Billions of dollars are spent every single year on beverages that claim to increase physical energy and boost brainpower. Collectively known as energy drinks, these popular beverages are the go-to choice for those looking to feel more energetic, focused, alert, creative, and productive.
However, most manufactured energy drinks are laden with artificial flavors and sweeteners, and can have some major downsides - including leaving you feeling worse than you did before you drank them!
Fortunately, you don’t have to resort to mysterious fizzy liquid in a colorful can with the words “energy drink” slapped on the label to get the benefits you’re looking for. In fact, people have been drinking plant-based beverages for energy and mental clarity for thousands of years!
What’s Wrong With Artificial Energy Drinks?
If you do a quick google search for energy drinks, you might be shocked at the sea of options available. Monster, Red Bull, and Rockstar are just a few of the leading brand names that are widely sought after by consumers all over the world, making this a multi-billion-dollar-a-year industry. In fact, the energy drink market is so large, it now rivals Starbucks in annual sales.
Energy drinks claim to increase both mental alertness and clarity, as well as physical energy. Some are marketed to help you stay up all night, although skipping sleep is never a good idea and can come with a few detrimental side effects. But it’s not just these claims that are causing people to question the safety of energy drinks...
Commonly reported side effects of leading energy drinks include headache, heart palpitations, insomnia, irritability, chest pain, upset stomach, and more - mainly due to excessive amounts of synthetic Caffeine. Over-consuming energy beverages that utilize synthetic Caffeine is the cause of hundreds of visits to the ER each year, and sadly, a handful of deaths.
What Are The Ingredients?
To better understand the benefits of plant-based energy drinks later in this article, we should first examine the list of harmful ingredients frequently found in artificial energy drinks:
Most energy drinks contain amounts of Caffeine similar to coffee - around 10mg of Caffeine per ounce - but this can really add up if you chug these drinks all day long.
Common side effects of excess Caffeine intake include:
It’s also important to be aware that there's nothing natural about the Caffeine found in most energy drinks. It's more likely than not that the colorful can you’re sipping from uses man-made, synthetic Caffeine - which can have some serious consequences for your health.
The other stimulating ingredient found in energy drinks is sugar. Some of the most popular energy beverages on the market contain a staggering 20 teaspoons of sugar per serving. In fact, more than half of these drinks contain more sugar per serving than a can of Coca-Cola! Sugar may give you a temporary energy kick - but at a great cost.
Here are a handful of ways too much refined sugar can affect your mood, brain, and ability to think:
Many people develop an addiction to sugar because it releases dopamine in the brain, the same way certain habit-forming drugs do.
Sugar may contribute to feelings of sadness by increasing brain inflammation.
Consuming sugar severely affects your blood sugar levels: intense drops in blood sugar levels can make you irritable and jittery, while drastic increases can lead to diabetes and possibly Alzheimer’s.
Sugar increases the output of the stress hormone, cortisol.
Sugar can cause changes in brainwave patterns, making it difficult to think clearly.
Sugar wreaks havoc with your short-term memory, attention span, mood, and ability to learn.
Some energy beverages use artificial sweeteners like sucralose or acesulfame potassium (Ace-K), but these are no better for you than sugar, and have also been linked to behavioral and cognitive problems.
What Are Plant-Based Energy Drinks?
An energy drink that bases its energy-boosting abilities on synthetic Caffeine, added sugar, and artificial ingredients might bring you nothing more than dependency, jitters, and a heavy crash. Plant-based energy drinks, on the other hand, contain healthy adaptogenic herbs and superfoods that not only help to provide a natural boost of energy, but promote de-stressing, mental clarity, and relaxation.
Plant-based energy drinks are rising in popularity, and for good reason. These healthy alternatives are made with natural ingredients and typically don’t contain any artificial preservatives or fillers!
Here are some of the best plant-based energy drinks:
What Are The Benefits?
Plant-based energy drinks have a ton of amazing benefits, some of which include:
Clean Energy - The first benefit, of course, is cleaner energy. Proper Wild’s Clean All Day Energy Shots, for example, utilize organic Caffeine from green tea - and at an amount 2 times more than a shot of espresso. Additionally, Proper Wild’s use of the amino acid, L-Theanine, enhances the effectiveness of the organic Caffeine, providing clean, sustainable energy, all day long.
Immune System Support - One of the greatest benefits of consuming plant-based energy drinks with healthy nutrients and antioxidants are the effects of a supported immune system. Antioxidants work hard to fend off the damaging effects caused by harmful free radicals, plus you reap the benefits of multi-purpose vitamins like A, C, and E.
Fewer Calories - Plant-based energy drinks are also beneficial because they are very low in calories. Some of the most popular energy beverages on the market today contain over 200 calories in a single serving. A high caloric intake leads to obesity, with an increased risk of numerous chronic diseases. Proper Wild’s energy shot, however, only contains only 45 calories that come from clean ingredients to fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to function at its best.
Sustained Vitality - The best plant-based energy drinks aren’t loaded with sugar and artificial additives, so you won’t have the shakes, jitters, or a horrible crash when their effects start to wear off. With clean energy drinks, you’ll experience increased vitality, and long-lasting energy from morning to night.
Mood-Boosting Effects - Caffeine that comes from natural sources like green tea has been proven to improve various aspects of brain function, including reaction time, memory, vigilance, and mood. And caffeine isn’t the only brain-boosting compound found in these plant-based beverages! L-theanine, a naturally-occurring antioxidant, increases the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which has natural tension-easing effects and can help support a relaxed state of mind.
When it comes to needing a boost, energy drinks can help. However, it’s important to understand the difference between artificial energy drinks and plant-based energy drinks.
Artificial energy drinks are typically loaded with calories, sugar, and artificial ingredients that can do far more harm than good. Sure, they may help to give you that initial boost of energy that you’re looking for, but what most people don’t realize is that this “boost” comes from synthetic Caffeine.
Plant-based energy drinks, on the other hand, contain ingredients and Caffeine from natural sources, like green tea, and provide a more sustainable energy boost, mental clarity, and extended focus throughout the day - all without the crash.