I'm not kidding when I tell you that now, instead of (a small tin of) Red Bull or a pot of coffee (plus lots of cream), to kick my tired brain into gear I reach for Genuine Health Greens+ Extra Energy.
Despite popular opinion among my lovely friends and family, I am aware that highly caffeinated beverages can do far more harm than good. Most of us already know that. Aside from the shakes that can occur from overdosing on caffeine (never happens to me, but still...), the stuff can really mess with stress-hormone levels (cortisol – grrr, argh) as well as blood-glucose levels in people coping with diabetes or metabolic syndrome. Apparently large amounts of caffeine on the regular can also increase anxiety, and symptoms of depression. Erk.
I do not drink coffee every day. But I've been known to drink large quantities over the course of 24 hours or less when I'm working on something. I've also been known to resort to Red Bull in times of need-to-be-awake. Well, I don't do that anymore. I still have an occasional coffee when I need to use the wifi at a shop that doesn't have unsweetened iced green tea, or when someone offers me coffee with breakfast. I might also someday chug a Red Bull in an emergency. But when I need a pick-me-up, for the past couple of months I've been turning instead to Genuine Health Greens+ Extra Energy ($55 CAd at nationalnutrition.ca and $54 USd at amazon.com). If you haven't tried it yourself, you must.
what's in greens+ extra energy?
Of course Greens+ Extra Energy has natural caffeine in it, from polyphenol-rich kola nut (where the word "cola" comes from apparently, although the version in soft drinks is synthetic). And yes, it contains natural taurine (1000mg; the Mayo Clinic says up to 3000mg per day is safe). The formula also includes:
- glycine – to regulate blood sugar, according to Genuine Health
- gotu kola aka centella asiatica – I know it in skincare for wound healing; here it's for mental reinvigoration
- suma root (aka brazilian ginsing), rhodiola and astrogalus – adaptogens thought to temper anxiety, fatigue and stress
- Vitamin B6 – to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Vitamin C – always a good thing; here Genuine Health says a stressed-out body needs more of it, and that it regulates the adrenal glands (take that, cortisol)
- Chromium – prevents that sugar high and subsequent sugar crash
As well, each dose contains a full serving of Greens+ Original, which includes lecithin, spirulina platensis, apple fruit, organic barley grass, organic alfalfa grass, organic wheat grass, chlorella and waaaaaay more nutritious stuff... here's the full Greens+ Extra Energy ingredient list.
Greens+ Extra Energy comes in two flavours, Natural Orange and Natural Cappuccino. I prefer Orange, especially in the following smoothie:
Extra Energy Peachy Green
1 frozen banana
1 cup frozen peaches
1 scoop greens+ extra energy orange
1 tbsp almond butter
1 pitted date
1 1/2 cup water or liquid of choice
Blend together in your Nutribullet or Vitamix until smooth.
I don't like bananas, but they're crucial in smoothies to add sweetness and creamy texture, so I use just about a third of a medium size. Frozen mango substitutes easily for frozen peaches, and I use Silk Almond plain almond milk as my liquid. A few minutes in my NutriBullet and yum!
When that 3pm droop comes around, this Greens+ Extra Energy is genius. I get a brain boost and a hit of fruit and nutritious stuff that can't live in a vat of coffee or a tin of Red Bull. Knowing that makes me feel as good as my smoothie does.
Even if I've had an Extra Energy smoothie just so I can sit at my laptop again, there's no sudden jolt of energy, and zero crash. I just feel alert and focussed, like I'm operating after a good night's sleep.
In fact, Greens+ Extra Energy is helping to get me back into a workout routine. Okay, it's still in the early stages, but now a stronger and trimmer physique seems attainable, even probable (I also have the nicest trainer I'll tell you about soon). I've discovered that an Extra Energy smoothie about an hour before a workout is amazing; my sluggish body moves better!
genuine health greens+ extra energy giveaway
APOLOGIES: our giveaway has ended. As I said earlier, you need to try this stuff to see how it works for you! So please do enter our giveaway below to win two big tubs of Genuine Health Greens+ Extra Energy (total retail value: about $130 CAd*). You're eligible if you live in Canada and have celebrated your 18th birthday at least once.
Again, sorry lovelies, our giveaway has ended. Still, here's to extra energy for all the things you want to do!
*Sadly, the value of this giveaway prize makes our Québec-based friends ineligible to enter, and logistics prevent us from including our US-based friends too. :-(