There are several good reasons to opt for homemade energy drinks and leave the commercial ones in the grocery shelves. To name a few:
- energy comes from nutrients, like minerals and vitamines, not stimulants like caffeine. You can use a variety of whole foods to get all the nutrients you need.
- you get “quality sugar” from the whole package (fructose + fiber) rather than the harmful refined sugar of those metal cans.
- you can save money. I’ll propose three cheap options (but also a couple of more expensive ones)
- the effect is gonna last more (not just a hormone/stimulant induced energy peak)
Making energy drinks at home is wise because it means thinking of your body needs in advance. Not like those casual athletes that “oh… I crave some sugary liquid. Let’s get something at the vending machine.”
You prepare your drink and put it in a sports bottle, then you can bring it directly to the gym or you can store it in the fridge. It’s going to last for some days, contrarily to those cans with infinite shelf life. Ok, let’s see the 5 natural homemade energy drinks:
1. The first is based on a nutritional wonder: coconut water.
The electrolyte content (sodium and particularly potassium) challenges that of the commercial products, with an amount of carbohydrates which is significantly lower (there is not all that added sugar).
It is super hydrating and natural.
By adding some cubes of avocado pulp and mixing, you will obtain a pale green liquid like mine, shown here.
Avocado is rich in monounsaturated fats, it has significant quantities of vitamins C, E, K, folate, panthotenic acid, magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese. Definitely a fruit that you want in your diet. The taste is very soft and delicate. In case you want to add some sparkle, simply add few drops of lime juice.
2. This is the simplest and the quickest
Lemon water, a liquid that you obtain by simply squeezing a -possibly organic and ripe- lemon into water, is a magnificent and refreshing energy drink by itself.
High in vitamin C and potassium, with good amounts of calcium and phosphorus, lemons have an alkalizing effect, contrarily to caffeine which is acid forming.
Add just a tip of honey, possibly raw (the one on the grocery shelves is frequently pastorized and heated to improve preservation and prevent crystallization, but that kills useful nutrients).
Honey sugar is better than table sugar (but keep in mind that it’s still sugar, so don’t exaggerate), and it is absorbed more slowly by the organism. In other terms, honey has a lower glycemic index than table sugar.
Optionally you can add some chopped peppermint leaves (I would, since I love the scent) that are going to add some flavour (and vitamin A). It’s not easy to find fresh mint in the groceries, this is why it could be a good move to grow your own plant in a vase.
3. This is a smoothie that contains green fuits and vegetables
With a little bit of pure water as base, you can obtain roughly a glass of this by mixing: two kiwis, half banana, celery, parsley, some chard leaves and few drops of lemon juice.
It’s looks a little bit like broth, but I can ensure that the taste is great (I just had one glass) and even more important, it’s full of useful elements.
In particular the green leaves contain plenty of phytochemicals, thanks to the exposition to the sun.
4. This is a homemade version of the ACE juice that you can see at the grocery store, just much better
The more fruit you add, the more nutrients you get, the more energy you’re going to have.
Vitamins A, C and E are just few of the numerous vitamins present in the three fruits.
Possibly choose organic ingredients, especially the carrots.
Since carrot are roots, they’re immersed in the soil. They’re totally in contact with it. Non organic carrots are frequently immersed sandy soils full of chemicals and pesticides.
With one orange, one carrot and half lemon you should obtain a big glass of this.
5. The star of this last homemade energy drink is spirulina
Spirulina is a rising star in human nutrition: it has a significant amount of proteins (~60%) and contains all the essential aminoacids. It has vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, A, C, D, E, a pletora of minerals, alpha-linoleic acid, a lot of bioavailable pigments.
To build the body of this drink we’re gonna use two ingredients that are much more common: an apple and half mango.
Again, I highly suggest to use organic apples. In this way you can juice the fruit using the skin too (that is the best part that contains fiber and phytoelements), otherwise it’s better to peel them. In fact, in non-organic apples the pesticides are more concentrated on the external, on the skin.
The mango is gonna add color, taste, and a load of vitamin A and potassium.
Notes: this article is a “survivor” of my Nutrition freak project, a website that I created in the past entirely about nutrition and health. After awhile I decided to close that website, and publish my articles on nutrition and health here in my personal blog, together with the other articles on different topics.