Feeling like a slug every afternoon? Instead of grabbing another cup of coffee, make one of these natural energy drinks for a healthy boost of energy—and some nifty health benefits to boot!
Sweet potato breakfast smoothie
A leftover sweet potato from dinner gives you a head start for this natural energy drink that jump starts your day. "Sweet potatoes contain carbohydrates and fiber that provide long-lasting energy along with vitamins A and C," says Bonnie Taub-Dix, RDN, creator of BetterThanDieting.com and author of Read it Before You Eat It - Taking You From Label To Table.
1/2 medium baked sweet potato
1/2 cup plain 0% fat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup Blue Diamond Almond Breeze milk
1 teaspoon ground sweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon chia seeds
3 ice cubes
Directions: Blend the above ingredients in a blender on a high speed. Makes 3 cups.
Dr. Green Detox Smoothie for Energy
"When you need a real power punch of energy and cleansing vitality, you can't do better than a straight-up green smoothie," says Dr. Daryl Gioffre, (whose patients call him "Dr Green) and author of Get Off Your Acid. Be sure to check out these 31 energy boosters that aren't coffee.
1 handful of spinach
1/2 lemon, peeled
1-inch ginger, fresh
1/2 cucumber, peeled
1 small handful of cilantro
1 small handful of parsley
1 cup coconut water (or filtered water)
Optional: organic stevia or 1 date, handful of ice
Directions: Blend and enjoy.
Matcha Collagen Energy Booster
This natural energy drink provides a boost of energy and focus. "The matcha contains just about as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, but you'll start to feel a relaxed yet focused state of mind," says Maggie Michalczyk, RD in Chicago. "Matcha contains the amino acid called L-theanine, which produces an alert calmness." This is processed slower in the body, so you're not bouncing off the walls and crashing later. Check out these quick ways to boost energy if you're feeling drained.
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 1/2 tsp matcha powder
1 scoop collagen peptides (Michalczyk recommends Vital Proteins)
Directions: Heat almond milk. Add matcha powder and collagen to an 8 oz. mug. Pour heated milk over powders, and stir. Mix in a blender for a frothier drink. For a touch of sweetness add 1/2 teaspoon honey.
Kombucha Energy Tea
"Kombucha is a refreshing and healthy drink that contains probiotics, vitamin B12, butyrate (a fatty acid), and vitamin K2. Vitamin B12 is known to increase energy levels and contributes to an overall mental well being," says Rebecca Lee, RN and founder of Remedies for Me.
2 gallons water
8 black tea bags
1 1/2 cups organic sugar
SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Yeast and Bacteria)
Directions: Heat 2 gallons of water in a big pot with 8 black tea bags. Add 1-1/2 cup of organic sugar to the tea and boil for about 15 minutes on low heat. Turn the heat off and let liquid cool completely. Once cooled, carefully pour the tea into a glass jar that contains the SCOBY. Place a coffee filter or paper towel over the top of the jar and keep closed with a rubber band. Let it sit in a warm place out of direct sunlight for about seven to ten days. Drink and enjoy.
Apple-Banana Energy Shake
COURTESY CALEB BACK
If you're feeling like a slug in the afternoon, pass on the soda and blend this natural energy drink instead. "Apples are a great source of both long-term and short-term energy. Besides for being rich in antioxidants, apples contain natural vitamins and sugars that are slowly released throughout the body," says Caleb Backe, a Health and Wellness Expert for Maple Holistics. "Peanut butter is an excellent source of healthy fats and proteins which not only fight off hunger but also store energy and balance blood sugar levels. Here are some tips for energy after lunch.
2 medium-sized apples of choice, peeled
2 frozen bananas
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons of preferred nut butter
1/2 cup crushed ice
Directions: Combine all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve chilled.
Berry Matcha Energy Drink
"This drink is great for the mornings or for an afternoon pick-me-up," says Cassandra Suarez, MS, RDN, LDN, ACE-cPT. "Berries contain natural sugars, which don't spike your blood sugar and slowly release the energy throughout the whole day."
1 cup frozen berries
2 teaspoon matcha
Juice of 1 lime
1 cup filtered water
Directions: Blend and drink up.
The secret of this energy drink is the green coffee bean extract. "Green coffee bean extract has been shown to exhibit incredible health benefits including rich antioxidants, specifically 100-percent pure Chlorogenic Acid (a substance in green coffee beans), which aids in the suppression of appetite, reduction of free radicals, improves cholesterol levels, and various other anti-aging properties associated with longevity," says Melissa Rifkin MS RD CDN CSO who created this recipe for pureLYFT. Always hungry? Check out these natural appetite suppressants.
1 1/2 cups lemonade
2 cups watermelon
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 lime squeezed
1 Mixed Berry pureLYFT (green coffee bean extract)
Directions: Blend and enjoy.
Berry-Cherry Energy Drink
The coconut water is a source of potassium and tart cherry juice not only adds an amazing flavor, it's rich in compounds called polyphenols that act not only as antioxidants, but are anti-inflammatory as well," says Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, CSOWM, FAND, Sr. Director, Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training Herbalife Nutrition. Find out the daily habits of people who have a lot of energy.
1/2 teaspoon Herbalife Pomegranate Green Tea
3/4 cup coconut water
1/4 cup tart cherry juice
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
Handful of fresh strawberries, raspberries
Directions: Combine tea, coconut water, pineapple juice, cherry juice and turmeric in a shaker bottle and shake until well mixed. Add fruit, lemon slices.
Chai Smoothie with Spirulina
"Spirulina boosts energy by way of its massive nutrient-density, which includes complete protein, full-spectrum B-vitamins, and detoxifying chlorophyll," says Julie Morris, author of Superfood Smoothies and recipe developer at Nutrex Hawaii.
3 tablespoons raw cashews
2 large Medjool dates, pitted
2 tablespoons cacao nibs
1 tablespoons chia seeds
2 teaspoons maca powder
1/4 teaspoons Hawaiian Spirulina powder
1 teaspoons cinnamon powder
1 teaspoons ginger powder
1/4 teaspoons cardamom powder
2 cups coconut water
1 frozen banana
1 1/2 cups ice
Sweetener to taste (optional)
Directions: Blend together all the ingredients, except the frozen banana and ice, until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and blend again until frosty. Taste and sweeten as desired.
Moroccan Mint Tea Refresher
1 cup brewed tea (cold) green tea, white tea, or mint tea
1 cup cold water 1 glass full of ice
1 whole lemon, freshly squeezed
Several springs of fresh mint
Directions: Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker to combine. Shake well and pour into a glass.
Golden Milk Latte
It seems by the 3 p.m., our energy and brain fizzle out. Cozy up to this energy latte instead of another cup of java to get an energizing immunity boost without caffeine, says Katie Hake RDN, CD, Bariatric Dietitian at IU Health. "The combination of turmeric and ginger will provide a calm yet energizing boost." Here are some more healthy eating habits for more energy.
1 cup milk of choice
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ginger powder (or tiny piece of fresh peeled ginger)
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon raw honey to taste.
Directions: Blend together in saucepan over heat (or in a microwave-safe bowl) until hot, but not boiling. Pour into mug and sip.
Coconut Matcha Energy Drink
Dehydration can zap energy and make you feel tired. This natural energy drink is thirst quencher that is low in calories to boot. "It is slightly sweet and helps balance electrolytes with more potassium than four bananas," notes Grace Derocha, RD, CDE, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
1 cup coconut water
2 teaspoons matcha powder
Garnish with slice of orange
Optional: serve on ice
Directions: Mix matcha powder into coconut water. Stir until fully combined. Garnish with orange slice and enjoy.
A shot of espresso and matcha aren't the only players in this energy drink. "The added dates are rich in protein and B vitamins, which assist in boosting energy, while the cinnamon invigorates blood, which helps with energy and mood," says Mona Dan, founder of Vie Healing acupuncture and newly launched herbal tea and supplement line. Just be sure to drink this before 2 p.m. to avoid being wide awake at bedtime. Don't miss these natural energy boosters that might change your life.
1 teaspoon powdered matcha
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cashew or almond milk
1 finely chopped date
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon honey (optional)
1 shot espresso
Whisk matcha with enough boiling water to dissolve. Add remaining water. Boil date, honey, and cinnamon in milk, until frothy. Strain or blend milk mixture. Pour frothy milk on top of matcha in cup. Add a shot of espresso. Sprinkle with cinnamon and savor sipping this natural energy drink.