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With the Euro Cup underway, you must wonder how footballers manage to keep up their energy levels, especially during these summer days which sap your energy. Well, if you want to match their energy levels, consider the following drinks and smoothies. Not only are they natural, they are extremely refreshing, thanks to the presence of energy boosting nutrients such as B vitamins, magnesium and potassium. Some of the following drinks also contain antioxidants which protect the DNA from cancer causing mutations and damage and phosphorous, which is beneficial for bone development.

1. Apple Cider
Method: Mix two teaspoons of raw, unpasteurised apple cider vinegar, 16 ounces cold water and two teaspoons pure maple syrup or two teaspoons coconut sugar.
Nutrients: B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.

2. Banana Wheat Grass Smoothie
Method: Blend three large bananas, two cups cold water and one tablespoon wheat grass powder.
Nutrients: B vitamins, magnesium, potassium and protein.

3. Blueberry Pie Smoothie
Method: Blend one cup vanilla almond milk or skimmed milk, a quarter cup of oats, half a cup of frozen blueberries, two ice cubes and cinnamon to taste.
Nutrients: Antioxidants, B vitamins and fibre.

4. Breakfast Smoothie
Method: Combine one banana, one peeled kiwi, one cup orange juice and half a cup each of chopped apples and mixed berries. Blend until smooth; add half a cup each of soy milk, skimmed yoghurt, tofu and three tablespoons of peanut butter, two tablespoons each of aloe vera juice and flaxseed oil and one teaspoon of barley grass powder.
Nutrients: Antioxidants, B vitamins, fibre, potassium, protein, magnesium and vitamin C.

5. Coconut Spirulina Drink
Method: Mix half a teaspoon of Spirulina – protein-rich algae – into a tall glass of cool coconut water.
Nutrients: B vitamins, magnesium and potassium.

6. Orange Flax Smoothie
Method: Blend five peeled oranges with three tablespoons of cold-pressed flax or hemp seed oil.
Nutrients: B vitamins, magnesium, potassium and vitamin C. n

– Dr Samia Babar
The writer is Director, Health Awareness Society.

First published in the Health Advertiser Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on June 10, 2012.