You're having a mid-day crisis. You show up for the 3:00 meeting with one important thing missing. Your energy! But instead of reaching for something with a high nutritional value to combat these "afternoon lulls," most people are only looking for a quick fix.
Say No to Sodas and Coffee
In the last 60 years, there has been a 10-fold increase in our intake of soda – in fact, the average American drinks 18 ounces of soda per year, or about a gallon every week. These sugary drinks appeal to people because of their sweet taste and low cost, so many people use them frequently as a pick-me-up.
But sodas also contain a large amount of empty calories – there are about 10 teaspoons of sugar in a typical 12-ounce can - and chronic consumption can contribute to obesity. In addition, the sugars and acid in soda can dissolve tooth enamel and promote the formation of cavities.
Millions of people also love the smell, taste and shared experience of their morning coffee - Americans drink more than 400 million cups per day. But we're moving away from plain black coffee and, for many, coffee-based beverages have become the drink of choice. Plain black coffee is calorie-free, but many popular coffee drinks are loaded with fat and sugar – and some drinks top out at nearly 600 calories. So while coffee and sodas might provide a lift, they may do so at a price.
Healthier Alternatives – Tea and Energy Drinks
The practice of brewing and drinking tea began in China over 5000 years ago. And, after water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world. Aside from being a refreshing drink, tea has also been shown to offer a number of important health benefits.
Many of the compounds found in tea function as antioxidants, and studies have shown that green tea, in particular, contains the highest amounts of antioxidants. The compounds in tea are also thermogenic, which means that they stimulate the body's metabolism and increase calorie burn.
Plain brewed green or black tea, or tea beverages made from tea concentrates provide the benefits of tea with few, if any, calories. Highly sweetened bottled teas, on the other hand, can be very high in calories – and many actually contain very little tea.
Energy drinks got their name for a reason. They usually contain a blend of food-based ingredients - often along with healthy B and C vitamins - designed to help people increase their energy, and stay alert and focused.* Most are also quite low in calories, so they are a great alternative to higher calorie sodas and coffee drinks. Convenience is a factor, too - some energy drinks come in powder or tablet forms that are easy to carry and always available to be mixed easily with water.
It's worth considering the costs – both in dollars and calories – before you grab a soda or a coffee drink for some get-up-and go. The next time your energy is waning, reach for tea or energy drinks instead to give you the boost you want, with health benefits to boot.
*Herbalife's® Liftoff® is a dietary supplement in effervescent tablet form. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.