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.
I have several friends who swear by the Vitamix blenders and I’m seriously thinking of getting one. With most blenders, you need to chop stuff up before putting it in, and you can’t always leave the skins on. With the Vitamix, I’m told you can literally stuff whole vegetables and fruits into it and it will totally puree them. You can even include quartered oranges with the peels left on. This way, you get every bit of the nutrients instead of having any scraps. You can also pulverize nuts into nut flours, make ice creams and soups, etc.
But I have some other friends who say the Nutribullet is the way to go. It pulverizes everything with very little chopping and prepping, and it’s quick and easy to use. It’s much less expensive than Vitamix, and while it doesn’t do everything it does, not everybody wants a blender that does all those things.
You may also want to invest in a good smoothie bottle. The Blender Bottle has a little ball whisk inside it that is designed to blend your drink when you shake it up. Now, it doesn’t have blades, so it’s not going to pulverize chunks of fruit like a blender. But I’ve used it to mix dry powders with liquid ingredients, for example. I used to make lunch smoothies to take to work, and the ingredients would separate before lunchtime (especially if I used banana). A few shakes of the Blender Bottle, and everything’s nicely blended again.
Also check out how to make your own energy bars. They’re great for carrying with you through the day for quick energy and healthy snacking.
Homemade energy drink recipes
- DIY Energy Shot. With green tea and passion tea, it’s designed to be a pre-workout energy shot. It has a little bit of caffeine from the green tea to get you going.
- Breakfast Energy Smoothie. Berries, orange juice, and yogurt are a great way to start the day. The frozen berries and orange juice provide some fruit sugars for energy, and the yogurt had some fats and proteins. I love Dreaming Cow Grass Fed Yogurt in Plain if you can find it in your area. I’ve found it in stores like Fresh Market and Whole Foods.
- Layered Mixed-Berry Green Power Smoothie. A beautiful, thick smoothie with all kinds of fruits and veggies, with vanilla protein powder to give you stamina.
- Cherry Lemonade Energy Drink. Tastes like cherry lemonade, but with green tea and coconut water to give you an energy boost. I really like this one because it calls for seltzer water and the carbonation makes the drink more refreshing. I usually use Gerolsteiner mineral water because I just can’t get enough of that stuff.
- Plain Apple Cider Vinegar Health Drink. Made with organic, raw apple cider. I like and recommend Spectrum brand. There are a lot of other supposed benefits to drinking apple cider vinegar, although I’m not sure they’ve been tested in medical studies.
- Electrolyte Energy Drink. Several variations, with ingredients like lemon, lime, and coconut water. One variation in this one adds some sea salt. We mostly hear about too much salt being bad for you, but too little is bad, too. If you sweat a lot, you may need to replenish your salt as well as your fluids.
- Super Easy All Natural Energy Drink. With matcha green tea powder, Stevia and optional lime juice. This one you could just make in a Blender Bottle, like I was talking about above.
- Super Energy Drink. Blends an orange with coconut milk, honey, yogurt, and flaxseed. That gives you both energy and stamina, and the flaxseed provides some Omega 3 fatty acids, which are good for you.
- Grizzly Bears Energy Drink. Lemon, honey, and no refined sugar. The salt and baking soda will help you rehydrate, and the honey will give you energy.
- Cocoa Energy drink. Chocolate, banana, milk and a little bit of sugar. It’s practically a chocolate banana milkshake, but the banana and chocolate both have some minerals you can lose through exercise, and the milk will give you stamina.
- Strawberry Energy Drink. Strawberries, peaches, honey, with non-fat dry milk powder. If you don’t want to use milk powder, you could replace that with yogurt.
- Gatorade Substitute. This comes close to the exact ratio of ingredients that makes Gatorade effective. Remember what I was saying about salt in #6? This one has it, too, and it’s a good way to replenish that lost salt.
- Chocolate Energy Drink. This one is basically chocolate milk, but with an egg for protein. It’s simple, and you might already have everything you need to make it on hand.