7 Drinks to Give Writers a Natural Energy Boost

Filed in The Healthy Writer by on January 11, 2016 • views: 2751

green-smoothieAfter a long day, you want to get in at least a page or two of writing. Once you sit down, though, your eyelids droop and your mind goes blank.

Your day is catching up with you.

Suddenly that energy drink looks really attractive, but watch out: the ones you buy off the shelf or out of the cooler often pack a heavy caffeine punch (which can lead to headaches and the jitters), and may also contain high levels of sugar and other unhealthy ingredients.

That soda pop is a bad idea, too. Studies have linked regular consumption of soda to weight problems and an increased risk of some cancers, say nothing of the constant assault on your tooth enamel.

There are better alternatives. Below are seven natural energy boosters that work well with any late-night (or early morning) writing practice, giving you that jolt you need along with some healthy antioxidants and nutrients that will keep your brain going.

1) Water

Even if you’re slightly dehydrated, you’ll feel less energy than when you’re getting enough water. A recent survey found that one in five patients go to the doctor with symptoms of simple dehydration, including tiredness and loss of concentration that can be caused by not drinking enough.

Doctors said they thought patients didn’t know how much they should be drinking each day. Try a tall, cool glass for a quick pick-me-up. Add lemon, lime, cucumber, strawberries, or other fruit to liven up the flavor and provide a few more nutrients.

coffee-cream2) Coffee

A writer favorite, coffee can give you a quick energy boost that can improve your focus, along with some healthy antioxidants linked with brain health, and a lower risk of diabetes, dementia, Parkinson’s, and possibly even some forms of cancer.

One study found that downing caffeine before a workout could potentially improve weight-loss efforts.

3) Green tea

It has a little caffeine for an energy boost, along with key amino acids and antioxidants linked with numerous health benefits. A 2005 study showed that green tea extract even improved exercise endurance and performance.

Plus it helps remove plaque from your teeth—a great drink when you can’t brush!

orange-juice4) Orange juice

A recent study from researchers at Reading University found that the positive effects of orange juice lasted for hours after consumption, with those who drank it at breakfast feeling more awake in the afternoon than those who didn’t.

Men who consumed the orange juice also performed better on mental tests of speed and attention after drinking it down, whereas those who drank sugary water that looked and tasted like orange juice didn’t experience these benefits.

If you’re in the middle of that chapter and find yourself waning, pour yourself a small glass. Health experts think the flavonoids from the veggies help increase blood flow to the brain.

5) Smoothie

Be careful here, as some smoothies are full of sugar and fat and that will only knock you out. For an energy boost, use real ingredients like berries, pineapple, apple, citrus, and watermelon; yogurt; almond, coconut, or soy milk; mint; honey; cinnamon; flax oil or chia seeds (for fiber); lemon juice; and veggies like carrots, celery, spinach, and kale.

There are a lot of recipes out there that will work—look for those with these ingredients and without extra added sugars and fats. Find some great recipes here.

tea-hands6) Spicy warm drink

Perfect for battling the cold, this drink harnesses the power of spices to boost your energy.

Curcumin (from turmeric), for example, has been found in studies to enhance brain power, mood, and energy. Honey is so popular for energy that runners often use it before a workout. Combine 2 cups hot water with 1 inch of fresh ginger, sliced, ¼ teaspoon turmeric, 1-1/2 teaspoon honey, and ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom in a small pan. Simmer to desired temperature, add a slice of lemon, and serve. (This recipe courtesy of tv.)

7) Yerba mate

This is a tea popular in Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil, made with leaves of the yerba mate plant. It gives you a good dose of caffeine (more than most other teas) along with a number of healthy antioxidants, B vitamins (needed for energy), potassium, and magnesium.

Do you have natural energy drinks that help you stay alert while working? Please share them with our readers.

Sophie Borland, “Is dehydration the reason you’re tired ALL the time?” Daily Mail, May 25, 2015; http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3096702/Could-one-five-GP-visits-dehydration-New-study-claims-fatigue-epidemic.html.

Fernandez-Elias VE, et al., “Ingestion of a moderately high caffeine dose before exercise increases postexercise energy expenditure,” Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab., February 2015; 25(1):46-53, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24901809.

Murase T, et al., “Green tea extract improves endurance capacity and increases muscle lipid oxidation in mice,” Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol., March 2005; 288(3):R708-15, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15563575.

“Study: Drinking Orange Juice Boosts Alertness, Concentration,” CBS Local, October 1, 2015; http://tampa.cbslocal.com/2015/10/01/study-drinking-orange-juice-boosts-alertness-concentration/.

Craig Weatherby, “Curcumin Enhanced Brain Power, Mood, and Energy,” Vital Choice, https://www.vitalchoice.com/shop/pc/articlesView.asp?id=2211.

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  1. Chere Hagopian says:

    Great choices! Tea is always my favorite dink besides water. Yerba Mate is a great coffee substitute- most of the caffeine, none of the jitters. (In my experience, at least.)