Red Bull. Rock Star. Amp. Nos.
These are only a few of the myriad of energy drink populating grocery store aisles and gas station refrigerators the world over. However, these energy drinks are far from energizing, leading, instead, to a laundry list of negative effects.
That being said, it's impossible to ban such a practice. In fact, imbibing some form of stimulant is simply a part of human nature. South Americans chewed coca leaves, Asians drank tea and coffee reigned supreme in the Middle East.
Though you shouldn't swear off stimulants entirely, here are the safer options to turn to for a quick buzz.
For thousands of years, tea has been heralded for its health benefits, however the best part is the variety. You can get Lipton or you can head on down to the local hippie store and buy mixtures of dried leaves and fruit. To sweeten, honey is your best option as honey also comes with health benefits in the form of antibacterial properties. Some also believe eating local honey helps with allergies because it gets you to ingest weaker versions of local pollen thus acting in a way similar to a vaccination. How truthful is this? I really couldn't tell you.
When I say coffee, I'm not referring to Pumpkin Spice Lattes or double whipped cream, whole milk dessert creations passed off as coffee. I'm also not referring to drinking only coffee throughout the day. I'm talking about the straight up black drink. While this one is a bit more debated currently in terms of health benefits, there's still reason to believe it does stave off certain negative health concerns. Again, like tea, there are many variations (though, to be honest, the flavor differences are not that dramatic). Instead of sugar, use honey. If you want, a bit of milk goes a long way to really take away the bitterness.
Your body needs water to run correctly. The less it has, the more gummed up everything gets. Think of it like oil in your car. This liquid collects debris while lubricating the engine for a smooth performance. If this doesn't get changed out, performance declines because more shit gets lodged in places it shouldn't. Keep it that way long enough and eventually you'll kill your engine. As for your internal engine, the less water you have, the more energy your body spends keeping you going. Therefore, if you drink enough water, your body will need less energy thus feeling more energized.
As water cleans out the body, sleep cleans out the brain. It's the same idea.
If you have more weight to carry around, your body is going to overexert itself. While you don't have to become an Olympic athlete, you should at least fall within a healthy weight category for you age and height.
A Note on Alertness
Never forget that you will always feel a little tired, especially as you get older. No matter how many coffees you have and no matter how much water you drink, there will always be a sleepy feeling, and this is okay. If you had your body and mind going at 100% all the time every day, you'd wear yourself down and not be able to outrun a predator. It's merely a part of your body's natural inclination to save energy for moments when you actually need it.
A huge thank you to Azax for prompting this topic!
Co-host of HeroesForge, founder of Battle to Be Better, gamer, singer and all around happy person.