Energy drinks are kind of a racket. Most of them are little more than huge amounts of sugar or caffeine, dressed up with a few healthy sounding ingredients or some slick marketing, at higher prices than your average soft drink or cup of coffee. Homemade energy drink recipes give you the opportunity to make up exactly the drink you want, with exactly the ingredients you trust, and save money.
Energy drink ingredients you may already have
To build your own energy drink recipes, consider what you already have on hand for energy boosting:
- Tea – black tea, ginseng tea or gingko. Even green tea has some caffeine. Any of these can be brewed to be used in energy drinks.
- Fruit or fruit juice – fruits provide natural sugars and vitamins. Bananas, oranges, berries, etc. are known for their vitamin content, but I was surprised to learn that coconut milk has a ton of nutrients.
- Coffee – for the caffeine.
- Honey, m0lasses or unrefined sugar – refined sugar will give you a boost, and artificial sweeteners won’t. If you want a little nutrition along with your boost, try one of these more complex versions of sugar.
Note: you can also make your own energy bars.
Homemade energy drink recipes
- DIY Energy Shot. With green tea and passion tea, it’s designed for a pre-workout energy shot.
- Breakfast Energy Smoothie. Berries, orange juice, and yogurt are a great way to start the day.
- Layered Mixed-Berry Green Power Smoothie. A beautiful, thick smoothie with all kinds of fruits and veggies.
- Cherry Lemonade Energy Drink. Tastes like cherry lemonade, but with green tea and coconut water for energy.
- Plain Apple Cider Vinegar Health Drink. Made with organic, raw apple cider.
- Electrolyte Energy Drink. Several variations, with ingredients like lemon, lime, and coconut water.
- Super Easy All Natural Energy Drink. With matcha green tea powder, Stevia and optional lime juice.
- Maggie’s Energy Drink. Relies on gingko or ginseng for an energy boost, rather than sugar or caffeine.
- Grizzly Bears Energy Drink. Lemon, honey, and no refined sugar (the salt and baking soda will help you rehydrate).
- Cocoa Energy drink. Chocolate, banana, milk and sugar.
- Strawberry Energy Drink. Strawberries, peaches, honey.
- Gatorade Substitute. This comes close to the exact ratio of ingredients that makes Gatorade effective.
- Chocolate Energy Drink. With egg for protein.
Originally published September 2, 2009