When you're trying to lose weight or be healthy, you are always faced with the dilemma of finding a good energy drinks. Sugar-filled frappuccinos? Monster Energy Drinks? I don't think so. Long nights and tired minds usually need some type of caffeine to stay awake, and if you want to stay healthy, a healthy energy drink is essential.
Before delving into this topic, I would like to add a caveat- sleep is essential. If you are low on sleep, that is a problem and you need to sleep! This article describes and goes into depth on how to sleep better. However, that being said, there are times when sleep is a luxury that has to be given up in order to finish work that needs to be done. This is a fact. This is when energy drinks come in handy. When studying all nighters or finishing work, you probably could use an energy drink to work harder and more efficiently. But again, you want something good for you, and not loaded with sugar. However let me state again that you should not be pulling all-nighters left and right no matter how big your workload is. Do not mistake for a second that a caffeine riddled beverage will keep you going. Sleep is necessary, and should not be taken lightly.
This article will be on what type of drink to look for, what to avoid, and what types/brands I recommend.
What to Look For:
- First, it is quite obvious you will need caffeine. Caffeine by itself keeps you awake by acting like adenosine, which makes you feel more awake and decreases drowsiness. Again, this drug is priceless when you are low on sleep but still need to be productive. It is necessary to point out is that caffeine is like a double-edged sword. Everyone has a different sensitivity to this drug. If you drink a bit of coffee and feel jittery, cut back. Do not use it as a crutch, but as a tool. Caffeine addiction is serious, and if you have withdrawal symptoms like a headache or tiredness when you're not consuming caffeine, you need to cut back. 100 mg of caffeine (the amount in 1 cup of caffeine) is usually enough. If you find you need more than that to feel awake, you need to cut back.
- Then, look for low sugar. The problem with drinking a beverage that contains large amounts of sugar is that it is metabolized very quickly. Monster and most energy drinks are filled with sugar. A 16 fl oz can of Monster's energy drink contains 54 grams of sugar! The problem with consuming sugar in this way is that it may increase your energy for a few minutes, but will result in a crash. This is not useful at all. Look for sugar content of 15 grams or less. Also, sugar-free drinks are just as unhealthy as sugar-laden drinks. Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners are not good. However, stevia (a natural sweetener that does not affect blood sugar levels) flavored drinks are great, and I recommend them.
Beverages/Brands I Recommend
- Black Coffee: Though the taste takes a while to get used to, it can become delicious after a while. This drink is high in caffeine content. 95 mg per cup.
- Coffee with Coconut Flavored Cream & Sweetened with Stevia: A lot of people are sensitive to dairy. If you do not think you are, just regular old cream is completely fine. Again, sweeten with stevia because it will not affect your blood sugar negatively. This tastes just like normal coffee. Stevia is about 100x sweeter than sugar, so you do not even have to use a whole lot.
- Green Tea:This tastes great and is filled with antioxidants and is great for your health. This is fairly low in caffeine content. 26 mg per cup.
- Black Tea: Though this tea is like coffee where it can take a while to get used to, I would say that it is gentler than coffee and still very good. This is medium in caffeine content. 50 mg per cup.
- Acai Berry Tea: Out of all the teas that I've mentioned above, I would have to say that this tea is the best-tasting. Almost like raspberry but still delicious, it can be very refreshing when you're tired. It has numerous health benefits because it has antioxidants and encourages weight loss. I would recommend you drink it chilled. Medium in caffeine content. 45 mg per cup.
GURU Lite Energy Drink: Out of all the drinks that I've mentioned above, this has the highest amount of caffeine. This may not taste the greatest, but gives you a nice, sustainable form of energy that lasts for about 1-2 hours. There is no crash. 125 mg of caffeine per 8.3 fl oz can.
SAMBAZON Organic Energy Drink: I must admit, this is the best tasting energy drink. Almost perfect in all aspects, it gives you a great ride of energy and makes you very productive. Fairly high in caffeine. 80 mg caffeine per 12 oz can.
That's about it! Good luck with your work, and remember that caffeine is to be respected and should not be abused! If you have been sleep-deprived for extended periods of time, remember that nothing replaces sleep. Make sure to sleep, but when you don't, use caffeine to your advantage.