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Energy drinks aim to enhance performance or provide a physiological boost. Although people may consider energy drinks to be non-nutritious, some of these beverages may contain natural and nutritious ingredients.

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Often, energy drinks contain high amounts of caffeine, artificial ingredients, and sugar. However, the beverage market now features energy drinks with more natural ingredients, which manufacturers claim to produce similar energy-boosting effects.

This article will look at natural energy drinks in more detail. It also provides a list of options to try.

Energy drinks often contain high amounts of added sugar and caffeine.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises that a healthy adult can usually consume 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per day without experiencing any negative or dangerous side effects. However, some people may be more sensitive to the effects of caffeine than others.

Manufacturers of natural energy drinks tend to use energizing vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, as well as more natural ingredients.

Individuals who consume natural energy drinks may get a boost from the vitamins, fruits, plants, and naturally occurring caffeine within these products.

There are a few reasons people may wish to consume natural energy drinks. These include:

  • feeling more alert in the morning
  • enhancing physical performance
  • improving concentration
  • consuming additional supplements
  • recovering after exercise

As a way to boost concentration, the caffeine in energy drinks may increase alertness, improve memory, and elevate mood.

However, there is mixed evidence indicating the effectiveness of these beverages in improving physical performance.

For example, one study concluded that energy drinks improved running performance across 5 kilometers. However, research from 2016 suggests this is not the case. The researchers suggest there was no difference in physical performance in those who consumed energy drinks compared with those who did not.

There is a lack of research exploring natural energy drinks specifically. However, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health suggests some potential risks associated with energy drinks.

For example, the large amounts of caffeine usually present in these beverages can cause heart problems.

Caffeine may also cause anxiety, digestive problems, sleep problems, and dehydration.

In addition, an older review suggests that the day after consuming an energy drink, people are more likely to feel excessive daytime tiredness. Another study states that energy drink consumption may increase the risk of dental erosion.

Each natural energy drink manufacturer will offer specific instructions on how or when to consume their product.

A person may want to drink them before or after exercise, on days when they feel particularly tired, or before a task requiring a lot of concentration.

Many natural energy drinks are available to buy. Below are five products to consider.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information is purely research-based and correct at the time of publishing.

MatchaBar Hustle Energy

Best matcha option

Caffeine120 mg
Calories40

This mango-flavored product contains fruit juice, ceremonial grade matcha, and green tea extract.

There is some evidence suggesting matcha powder can improve attention and some aspects of memory.

An older review highlights that some of the benefits of green tea extract include antioxidant effects, body weight reduction, and protection against degenerative conditions.

A 12-pack of the mango-flavored MatchaBar Hustle Energy is available to buy online for around $40.

V8 +Energy

Best black and green tea option

Caffeine80 mg
Calories50

This product contains caffeine that naturally occurs within black and green tea extract. It is pomegranate-blueberry flavored, but other flavors include blackberry-cranberry and kiwi-melon.

It also contains a number of vitamins, including:

Packs of six 8 fluid ounce (fl oz) V8 +Energy drinks are available online for around $19.

Guayaki Yerba Mate

Best yerba mate and organic fruit juice option

Caffeine150 mg
Calories100

Guayaki Yerba Mate is a lemon-flavored, noncarbonated blend of brewed yerba mate and organic fruit juice.

Yerba mate is a species of plant that naturally contains caffeine. Due to the caffeine content in this beverage, a person will likely feel a boost in their energy levels after consuming it.

The manufacturers of this product state that it contains fair trade ingredients.

A 12-pack of 15.5 fl oz cans of Guayaki Yerba Mate is available online for around $35.

Runa Energy Drink

Best guayusa tree-derived option

Caffeine150 mg
Calories10

According to the manufacturers, this berry-flavored drink only contains seven ingredients, the most notable of which is organic guayusa — a species of tree.

A review of guayusa noted that this tree may have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

A 12-pack of 12 fl oz cans of Runa Energy Drink is available to purchase online for around $30.

Proper Wild Clean All Day Energy Shot

Best shot option

Caffeine180 mg
Calories35

This ginger-flavored product is a small beverage that contains 180 mg of caffeine.

As well as ginger, which older research states has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, it also contains white grape juice. A 2019 study concluded that white grape juice can reduce body mass index in older women.

A 6-pack of 2.5 fl oz bottles of Proper Wild Clean All Day Energy Shot is available to purchase for around $24.

To boost mental and physical performance, a person may wish to consider the following alternatives to energy drinks:

  • Getting more sleep: Older research states that sleep deprivation can impair a person’s ability to carry out tasks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that adults get at least 7 hours of sleep.
  • Eat a nutritious diet: One study found that people who ate more whole grains, legumes, and vegetables had more energy than those who consumed more refined grains and added sugars.
  • Limit alcohol intake: Drinking high amounts of alcohol can cause sleep disturbances, which may negatively affect energy levels.
  • Avoid smoking: One study suggests sleep disturbances are more prevalent in people who smoke than in those who do not.
  • Stay hydrated: Even mild dehydration can affect cognitive performance, according to 2014 research. Therefore, a person wishing to concentrate on a task should drink water regularly throughout the day.

Natural energy drinks can provide a similar boost in energy to standard energy drinks. However, the former tends to contain less sugar and more naturally occurring sources of caffeine.

Although energy drinks may help increase alertness and concentration, an individual should also consider natural alternatives, such as staying hydrated and eating a nutrient-rich diet.