When you are feeling sluggish, an energy drink can help get your juices back flowing. If you are on a diet, the only drawback is all the sugar that most of the drinks contain. You can buy one of the many sugar-free varieties, but for some, the sugar substitutes leave a bad taste in your mouth, not to mention how expensive they can be.
All is not lost though. Instead of searching for an energy drink that suits your taste and budget, why not make your own. With a couple of ingredients that you can get from a health food store, you can easily make a concoction that will keep you alert and energized.
Energy Drink Ingredients
Energy drinks are basically made up of several ingredients: caffeine, vitamins, herbs, amino acid, citric acid, and of course sugar. There is an ingredient that is used as a preservative, but you won't be needing that.
The caffeine in the drinks supplies most of the energy boost, but the other ingredients help as well in a small way. As for the vitamins, these typically come from the B complexes and some also include vitamin C. The herbs in the drinks are typically a mixture of some of the following: guarana, ginseng root extract, yerba mate, and ginkgo biloba.
Taurine is a non-essential amino acid that is used in many energy drinks and, among other things, strengthens the heart muscle and boosts vision. The citric acid is used to give the drink a sour taste. The sugar of course is used to give the drink its sweetness.
Making an Energy Drink
Now that you know the basic ingredients of the drink, here's how to make it.
To make the drink, you need to pick up the following ingredients:
- Caffeine Powder
- Vitamin B-complex
- Vitamin C
- Lemon Juice
- Herb Extract: (Guarana, Ginseng Root Extract, Yerba Mate, or Ginkgo Biloba)
- Sugar (optional)
You can pick up most of the items at a health food store. The vitamins can be purchased in liquid form, or you can use a pestle and mortar to crush some up. If you use the pestle and mortar, it's helpful to place wax paper in the mortar and to also wrap some around the pestle to keep the vitamins from sticking.
Since the quantities are so small, to precisely make 1 serving you are going to need a digital food scale. Again, because the quantities are so small, the easiest way to make the drink is in bulk, using measuring spoons.
First, take the caffeine powder and measure 1/8 teaspoon of the powder and mix it in 24 ounces of water, which is enough for 3 eight ounce servings. This comes out to be about 87 milligrams of caffeine per 8 ounces, which is less than a typical cup of coffee. Many energy drinks have between 80 and 100 milligrams.
Next add a 1/4 teaspoon of Taurine to the mixture. This comes out to be about 167 milligrams per 8 ounces. Next, add 90 drops of vitamins B to the concoction. If you're impatient, just open the bottle an eyeball it.
As for the liquid vitamin C, the amount added depends on the milligrams per serving listed on the bottle. You can either add enough for 3 severing to the mixture or whatever feels right to you.
Next add in your herb extract. Again, you can go with enough for 3 servings or a amount of your own choosing. After that, add in a little lemon juice to give it a little more bite.
The preceding is all you need for you homemade energy drink, but if you like, you can add in some sugar and even some flavoring. However, you should drink it without the sugar if you are looking to lose some weight.
One more point to keep in mind is that a typical can of energy drink has 16 ounces. The mixture above has 24 ounces plus the ingredients, so drink accordingly.