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Is There Such a Thing as "Healthy" Energy Drinks?
Energy drinks are incredibly popular around the country, especially among those that lead very active lives. Sometimes there's just not enough energy to make it through a long day of sports, gaming, driving, running errands, or a night of partying. Many people turn to energy drinks to give them that extra boost to make it through a long day or night, but they have no idea what the drinks are doing to their body!
Hazards of Energy Drinks
There are a lot of things that make energy drinks a poor choice for the healthy person. They're loaded with caffeine and other stimulants, which affect your central nervous system and can cause jitters. The carbonation in the drink will promote an acidic pH balance in your body, and the acidity in the drink can increase your risk of acid reflux. The energy you get is very concentrated, and yet there's that crash afterward that makes you want to go to sleep. Basically, the short term energy boosting benefits of the drink are outweighed by the long-term negative effects.
Are there Healthy Energy Drinks?
There are a few energy drinks that could be considered "healthy":
Sambazon Amazon Energy Drink --
What makes this drink "healthy"? It's thanks to all of the Acai berry juice in the can, which is loaded with healthy antioxidants. It also contains green tea, another good source of both antioxidants and some caffeine. The extract of guarana - another stimulant - is powerful enough to give you a boost, but overall the drink is made with all natural, all healthy ingredients. It only contains about 90 calories, and no fat or cholesterol. It's also low in sodium and sugar - making it a top choice for a healthy energy drink!
Arizona Low Carb Caution Energy Drink --
This energy drink is made by Arizona, the company that brings you your favorite canned iced tea. It's made with pear, apple, and peach juice, as well as mango puree and taurine for energy. It does use caffeine as one of the ingredients, but L-carnitine and guarana are both added to make it a healthier drink. It is made using sugar alternatives - all low-carb drinks are - but overall, it's not too unhealthy.
Steaz Energy Drink -- The main ingredient in this drink: Yerba Mate. This South American herb is similar to green tea, just a bit more bitter and containing a bit more mateine - its version of caffeine. It also has guarana to give it that extra energy kick, and some Acai to make it healthier. It certainly won't wake you up like a RedBull will, but it will give you enough energy to make it through the day.
SEA20 Pomagranate Energy Drink --
Pomegranates are one of the best sources of antioxidants you can find, making this one of the healthiest energy drinks in terms of nutrition. It's made with agave syrup - something Mercola warns against - but it's loaded with inulin fiber and seaweed extract. You'll find that it's fairly low in calories, and there's almost no far or sodium. The main downside of this drink: it's got way too much sugar for anyone trying to cut carbs!
These are some of the healthiest energy drinks out there, but the truth is that no energy drink is really 100% healthy. They all stimulate your body, which can have a negative effect on your central nervous system. The only things that can truly be considered "healthy" energy drinks are:
- Green tea
- Green smoothies and juices
- Protein shakes
These all supply your body with nutrients that it needs, and gives it an energy boost without messing with your delicate internal balances.