Introduction: Homemade Energy Drink

Picture of Homemade Energy Drink

I started out with the intention of coming up with a recipe for a homemade version of the store bought energy drinks, but after doing some research and discovering how unhealthy they are for you, I decided instead to try and design a less sugar/caffeine fueled way to help myself through the workday afternoon sleepy slump.

What I landed on was a system of three drinks and some energy boosting ideas that are going a long way to helping me keep my energy up all day long! Here's the good on the drinks:

The Fire Hydrant (left) - 3-4 8oz glasses throughout the day

filtered water
1 slice lemon
1 pinch cayenne pepper

Other than getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night, staying hydrated is the most important thing you can do to help keep your body functioning at optimum levels. So this drink is just water with a squeezed lemon slice and a pinch of cayenne pepper. The lemon not only tastes good, but is also has an alkaline forming effect on your body's system which can help your body maintain a healthy pH level*. The cayenne pepper helps raise energy levels naturally and provides protection for your heart by helping to maintain proper cardiovascular movement throughout the body. Combining this with 4-5 glasses of regular water will bring you up to your recommended 8 glasses of water per day!

*For an explanation of how lemon juice becomes alkaline forming in the body and how it can contribute to wellness, read this awesomely clear article. Lemons are number two on this doctor's list of foods that have a moderate to strong alkaline-forming effect on the body, right after watermelon! (Another delicious thing to drink!)

The Quick Fix (center) - as needed, during the day
(I don't recommend drinking it at night as it might keep you up)

hot water
1 1/2 - 2 tsp honey (to taste)
1 inch of fresh ginger root
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp tumeric

Cut off two thin slices of ginger and place in your cup or mug.
Use a garlic press to juice the remaining ginger into your mug.
Add both spices and fill your mug with hot water and stir.

This is the closest thing I found to a non-caffeine/refined sugar pick me up! And I find it pretty delicious. Ginger speeds up metabolism and increases circulation. It also aids in the digestive process which can help stave off the post lunch coma that contributes to the afternoon slump. Turmeric, a cousin of ginger, also helps speed things up in the body, including energy levels! And Cardamom has long been valued medicinally for its ability to increase circulation and improve energy. Honey is mother nature's equivalent of an energy shot and is one of the best kinds of sugars for your body.

The Heavy Lifter (right) - 1 glass in the morning

1 ripe banana
1/4 cup raw almonds or 2 tbsp almond butter
1 scoop of high quality whey protein powder (low sugar content)
2 washed kale leaves
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
1 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond milk)

According to Dr. Oz, sixty percent of women don't get enough protein in their diets and that is often the number one reason for fatigue! ( A morning protein shake is a really easy and delicious way to make sure that you're starting the day off well fueled. Pair this with a piece of whole grain toast and you have everything you need to give you a solid energy foundation for the day.

The next steps are energy booster tips that I find, when done along with the drinks, help me keep on keeping on all day long!

Step 1: Energy Booster #2: Move It, Move It!

Picture of Energy Booster #2: Move It, Move It!

If you're body is feeling sluggish in the afternoon after sitting in front of the computer all day, get moving! Get up and go for a quick walk. Whether it's just around your building or outside in the fresh air (preferred), getting your blood flowing will do wonders to combat fatigue and increase mental clarity.

And so you don't feel bad doing this, here's a fun fact: taking a break from work every hour for a few minutes will also increase your productivity. "If you take short breaks throughout the day, you will have more overall accomplishments," says Jon Gordon, author of The Energy Bus.

If a deadline crunch doesn't allow time for even a quick walk, stand up, raise your arms above your head and have a BIG stretch. Then shake your whole body on the spot for a few seconds before sitting back down and recommencing the crunch.

Step 2: Energy Booster #3: Color Me Happy!

Picture of Energy Booster #3: Color Me Happy!

Surround yourself with energetic colors! According to color specialists, orange is the most energy inducing color. But like art, color is subjective so I'd suggest finding the color that is most energizing to you and adding accents to your work environment to help you stay 'up' all day long. Here are some color accent suggestions:

- flowers
- colorful office supplies (
- bright and inspiring desktop background
*I orange-a-fied this Eames quote background from Camp Design Group:

Step 3: Energy Booster #4: the Scent of Citrus

Picture of Energy Booster #4: the Scent of Citrus

I find the smell of citrus super invigorating, so something I've been trying is keeping an orange next to my computer on a little tray. I use a toothpick to poke through the skin and release a good dose of it's natural clarifying scent anytime I need a mind or body boost. Just make sure you remove the toothpick before you lean in to huff so you don't accidentally stab your nose!
*aromatherapy oils would also work. I chose to use the orange because it's also, orange! Two birds, one stone. : )

I know it's hard to find time to add even the simplest to-dos to an already busy schedule, but I encourage you to try! I have no doubt that you will notice a positive difference to your sense of overall wellbeing that will go a long way to beating the afternoon slump!


How to Knot (author)2018-01-16

I bet those are refreshing on a hot day!

Prof. A. Z. O_Trope (author)2017-09-11

Nice recipes - I will definitely try #2 and #3. Good old water with lemon works OK for basic hydration, occasionally some lime or sugar-free lemonade at about 1/2 recommended concentration.

But I wanted to remark on your "desk organizer" -- I use virtually the same thing! I find that a long rubber band around the brush about 1/3 of the way from the top prevents droopiness or outright escape of key implements. I find the ones referenced below great for this and so many things:

KarenL47 (author)2017-09-10

Thank you for the Energy Drinks Recipes. I will definitely start doing all 3 in a few weeks when I get my next SS check [funds too low right now to buy any of the things other than the lemons!]. My energy-stamina is essentially non-existent; [due to multiple self-induced and several chronic health factors] and I am too tired to do much about it. So these drink recipes, as a start; which are very easy; give me hope that I can do something for myself to get started. I will let you know how I am progressing in a month or two,

chick256 (author)2016-04-17

Good ideas, but don't include anything Dr. Oz says, he has not always researched as much as he should.

IsobelP (author)chick2562016-04-18

Re Dr. Oz - he once said that JELLO must be good for you because they serve it in hospitals!

[sugar and gelatine with artificial flavours and colours = empty calories]

DonnH1 (author)IsobelP2017-09-05

When you're sick sometimes you just need something that tastes good and doesn't hurt when you eat it. After a major abdominal surgery I couldn't face food and then I got my wife to buy some ready made rice pudding off the shelf at Safeway. It went down well and gave me some energy to continue on. Try not to be too critical. Try to see what possible good something is. Water could drown you but without it you're going to die.

Oncer (author)DonnH12017-09-10

And this is why they serve jello in hospital! When you are sick and cannot eat then any calorie intake is important, even "empty" calories from jelly and all it's hoofy goodness.

KingCronical (author)IsobelP2017-09-06

Animal nails make jelotine aka hooves of cow , livestock also now used bones and such as road salt they say better for enviroment...

petestructable (author)2017-09-06

Dear DorlisG,

Sorry but there are only a couple hundred different cold virus strains. once you've had most strains via "experience" (you're age!) you won't get them again. This is why you get less colds as you get older! Not these concoctions. Of course if you enjoy them they can be part of a healthy diet. Enjoy them1

nic021010 (author)2016-02-06

hey guys! I badly need ur help :( i use this homemade energy drink as my thesis subject and then i need to do an introduction, hypothesis, scope and limitation, and statement of the problem. Can you please help me? I badly need your help for my thesis.

robosensei (author)nic0210102017-09-05

My God, millennials these days... always looking for free handouts on silver platters for the work they should be doing, along with their "participation" ego awards for last place. A thesis is not supposed to be easy or a walk through the park. If it is, then you have chosen the wrong subject as your thesis. It is meant to be something for intricate research, development, theory, and hard work.

ShaiY (author)robosensei2017-09-06

I think you do a disservice to others of that generation.

There were plenty of people in my generation, and the others before me, who behaved in the same way.

I'm tired of seeing such generalisations becoming the norm in today's society.

If you don't want to help then don't. There's no need to throw insults around in this way.

Saying that, I do agree with your sentiment that they need to find their own answers. Especially when it comes to something as important as completing their thesis.

VlastaB1 (author)robosensei2017-09-05

Hahha great pont there robosensei!!

FalconerAD (author)robosensei2017-09-05

Always blaming millenials. Pick on someone your own age.

caramello1 (author)nic0210102017-09-05

Your work should be done by only you, without help from anyone else

ScottM6 (author)nic0210102017-09-05

.......drink a couple of these and have more energy to think about it.

AaronE23 (author)nic0210102016-04-20

So, what you're really asking is for someone to do your thesis for you? Nice try. Children these days. I had to go to what we called a library to do my thesis.

RobinW107 (author)AaronE232017-09-05

Very true!

wellrested (author)2017-09-05

PSA: The alkaline diet thing is a total myth. It would be nice to think that we could heal ourselves by drinking or eating foods that affect our pH, but the fact is that even a tiny shift in the body's pH would kill us immediately. People sometimes claim that the change in the pH of their urine is proof of the efficacy of such diets, but in fact it's just proving that the kidneys are doing their job -- making sure your body pH stays the same no matter what you eat. If you did shift your body's pH, it would change the way that proteins are "folded" in the body -- the way they gain the 3-dimensional structure that allows them to function properly. By all means, if you enjoy the drinks that Ms. Russell has given instruction for here, go to town -- I find that ginger is excellent for an upset stomach. But please do not think that pH values of your food/beverage will have /any/ impact on your health... and PLEASE do not spend any money on the ludicrous pH water/food market. Send it to me instead, I'll put it to good use ;-)

asherd3 (author)wellrested2017-09-05

But if your kidneys have to balance it wouldn't it be better for your kidneys if you gave it what they need?

wellrested (author)asherd32017-09-05

No. It might be a factor in cases of serious renal failure, but it's one of your kidneys' main jobs. Just the various diets around the world would shut everything down without the ability to regulate pH. Neanderthal diets from season to season. Even just breathing, I believe, would eventually shift your pH , ignoring all other chemical processes in the body. I suspect that constantly straining the kidneys (e.g. nothing but Monster or Redbull all day) would cause real harm... but your blood pH would still be pretty close to 7.40. Up or down .05 on the scale, and you've got some real problems. Up or down .4 or so and you're very likely dead. If you're interested, I would google "the Merck Manual for Acid-Base Balance" as it goes into more detail without being too technical.

astermax (author)2017-09-05

Turmeric must be activated by black pepper to be useful!

smarcin (author)astermax2017-09-05

Actually, the ginger will activate the turmeric just like black pepper does.

DorlisG (author)2017-09-05

To all the nay sayers, prove you are right. I happen to agree concerning these drinks. I have used lemon, ginger and turmeric for several years, love them and they do work. I do not get colds, flu because I use them along with garlic,onion and cinnamon. My only problem is my heart which got old along with the rest of me and I just got out of hospital after valve replacement and pacemaker installed. At 76, other than cancer which came about because of ROUND UP, I have been healthy as the preverbial horse. As for the commercial energy drinks and most of commercialy produced food, they are full of GMO's. I raise my own vegies, eat grain fed meat and drink grain fed raw milk, get eggs from neighbor's free range chickens. I do not consume anything that is full of chemicals.

froggy1641 (author)DorlisG2017-09-05

I hate to hear about the cancer. My uncle has the same ROUND UP cancer as well. They have him 9-12 months with the chemo pills, he has been with us for almost 19 months with almost verbatim the same diet. Stay strong and keep on the healthy foods. GOD BLESS and hope u do well

helecame (author)DorlisG2017-09-05

Clearly you live a healthy lifestyle, but you actually consume chemicals with everything you eat. Some are good for you, some not. Some natural chemicals are very harmful (e.g. belladonna, certain mushrooms), some synthetic ones are useful (e.g. aspirin - now made synthetically, for headache, some heart conditions and so on) and some are identical to what occurs naturally. The drinks in Paige's Instructable sound rather good and I'll try them. I'm curious, though, about what the thesis actually was and is it finished.

compmend (author)2017-09-05

Lemon water lately gives me ferocious heartburn. I believe if it is the type of lemons I buy. I don't have any farmer's market near me only chain grocers and Walmart. I used to buy imported lemons from California in a plastic bag from Walmart (I live in Florida) that were not very acidic and bitter and I could tolerate them, but, they stopped carrying them. Now I buy them out of the produce bin and it seems they are more acidic and cause heartburn. As a thought, I might try adding a pinch of baking soda to the lemon water to tolerate in better.

misterxp (author)2017-09-05

Feel great just for having read this instructable. Full of life and colour. Great! Will try the drinks too !

ScottM6 (author)2017-09-05

Love the drink ideas, I see so many people crash after those 5 hour and red bull drinks.....its not worth it.

........and I LOVE the old scrub brush pen holder on your desk!

HScott999 (author)2017-09-05

Thank you I am always looking for ideas for drinks that have no refined sugar or caffeine.

I use essential oils to help uplift my mood and also at night to aid my sleep.

Exercise is always a good thing and you are right that getting up from your desk for a few minutes every hour is good for you. Gives your mind a rest and also gets your body moving from that hunched position you've ended up in no matter how much you work on your posture while you are sitting.

yrralguthrie (author)2017-09-05

Dr. OZ is a TV personality, not a health expert. I stopped reading after I read that sentence.

rrucker0011 (author)yrralguthrie2017-09-05

Dr. OZ is a Heart surgeon, a professor at Columbia U., Author, and then a TV personality...please get your facts

nplant1 (author)2017-09-05

Sounds like they might taste good, but I'm sorry to say that you lost me at "alkaline-forming." Information from a chiropractor is marketing material, at best, and total quackery at worst.

BobR142 (author)2017-09-05

While there isn't anything you are putting in these drinks that will harm you, there is SO many un-scientific, unproven statements in this it baffles the mind.

ElChick (author)BobR1422017-09-05

You know if you wanted to be scientific about it, you could try to apply the scientific method toward it yourself and see whether or not it actually works. Now if you had experimented with it yourself and then came back to advise with documentation on how it doesn't work, then I might be more inclined to listen to what your comment is stating. As it is, you are accusing the author of using unscientific claims without outlining what those claims are that you view as false, nor are you providing your counter-claims to prove the lack of veracity in what the author has sourced as evidence. Until you come back with scientific proof to support your claims, I will continue to view your comment as nothing more than something designed to discredit the author due to not understanding what they have written.

ClintC15 (author)BobR1422017-09-05

She does say "for me" and "I find" quite a few times. The internet is great, in the way that if you don't like something, you can move on at the click of the mouse. :)

yonatonc (author)2017-09-05

this stuff sounds gross... i'm gonna try it!

DanielB770 (author)2017-09-05

does it need to ne filtered water?

codegeek (author)2017-09-05

My thoughts exactly.

cassiel007 (author)2017-09-05

Nice DIY drinks that have some good stuff in them. However, Dr Oz is not a reliable source for anything. He sells hype to keep himself on TV. Watch the John Oliver video:

Rapta (author)2017-09-05

Coffee's pretty good, so is tea, or there's iron supplements which also work, or just you know, an energy drink.

None of these things that I've listed will kill you as long as you don't drink like 10 energy drinks in the space of an hour or something silly like that.

Not to say that what you've got is bad, but there's better working things out there, that're also natural (e.g. the aforementioned coffee).

I'll tell you what wakes you up in what you've got there though:
1. The lemon and pepper will give you the zing you need to wake you up for a bit.

2. The ginger and turmeric spice, mixed with the sugar of the honey will be the booster there.

2. That yoghurt's mostly carbs and sodium, so that's why it gives you the boost in that. Then you've got the sugar in the fruit, along with that protein powder (depending on which you use).

Colour wise; welp if you have a lot of blue light, that'll keep you awake.

JimmyN24 (author)2016-11-29


In regards the recipes you mentioned above. Could I add an additional energy drink to the one I made. I guess I want a little more caffeine in my drink. If it is an organic energy drink do you think it will be ok? Let me know the type I been drinking and that I want to add is called Maté Bros Yerba Mate Tea Energy Drink. If you need specifics you can visit the site

AlbinK2 (author)2016-03-29

Hello! I dont seem to understand how much water i need for the fire hydrant. Please help me

GuidoB12 (author)AlbinK22016-04-30

0.25 litre, for the rest of us

ConnieW30 (author)AlbinK22016-03-31

8 oz.

silkier (author)2016-04-17

The lemon/alkaline link is no longer working, where else might we find this intriguing information?

Paige Russell (author)silkier2016-04-29

Thanks for letting me know about the dead link! I've replaced it with another awesomely informative article.

always curious (author)2016-04-17

Check out any sites for alkaline/acid content of foods and you should see that lemon is only acid whilst in mouth - that's why one needs to rinse after drinking straight orange and lemon juices. BUT inside the body, it changes to alkaline - which is wonderful as most of us need more alkaline food for healthy livers etc., RE THE INSTRUCTIBLE -am sending off to friends who could use the first 2 drinks. The third is similar to what I call "tigers milk"-my children and I drank my version for breakfast when in a rush. Or I took it to work - kept me going until lunchtime and saved me buying a sugary bun. Thanks for the first 2 drinks. I will print it out and keep on kitchen cupboard in plain view! Thanks again.

You are so welcome! :)

JohnW42 (author)2016-04-17

Maybe not connected, but ... if you have no time for a full hour of yoga you can split it up into 15-minute parts throughout the day. Can do at work (they wont notice if you are in a secret place). I have even done stand up yoga on planes, in hotel bathrooms, even meditations sitting in toilet cubicles (a boon when travelling).

About This Instructable




Bio: Made in Canada, I grew up crafting, making, and baking. Out of this love for designing and creating, I pursued a BFA in product design ... More »
More by Paige Russell:How to Store 3D Printing Filament3D Printed STEM RacersCustom Bubble Wands
Add instructable to: