If you’re a girl on the go, it’s easy to grab that second or third cup of coffee and call it “lunch.” We’re always looking for a boost of energy to get us through the workday, but the more energy drinks and artificial sweeteners we consume, the less healthy our day becomes. Instead of a traditional energy drink, here are some healthy (non-coffee) alternatives that can help you get through that afternoon lull.
It’s not the most exciting drink, but water is a natural appetite suppressant and it also speeds up your metabolism. If you’re wondering exactly how water can energize you, it’s more that a lack of water will lead to fatigue from dehydration. Drinking water means that your body doesn’t need to waste your energy pumping oxygen, so switching out a glass of water for a usual drink will keep you more alert. Water also helps reduce stress – let’s see coffee do that! And, if water tastes boring to you, try infusing it with fruit for a refreshing and tasty drink. Infused water has endless possibilities and you can mix all kinds of exciting flavors like lemon and lavender or watermelon and jalapeño (as pictured above). Plus, it’s delicious without all the calories and sugar.
Over the past few years, researchers have been surprised by the health benefits of beet juice. Though some studies are still being done, drinking beet juice on a regular basis will significantly lower your blood pressure and also help stamina. Beets are a good source of vitamin C, fiber, and potassium, and we mean the entire beet – roots and leaves too. The leaves have most of the plant’s nutrients, but the beet itself is what gives beet juice its reddish color. Beets also have a very neutral flavor, so you can add just about any fruit to it to make your juice a little sweeter if you’d like.
Though it’s been popular in Europe for centuries, Kombucha has only become recently popular in the United States. Sometimes called “mushroom tea” (even though it isn’t made from mushrooms), kombucha is a fermented tea drink that combines sugar, black tea, yeast, and bacteria. Sure, the ingredients don’t sound great, but the resulting beverage has high amounts of B vitamins and antioxidants, and 16 ounces of kombucha is roughly 60 calories. That’s 140 calories less than the same amount of Pepsi.
Green Tea & Ginseng Tea
While it’s always a good idea to switch out coffee with a cup of tea, ginseng and green teas have too many upsides to ignore. Unlike traditional energy drinks, ginseng and green teas have been proven to improve blood sugar control, suppress one’s appetite, and boost concentration and alertness. You can find green tea just about anywhere, but look for varieties from Japan and Sri Lanka. These are the most pure and contain the most antioxidants. Though all kinds of ginseng teas are good for you (the three main being American, Asian, and Siberian), Asian ginseng is said to have the most benefits.
Protein/Meal Replacement Drinks
Meal replacement drinks are a much better bet for sustained energy and nutritional benefits. They keep you full and satisfied while providing a healthy dose of vitamins and protein. However, don’t go to overboard with protein drinks or they can bulk you up. Look for drinks that have about 10 grams of protein per serving and less than 10 grams of sugar. We also recommend blending a little fruit into your shakes to make them more flavorful.