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Red Bull, the popular energy drink commonly mixed with vodka, provides roughly the same caffeine boost as a cup of black coffee. But all the sugar — 20 grams per 250 ml can — can cause weight gain;. the caffeine can cause insomnia and nervousness and the drinks can even be dangerous for people with high blood pressure and heart disease. So what are good Red Bull alternatives? Thankfully, you have a couple of options.
If there’s a nearby brewing machine, coffeeshop or convenience store, you can pick up a cup of black coffee and get the immediate boost without all the extra sugar. You can even add some low-fat milk to add extra vitamin B12, which can also provide a small energy boost. Beware though: coffee can have wildly different amounts of caffeine. Sip slowly until you reach your desired buzz.
2. Green tea
A cup of green tea contains about half as much caffeine as the average cup of coffee, plus anti-oxidants which can help boost your metabolism. Plus, nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert points out that the body processes caffeine from green tea differently from than caffeine from coffee, causing more relaxation and less jitteriness. But the caffeination happens more slowly then with coffee, so it make take a while to set it.
Sugar gives you a quick rush of energy followed by a crash, but protein can help you stabilize the amount of sugar already in your bloodstream, leaving you full and awake without the carbs, calories or crash. Many portable snacks can provide a quick protein boost: Beef jerky and almonds are among two of the easiest to find.
4. Chew gum
Chewing triggers an increase in your heart rate and cortisol levels, which are both linked to energy. And if you want, you can also chew a caffeinated gum — the blood vessels in your mouth absorb the caffeine more quickly. There are plenty to choose from.
5. Make your own energy drink
Although there are plenty of homemade energy drink recipes online, you can also just follow this super simple mix: mix Green Tea (organic if possible) into two cups of ice-cold water and mix with 1 scoop of protein powder. Add one ounce of almonds if you have it. The cold water will jump-start your metabolism, the green tea will provide some caffeine and the powder and almonds will give you protein to help keep you.