Antioxidant elixirs are trending right now. Different juices and recipes in various combinations are flooding the internet. They propose to improve your immune system, beauty, weight control, sleep and prevent major diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. But do they really live up to the hype? And can you make them yourself at home? I was skeptical, but then the more I investigated, the more I found myself liking the idea. So, I developed my own recipe to make a simple and tasty antioxidant elixir at home.
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Disclaimer: Pink Ribbon Runner is not affiliated with Freshii in any way. Except for the ingredient list on the side of the product, the information below was found from independent sources. Freshii was not consulted for this article. This review is solely my opinion.
My Plunge into the Trend of Antioxidant Elixirs
It was a particularly difficult day at work. It was so busy. I was running back and forth trying to do everything that needed to be done. I was exhausted. And it was only a 3-hour morning shift. I felt completely done for the day.
As I walked out to my car, I planned my lunch. I was too tired to make anything at home. I found myself craving a Freshii Buddha Satay Bowl. Have you ever had one? They are delicious, packed full of healthy veggies and with a spicy peanut sauce. I opt out of the wontons though. That was the perfect solution to my lunch dilemma. So, I drove past the exit to my house and onto the road leading to our local Freshii.
I was waiting in line to order when my eye caught the package of little antioxidant elixirs sitting on the shelf. My initial thought was “what a gimmick?”. I rolled my eyes. Generally, I am not a fan of juicing, as it takes out the beneficial fiber from the fruits and concentrates the sugars.
But then, as I got nearer, my thoughts turned to “Why don’t you just try it. What if it does help? You could use a boost today.” And I found myself reaching for one. Theirs was only 25 calories in a 2 oz (60 mL) shot. What did I have to lose?
My Review of the Freshii Antioxidant Elixir
I drank it right there in my parked car. Closing my eyes, I let it roll around my tongue and trickle down my throat. I imagined all those antioxidants working in and around my cells, giving a boost to my body. I started to relax; the tension of work melted away.
About 30 – 45 minutes later, I did, in fact feel a little energized. Perhaps this was a placebo effect, as I don’t think the antioxidants in the elixir work that fast. Regardless of what caused me to feel this way, I was thankful for feeling good.
Since that day, I have investigated the benefits of antioxidant elixirs. And I have purchased more of Freshii’s Antioxidant Elixirs when the mood strikes me. They aren’t cheap though. They are about $4 for that 60 mL shot. I used to spend this on energy gels for my long runs during marathon training. So, for the benefits, I thought it wasn’t too horrible of a price. But it did get me thinking about making my own at home.
Ingredients in the Freshii Antioxidant Elixir
I looked at the ingredients list on the Freshii Antioxidant Elixir shot bottle: Beet juice, lemon juice, orange juice, camu camu fruit powder and moringa powder. And I researched each one in the science journals. What were the health benefits of these ingredients?
Health Benefits of Beet Juice
Beetroot is one of the top 10 vegetables for highest antioxidant capabilities. This root vegetable contains powerful antioxidants, some are called betalains which gives beets the deep red-purple color. The betalains seem to have anti-cancer properties as well.
Beet juice also contains many micronutrients such as calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium. But its superpower comes from nitrates. The nitrates in beets can improve blood flow through your body. This lowers blood pressure naturally.
Beets seem to help runners improve the ability to use oxygen to run longer. In general, when the equivalent of 3 beets is eaten about 2 to 3 hours before a run, athletes seem able to run further before feeling tired.
And beetroot has been studied for its positive effects in controlling blood sugar and insulin in diabetics, improving the outcome for kidney patients, protecting the liver from oxidative damage, and helping to speed up wound healing. It may also help your gut microbiome flourish.
Health Benefits of Lemon Juice
Lemon juice has been used in traditional medicine for centuries for various ailments. Scientifically lemon juice has been shown to be anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-parasitic. It also has many anti-cancer properties. Lemons can also help prevent obesity by influencing hormones that control carbohydrate and fat metabolism.
It is packed so full of vitamin C and many beneficial flavonoids that a little goes a long way. And the citric acid likely helps extend the shelf-life of the elixir.
Health Benefits of Orange Juice
Orange juice is similar to lemon juice in that it is high in Vitamin C and many flavonoids. Adding it into this elixir would help diversify the antioxidant compounds. It would also help to naturally sweeten the taste.
Health Benefits of Camu Camu
I will admit that I have never heard of camu camu until purchasing the Freshii elixir. It is an interesting fruit. It is a very sour berry originating from the Amazon rainforests but has since been cultivated elsewhere.
These berries are also very high in Vitamin C. The high levels of specific flavonoid antioxidants, such as ellagic acid, in camu camu fight free radical damage, reduce inflammation, and may help fight against cancer.
The berries may also help with weight loss, as they also influence the hormones that influence hunger, sugar metabolism, and weight gain.
Health Benefits of Moringa
I had heard of moringa, mainly because it was one of my favorite Body Shop scents. Sadly, this scent was discontinued. But I never thought of it as a food until I read the label of the Freshii Antioxidant Elixir.
Moringa has also been used extensively in folk remedies for ailments such as inflammation, bacterial infections, joint pain, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. This ingredient has, indeed, been shown to have scientifically validated health benefits
Moringa is known as the Miracle Tree because of its usefulness in helping maintain health. It is said to contain many times the nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium and iron, compared to most common foods. It’s bioactive compounds also help protect against inflammation, heart disease, obesity and cancer.
The Pink Ribbon Runner Antioxidant Elixir Recipe
I didn’t want to purchase a bunch of different ingredients. And I never intended to attempt a copycat recipe of the Freshii Antioxidant Elixir. Both Camu Camu and Moringa Powder can be purchased on Amazon though.
But, I wanted my elixir to be different, with ingredients I could find locally. The Freshii Antioxidant Elixir is a little sour, like a tart lemonade. I wanted my elixir to have a sweeter taste. So, I chose the following 3 ingredients for mine.
From my readings I knew that beet juice was a must. I love beets anyways, so that needed to be included in my recipe. But instead of buying the juice of the beets, I decided to go with a more concentrated form. I ordered organic beetroot powder from Amazon. Apparently, 1 tsp of powder is equivalent to eating three medium sized beets.
Have you ever smelled beetroot powder? When I opened the bag, I was in heaven. I could smell this stuff all day long. It is wonderful. And I knew the taste would pair well with my next chosen ingredient.
When I saw it on the shelf of my local grocery store, I knew it had to be in my elixir. I bought pure, organic black cherry juice. As I love black cherries, I was familiar with their health benefits. I thought the earthy flavors of beets and the sweeter flavors of black cherries would be amazing together. And I was not disappointed.
Black cherry juice is easy to find. The health benefits have been known for a long time. The dark color of the cherries is from powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins. These bioactive compounds also help protect you from joint pain, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
The cherries also contain compounds that help with brain function, memory, and learning. In addition, the juice contains melatonin that can help with sleep and has calming properties.
Black cherry juice does have higher sugar levels. However, the juice remains low on the glycemic index and doesn’t seem to cause a spike in blood sugar levels like some juices can. If you are concerned about the higher levels of sugar in black cherry juice, you could use tart cherry juice, but the flavor profile would obviously be different.
If you are diabetic, consult with your dietitian before drinking this elixir.
Tart cherry juice may have more benefits for runners, as it seems to help with muscle recovery and overall athletic performance.
I kept the lemon juice in my recipe because it also helps absorption of the iron from the beetroot powder. Iron is important for producing heme in the blood which carries oxygen. So, beetroot and lemon work well together to boost your oxygen capacity. More oxygen means more energy and less tiredness.
Fresh lemon juice can be kept for several months in the fridge without losing its antioxidant capacity. I prefer fresh lemon juice over commercially bottled. It just has that fresh-squeezed sweeter taste that shines through. However, you could also use bottled pure organic lemon juice too.
I used a half of a lemon into each shot in my recipe. This is about 1 tablespoon of juice from a small lemon.
And that is it; just 3 ingredients to pack a wallop to any damaging free radicals floating around in my blood and body.
I filled several 60 mL bottles with this Pink Ribbon Runner Antioxidant Elixir so that they were cold from the fridge ready to savor.
Will I Stop Buying Other Antioxidant Elixirs?
I love having homemade antioxidant elixir shots in my fridge. I grab them before a workout and the next day when I feel stiff and sore. It is so handy having them available. And I can make more anytime with the ingredients right there in my kitchen.
But will I stop buying the Freshii Elixirs or those from other brands? No, probably not. They all have different powerful ingredients. It is good to mix things up every now and then, don’t you think? Commercially made elixirs are also no-fuss, meaning that I don’t have to muck around in my kitchen; I simply buy them. Even easier and a time saver for busy weeks.
A combination of homemade and commercially purchased elixirs will likely be a staple in my home from now on. I don’t know if they will have any effects on my health or not. Antioxidant elixirs may still be a trending fad, as was my original thought. But I do know that they make me feel good, placebo effect or not. And I had fun making my own.
Having fun and feeling good is ultimately what counts, isn’t it?!
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