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Energy boosters to get through the day

Published 4:32pm Saturday, January 19, 2013

You have made your New Year’s resolution and are now trying to find the energy to accomplish it. But are caffeinated beverages really the best way to get more energy?

Do you ever wonder if there are ways to increase your energy through food?  Now is the perfect time to take a look at healthier ways to boost your energy. And it all starts with what you drink.

A typical energy drink touts caffeine as the energy booster, as well as the amino acid taurine.  Despite the minor, short-lived effect of a small increase in mental focus, caffeine in higher amounts can have a negative impact on your body.  Irritability, nervousness, digestive problems, insomnia and abnormal heart rhythms are just a few health implications of excessive caffeine intake.

Intake above 360 mg can significantly increase blood pressure and anxiety.  How much caffeine is in a typical energy drink? Anywhere between 80 mg to 160 mg per 8-ounce portion.

The key to remember is that energy drinks rarely come in 8-ounce portion sizes; they typically come in 16-ounce portion sizes which means double the caffeine content. You also find caffeine in coffee (133 mg per 8-ounce portion) and soda, 35 mg (or higher) per 12-ounce portion.

What type of drink will boost your energy instead?  Try a super sip from a juicing machine.  Juicing can make getting fruits and vegetables a little easier through the day.  And fresh juice offers a wealth of nutrients including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Here are a few of my favorite pairings:

•1 cup spinach + 1 apple + 1 carrot

•1 cup kale + 1 cup strawberries + 1 orange

•1 cucumber + 2 celery stalks + 1 handful fresh parsley + 1/2 cup wheat grass + 1 cup spinach 5 oranges + 1 grapefruit + 1 tangelo + 1 lemon

Starting your day with a fresh glass of juice is a great energy boost in the morning. Some tips to keep in mind:

Because the pulp is separated from the juice during the process, the fiber will be less. A way to add fiber back is to add some of the pulp back to the juice, or try milled chia seeds.

Balance the sweet fruit ingredients with a vegetable.

Be sure to drink the juice right away. Because this juice is from fresh fruits and isn’t pasteurized, it can develop harmful bacteria if not used within 24 hours. Plus, the flavor is better when freshly juiced.

Other excellent energy-boosting drinks: kefir (a fermented milk), chocolate milk, green tea (which has been show to help with focus). And don’t forget the all important water; even in the winter we can become dehydrated.

The following is a listing of high-water content fruits and vegetables, perfect for juicing.

 Watermelon

Since this fruit has a 92 percent water content, we all know where watermelon gets its name. The juicy slices contain essential rehydration nutrients like calcium, potassium, magnesium and sodium.

 Celery

Research has shown that celery can actually hydrate more effectively than water because of its unique combination of salts, minerals and natural sugars.  By having a 96 percent water content, celery is close to the top of the hydrating foods list.

 Strawberries

Not only are strawberries 92 percent water, but this delicious fruit has the highest vitamin C content of all the berries. These hydrating berries are always perfect for an energizing juice.

 Cucumbers

The flesh of the cucumber is the greatest source of water. Cucumbers have a 96 percent water content, along with a wide range of other essential nutrients.

 


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