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#1 Best Drink to Give You Energy, Says Dietitian

This drink may give you a boost when you’re low on energy.

With so many drink options on grocery store shelves claiming to provide energy for athletic performance, mental focus, or even a general boost in alertness, it's confusing which one is truly the best. B-vitamins such as vitamin B-12 seems to hold some promise, as they are key vitamins in energy metabolism, however, including extra B-vitamins in the diet or in supplement form has not been demonstrated to provide more energy unless there is a true nutritional insufficiency or deficiency.

Unfortunately, most drinks claiming to provide energy are disguised as (or proud to be obvious!) energy drinks that come along with 150 milligrams or more of caffeine per can. Caffeine is an "ergogenic aid," often relied upon in bouts of physical activity in the hopes of extending the duration and/or intensity of exercise. However, excess caffeine intake has been linked to increased rates of anxiety, miscarriage, sleep disruption, reduced insulin sensitivity, high LDL cholesterol, and abnormal heart rhythms.

A more straightforward, well-established, and healthy way to derive energy from what we drink is through a good source of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are our bodies' preferred source of fuel: it is the first energy input from our diets, which is used to fuel everything from proper organ function to physical activity. A terrific source of carbohydrates from beverages is fructose, a natural source of sugar, which is abundant in fruit—and fruit juice! Obtaining the recommended two servings or more of fruit a day has proved difficult for most of us. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that only about one in 10 of us meet this requirement. One serving of fruit each day can be met through an eight-ounce glass of 100% fruit juice.

Here are some fruit juices (make them all 100%) to put in your beverage rotation to deliver trusted energy, along with interesting ways to enjoy them:

  • Apple juice. Apple-based drinks usually have a mild taste and can be mixed well with other fruits. Try smashing some fresh blueberries or strawberries in apple juice to give an extra layer of flavor.
  • Orange juice. Orange juice is a no-brainer as a fruit contribution at breakfast time. Blend it with some low-fat milk or lightly sweetened nondairy milk for a drinkable take on a creamsicle during morning hours.
  • Pomegranate juice. Pomegranates can come off the extra tart. Try mixing half-pomegranate juice with half-plain seltzer water for a fizzy light drink that still supplies our body with energy.
  • Grape juice. Blend grape juice with a sugar-free water enhancer powder mix with flavors of peach, lemon, or orange to take your drink up a notch.

To learn more about healthy drinks to sip on, read The #1 Best Drink to Reduce the Risk of Alzheimer's or The #1 Best Drink for a Healthier Gut, Says Dietitian.

Molly Hembree, MS, RD, LD
Molly Hembree, MS, RD, LD, is a nationally recognized registered dietitian. Read more
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