Beverages are always a hot topic. When the weather is warm, we start to become more aware of our hydration status and the sluggishness that can result when even mild dehydration hits. What you drink matters and although water is best, for many H2O is not the easiest beverage to incorporate.
If you are “anti-water,” odds are you are getting your hydration from somewhere else. You can hydrate from the foods you eat and other beverages you incorporate into your day, perhaps including a choice from one of these beverage categories – milk, juice, tea, coffee, soda, or energy drinks.
The last four may be of particular interest to you because not only do they allure to your hydration senses, but they also provide you with a little energy kick thanks to the caffeine they provide. Although coffee and tea are known to have additional health benefits, do sodas or energy drinks have a place in your meal plan too? Honestly, these beverages don’t provide much from a nutritive standpoint and it can be easy to over consume them. Soda, both regular and diet, are associated with a variety of health problems. Energy drinks have also gotten a pretty bad rap and have resulted in multiple cases of adverse reactions being reported.
BUT for many, the thought of giving these sorts of beverages up completely is pretty overwhelming in itself. I also believe there is something to be said about the pleasure factor of food and for some people, these sorts of beverages provide exactly that. Luckily, not all of these beverages are created equal and the healthy beverage market is an ever growing one. This means that more and more options are becoming available and some are better options than others.
One option in particular that caught my eye was FEEL Natural Energy. Just like us, they are a small business located in Michigan, and I felt as though I needed to know more about this new brand rising up in my home state.
According to the brands website, this natural energy drink isn’t quite like the rest. Unlike the others, it doesn’t contain any artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors, or preservatives. The caffeine it contains is also said to come from only natural sources and at 85 milligrams per cup, its caffeine content is similar to a cup of coffee.
Each serving also contains a full day’s supply of vitamin C and a host of other essential nutrients including calcium and vitamin D. There are three different varieties – raspberry lemonade, wild berry, and mango passion fruit. Each contains only 15 calories and, in my opinion, tasted a bit better than most energy drinks that I’ve tried.
So here’s what I love:
Unlike traditional energy drinks, these ones appear to have lower than average caffeine levels and no artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors, or preservatives.
FEEL Energy drinks are also infused with some essential nutrients that can help give those who consume it a small nutrient bump. Of course, its not the same as getting your nutrients from whole foods, but the creators of FEEL Energy know that and definitely appear to take a stance that this beverage should not replace other foods. Instead, its a beverage that can be incorporated into an already well balanced diet. This may not seem like a big deal, but I like that this company isn’t asking us to rely on them for more than what they are – an energy drink.
So here’s what I don’t:
When it comes to marketing, words like “natural” and “healthy” are pretty ambiguous. The fact that both of these words are used to describe FEEL Energy products has my RD senses tingling and I want everyone reading this to read past labels. Although these beverages have a few nice benefits in comparison to the more mainstream or traditional energy drink varieties, they are still energy drinks and should be treated as such. Too many times I’ve seen people purchase items marketed as “natural” and “healthy” with the misconception that these foods and beverages are going to do amazing things to improve their health. This is not always the case and, thanks to words like these, it makes choosing nutritious food even more challenging.
Many of these “natural” ingredients are also worrisome because they can effect people in a variety of different ways when consumed in varying quantities. Guarana extract, Ginseng root extract and inulin are just three examples. Taken in excess, these ingredients could result in negative side effects and most agree that more research is needed on these types of ingredients and how they work together when consumed in products like energy drinks.
If you enjoy energy drinks, FEEL Energy has several advantages over others. Just remember that no matter what energy drink you’re choosing, it shouldn’t be your primary beverage of choice. Make sure you’re still getting plenty of good old fashioned water and eating a well-balanced diet. That way, your energy drink indulgence can be thoroughly enjoyed from time to time without any guilt or worry that your diet has gone off track.
Disclaimer/Disclosure: FEEL Energy sent us samples of all three beverages to try and review. The thoughts expressed in this post are mine alone. I was not financially compensated for this post. For a full list of our disclosure and disclaimer policies, please visit our legal page.