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 super alkaline* which helps 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 lemons' miraculous transition from acidic outside of the body, to alkaline once ingested, visit this link: http://phbalance.wikispaces.com/Lemons+Alkaline%3F

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.

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Do you think this would be a good energy drink before cross country or track practice??
<p>thanks this helpful</p>
<p>Really good</p>
<p>This is great.. </p>
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<p>Thanks! I have drank the heavy lifter long time! nice!</p>
<p>These are great! Do you have any ideas for a quick shot of energy, but not that powerful so that it lasts like an hour?</p>
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<p>A very refreshing and organic recipe I must say.&lt;a href=&quot;http://www.bestdigitalbook.com&quot;&gt;best digital book&lt;/a&gt; Just loved it.</p>
<p>great recipes. im planning for a marathon run, any ideas?</p>
Really impressive! Going to make the heavy lifter tomorrow(just wothout the protein powder) :)
<p>Definitely going to try these. I love ginger!</p>
<p>love this i always make the lemon one</p>
<p>Great article. Wish I had a way to print these 3 energy drink recipes. Great article!</p>
<p>You can write them down and add your own drawings for extra style =)</p>
<p>Love these great alternatives to purchasing supplements. Sometimes it's nice to switch it up!</p>
<p>very useful thanks!</p>
<p>Love it!</p>
<p>I absolutely love your practical approach here! i also loved how down to earth your writing voice is! thank you for some great ideas. </p>
<p>A very refreshing and organic &lt;a href=&quot;http://www.activepro.eu.com&quot;&gt;energy drink&lt;/a&gt; recipe I must say. Just loved it. </p>
<p>These look so good! I will have to try. </p>
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<p>very nice,i like it..... the home made things are healthy and better in taste as compare to other market products.</p>
<p>These are some great ideas, I cannot wait to try them out. I especially like the idea of lemon and cayenne pepper throughout the day!</p>
<p>I will try these for sure turmeric is suppose to be so good for you.</p>
<p>My grandmother, who was a nurse in WW I, had a very similar mix she kept in her frig and drank every day, it was distilled water, lemon, honey &amp; cayenne pepper.</p><p>She lived to be 100 !!</p>
<p>great article.........</p>
<p>This is exactly what I was looking for! I'll try them out and see how it turns out<br>Thanks</p>
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<p>Love it!</p>
<p>wellrested and keyguy13 have a wonderful extensive discussion going on about the body's pH and I don't think I should add to that. As a chemist who suffers from hyper-acidity I feel compelled to say there is no truth to the claim that lemons convert to alkaline on ingestion. Reading the reference above I believe this myth stems from the misunderstanding of the expression &quot;weak acid&quot; as applied to citric acid. This is a chemistry expression and refers to the ability of the acid to disassociate and produce hydrogen ions in solution. In no way could a weak acid contribute to alkalinity in a strict chemistry sense.</p><p>Nevertheless if you can handle the acidity lemons are an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber. As part of a balanced diet, lemons and other fruits definitely contribute to health in many ways. Overall Paige's drink recipes appear to be very healthy to me. Good work Paige! </p>

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Bio: Made in Canada, I have a BFA in product design from Parsons School of Design in NYC. I've done work for Martha Stewart Living ... More »
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