Getting enough energy during the day is a challenge. It’s hard to get a full eight hours of sleep, especially if you work full time while raising kids. Add in general stress, long hours at the office, and relationship issues, and it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. That’s why energy supplements, including herbal teas, have gained so much popularity.
The best way to maintain your energy level is usually to take care of your physical and mental health. A vitamin-rich diet with all your essential nutrients, with enough protein and low in simple carbohydrates like refined sugar and white bread, can go a long way toward boosting your energy level. It also helps to get some moderate exercise, and to adhere to a regular sleep schedule.
Sometimes, just being healthy isn’t enough to keep your energy levels up in the face of life’s many demands. For that reason, many people use energy supplements, coffee, herbal teas, and other helpful products to maintain a high energy level all day.
Energy supplements come in many forms. Some are natural, and others are about as far from natural as you can get. When you buy an energy supplement in pill form, you could be getting anything from green tea extract, to pure caffeine, to plain old B vitamins, to unusual synthetic chemicals similar to some ADHD medications. It’s important to know what you’re getting.
Herbal teas and energy supplements containing all natural ingredients are healthy, effective, and usually safer to take than synthetic products. Finding the right herbal tea blend can help you feel motivated, attentive, and energetic on those “off” days when you’re not feeling 100%.
Know What’s In Your Energy Supplements
It’s easy to buy a pill over the counter from the section of the drugstore that has energy supplements. You’ll find some of them over with the vitamins, and others are actually marketed as weight loss aids. But do you know what’s in them?
Some commercial energy supplements can contain surprisingly strong stimulants. Although they’re effective, they can be overwhelming, or even dangerous, especially if you take too much or don’t have a tolerance to stimulants.
Many energy supplements contain a combination of natural ingredients, like green tea or green coffee extract, with synthetic chemicals. It’s important to look at the ingredients to find out what you’re getting, especially if you have blood pressure issues, heart problems, an anxiety disorder, or other health problems.
Strong stimulants can be dangerous, especially in high doses. Even concentrated forms of caffeine can cause unpleasant side effects like restlessness, “jitters,” anxious feelings, and even panic attack symptoms. Just because it’s sold next to the vitamin E doesn’t mean it’s completely natural or some kind of placebo.
Common Synthetic Ingredients
Here are a few of the most common synthetic substances found in commercially available energy supplements. You’ll find them in the list of ingredients on the back of the box or bottle.
- Xanthine. Xanthine sure sounds fancy, doesn’t it? In most cases, xanthine is a fancy form of caffeine– or a synthetic chemical related to naturally occurring caffeine. Xanthines, as a whole, are a large group of alkaloid chemicals, many of which tend to have stimulating and bronchodilating effects. Caffeine is a methylated xanthine, as are theobromine and theophylline, two of the ingredients in tea leaves.
- β-Methylphenethylamine. Found in some weight loss and energy supplements, variants of β-Methylphenethylamine are chemicals with many similarities to amphetamines (although they’re not generally addictive). Early studies on this chemical have suggested that it has about ⅓ the potency of actual amphetamines.
- Synephrine. Synephrine is a compound similar to ephedrine, a formerly common ingredient that’s no longer used in over the counter supplements due to the dangers of overdose. Synephrine is less potent than ephedrine, although it shares similar stimulating effects. It’s often sold in weight loss supplements.
Know Your Health Risks
If you have pre-existing mental or physical health problems, you may want to steer clear of energy supplements if you don’t know what’s in them. Many stimulants, even caffeine, can aggravate medical conditions like high blood pressure, heart problems, or generalized anxiety disorder. If you have bipolar disorder, strong stimulants can also trigger manic or hypomanic episodes.
Natural ingredients don’t tend to have the negative side effects associated with synthetic stimulants, making them a safer and healthier choice for teas and energy supplements.
Do Herbal Teas Work as Energy Supplements?
All natural herbal tea blends are a safer alternative to many other energy supplements. With a tea, you’ll know what’s in it, and any active compounds occur naturally in the plants themselves. Herbal teas for energy can contain caffeine, theobromine, and other natural chemicals that can help give you an energy boost.
Herbal energy teas are more than just a placebo effect. The leaves, roots, stems, and other plant parts incorporated into energizing herbal teas have real, substantiable effects on the body and brain. Different herbal ingredients can affect neurotransmitters, metabolism, and other biological processes that affect your energy levels.
The Benefits of Herbal Tea for Energy
The benefit of herbal tea for energy is that it’s natural. Unlike energy supplements that come in pill form, you won’t be surprised with anxiety or jittery feelings from unexpected stimulants. They’re also milder, so you won’t be hit with that sudden crash you can get from energy drinks.
Energizing herbal teas also tend to contain less caffeine than a typical cup of coffee or shot of espresso. This can be a very good thing. Too much caffeine can leave you feeling jittery, nervous, anxious, or irritable. This can work against the productivity boost you’re probably looking for in an energy supplement, so it’s important to be careful with your caffeine dosage.
Ingredients like green tea, green coffee extract, or yerba mate provide a natural but powerful energy boost to help keep you going throughout the day. Many of these herbs have been used for centuries for their stimulating and energizing effects.
9 Great Ingredients in Teas for Herbal Energy
Herbal teas for energy are often based on plants that have seen ethnobotanical usage for centuries in the folk medicine tradition of their native regions. Throughout recorded history, people have always looked for an extra energy boost, and traditionally, people used the herbs growing around them for these effects.
Energizing herbs are found all over the world, from the South American rainforest to the cold taiga of Siberia. These traditional herbs have recently gained new popularity as herbal tea ingredients for increased energy, better stamina, and mental clarity.
Herbal tea ingredients can easily be combined into an energizing infusion using a tea press. Herbs like green tea, guarana, and yerba mate have been used for centuries to fight fatigue and exhaustion. On top of a healthy diet and lifstyle, herbal teas can help you get the energy you need to make it through the day.
Here are nine of the best herbal and natural ingredients for herbal teas that are formulated to work as energy supplements:
Green tea is a classic way to get a mild but effective energy boost. Used in China for millennia before spreading elsewhere in Asia, tea (Camellia sinensis) has a long history of usage as an energizing and stimulating beverage. Green tea is widely considered to be the variant with the most health benefits, and it’s also higher in caffeine and theobromine than black teas and white teas.
Green tea has been the subject of numerous
Although green tea is often available in tablets or capsules as an energy supplement, it’s probably best to consume it in its natural form. Green tea extract capsules are highly concentrated, and can cause nausea or other side effects from too much caffeine.
Yohimbe (Pausinystalia johimbe) is a West African plant whose bark has traditionally been used as an aphrodisiac. Although yohimbe’s libido-boosting potential has been called into question, it is known to be quite stimulating. Yohimbine, a chemical derived from the bark, is used in veterinary settings to reduce sedation in animals. It’s also used in laboratory experiments for its noradrenergic effects.
Yohimbe bark and yohimbine are often added to energy supplements and herbal teas, along with other natural ingredients, to add to the overall energizing effect. You should avoid yohimbine if you have heart problems or high blood pressure, although for most people, it’s safe to use.
Green Coffee Extract
Green coffee extract has recently gained popularity as a natural energy supplement, although many of the claims about its weight loss effects have unfortunately been exaggerated.
Green coffee extract is certainly energizing and stimulating, but contrary to many companies’ marketing efforts, it’s not a magic solution for weight loss. Energizing teas and supplements can help you lose weight, but only when combined with a nutritionally balanced, reduced calorie diet.
Cayenne Pepper (Capsaicin)
Cayenne pepper in a tea may not sound appetizing, but many energizing herbal teas and supplements have begun to incorporate this suprising ingredient. Capsaicin is the chemical that gives cayenne, jalapenos, and other peppers their “hotness,” and it’s the key to cayenne pepper’s energizing potential.
Preliminary research suggests that capsaicin may help boost your body’s metabolism, helping you process food more efficiently so that you’ll have more energy. In laboratory studies, capsaicin has been shown to boost thermogenesis, a process by which your body converts food calories into usable energy.
Yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis) is a plant native to Argentina, Paraguay, and nearby regions in South America. Herbal teas made from an infusion of yerba mate are widely consumed throughout South America for their energizing effects.
The herbal tea infusion of yerba mate is called “mate,” and is traditionally prepared by steeping leaves and twigs in hot water inside of a hollow gourd. Mate has an agreeable flavor, although it’s often augmented with citrus rinds, mint, or other complementary flavors.
Along with its energizing effects, yerba mate may act as a slight weight loss aid. Evidence suggests that polyphenols contained in yerba mate may help inhibit certain enzymes involved in fat metabolism, which may alter cholesterol metabolism and affect the absorption of dietary fats.
Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a plant native to the Andes mountains in Peru, and is related to broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables. The plant’s fleshy roots are used in some traditional Andean cultures to promote energy and stamina.
Maca root is surprisingly nutritious, containing calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, and essential fatty acids. Ground maca root powder can be prepared into herbal teas that provide a high vitamin content, and which may help promote energy.
Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) is a plant whose roots have been demonstrated to produce positive effects on neurotransmitter levels, cardiovascular function, and central nervous system activity. It’s often used as an energizing herbal supplement to boost mood and energy levels.
Rhodiola has been used for centuries in Siberia and Scandinavia for its energizing effects. It’s also seen use in traditional Chinese medicine.
The active ingredients that give rhodiola its anti-fatigue effects are thought to be the compounds rosavin, rosarin, rosin, and salidroside. Although most rhodiola extracts are standardized for rosavin content, salidroside may be more active.
Ginseng (Panax ginseng) has a long history of use as a stimulant and aphrodisiac in Chinese medicine. Ginseng is quite safe to take, even in large amounts, although very high doses can cause nausea, restlessness, or irritability, similar to the effects of taking too much caffeine.
Ginseng is commonly incorporated into energy supplements and herbal teas. In one randomized study, subjects taking 1,000-2,000 mg per day of ginseng reported feeling less fatigued and more energized. Although ginseng’s stimulating effects have mostly been studied as a method to reduce fatigue in cancer patients, it’s helpful for healthy individuals as well.
Guarana (Paullinia cupana) is an Amazonian plant whose berries have a long history of indigenous medicinal use. The Tupi and Guaraní cultures use guarana seeds to make an herbal tea that’s prized for its energizing properties.
Guarana’s main active ingredient is guaranine, a form of caffeine. Gaurana herbal tea has similar effects to that of coffee, green tea, or yerba mate. It’s recognized as safe by the FDA, and is commonly incorporated into teas, energy supplements, and energy drinks.
Looking for Energy Supplements? Try Our Energy+ Tea
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