Most of us no doubt know that energy drinks like Red Bull are terrible for our health. However, many people have been fooled into thinking that those little energy “shots” are healthy because they have less caffeine. However, they aren’t better for you and there are much healthier options available.


And, the truth is that in those 1.93-ounce energy shots, there are at least four ingredients that you should avoid:

Potassium Sorbate: a preservative that may cause allergic reactions and migraines in some people.

-Artificial Flavors: a troublesome ingredient for many people. Artificial flavors have been known to cause allergy and even behavioral issues, and are also linked to thyroid disorders which can suppress your energy reserves in the long run.1

-Sodium Benzoate: if you only avoid one, let it be this one as it actually deprives your cells of oxygen, specifically, your mitochondrial cells. A recent study by Sheffield University in the UK even found that it can cause essential parts of the human DNA to “stop working.”2

-Sucralose: this popular artificial sweetener is harmful. In fact, a study from 2009 by the consumer education group Citizens for Health, found that animals eating Sucralose had 50 percent less good bacteria in their intestines, increased body weight and other abnormalities.3

Natural Alternatives

Energy drinks give an initial boost but you eventually come down. And most of the time the crash is quite hard. So, what are your other options?

1. Peppermint Oil- A pure essential oil like peppermint is powerful, pleasant and refreshing. You can drink it in your water, dab it on the back of your neck or wear it as perfume. Also, studies have shown an increase in brain oxygen concentration and respiratory rate, with use as well as being helpful to augment cognitive performance, working memory, and visual-motor response.

2. Yerba Mate- Yerba mate tea does have caffeine but as it has a more balanced combination of compounds, it’s less habit forming.

3. Vitamin B12- Vegans and vegetarians are often at risk of being B12 deficient so if you don’t eat meat, be aware and take a high-quality supplement because this vitamin is very important for the nervous system.

4. Meditation- Part of the reason many of us struggle like a mouse on a wheel is because we haven’t taken time for ourselves. So, think about perhaps taking a couple minutes (experts say eight) during your day for some mindfulness meditation.

5. Camu Camu- “While other mammals still produce Vitamin C within their bodies, humans have actually lost that ability over time. That’s, well, a bit of a problem because Vitamin C is necessary for so many functions.

Vitamin C can help reduce oxidative stress, prevent colds, help the absorption of iron (preventing anemia), and may even reduce fatigue…

This vitamin may help with the synthesis of L-carnitine, which helps to transport fatty acids to the mitochondria, the powerhouses of our cells. It is thought that the lack of vitamin C in the body may lead to fatigue because of the inability to complete this process.”4

Camu camu is thought to be the highest source in the world, per ounce, of Vitamin C (although Rose hips, Amla berry, Acerola cherry and others also rank quite high). If you feel like you aren’t getting enough Vitamin C, you can take a natural non-GMO supplement or eat more organic fruits and veggies.


Whether you increase your water intake, focus on getting enough sleep, or increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, give yourself some time to detox if you’ve been relying on caffeine for a long time. But do detox from caffeine. You don’t need it in excess and your body will thank you for it!

Sources and References

  1. Alt Health Works, February 1, 2018.
  2. Alt Health Works, February 1, 2018.
  3. Alt Health Works, February 1, 2018.
  4. Alt Health Works, February 1, 2018.