When we are under a lot of stress and showing signs of adrenal fatigue http://theverbalherbal.blogspot.com/2012/08/too-much-stress-can-lead-to-adrenal.html, our bodies are so worn out that we often turn stimulant like coffee and energy drinks to get us going in the morning and keep us going throughout the day. Energy drinks are not good for us and can be extremely dangerous so I wanted to provide an all natural and caffeine-free energy drink.
Avoid Caffeine in Times of stress
Caffeine works by binding to adenosine receptor sites, therefore, blocking adenosine’s ability to decrease and slow nerve activity. Caffeine also increases the speed of neuron firing. All of this increased activity makes the pituitary gland think there’s an emergency and it signals to the adrenals to release adrenalin making us alert for this non-existent emergency. If we are already stressed and fatigued, coupled with the added stress of caffeine then it is bound to lead to adrenal fatigue if you don’t already have it.
The Truth about Energy drinks
Energy drinks are even worse than coffee or tea. A typical energy drink can contain anywhere from 70 to 200 mg of caffeine, double the amount found in coffee, and the caffeine found in energy drinks is more damaging because with coffee and tea, the caffeine occurs naturally in the plant material which also contains antioxidants to buffer the damaging effects of caffeine. Energy drinks are one of the fastest growing markets for beverages, pulling in $9 billion in 2011. And they are marketing to youth as well. 1 in 3 teens and young adults regularly consumes them. And energy drinks can cause heart palpitations, seizures, chest pain, increased blood pressure, strokes and even sudden death. Your chances of experiencing damaging side effects from energy drinks increase among young individuals.
All Natural Caffeine-free Energy Drink
My energy drink is cheaper and healthier than typical energy drinks, but the down fall is that it does require a little more preparation. The recipe is as follows: -2 cups of water -3 Tbs Peppermint leaf -2 Tbs Nettle Leaf -1 Tbs Elethero -1 Tbs Ashwaganda or another adaptogen if you choose not to use ashwaganda -1 Tbs Guto Kola leaf -1/2 cup of Coconut water
In a pot mix the water, elethero and ashwaganda. Cover and bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add the peppermint, nettle and guto kola. Steep the mixture for at least 10 minutes. Strain and refrigerate the liquid. Once it is cooled add the coconut water and now you have an all natural energy drink. You can make a big batch and have enough for several days. Below is a little information about each of the ingredients.
Peppernint (Mentha x piperita) is a nervine stimulant that helps to activate the nerve endings by increasing circulation and nourishment. Balancing and stimulating the nerves helps to combat fatigue, weakness and absent-mindedness. It also has a renewing and refreshing flavor and aroma that helps to invigorate the body.
Nettles (Urtica dioica) is such a valuable plant. This tonic is rich in iron, calcium, potassium, silicon, magnesium, manganese, zinc, chromium and other vitamins and minerals. It helps individuals regain their energy when dealing with chronic and degenerative diseases by strengthening the kidneys. Nettles is so useful for so many things that herbalist David Hoffmann says, “when in doubt, use nettles” and I completely agree!
Elethero (Eleutherococcus senticosus), also known as Siberian ginseng, is one of the primary adaptogens used today. It helps to enhance physical and mental performance and improve the individual’s wellbeing. It restores the nerves by enhancing the body’s resistance to stress and by toning Qi, Blood and essence, Elethero increases endurance and stamina. It may interfere with heart medications and should be used with care in cases of severe hypertension.
Ashwaganda (Withania somniferum) is another adaptogen that helps to give strength back to the body. Its active ingredient, withanolides, can increase stamina, decrease stress, soothe agitated nerves and promote well being. As a natural MAOI, ashwaganda can increase the availability of dopamine in the brain. It may heighten the effects of barbiturates and should not be taken during pregnancy.
Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) is another wonderful and invigorating herb. As a nerve tonic, it helps to rejuvenate the body and the mind. It can increase alertness by nourishing the brain and is helpful in cases of nervous stress and debility. For more in-depth information regarding Guto Kola: http://theverbalherbal.blogspot.com/2012/05/daily-herb-o-scope-gotu-kola-to.html
I feel that coconut is a great addition to this energy drink because it helps to hydrate the body and balance out electrolytes. For more information about this, check out: http://theverbalherbal.blogspot.com/2012/06/rehydrate-with-homemade-electrolyte.html I chose to get unsweetened coconut water because I like the flavor of the blend; however, you may wish to get the sweetened coconut water or add a little honey to your blend.
When you are already stressed and fatigued, the last thing you want to do is make the problem worse, and that’s what caffeine and energy drinks are doing. But sometimes you just need a little bit of a boost, especially in the morning or mid day. I find this energy drink to be tasty and effective, and it not only helps to wake you up but the adaptogens in the blend help to address the root of issues. So give this drink a try and let me know what you think.
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