As seasons change and demands of daily life increase, so do the body’s demands for energy, nurture and top self- care.
Many are counting on the loyal cup of coffee to keep them warm and energised through the changes of the season, however more than 2 cups of coffee per day can backfire and cause blood sugar imbalance, that ironically will only drain energy and create lethargy.
Regular energy drinks are packed with favourings, sweeteners and additives that only temporary increase energy and, if consumed long-term, may create cravings for carbs, sugar and even act as neurotoxins, that contribute towards dementia and alzheimers. Surely that is NOT what you want from your energy drink.
There’s so much more to energy drinks than just counting on coffee and caffeine: with far- reaching access to goods from many countries, possibilities to have a natural alternative to boost energy stores are endless. Plus, you can easily make them at home yourself.
Check out some of my favourite energy boosters. I have at least one of these per week, not only to satisfy my energy needs, but because they are simply delicious.
If you haven’t been living under a rock the past couple of years, you would have heard of/ tasted/ made kombucha. It’s a fermented tea drink, praised for its benefits of boosting your gut flora and having probiotic qualities.
Although there’s a fair bit of sugar added when making kombucha, majority of it is fermented and ‘eaten’ up by the SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast), creating a naturally low- sugar, sparkling drink.
Kombucha creates a surge of energy as it floods your gut with beneficial bacteria and your body also benefits from amino acids, enzymes and vitamins made by the SCOBY.
If you’ve developed a “kombucha habit”, consider making it at home, rather than buying, as you can easily get a kombucha starter online. It’s not only good for your health, but it’s also an enjoyable and rewarding process.
Matcha tea or latte
Used by Zen monks for hundreds of years, matcha tea is called a ‘miracle drink’ for a reason. Matcha is a green tea powder, which contains 10x more antioxidants than regular green tea. Although there is caffeine in matcha, it also contains the amino acid l-theanine and heaps of antioxidants and phytochemicals, that contribute towards better cognitive function, memory and productivity. Such a unique mix of compounds ensures increased energy from caffeine and mental clarity from l-theanine, without the usual blood sugar imbalance and energy crash that coffee may come with.
Go for matcha if you’d love to get rid of brain fog and boost your productivity. Drink it like you would drink coffee- like an espresso or make it into a delicious vegan latte.
Are you after a little energy and mood boost? Then cacao is the right one for you.
Who doesn’t like a bit of chocolate to keep their spirits up through a long working day? However pure natural cacao is a whole different ball game. If you get a good quality product, cacao will be natural, unprocessed and without additives, sweeteners or sugars. Such cacao is packed with magnesium, iron and antioxidants and has repeatedly been praised for its mood-boosting properties.
If you’re unsure how to have your cacao, I suggest to swap your morning coffee to cacao tonic for a fresh, energised start of the day.
Although very similar to kombucha, water kefir tends to appeal to a wider range of drinkers as it carries less of a ‘fermented’ flavour, is still sparkling and has a great selection of tastes available.
Water kefir is made with water kefir granules, rather than a SCOBY and therefore has a milder flavour, yet still has the probiotic qualities of kombucha. Although water kefir is much more labour intensive than kombucha, it is nevertheless delicious, nutritious and refreshing.
A ‘mean’ green juice or smoothie
If you’re no stranger to ‘green machine’, ‘green goddess’ and similar juice and smoothie versions, you’ll know that a bit of green juice gets your juices flowing (excuse the pun) and helps you spring out of bed better than any coffee.
To get the best out of your smoothie, aim for 60- 70% of it coming from vegetables and the rest from fruit. I love adding some foraged herbs when possible, especially green leafy types or use beetroot and carrot leaves. Use the slow-juicer when possible, as this way you’ll get the most potent vitamins, antioxidants and phytochemicals right in your morning juice/ smoothie.
Ginger, lemon and cayenne shot
Nothing is quite the same for energy stimulation as shot of fresh lemon and ginger juice with a dash of cayenne pepper. A fresh, punchy kick, if in need of energy, and a warming sensation, if in need of soothing during the cooler months. Packed with vitamin C and Bs, this is a super simple and super effective way to keep your eyes open on a groggy morning. Also a great shot to have if feeling nauseous, experiencing some indigestion or coming down with a cold.