Make Your Own Energy Drinks

A quick look around any supermarket will show you that we are spoilt for choice when it comes to sports drinks, energy drinks and smoothies packed with fruit and just bursting with goodness. But how do you know which one to choose and when to drink it to get the maximum benefits? Here are six tasty drinks that you can make at home to cover every situation. Each drink has a special blend of ingredients formulated to give you the right nutrients just when you need them.

Wake up

Makes 1 – Ingredients:

  1. 100ml apple juice
  2. 100ml carrot juice
  3. 1 kiwi, peeled and roughly chopped
  4. 4 large strawberries, roughly chopped

Place the ingredients in a blender and whiz together. Serve chilled or over crushed ice.

The two most important things a breakfast drink should do are rehydrate you (after all you haven’t had a drink for 7-8 hours) and raise your blood sugar level (levels are naturally low on waking). This juice drinks does both. Both kiwis and strawberries have high GIs so they release their energy quickly, giving blood sugar levels a boost. Both fruits are also high in vitamin C, just as good as your morning orange juice. The apple and carrot juice have low GIs, so their energy will be released slowly, keeping you going through the morning. Both juices contain powerful antioxidants to deal with any toxins hanging around from the night before.

Similar to: Innocent, Vie

Pre-exercise

Makes 1 – Ingredients:

  1. Half a banana, roughly chopped
  2. 2 tbsp. low fat strawberry yoghurt
  3. Half a ripe nectarine, roughly chopped
  4. 120ml skimmed milk or apple juice

Place the ingredients in a blender and whiz together.

Have this smoothie a few hours before you exercise. This will give the carbohydrate from the banana and the nectarine time to be absorbed and stored in the liver and muscles ready to fuel the working muscles once you start. The yoghurt provides easily digested whey protein. This protein provides amino acids needed for the repair of muscles once you stop. If you are planning a more cardiovascular-based session, or a long run, make the smoothie with apple juice, this provides additional carbohydrate which will be slowly released helping you go for longer. If the session is more strength based, make the smoothie with the skimmed milk to boost your amino acid intake and help the torn muscles heal and develop.

Similar to: MetRx shakes

Re-hydrate

Makes 1 – Ingredients:

  1. 200ml water
  2. 2 heaped tsp. glucose powder
  3. Pinch of salt
  4. Pinch of Lo Salt
  5. Sugar free flavouring to taste, e.g. Ribena Lite

The quickest way to provide water and glucose to working muscles is by making an your drink isotonic. An isotonic solution is defined as being a solution that has the same salt and glucose concentration as the normal cells of the body and the blood. This means the carbohydrate content should be between 5-8% (higher or lower than this slows absorption) and that a little sodium and potassium is present too (the Lo Salt is a potassium alternative to sodium in salt). Add a sugar free cordial to give some flavour. Drink at room temperature (cold drinks empty more slowly from the stomach) and sip small amounts 100ml or so every 20 minutes (large amounts also delay gastric emptying).

Similar to: Lucozade Sport, Isostar

Post-exercise

Makes 1 – Ingredients:

  1. 150ml orange juice
  2. Half a papaya, peeled and roughly chopped
  3. Half a small mango, peeled and roughly chopped
  4. 1 small bottle (100g) pro-biotic yoghurt drink (try Actimel Orange or Multifruit flavours)

Place the ingredients in a blender and whiz together.
This smoothie should be consumed as soon as you finish, don’t wait until you have showered. After exercise there is a two hour window in which your body is best able to restore energy levels and repair damaged muscles. Orange juice has a high GI so the carbohydrate is rapidly absorbed back into the bloodstream. Tough exercise also zaps your immune system, so you need to replace vital vitamins and antioxidants like vitamin C, beta-carotene and lycopene. Both mangoes and papayas are rich in all of these. Add the pro-biotic yoghurt drink, the whey protein provides amino acids for muscle repair and the friendly bacteria balances the levels of good and bad bacteria in the large bowel, helping to prevent the diarrhoea and dodgy guts suffered by so many athletes after endurance events.

Similar to: Maximuscle Viper

Afternoon boost

Makes 1 – Ingredients:

  1. 150ml pomegranate juice
  2. Handful of raspberries
  3. 30ml Elderflower cordial
  4. Ice cubes

Place the ingredients in a blender and whiz together. If you don’t have a blender, crush the raspberries with the back of a spoon in the glass, add the juice and cordial, stir and add ice cubes or a little cold water.

Boring day at work? Feeling the effects of the post-lunch dip? The perfect excuse for a naughty snack. But instead of chocolate or coke, try this super healthy smoothie (which is so easy you can make it at work without a blender). Pomegranate juice is being hailed as the new wonder food because of its powerful antioxidant properties. Scientists in Israel have shown that drinking a daily glass of the fruit’s juice can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The juice contains almost three times the total antioxidant ability compared to the same quantity of green tea or red wine. On top of that it is brimming with vitamins A, C, E and iron. Elderflower contains natural mild stimulants to give you a boost similar to a cup of tea or a weak cup of coffee.

Similar to: Red Bull, Lipovitan, Shark.

Meal replacement

Makes 1 – Ingredients:

  1. Quarter of Galia melon
  2. Half a banana, roughly chopped
  3. 1 tbsp. low fat blueberry yoghurt
  4. 1 tbsp. fresh blueberries
  5. 120ml soya milk

Scoop the flesh from the melon and chop into piece. Then place all the ingredients in a blender and whiz together.

This smoothie has all the elements of a healthy meal, filling carbohydrate from the banana, plenty of fruit for vitamins, minerals and fibre, good quality protein in the soya milk and calcium from the yoghurt and milk (choose a calcium enriched soya milk). The fresh blueberries are rich in vitamin C and packed with antioxidants, while the melon and banana are great sources of potassium and folate.

Similar to: Myoplex shakes, V8 Splash Smoothies