What would you say is the best drink for energy? When you need a little midday boost to keep you going what do you reach for?
Soda, Coffee, or the infamous energy drink?
After a little research, I found an awesome energy drink alternative that is actually healthy and gives me the boost I need.
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Energy Drink Alternative that’s Actually Healthy
I’m not a coffee drinker so I started out drinking Coca Cola. A Coke in the morning and then around 2 pm would keep me moving through my busy days. When I decided to give up soda as a part of my weight loss lifestyle change I moved to Red Bulls.
And they really did the trick!
But deep down we all know that energy drinks aren’t that healthy. So what to drink instead of Red Bull?
What is Green Tea?
Green tea originated in China. It is a type of tea that is made from Camellia sinensis leaves and buds that have not undergone the same withering and oxidation process as other teas.
Green tea is one of the less processed types of tea, therefore, it contains the most antioxidants and beneficial polyphenols when compared to other types of tea.
Benefits of Green Tea?
Green tea has a wide range of possible health benefits. Based on recent studies Green tea can potentially have positive effects on everything from weight loss to memory enhancements.
Most of the health benefits of Green tea have not completely been proven and more studies are needed to prove their validity.
Green Tea can have the following benefits to your health:
- Lowers cholesterol
- Reduces the risk of stroke
- Aids in weight loss (boosts metabolism)
- Enhances working memory
Green Tea Nutrition Facts
Unsweetened brewed green tea is a zero calorie beverage. Green tea contains approximately 20-45 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce cup. This amount can differ depending on the length of infusing time and the amount of tea infused.
Green tea is also rich in a group of chemicals, called polyphenols. These polyphenols include flavanols, flavadiols, flavonoids, and phenolic acids.
The major polyphenols of green tea include flavonoids known as catechins, such as epicatechin, epicatechin 3 gallate (ECG), and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). These flavonoids are very powerful antioxidants.
Green tea also contains:
- Amino acids such as theanine, tyrosine, and leucine
- Xanthine alkaloids such as adenine, dimethylxanthine, theobromine, theophylline, and xanthine
- Carbohydrates such as pectin, along with glucose, sucrose, and fructose
- Pigments such as chlorophyll, and triterpene saponins
- Vitamins, like vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, C, and E
Green tea is considered one of the world’s healthiest drinks and contains one of the highest amounts of antioxidants of any tea.
Types of Green Tea
There are many varieties of Green tea. Some are pure Green tea while others are blends of Green tea and other ingredients.
Here are a few of the main varieties of Green tea:
- Gyokurocha – made from the tips of the branches of the plant. Known for its less bitter taste, lower amounts of caffeine and tannin and higher cost.
- Sencha – made from the middle of the plant. Know for its more bitter taste and higher amounts of caffeine and tannin.
- Matcha – is made from the entire leaf. The leaves are carefully ground with stone grinding wheels to produce a fine powder. Matcha is more potent than other tea varieties as you are consuming the entire leaf.
Green Tea for Energy
Along with its health benefits. Green tea can also give you energy.
A cup of Green tea can make you feel refreshed and highly energized. This is due to the caffeine and tannins present in the tea leaves.
Both caffeine and tannins act as powerful stimulants. Making Green tea an ideal solution to counter fatigue, laziness, sleepiness, lack of energy, and to improve blood circulation.
This is my current Green Tea of choice. I love the taste and it has completely eliminated my need for energy drinks.
Green Tea Risks
Although I love all of the benefits of Green tea it is important for me to mention the risks. Nothing is perfect, right?
The risks associated with green tea are the same as those associated with any other kind of tea. These risks are primarily due to the content of caffeine and tannin contained in tea.
There are very few side effects to drinking Green tea however the following should be noted:
- Those who suffer from caffeine sensitive might experience stomach upset, anxiety, irritability, or insomnia.
- Anyone taking blood thinners should drink Green Tea with caution. It is also recommended to not drink green tea while taking aspirin. They both reduce the clotting effectiveness of platelets.
As with all things concerning your health you should consult your primary care doctor.
Have you tried Green tea? Leave a comment and share your experience with this awesome drink.
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