The Most Powerful Natural Energy Drinks
Energy drinks or functional beverages are one of the hottest markets in the food and beverage industry. Vitamin waters, soy beverage drinks, enhanced fruit drinks, ready to drink tea or premade coffee all have convenience for all of us on the go. To those seeking some health benefits, some claim to ease joint pain, improve heart, immune strengthening, digestion boosting, energy surging…what will it hurt to try?
Commercial Energy Drinks
The problem with many commercial ‘functional beverages’ is that they contain lots of unwanted and even dangerous ingredients. These include sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and synthetic vitamins. Many are loaded with stimulants that cause an energy rush and chemical residue that can be highly toxic.
Natural Energy Drinks
Some of the most powerful energy drinks are real foods and supplied by nature. Nature has provided us with phytonutrients, plant based health benefiting nutrients. Researchers have found over 4,000 phytonutrients and list common ones, like antioxidants and flavonoids, here. Phytonutrients help our body adapt and survive in heat, cold, when under physical or mental stress, and with whatever our environment bombards us with. So when looking for a little boost why not make it one that not only gets you through the day but also boost your body’s natural adaptability and overall survival?
When choosing energy drinks think natural, or at the very least, read labels and pick those that are low in sugar or naturally fermented. Be sure they are without chemicals, additives and preservatives. Here are my favorite energy drinks…
- Coconut water and coconut water kefir: Young coconuts are naturally full of potassium which can give a bolt of energy and quench thirst in a flash. Coconut water has electrolytes that are remarkably similar to our own body. Coconut kefir is fermented to give you a lower sugar option that is probiotic rich and supports digestion.
- Kombucha: This centuries old unique beverage, made from a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) that forms a zoolgleal mat. This drink is loaded with healthy yeast, enzymes, electrolytes, bacteria and other organisms. Combining this with other flavors from superfoods make for synergistically functional energy beverage. Kombucha contains Glucosamine, naturally relieves joint pains and Theanine which helps combat stress.
- Apple Cider Vinegar drinks: Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), raw and with the ‘mother’ is naturally high in B vitamins and enzymes. The natural acids in ACV boost nutrient absorption, blunt sugar responses, fights inflammation and scavenges free radicals.
- Lemon water: Hydration is so important so why add a little organic lemon? Or lime? (my personal favorite) The combination of electrolytes, vitamin C and bioflavonoids help enhance capillary permeability. In other words, circulation to deep tissues improve, getting oxygen to where it is needed most. This means faster recovery after exercise and decrease risk for disease.
I always encourage my clients to keep hydrated. As a whole, most people are chronically dehydrated. Start your day with a glass of water first thing in the morning. I also suggest to my coffee drinkers (we do live where the world’s finest coffee is grown) drinking two cups of water to every cup of coffee. Exercise is naturally dehydrating too, don’t compound this with some fake blue colored sugary so called electrolyte drink. Lastly, listen to your body. If you are jittery twenty minutes after taking that energy drink, it is probably some form of high potent stimulant made in a lab.
This health tip brought to you by Dr. Shana Lover DC, mobile chiropractor to the Big Island. Helping people find their health again and live abundant lives. Feel free to call or email any questions, concerns or to schedule your very own house call.
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