Many of us turn to beverages to increase our mental focus, energy and vibe during the day, or to decompress in the evening. The challenge is that your beverages of choice – whether it’s coffee or soda in the morning or for an afternoon pick-me-up, or an evening cocktail or glass of wine as a way to un-wine-d (pun intended) – might actually be sapping the energy out of your system!
Coffee by itself isn’t unhealthy; in fact, in the right doses it can be an antioxidant. But non-organic coffee is often grown in unregulated ways, including pesticides that are banned in the U.S. and Europe (but still make their way to those countries). There’s still a lot that’s unknown about how safe (or not) many of these chemicals are after the roasting process. But even the healthiest coffees are no longer healthy when common sweeteners and creamers are added to them.
Soda or pop is usually consumed later in the day as a pick-me-up, but I know people that drink Soda, Diet Soda or even Energy Drinks in the morning. These toxic beverages are marketed as happiness and energy boosters, and are usually sweetened with aspartame, an artificial sweetener which has been linked to a potential cancer risk and even weight gain. If they’re not artificially sweetened, it’s almost always with unhealthy amounts of sugar or corn syrup.
(Psst… keep reading below for a healthy soda recipe, and a mocktail recipe 😉)
And drinking excessive amounts of caffeine in both soda and coffee has been linked to calcium and vitamin D loss, while the drinks themselves are often linked to tooth decay and enamel rot – not just from sugar-based sweeteners, but from the carbonic acid that’s a byproduct of the carbonation itself!
Many people enjoy winding down with a glass of wine or a cocktail after working hard during the day. Alcohol is a natural depressant that calms the system and soothes worries, but while there’s nothing necessarily wrong with alcohol in small amounts, it often becomes a crutch, and can be addictive.
There are much more life-giving, empowering and healthy ways to wind down than the regular use of alcohol – and healthier options for your favorite morning and afternoon drinks abound!
Here are healthier alternatives to help you reduce toxins, while increasing delicious and refreshing hydration that your body needs! And often when your body feels tired it’s because you are DEHYDRATED. So if you want a quick and easy hack to increase your daily energy be sure to be consuming drinks that HYDRATE you.
- Select certified organic, and ideally Fair Trade coffee. This is coffee that’s been verified to have been grown under conditions that have been monitored by independent agencies and found to be free of pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals.
- Choose healthier sweeteners like flavored stevia, coconut sugar, or monk fruit sweeteners.
- For cream, choose non-dairy alternatives like certified organic coconut cream, almond milk, cashew milk or other nut milks.
- You can also try herbal teas, matcha or herbal green tea, which can give you the pick-me-up you’re looking for without the jitters!
- You can create your own natural sodas using healthier ingredients you can find at your local grocery store!
- There are plenty of recipes to be found online. Here’s a recipe for a zesty, refreshing drink that’s become one of my favorites:
- 1 cup sparkling mineral water
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Add 1 packet of stevia
- Mix together, add ice cubes
Wine or cocktails:
- Choose a low-sugar, low-tannin organic wine. Studies show that half a glass of red wine can be beneficial, but too much wine can lead to spikes in blood sugar, headaches, and other health problems.
- Instead of winding down with wine or a cocktail, why not try a mocktail! Using sparkling mineral water as the base, you can add in some lemon juice and slices of cucumber and mint, and now you’ve got a refreshing, hydrating and yummy mocktail.
The idea is to get enough of the hydration your body needs, while avoiding ingredients that drain you of energy and increasing ingredients that your body loves!
Now it’s your turn. What are your favorite healthier alternatives to the common coffees, sodas and alcoholic beverages? Have you been inspired to try one or more of the solutions above, or to create your own? Leave a comment for our amazing community below. We love hearing from you!