Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The best DIY energy drink known to Men - EnerT

We all work out, we all need re-hydration, we all buy Gatorade... wait, stop. EnerT, this simple do it yourself tea-based energy drink, may be a better (and cheaper) option.

An energy drink needs sugar (of some form), electrolytes (mostly sodium and potassium) to accelerate absorption, and may contain other ingredients. I opted for tea as caffeine has a beneficial workout benefit, and tea provides a low-level caffeine, striking my personally preferred balanced between 'waking' and 'wired'. Any level of sugars under 8% is acceptable, but I find Gatorade to be overly caloric for those of us trying to balance increased workout performance with weight loss/maintenance.

[Note: Initial idea inspired by similar energy drink I found on the Diet Everywhere site ]

EnerT Ingredients (32 oz or about 1 liter):
2 Tea Bags
6 level teaspoon sugar (24 grams)
A pinch of salt (0.5 grams)
2 oz lemon juice (about 55 grams)
30 oz boiling water

Contains:
100 calories
500 mg Sodium
60mg of Potassium (from the lemon juice)
Caffeine varies, est 100mg-200mg caffeine (depending on the tea used and infusion duration)

Estimated Cost:
Lemon juice: $0.10
2 Tea Bags: $0.06
Sugar, Salt, water, etc: negligible

Compare to 32 oz Gatorade:
200 calories
440mg Sodium
120mg Potassium
No caffeine
Cost: $1.29

I use a lower potassium level as research indicates that Potassium loss is secondary to Sodium loss in hydration. You can add more lemon juice in, up to 4oz - if flavor allows. On the other hand, removing the lemon juice will still yield a good energy drink, but will reduce price by 66%

References:
http://www.medicdirectsport.com/sportsnutrition/default.asp?step=4&pid=81
http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts-C00001-01c20VH.html

Added per the huge amount of interest and questions:
Q: So, is this different from a regular tea?
A: Yes, but only subtly so. The quantity of salt and sugar, and lemon juice (for Potassium) are specifically set for easy absorption. But mostly, energy drinks ARE flavored sugar water. Gatorade is water, sugar, sodium, potassium, and flavor.

30 Comments:

Anonymous Jack Of All Stock Trades said...

Sweet. Love the drink!
you can also add some lime, or use green tea instead of caffeinated one.

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Syd said...

Would Honey instead of sugar be of any benifit?

10:41 AM  
Blogger shawn.wall said...

i've made homemade gatorade before using kool aid packets for an extremely cheap price. check out some recipes here.

10:46 AM  
Blogger towwas said...

Green tea is actually caffeinated, too. Not as much caffeine as black tea, but it's still not zero. (Just in case anyone is trying to avoid caffeine.)

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Green tea is also caffeinated, albeit less so.

11:05 AM  
Blogger Yaniverse said...

>>Would Honey instead of sugar work?

I sometimes use honey, it does taste better. But honey has a glycemic index of 55, which is slightly slower to metabolize than sucrose at 61. This means it would take a bit longer for you to feel the boost - unless your workout is a really long one. Actually, you might want to substitute glucose of maltose for faster absorption.

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tea and sugar? What an amazing idea! Where did you ever come up with it?

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

for those of you who are looking to reduce the caffeine intake but keep the flavor of the tea you can steep the tea back for about 30 seconds first in a separate bowl of hot water and then add it to the mixture as research shows that tea leaves give off about 80% of their caffeine in the first 30 seconds of "shock" so with this method you can reduce the caffeine in the drink.

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI, table salt is only 40% sodium, so getting an equal amount as in gatorade (500 mg) would require more salt.

1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy S! You've just come up with the *exact* formula of sweetened tea w/ lemon!!!

2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yea sorry, but though the nutrition facts are nice. This is tea with lemon (Pretty common) if you cool this you have your typical lemon ice tea. Only thing thats new (to me) is the pinch of salt.

2:11 PM  
Blogger spankaccount said...

Caffeine is a diuretic and should be left out of "re-hydration" drinks - tea might not be a good solution. The inclusion of salt is wise.

2:31 PM  
Anonymous The More Photos said...

wait a momement. Isn't this just an iced tea recipe with a pinch of salt? Still looks good.

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Nice post, I'm going to try this out. Gatorade can be so expensive especially if you buy it and work out often.

3:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lose the refined, white sugar (read empty calories) and use pure maple syrup. It contains sugars as well as vitamins (niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, folic acid, pyridoxine, biotin, and vitamin A), minerals (potassium, calcium, magnesium, and manganese) and amino acids. Perfect for an energy drink and the flavour is quite pleasant.

6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good idea
However, Re-Hydration solutions usually contain 4 main constituents:
- electrolytes,
- a Bicarbonate source
- water, to replace fluid loss.
- A carbohydrate source, which maximizes absorption of fluid and electrolytes. (e.g. glucose.)

So if you added sodium bicarbonate it would be a better alternative

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've found that there is often a sale on gatorade, especially in bulk. Never do I drink gatorade straight. I always cut in half at least with water. So you are down to your 100 calories, yes half the sodium and potassium, but you have no caffeine.

7:47 PM  
Anonymous jonathan said...

Wait, is this somehow different from regular tea?

11:39 PM  
Blogger Yaniverse said...

So, is this different from a regular tea?
Yes, but only subtly so. The quantity of salt and sugar, and lemon juice (for Potassium) are specifically set for easy absorption.
But mostly, energy drinks ARE flavored sugar water. Gatorade is water, sugar, sodium, potassium, and flavor.

2:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

some newer research has shown that protein will increase absorption rates of energy drinks. So you may want to consider adding some form of protein to the recipe.

7:29 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

Caffeine may not be as beneficial for workouts as you think. My cross-country coach tells us not to drink any caffeine during the season (or at least not before a race) because it constricts blood vessels, allowing less oxygen flow. And we all know how much our muscles love that oxygen...

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, it's odd...it seems like I have heard of something like this before....let me think...Tea...sugar...lemon....um.....hum.

Well I give up, I have no idea where I have seem those put together before.

I have my own EnerT drink, it's called waTer:

Mix 2oz of water with 1 liter of water, as 1 level teaspoon of water. chill and enjoy!!

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One further thought,

For long sustained aerobic activities, ie biking. I use two separate forms of carbs, as the lower intestine can absorb two different forms quicker and with a higher concentration than one.

In my water bottle i use grape juice and maple syrup. Some people like chocolate milk as a recovery drink because of this.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous sportcrazy.net said...

Trackback: Pimp my sports drinks - cheap and tasty DIY solutions - SportCrazy.net.

4:21 PM  
Anonymous sagO said...

I used to make a drink like this one adding maple tree syrup instead of sugar.
It's a bit more expensive than sugar but much more healthier.

4:43 AM  
Anonymous Jamie Phelps said...

Yani, this is more a sports drink than an energy drink. Energy drinks tend to contain lots of B Vitamins and amino proteins such as taurine. Don't intend to be critical; just thought it was worth mentioning.

5:00 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

I like to take a designed drink during and after work outs.

Sports nutrition has become extremely advanced in the 21st century. Many supplements out there have been designed through natural ways for serious athletes and fitness enthusiasts to gaining strength and help you get the edge in your chosen sport over your opposition. (you can find great deals online)

Latest Sports Nutrition Technology!

3:15 PM  
Blogger lyd said...

I've been using a similar recipe for the gym, lemon, sugar & lite salt, really appreciate the back and forth about the effects of the different ingredients. will try the maple syrup once I run out of sugar. Really not liking the sodium bicarbonate idea

1:41 PM  
Blogger brthomas said...

I agree that tea & fruit juice makes a great homemade energy drink. To get more of a jolt I use more tea in my recipe for PowerT Hydration Juice. For the low calorie variation of PowerT Hydration Lemon-Lime I sweeten with stevia no-calorie natural sweetener.

2:37 PM  
Blogger iwonemd said...

Want to make an energy drink like monster, rockstar, or red bull? All you need to do is add liquid caffeine mix to sparkling Apple Cider (carbonated). You will hardly be able to tell the difference. Seriously, the taste, look, fizz, and energy, will blow you away.

You can purchase the inexpensive Energy Mix online (Google: Semi-Sweetened Energy Mix). The thing to remember is that powder caffeine will not work. It will not dissolve in cold beverages. And, even in hot beverages it will only dissolve slightly.

Another great advantage to making your own energy drink is that you control how much caffeine you want to add. Add a little or a lot – it depends on how much of an energy boost you want – you decide!

2:57 PM  

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