It’s time for a frank discussion about energy drinks. We’ve all seen them. They’re everywhere. You find them on the shelf at the grocery store, in coolers at convenience stores, and piled up alongside coffee machines at your office. They promise an immediate burst of energy that can help you get through to the end of a long day or some other arduous task. They are usually consumed by individuals who have busy schedules and need an extra shot of energy to get through the day.
But do they work? They give you a burst of energy, but the effects are often short-lived or even damaging to your health. And it’s not just the artificial flavours and high sugar content that make them a wrong choice; most energy drinks contain ingredients like taurine and guarana that can be harmful if consumed in excess and may even be addictive!
So what can you do if you want some extra spring in your step but don’t want to risk your health? Natural energy drinks are becoming more popular by the day—and for a good reason. They are better for you physically, but they also provide sustained energy boosts without causing any of the adverse side effects of traditional energy drinks!
Ayurvedic Take on Energy Drinks
Ayurveda is India’s ancient medicinal system, practised for thousands of years. The system teaches that every human being comprises three main life forces, or doshas: Vata, pitta, and Kapha. Every person has three doshas in their body, but we tend towards one or two more than the other(s).
In a nutshell: Vata types are creative and energetic but often prone to anxiety and depression; pitta types are fiery, passionate, and strong-willed but can be irritable when their energy isn’t focused on something they love; Kapha types are gentle and grounded but can feel stuck when they’re not living life to the fullest.
When you consume an energy drink with Vata energy, you’ll notice a quick-moving sensation in your body. This is because this energy is highly mobile and disperses itself through the other elements quickly when ingested by humans. However, you need to keep in mind that this quick absorption can cause Vata to drop rapidly. Consuming a product with Vata-enhanced energy can leave you feeling depleted and empty if it’s not balanced with another type of energy, such as Pitta or Kapha.
Why should you avoid energy drinks?
An energy drink is like a hug from your mom, but instead of feeling warm and loved, you feel jittery for the rest of the day.
While some of the ingredients in these drinks can feel like they give you a boost in the short term, they throw off your body’s natural balance and make it harder to heal itself.
Most of us drink energy drinks because we’re already out of alignment with our bodies—we don’t have enough energy. But by drinking another energy drink, we’re just piling on more imbalance. That’s why you’ll probably need even more energy tomorrow!
They’re not only brutal on your gut, but they can also lead to long-term health problems.
1. Worsened Mental Health
For one thing, most energy drinks contain large amounts of caffeine, increasing your stress levels. Caffeine is a stimulant that can help you feel energised and awake—until it wears off. And then you’ll crash back down with fatigue, increased irritability, and decreased productivity.
Energy drinks provide a quick shot of caffeine, increasing your heart rate. If you’re prone to anxiety or panic attacks, an energy drink may not be the best way to get energised!
2. Weight Gain
Many energy drinks also accommodate large amounts of sugar. This sugar rush can feel good for a short time but will lead to an even bigger crash than the caffeine alone will cause. When the effects wear off, you end up drinking more, which contributes to weight gain and can lead to diabetes in the long term.
3. Leads to Indigestion
Energy drinks contain additives that may be natural, but the body doesn’t recognise the form they’re in and can’t process them properly. This leads to digestive issues like diarrhoea and irritable bowel syndrome.
4. Nutritional Deficiency
The body interprets the taurine in many energy drinks as an amino acid that needs to be neutralised before processing. It does this by pulling calcium from the bones. Over time, this causes nutritional deficiencies and osteoporosis.
Natural Energy Drinks
A natural energy drink is a type of beverage that contains naturally occurring nutrients and caffeine, which can help to keep you alert and provide you with the energy you need to get through your day. This type of energy drink is especially beneficial for people trying to stay away from traditional energy drinks, which contain large amounts of sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Natural energy drinks are typically made from plant-based ingredients, like guarana, green tea, yerba mate, or ginseng. They also may contain B vitamins and electrolytes such as potassium. These ingredients work together to boost the energy that you need when you’re feeling tired or sluggish.
Benefits of Natural Energy Drinks
Natural energy drinks are today’s drug of choice. They’re less-than-obvious and seriously effective. It’s not like you need a reason to consume them, but they have some fantastic benefits.
1. Low-Calorie Drink
Another benefit of natural energy drinks is that many don’t contain artificial sweeteners. Some brands use honey or stevia to keep their drinks low-calorie while still giving them a great taste without having to add anything chemical.
2. No Added Preservatives
If you’ve ever read the ingredients on an energy drink can, you’ll know that all those unpronounceable words and chemicals aren’t good for you, but they make chemical energy drinks taste so good. Natural energy drinks don’t need all those additives because they only get their flavour from natural fruits, herbs, and spices—no artificial flavours are needed. Not only do they taste fresh and delicious, but they’re also much more accessible to sensitive stomachs.
3. Stay Hydrated
These drinks are also packed full of electrolytes and potassium, which can help keep your body hydrated and give it the nutrients it needs to work out for more extended periods. Most brands include coconut water in their energy drinks, which helps your body absorb vital nutrients and provides hydrating electrolytes! Also, if f you’re worried about your blood sugar levels, coconut water can help keep them steady.
4. Improved Cognitive Ability
They often contain ingredients like maca root or ginseng, and natural energy drinks can help with everything from enhancing your mood to improving your cognitive function. Increased neurotransmitter levels can alleviate a person’s mood and make them feel motivated. Also, phytonutrients strengthen blood circulation to the brain and lead to healthy cell production.
5. Beneficial for Fitness Routine
A good workout is all about getting the proper balance of protein and carbohydrates. Most people stay away from carbs when they want to lose weight, but did you know that your body needs carbs to replenish itself if you’re working out? A natural energy drink can give you those carbs without eating a bunch of fruits or vegetables.
Ayurveda Recommended Natural Energy Drinks
1. Coconut Water
- Coconut water contains naturally occurring electrolytes that help your body retain moisture, which leaves you feeling more energised.
- The high levels of fibre in coconut water help regulate bowel movements and keep things moving in a timely fashion.
- Electrolytes include potassium which allows your cells to get rid of waste products more efficiently and help keep your energy up!
2. Green Tea
- Green tea is often used to reduce physical and mental fatigue and keep you going even when you feel like you can’t go any further.
- Certain ingredients in green tea have been shown to boost your metabolism and help burn fat.
- It is packed with antioxidants that will help you feel more alert and fight against free radicals and ageing in your skin.
3. Kokum Drink
- The kokum fruit is known for stimulating metabolism and boosting energy levels. It also helps you focus and concentrate when you need it most.
- It is an excellent energy source, but it also helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels. This can help you avoid “sugar crashes”, making you feel refreshed throughout the day.
- Compounds found in this fruit may help improve mood and reduce anxiety. Being stress-free, you’re sure to soar in terms of energy.
- Safed Musli, an adaptogen, has been scientifically proven to reduce stress and increase energy, strength, and endurance.
- With caffeine derived from the leaves and roots of the Safed Musli plant, you’ll get a powerful kick that will get you back on your feet in no time.
- It contains a wide range of antioxidants and phytochemicals that support your body’s natural defences against free radicals while improving your physical and mental performance.
- Ashwagandha is one of the most potent anti-stress herbs out there—it’s even been shown to reduce cortisol levels in chronically stressed people.
- It’s known to have antioxidant properties and may boost brain function.
- It’s said to have a variety of benefits, including anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour, anti-stress, antioxidant, mind-boosting, and immune-system-enhancing effects.
Be wise and choose your drink that is healthy and full of might!