The morning coffee ritual is deeply ingrained throughout the world. It jumpstarts your day, provides you with an energy boost and tastes great. Caffeine, in moderation, has many health benefits. When you’re seeking out a second caffeine fix at 10 a.m., can’t imagine not having your 3 p.m. latte and feel utterly exhausted at 6 p.m., it’s time to look for alternative ways to boost your energy. Here are five ways to increase your energy, mental sharpness, and productivity without hitting the java.
Drink Some Water
Caffeine is a natural diuretic, so although you are drinking fluids, you’re displacing more than if you were drinking water. Fatigue and a slight decrease in cognitive functioning are two of the first signs of dehydration. Your grogginess and lack of concentration could be cured by guzzling some water. As a rule of thumb, you should be drinking half of your body weight in water daily. If you weigh 160 pounds, you should be consuming 80 ounces of water. Sorry, your morning coffee doesn’t figure into your hydration.
Ditch the Sugar
Your 3 p.m. nap fantasies will be a thing of the past if you moderate your sugar intake. Sugar and refined carbohydrates are your long-term energy enemy. Your body digests them incredibly quickly, which increases your blood sugar. This results in a quick burst of energy, followed by a “crash”—you feel exhausted.
If your energy levels seem to follow this wave pattern, it may be time to revamp your diet. Complex carbohydrates, such as starchy vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and brown rice will help keep your energy levels at a more even level. If you’re a diehard sugar fiend, the first few days of this dietary adjustment will be hard. You may feel like you have absolutely no energy. When your body adjusts to using more complex carbs, protein and fat for fuel, your energy levels will skyrocket. It’s worth it!
Upgrade Your Sleep
Quality sleep is the foundation for good energy levels. If you don’t have a strong foundation, all your other efforts to increase your energy will eventually fail. Sleep is one of the most restorative functions we have. During sleep, tissues are repaired, muscle growth and protein synthesis occur, and immune function is increased. Sleep is serious business, so it’s time to start taking it seriously. Make it a priority to get six to eight hours of sleep a night.
Also, hit the hay around the same time each night. This helps your body establish a rhythm. It’s been proven that turning off your cell phone and computer screens one hour before bed can increase the quality of sleep. The light emitted from these devices disrupts melatonin (your sleepy hormone) secretions, making it more difficult to fall and stay asleep. A comfortable mattress and head-worthy pillow can drastically improve the quality of your sleep as well.
According to Newton’s first law of motion, a body at rest stays at rest and a body in motion stays in motion. These states only change if an outside force acts upon the object.
Let’s put this in the context of your body. If you’re sitting all day, it’s no wonder that you’re having difficulty in the energy department. Your circulation and respiration are in the pits and not providing a lot of fresh oxygen. Get up, move around, circulate some blood and feel energized! If you work in an office environment, it’s a good idea to walk and stretch every hour to keep your energy levels up.
Eat Your Breakfast
It’s like mom always said, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Starting off with breakfast is one of the most important things you can do to promote optimal energy levels throughout the day. Calories = Energy. The type of energy you put in your body is important too. Two glazed donuts will definitely give you some immediate energy, but the subsequent crash will leave you yearning for a couch. A mixture of carbohydrates, in the form of fiber, and protein is your best bet. Eggs and potatoes, whole wheat toast topped with peanut butter and a yogurt—these are your powerhouse foods.
A few dietary changes can drastically change your energy levels.
Feeling more energetic and vibrant is within your reach. Gone are the days of guzzling a pot of coffee to make it through the day. Now you can have boundless energy with a few simple tweaks. We’d love to hear what energy boosts work for you! Comment below to let us know!