Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Parenting Resolutions

A Healthier Year: 5 Alternatives to Energy Drinks to Help Exhausted Parents

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article


As rewarding as it is to raise children, if there’s one thing parents can agree on, it’s that parenting can be exhausting. Children seem to have boundless energy, and trying to keep up is a challenge all on its own. That’s why so many parents turn to ideas and solutions that offer a quick boost to their energy. One of the most popular ones is taking energy drinks. Energy drinks are a multi-billion dollar industry that isn’t just targeting college students. Parents need a good pick-me-up as well, but with all that caffeine and sugar, energy drinks aren’t always the healthiest option. Instead of going down that route, parents should check out some of these much healthier alternatives.

1. Green Tea

Here’s an all-natural drink that more people are paying attention to. While it’s true that green tea does contain some caffeine, it’s a much lower amount than what’s found in energy drinks. People who drink green tea can receive a boost of energy without the somewhat jittery after effects usually experienced with having energy drinks or a cup of coffee. Green tea also offers other health benefits besides more energy thanks to the presence of nutrients such as L-theanine. Some of those benefits include improved mental clarity along with a decreased risk of serious diseases like cancer and heart disease.

2. Water

Not interested in drinking green tea? Then here’s something you should have plenty of: water. And it takes absolutely no preparation time! It may sound way too simple, but drinking plenty of water can actually give you increased energy throughout the day. Water acts as a sort of fuel for your body’s systems, particularly when it comes to metabolic reactions at the cell level. If you’re dehydrated, those reactions slow down, giving you a more lethargic feeling. Make sure this doesn’t happen by drinking water. Besides improved energy, it also helps you to focus and gives you increased concentration.

3. Chocolate

Now here’s one many parents will find appealing. Chocolate has recently been found to help sharpen your mind and even boost your cognitive skills for a time. It’s important to note that this isn’t just any chocolate we’re talking about. For the healthiest option, go with dark chocolate. Besides the notable energy boost, dark chocolate can improve your heart health, prevent certain types of cancers, and protect you from free radicals, which cause diseases. Some brands, like Pascha and Sweetriot, emphasize the healthiness of the snack. It’s also worth noting that dark chocolate should be eaten in moderation — only a few ounces a day. Gorging won’t increase its benefits and could lead to some undesirable effects.

4. Nootropics

This might be a new topic you haven’t heard of before. Nootropics refers to, as the Neurohacker Collective puts it, “supplements and substances which enhance your cognition, in particular when it comes to motivation, creativity, memory, and other executive functions.” It avoids stimulants and opts for safer substances that are designed to improve brain health, and since the brain is so vital to all your body’s systems, it will impact everything you do. One benefit is giving you added energy with increased motivation to tackle all the challenges you face during the day.

5. Walking

Many of these alternatives tend to focus on what you put into your body, but there are other activities which can give you more energy. Walking is one such helpful activity. It may sound strange to exert energy to gain more energy, but studies show that taking a walk, even a brief one, can help you feel more energetic. Doing so outside leads to added bonuses as natural sunlight gives you more vitamin D, which improves your energy as well. So feel free to go for a walk with your kids. It will allow all of you to get some exercise, and you’ll feel great and full of energy afterwards.

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.