According to an article in Today’s Dietitian, the US energy drink/shot market was worth $12.5 billion in 2012 and is predicted to skyrocket to $21.5 billion by 2017. Canned energy drinks, such as Red Bull and Monster, while they may be very popular and you might think that they are a good energy-boosting snack, aren’t all that good for you and may contain high amounts of substances that you may or may not need, or want, in your body.
The ingredients of energy drinks are questionable as they may contain high levels of caffeine, guarana (more caffeine), taurine (an amino acid that promotes neurological development), and tremendous amounts of sugar. Whenever you drink one of these canned concoctions, you’re not sure what you are putting into your temple and if those ingredients are even good for you.
Here’s a list of the top four portable foodsenergy-boosting drinks that you can make yourself. They are portable and much healthier than anything that you can get at the convenience store!
1. Homemade “Gatorade®”
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime and lemon juice
- 1.5 – 2 cups water; adjust to how strong you want it to be. (If you can get it, use alkaline electrolyte water. This will give you the ‘lyte boost for exercise)
- 1/8 tsp sea salt (you won’t need this if you use the electrolyte water as It has sodium in it)
- 2 Tbsp Turbinado (or any natural sugar) or honey, to taste
Pour everything into a blender and mix until honey is dissolved or mix by hand. Exchange one of the above fruits with oranges if you prefer that taste. Mix this up ahead of time and store it in the fridge. Pour some into your sports bottle as you leave and now you have a portable potable!
2. Smoothie To Go
Why spend $4.00 – $5.00 at the local smoothie shop when you can make them at home? Don’t think you have time? Leave out your blender the night before and have the ingredients laid out – this will help save you time (leave the perishable fruit in the fridge, however…).
- 3 cups coconut water
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1 cup water (or electrolyte water, as above)
- 1 cup ice
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 2 Tbsp natural sugar (such as turbinado), or honey, to taste
Pour everything into the blender and blend well until everything is nicely pureed and the ice is crushed. Substitute strawberries for another fruit that you enjoy or add some blueberries for an antioxidant hit. There is ample room for experimentation with this recipe, so experiment away! Pour into your favorite to-go cup and you’re good to go!
3. Portable Foods
We know this article is about portable drinks but thought you might like a few portable food ideas for days when you are on the run, too.
- Jerky – Talk about an energy boost! Jerky is one of the best foods, especially when it comes to portability. Avoid brands with high levels of sodium and sugar, and opt for more natural brands to keep it healthy. Not a beef eater? Try turkey or salmon jerky. Better yet, make your own jerky at home, and here’s a link to a recipe for Indian Candy on Food.com, a wonderful dried salmon jerky. You may want to have jerky on hand when you’re out and about, for when those mid-morning munchies begin.
- Mixed Nuts / Trail Mix – Again, avoid brands high in sugar. This is easy to make at home so pick out your favorite nuts and make you own batch!
4. Want To Make Your Own Concoction?
Do you like the idea of experimenting with ingredients? Want to channel your inner “mad scientist”?
Caffeine Informer.com is a fun place to find all of the ingredients you need to create energy drinks almost identical to the ones found at the market! They have links for everything that you need from caffeine to sweeteners, and amino acids to herbs and waters. Check it out! You’ll get healthier options and creative ideas for energy-boosting drinks and, who knows, you might invent the next big idea in energy drinks and become a millionaire!
- Goodall, C., “Make Your Own Electrolyte Energy Drink” Everyday Roots. N.D. http://everydayroots.com/homemade-energy-drink. Internet. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- Morin, K., “31 Healthy and Portable High-Protein Snacks”. 21 July 2014. Greatist.com. http://greatist.com/health/high-protein-snacks-portable. Internet. Retrieved 20 February 2015.