I recently gave up my daily caffeine fix and while I don’t recommend it for everyone (the zombie fog is real,) I definitely DO suggest finding alternative sources of energy besides that extra cup of liquid gold.
Too much caffeine can mask what your body needs. By using these hacks instead, you’ll find you won’t even want that second, third (fourth??) hit.
Including fat and protein with your usual morning carbs (oats, bread, fruit) will slow down and better pace energy release, giving you steady blood glucose levels that your body can thrive on.
This is why that cup of oats with fruit alone doesn’t cut it but oats with coconut milk or a little avocado and basil on the side will. Even just a sprinkle of seeds can make a difference!
I’m not a natural morning person so waking up at 6:30am every day (even weekends) didn’t happen immediately for me BUT getting rid of the alarm made a huge difference. The best way to wake up is to light because it’s gradual and doesn’t disrupt your sleep in the same awful way as a buzzing alarm. Try a light alarm (gradual light increase) and you will never go back.
Chia seeds are packed with nutrients, fat, carbs and protein. Give your body the good stuff by sprinkling in these energy shots to your salads, smoothie bowls and even main dishes. (Just be sure to soak them beforehand or use the ground/milled ones so that they don’t just pass through your digestive system without nutrients being absorbed.)
The scent of peppermint (menthol specifically) stimulates an area of the brain which controls focus. That means a little peppermint whiff can do wonders for waking you up. You can directly sniff peppermint leaves, oils or brew a non-caffeine peppermint tea to boost those energy levels.
Thousands of thoughts, anxieties and stress run through our minds every day, sapping energy. A few moments of mental peace can be amazing as an energy reset. This could be 5 minutes in the morning, the ride up the escalator or even at your desk mid-afternoon. Here’s a meditation to get you started.
It might not seem like it, but a quick walk outside, especially when done at a faster pace, can give you a jolt of energy. It’s not always possible to exercise in the middle of the day, but it’s definitely possible to do a quick power walk on your way to lunch or in-between meetings. This is a small hack that makes those slow afternoons or lazy mornings a little easier!
Perhaps the biggest change you can make to increase the quality of your sleep and, thereby, your energy levels, is to give yourself a set bedtime for every night. This habit will help you wind down and set clear parameters for your body of when it should be awake and aware vs. relaxed and asleep. Treat bedtime as a sacred rule just like your parents might have done when you were a kid, and you’ll definitely feel that energy boost!
Pick all or a few of the hacks above and implement them for a week. Record on Day 1 how your energy levels feel at the start of the day and then at the end. Follow this up by recording them on Day 7 and compare. You will be pleasantly surprised!
Which of these hacks have you tried to boost energy levels? What works for you? Let us know in the comments!
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Ola! I'm Chardét (Char for short.) I've been in fitness for over a decade now and practiced everything from martial arts to barre. I'm a NASM certified personal trainer and nutrition specialist with experience training clients from ages 13 to 75 from around the world. I believe in encouraging an active but balanced liftestyle that you can actually enjoy; eat the things you love, move the way you like and feel damn good about yourself! Read more about my wellness style here.
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