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I started out with the intention of coming up with a recipe for a homemade version of the store bought energy drinks, but after doing some research and discovering how unhealthy they are for you, I decided instead to try and design a less sugar/caffeine fueled way to help myself through the workday afternoon sleepy slump.

What I landed on was a system of three drinks and some energy boosting ideas that are going a long way to helping me keep my energy up all day long! Here's the good on the drinks:

The Fire Hydrant (left) - 3-4 8oz glasses throughout the day

filtered water
1 slice lemon
1 pinch cayenne pepper

Other than getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night, staying hydrated is the most important thing you can do to help keep your body functioning at optimum levels. So this drink is just water with a squeezed lemon slice and a pinch of cayenne pepper. The lemon not only tastes good, but is also has an alkaline forming effect on your body's system which can help your body maintain a healthy pH level*. The cayenne pepper helps raise energy levels naturally and provides protection for your heart by helping to maintain proper cardiovascular movement throughout the body. Combining this with 4-5 glasses of regular water will bring you up to your recommended 8 glasses of water per day!

*For an explanation of how lemon juice becomes alkaline forming in the body and how it can contribute to wellness, read this awesomely clear article. Lemons are number two on this doctor's list of foods that have a moderate to strong alkaline-forming effect on the body, right after watermelon! (Another delicious thing to drink!)

The Quick Fix (center) - as needed, during the day
(I don't recommend drinking it at night as it might keep you up)

hot water
1 1/2 - 2 tsp honey (to taste)
1 inch of fresh ginger root
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp tumeric

Cut off two thin slices of ginger and place in your cup or mug.
Use a garlic press to juice the remaining ginger into your mug.
Add both spices and fill your mug with hot water and stir.

This is the closest thing I found to a non-caffeine/refined sugar pick me up! And I find it pretty delicious. Ginger speeds up metabolism and increases circulation. It also aids in the digestive process which can help stave off the post lunch coma that contributes to the afternoon slump. Turmeric, a cousin of ginger, also helps speed things up in the body, including energy levels! And Cardamom has long been valued medicinally for its ability to increase circulation and improve energy. Honey is mother nature's equivalent of an energy shot and is one of the best kinds of sugars for your body.

The Heavy Lifter (right) - 1 glass in the morning

1 ripe banana
1/4 cup raw almonds or 2 tbsp almond butter
1 scoop of high quality whey protein powder (low sugar content)
2 washed kale leaves
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
1 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond milk)

According to Dr. Oz, sixty percent of women don't get enough protein in their diets and that is often the number one reason for fatigue! (http://www.doctoroz.com/media/print/11196) A morning protein shake is a really easy and delicious way to make sure that you're starting the day off well fueled. Pair this with a piece of whole grain toast and you have everything you need to give you a solid energy foundation for the day.

The next steps are energy booster tips that I find, when done along with the drinks, help me keep on keeping on all day long!

Step 1: Energy Booster #2: Move it, move it!

If you're body is feeling sluggish in the afternoon after sitting in front of the computer all day, get moving! Get up and go for a quick walk. Whether it's just around your building or outside in the fresh air (preferred), getting your blood flowing will do wonders to combat fatigue and increase mental clarity.

And so you don't feel bad doing this, here's a fun fact: taking a break from work every hour for a few minutes will also increase your productivity. "If you take short breaks throughout the day, you will have more overall accomplishments," says Jon Gordon, author of The Energy Bus.

If a deadline crunch doesn't allow time for even a quick walk, stand up, raise your arms above your head and have a BIG stretch. Then shake your whole body on the spot for a few seconds before sitting back down and recommencing the crunch.

<p>Hello! I dont seem to understand how much water i need for the fire hydrant. Please help me</p>
<p>0.25 litre, for the rest of us</p>
<p>8 oz.</p>
<p>The lemon/alkaline link is no longer working, where else might we find this intriguing information? </p>
<p>Thanks for letting me know about the dead link! I've replaced it with another awesomely informative article. http://drbenkim.com/ph-body-blood-foods-acid-alkaline.htm</p>
<p>Check out any sites for alkaline/acid content of foods and you should see that lemon is only acid whilst in mouth - that's why one needs to rinse after drinking straight orange and lemon juices. BUT inside the body, it changes to alkaline - which is wonderful as most of us need more alkaline food for healthy livers etc., RE THE INSTRUCTIBLE -am sending off to friends who could use the first 2 drinks. The third is similar to what I call &quot;tigers milk&quot;-my children and I drank my version for breakfast when in a rush. Or I took it to work - kept me going until lunchtime and saved me buying a sugary bun. Thanks for the first 2 drinks. I will print it out and keep on kitchen cupboard in plain view! Thanks again.</p>
<p>You are so welcome! :)</p>
<p>Maybe not connected, but ... if you have no time for a full hour of yoga you can split it up into 15-minute parts throughout the day. Can do at work (they wont notice if you are in a secret place). I have even done stand up yoga on planes, in hotel bathrooms, even meditations sitting in toilet cubicles (a boon when travelling).</p>
<p>Haha, those are very solutions! Definitely connected. Anything that helps us fit more exercises (of any kind) into a day is great and import to our body's overall wellness. </p>
<em>Hey! Can Children Drink These?</em>
<p>The Fire Hydrant (with only 1/2 pinch cayenne) and the Quick Fix are both A-ok for kids. For the Heavy Lifter, I would check with your pediatrician before giving your child protein powder (or any dietary supplement). You can always also just omit the protein powder from the recipe. Everything else in there is kid-friendly!</p>
<p>hey guys! I badly need ur help :( i use this homemade energy drink as my thesis subject and then i need to do an introduction, hypothesis, scope and limitation, and statement of the problem. Can you please help me? I badly need your help for my thesis. </p>
So, what you're really asking is for someone to do your thesis for you? Nice try. Children these days. I had to go to what we called a library to do my thesis.
This is just awesome. Thankyou.
<p>Good ideas, but don't include anything Dr. Oz says, he has not always researched as much as he should. </p>
<p>Re Dr. Oz - he once said that JELLO must be good for you because they serve it in hospitals! </p><p>[sugar and gelatine with artificial flavours and colours = empty calories] </p>
Hummh! Very nice.
<p>This is wonderful</p>

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Bio: Made in Canada, I grew up crafting, making, and baking. Out of this love for designing and creating, I pursued a BFA in product design ... More »
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