water. After you have sieved away the pieces of ginseng, you will be left with a hot energy-boosting drink, known as ginseng tea.
Add This Energy Boost Supplement to Your Homemade Energy Drink
Now that you are aware of some of the superfood ingredients that you should include in your homemade energy drink, it’s time to talk about supplements. There are a few small extras you can add to your beverage to create an all natural energy drink. For now, though, let’s concentrate on one particular energy boost supplement – Rhodiola rosea.
What is Rhodiola Rosea?
Sometimes known as the “golden root” or “arctic root,” this energy boosting supplement is native to the mountain-ridden areas of both Europe and Asia. For many years, the root has been used in a broad range of holistic medicines. However, according to Mental Health America, it is now becoming more popular all around the world as it has a variety of health benefits. You will find that the supplement is available in most major health food stores, grocery stores, and online as well.
Why should you use it?
If you’ve heard of this root before now, it’s likely in connection with its mental health benefits. The supplement has been used to treat stress and mild depression, among other health issues. However, it can also be used as an energy boosting supplement to give you that extra kick you need when it comes to your mental and physical performance.
But wait, does it really work? Well, one study published in the US National Library of Medicine looked at the energy boosting supplement’s effect on more than 500 participants. The review found that the root had beneficial effects on mental and physical performance as well as mental health conditions. That means that adding the Rhodiola rosea supplement to your homemade energy drink could give it the edge it needs to boost your overall health.
How to use the energy boosting supplement
If you’re thinking about adding Rhodiola rosea to your recipe, you should know that this supplement is mainly sold in powder or tablet form. For those planning to use it in a homemade energy drink recipe, you should opt to get it in powder form. Then, you can simply mix it into your drink before serving it!
5 of the Best Homemade Energy Drink Recipes
Ready to get started and whip up something that is absolutely delicious? We hear you. Now that you know about some of the best superfood ingredients, let’s take a look at some simple homemade energy drink recipes.
Whether you like things with a tropical twist or fancy a warming infused drink, there’s sure to be something for you. Follow our recipes and add extra ingredients that you fancy into the mix. Here are some recipes that will give you an energetic boost when you need it most.
1. Tropical Surprise
Do you like piña coladas? Then you’re sure to love this next homemade energy drink. This tropical-inspired recipe is packed full of vitamins to boost energy. What’s more, you get a healthy dose of coconut water and even a zesty taste of lemon too. Here’s what you need to do to get the Tropical Surprise drink right.
Make Time: 5 minutes | Serves: 3 | Calories Per Serving: 122 kcal
Equipment: Food processor, large knife, chopping board
- 1 cup of coconut water
- ½ medium pineapple
- 1 medium apple
- 1 tsp of lemon juice
- Peel both the pineapple and apple. Cut the fruit into medium-sized chunks.
- Add the coconut water, pineapple, apple, and lemon juice into the food processor. Blend until the liquid is smooth and chunk-free.
- If the homemade energy drink looks too thick for your liking, add some water to make it thinner and easier to drink.
- Serve over ice in tall glasses!
Make it your own!
Of course, it goes without saying that if there’s anything you don’t like in the recipe, you can change it. The base of this homemade energy drink is the coconut water and pineapple. So long as you keep those two ingredients the same, you have the freedom to play around with a whole range of exotic ingredients. Give it a go!
2. Banana Buster
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day so why not combine it with an organic energy drink? Having one of these while you’re eating your morning meal could be a secret way to give you extra energy throughout the day. The following recipe includes tasty banana, yogurt, and even a little sweetness too. Here’s what you need to know.
Make Time: 5 minutes | Serves: 2 | Calories Per Serving: 122 kcal
Equipment: Food processor, knife, chopping board
- 1 ripe banana
- ½ cup of natural yogurt
- ½ cup of water
- 1 Tbsp of honey
- Chop up the banana into medium-sized chunks.
- Put the banana, yogurt, water, and honey into the food processor. Blend until smooth.
- If you find that the concentration of the drink is too thick, you can add some extra water into the mix. Only add a little at a time!
- Serve over ice for a refreshing homemade energy drink.
Make it plant-based!
If you’re following a plant-based diet or are vegan, the above recipe will not suit your dietary needs. No problem! You can easily make some healthy swaps to create a completely vegan version of this homemade energy drink. Switch the natural yogurt for some soya yogurt. Then, swap the honey for a plant-based sweetener like agave syrup.
3. Beet and Berry Juice
As we’ve already covered in-depth, beet juice has some rather astounding benefits when it comes to both mental and physical performance. If you’re looking for a way to include this superfood in your diet, the following recipe is ideal for you. Adding some frozen berries into the mix means that you have a sweet drink that’s full of vitamins too.
Make Time: 5 minutes | Serves: 2 | Calories Per Serving: 132 kcal
Equipment: Food processor
- 1 cup of beet juice
- ½ cup of frozen mixed berries
- 1½ Tbsp of lemon juice
- Put the beet juice, lemon juice, and frozen berries into the food processor. Blend until the mixture is smooth and all of the frozen berries have broken up.
- Serve in a tall glass. (You don’t need any ice as the frozen berries will mean that the drink is super cold right away!)
Add an energy boosting supplement
Before you serve this organic energy drink, you might want to add a little something special to it. Mixing just a teaspoon of Rhodiola rosea powder into the drink could make all the difference. Why not try this recipe with and without this added extra?
4. Orange Energy
Looking for something to truly wake you up? The Orange Energy drink could be just that. Packed with vitamins to boost energy and a dash of spice, this drink should give you that zing you’ve been looking for. Drink it in the morning or when you’re feeling a little sluggish during the day. Here’s what you need to know.
Make Time: 10 minutes | Serves: 3 | Calories Per Serving: 85 kcal
Equipment: Food processor, chopping board, large knife
- 2 large oranges
- 3 medium carrots
- 1 tsp chili powder
- Water (to taste)
- Peel and chop the oranges into small chunks. Wash and peel the carrots.
- Put the oranges and carrots into a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Add water into the mix to get the consistency right for you.
- Finally, add a little chili powder to the homemade energy drink and mix well.
Make it your own!
The chili kick really makes this drink stand out but, of course, it’s not for everyone. If you’re not that big into spice, you might want to leave it out altogether. Alternately, you could replace it with something like a dash of lemon juice, some honey, or perhaps even ginger.
5. Ginseng and Lemon Tea
If you’re used to drinking tea, coffee, or branded energy drinks, you might be looking for a way to cut back on your caffeine consumption. Luckily, it’s easier than you might imagine. One alternative is this tasty ginseng and lemon tea. The homemade energy drink is simple to make and ideal for those cold fall and winter evenings. Here’s how to make it.
Make Time: 5 minutes | Serves: 3 | Calories Per Serving: 78 kcal
Equipment: Teapot, strainer
- ½ cup of dried ginseng root
- ½ cup of dried lemon peel
- 1 Tbsp of honey
- ½ cup of grated ginger
- 1 Tbsp of lemon juice
- Hot water
- Put the dried ginseng root, lemon peel, and ginger into a teapot. Fill the pot with hot water and leave to brew for around three to four minutes.
- When the tea has brewed, use the strainer to pour it into three separate cups.
- Add the honey and lemon juice to each drink in equal amounts.
Add some extras!
If you want your ginseng tea to have a more rustic feel to it, why not garnish it with some extras? Grate some lemon or orange peel and add them to the drink. You can safely consume these parts of the fruits and they will give it added vitamins too.
Now that you know how to make a homemade energy drink, you have no reason to reach for branded alternatives. Creating a beverage that’s packed with superfood ingredients and bursting with vitamins is certain to be a good move when it comes to your wellbeing. Rather than being full of additives and caffeine, recipes you make at home use only healthy and beneficial ingredients.
Why not try making your own drink today? Give some of these recipes a whirl and then try to make up some of your own. You might just find that you have a hidden talent for organic energy drink creation. Good luck and happy mixing!
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Charlotte is a seasoned content writer, journalist, and fitness enthusiast. Thanks to this passion, in her professional work, she focuses on the health niche and her work has been seen in major publications around the globe.
Since embarking on a lifelong journey toward better wellness, she has become completely fascinated by modern diet trends. She has now researched both Keto and Paleo eating plans in-depth in a bid to better understand their possible benefits and how they work.