Have you ever walked into a convenience store only to see rows upon rows of energy drinks? While promising a quick fix, such drinks are loaded with excessive amounts of caffeine and sugar.
Potentially dangerous, the high levels of caffeine in the more popular energy drinks can cause anxiety, chest pains and dizziness. Since caffeine takes several hours to get out of your system, energy drinks can also lead to insomnia, causing even more problems the next day.
So why do Americans still spend over $12.2 billion dollars on more than 181 million gallons of this stuff? Because for the most part, we are completely depleted of energy and willing to try anything and everything to make it through the day with both eyes open.
If you find yourself in the no-energy boat, here are three of the best, most natural ways to increase energy.
Though it may be a surprising (and simple!) suggestion, water is one of the cheapest, healthiest ways to get more energy. According to recent statistics, up to 75 percent of all Americans are chronically dehydrated.
When your body becomes dehydrated, it doesn't function properly. And when your bodily systems aren't running at peak performance, you aren't either. As you can see, it's a vicious chain reaction, but it's one that can be prevented all together by simply increasing your water intake.
Drinking plenty of water boosts your metabolism and hydrates your organs, giving you more energy and clearer thoughts. If you don't like the taste of plain water, try adding a spritz of lemon or some other fruit that you enjoy.
If you're looking to increase energy naturally, herbs are a great way to do it. Having been used for centuries, herbs help the body achieve a proper balance. Known as adaptogenic herbs, these herbs have a balancing effect on the body, being neither prohibitive nor over-stimulating.
A great way to capitalize on this natural resource is by drinking herbal teas. Many people prefer ginseng tea, which effectively relieves stress-related fatigue. Others prefer ginger as it naturally boosts the immune system while others prefer licorice tea for its adrenal and blood sugar support.
If tea isn't your thing, consider an herbal supplement that combines a handful of the most potent energy boosters. You can find them in liquid or capsule form and can often purchase a month's supply for a fraction of the cost of energy drinks.
Many juices can be used as natural energy drinks. Carrot juice, in particular, helps oxygenate the blood, instantly raising your level of alertness. Alternatively, beet juice helps blood flow quicker through the body, making you feel more awake.
If you're in a pinch with no time to run a blender, grab a bottle of cranberry juice, which is loaded with Vitamin C and antioxidants to help you power through your day.
While the promise of liquid energy is tempting, don't be fooled by an energy drink's enthusiastic label. You may certainly enjoy a rush of energy, but the crash that's sure to follow can be debilitating. Instead, try drinking more water, herbal teas or certain vitamin-rich juices.