When you’re trying to eat healthy you have to be very careful not to spoil your diet by supplementing it with unhealthy beverages throughout the day. The average American drinks 56 gallons of soda a year and many of us don’t realize the negative effects. A can of soda contains the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar, as well as phosphoric acid which combined can lead to problems such as diabetes and osteoporosis.
Fortunately, there are a number of natural options you can mix into your diet to provide you with healthy nutrients and sustainable energy to last you through your day. Here are a few tasty drink recipes you should have on hand to get your day going, and to increase your overall productivity.
Morning – Coconut Water Electrolyte Drink
I’m convinced that the whole “morning people” thing is just a myth. The majority of people aren’t all that into the idea of getting out of bed in the morning. Likely you yearn for more sleep, and the fact that you’ve just starved and dehydrated your body for seven or so hours leaves you unpleasant and groggy. That’s why coconut water in the morning is the perfect solution. Coconut water has the ability to hydrate your body very well and provide nourishment to your cells and internal organs. Coconut also has antiviral properties, which helps to move toxins out of your body and prepare your digestive tract for the first meal of the day. Coconut water is also beneficial for balancing your electrolytes. Mix the coconut water with:
-1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/4 cup lime juice-water to taste-1/8 teaspoon sea salt -sugar or honey, to taste
Blend this mixture and add a few ice cubes. You can even include different fruits in your morning electrolyte drink to make this healthy treat even more interesting.
Afternoon – Rhodiola Energy Drink
Rhodiola is a natural energy booster, and when you’re starting to feel tired after your lunch has set it, it can be the ideal pick-me-up, that doesn’t leave you feeling jittery and on edge. It also have purported adaptogenic effects, meaning it belongs to a unique group of herbal ingredients used to improve the health of your adrenal system, the system that’s in charge of managing your body’s hormonal response to stress. The herb is also beneficial for protecting your immune system and increasing your endurance during a workout. If you feel like you have a cold coming on, this energy drink is a great idea. In addition to 1 gram of rhodiola extract, you’ll also need:
-1 scoop whey protein-1 tablespoon of vitamin C powder -filtered water-1 cup frozen berries
Mix these ingredients together especially if you love going on a jog or heading to the gym shortly after work.
Evening – Berry Smoothie
After your workout, a smoothie is a great way to reinforce the benefits from your exercise. In a study of 72 middle-age people published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, eating just under a cup of mixed berries daily for eight weeks was associated with increased levels of “good” cholesterol and lowered blood pressure, two positives when it comes to heart health. Included in the mix were strawberries, red raspberries and bilberries—similar to blueberries—as well as other berries. Creating your own smoothie means you get to choose a base of your liking. You can add water, cow’s milk, soy milk or yogurt to the fruit in order to add bulk. The healthier options would include water, low-fat milk or low-fat yogurt, which will add flavor and nutrients without a huge number of calories. The water will provide your body with fluid that is necessary for metabolism of food and transportation of nutrients. The low-fat dairy contains calcium and vitamin D, which help your bones stay strong.
To make this berry-licious smoothie, you need:
-1/2 cup frozen strawberries-1/2 cup mixed berries-1/2 cup coconut or almond milk-2 tablespoons raw honey-3 tablespoons rolled oats-1/2 a banana-1 scoop peanut or almond butter (optional)
Combine these ingredients in a blender until smooth. Taste the smoothie to make sure you don’t want to add more sweetener or peanut butter. This energy drink is filled with protein, a generous serving of fiber, and lots of vitamins and minerals to keep you focused and satisfied.
Nighttime – Hot Relaxing Cup of Fenugreek Tea
A lot of people are replacing coffee with tea these days, and with good reason. Coffee tends to be acidic, dehydrating, and the dosage of caffeine can negatively affect the adrenal glands. A great herbal tea alternative to coffee in the morning is fenugreek seed tea. It has a slightly sweet, nutty flavor often described as a cross between celery and maple. Fenugreek seed tea is a natural source of vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin and niacin, which are all important vitamins for the body. Look online for places where to buy fenugreek tea and be sure you are buying from an organic supplier. This way you are protecting yourself by not putting any harmful pesticides into your body, and added touches such as using bleach free tea bags will help keep the taste pure and delicious. Fenugreek tea is actually a good source of protein, and a great source of iron, making it the perfect morning drink to add into your daily healthy routine.
The tea itself is very easy to make:
-Using approximately one teaspoon of seed per cup of boiling water, boil the seeds for between 5 and 10 minutes, then remove from the heat.
Cover the tea and leave to stand for 10 to 15 minutes. Pour liquid through a fine strainer or colander to remove the seeds, and the tea is ready.
Fenugreek tea can be enjoyed either hot or cold, and as often as desired.