More and more people across America are drinking energy drinks to help them get through the day. While these drinks do raise energy levels, they often also create a crash later on in the day. Additionally, that energy boost usually comes from high doses of vitamins, synthetic caffeine and some form of sugar, which can negatively affect your body’s natural function and ultimately depletes your energy reserves.
A study done by Grant Medical Center and the University of the Pacific found that blood pressure increases by five points on the EKG after drinking energy drinks. Additionally, the blood pressure of test subjects remained elevated for six hours after drinking. As a point of comparison, the same people drinking a cup of coffee only had their blood pressure increase by less than one point.
There are other problems caused by energy drinks. For example, the synthetic caffeine filling these drinks can lead to adrenal fatigue over time.
Alternatives to Energy Drinks
With so many negatives, it’s clear that energy drinks are not the way to boost your energy on a daily basis. Fortunately, there are many options available for anyone hoping to feel energetic, all day long.
1. Black or green tea, yerba mate, or even coffee. Naturally caffeinated beverages, when consumed moderately, can be very good for you. Studies have found that consumption of caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea can reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. So, if you’ve had a rough night’s sleep or you are feeling low energy in general, pick some of your favorite black or green tea or grab a cup of joe and sip. Just remember, when it comes to caffeine, moderation is key!
2. Herbal energy boosters. Many herbs naturally restore the body’s energy levels and can even help combat adrenal fatigue, high blood pressure, stress, and other health challenges. Herbs that help your body create energy holistically include:
- Holy basil
- Reishi mushroom
If you’d like try using some of these herbs, be sure to make an appointment here at AOM Health. We can help you discover which herb or herbal formula best fits your constitution.
3. Dietary changes. Food is medicine and you can use nutritional and dietary changes to benefit your overall health and energy level. A great policy to introducing dietary changes is to begin to include more fresh fruits and vegetables to your daily fare. Additionally, eating with the seasons as we do in Traditional Chinese Medicine can only benefit you in the long run.
4. Aromatherapy. Get a jump on your day by smelling essential oils or by including them in your showering routine. Oils like peppermint, orange, eucalyptus, lemon, cedarwood, basil, and more can make you feel energetic and ready to tackle the day!
5. A good night’s sleep. Consistently good sleep is a huge energy booster. So, try to add a relaxation routine to your evening before bed. This can include leaving your phone and other electronics outside of your bedroom, taking time beforehand to take a hot bath or to meditate, following a de-stressing routine, and generally going to bed in a timely manner. I know this can be harder than it seems – but regular good sleep can really pay off in the end. Studies have shown that midday napping greatly improves energy, memory, mental clarity, heart health and well being.
6. Acupuncture. Offerings from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) like acupuncture and cupping can help you relax and calm stress. Additionally, these techniques work with your body, bringing about balance and homeostasis.It is from a homeostatic state that true healing can occur. Utilizing the wisdom of Chinese Medicine can help you increase your energy and can ultimately benefit your overall health.
7. Daily exercise. Everything between taking a short walk and working out at the gym on a daily basis can help you increase your energy levels, reduce feelings of fatigue, and help you manage stress better. Many of us live a sedentary life, but you can combat a lot of the negative aspects of your lifestyle with daily exercise, just 30 minutes a day of gentle exercise like Taiji, Qigong, Yoga, swimming or walking can do wonders.
8. Proper hydration. Did you know that not drinking enough water or suffering from low electrolytes can make you tired? If you are having a moment of low energy, you may want to sip on a glass of water. Another option is to infuse a pitcher of water with cucumber and lemon and bring that with you. It’s very refreshing.
9. Practice mindfulness. Take time out of your busy, distraction-filled day to go to a quiet place and allow yourself to breathe and ponder things for which you are grateful. This can be done while walking in a park on your lunch break or as a structured exercise in Qigong or yoga.
10. Supplement low levels of vitamins and minerals. It’s always possible that your current diet or level of exposure to sunshine (nature’s source of Vitamin D) isn’t giving you the nutrition you need. Try getting a full panel of blood work to discover your health baseline, then collaborate with a nutritionist or holistic healer to supplement anything that you are low on. You can boost many low vitamin levels by changing your diet or by taking them in pill form.
Are you hoping to increase your energy levels while decreasing your levels of stress? Start by making an appointment here at AOM Health. We are here to provide the right holistic solution to your health challenge.