7 Ways to Increase Energy Naturally That Aren't Caffeine
by Cheryl S. Grant
We all experience energy highs and lows throughout the day! When we wake up in the morning after a sleepless night or hit the afternoon slump at work, it can be easy to reach for a caffeinated drink or a sugar-filled snack. But those are only quick fixes. They lead to a brief boost followed by another crash. This roller coaster ride is no way to navigate the day! Fortunately, there are other ways to increase energy naturally. Next time you're fighting that worn out feeling, try one of these quick pick-me-ups:
1. Drink Water
Water is your best friend because it can help flush toxins from your body and keep your body's systems refreshed. Dehydration naturally causes extreme thirst, but it can also lead to a sudden decrease in blood volume, which means less blood circulating to your brain. In these situations, your heart has to work extra hard, draining you of energy — sostay hydrated!
2. Hit the Outdoors
Going for a quick run or a brisk walk outside can energize a sleepy body and mind. Strap on your sneakers after lunchtime and get out into the natural light and fresh air so you can embrace the rest of your day with renewed energy and motivation!
3. Start Your Day Right
You wouldn't be able to start your car in the morning without gas, and the same goes for your body. Skipping the first meal of the day can cause you to feel sluggish, so start your day with a good mix of fiber, carbs, and protein for breakfast. Try a slice of whole wheat toast with a tablespoon of peanut butter and banana slices.
A workout can also start your day off on the right foot! Exercise can boost your brain power and improve your attitude, so what better way to begin the day than with a quick trip to the gym?
4. Snack Smart
If by 2 pm every day you find yourself searching for a snack to satisfy your sweet tooth, you may want to skip on the bag of sugary treats. Instead, try pairing a crunchy apple, banana, or orange with a serving of Greek yogurt. The protein will keep you going while the fruit will satisfy your sweet tooth. This combo will keep you feeling full and ready to conquer the world — sans the crash!
5. Create a Wake-Up Playlist
It's hard to miss the upbeat music that gyms often play to help you stay motivated. Take a cue from them and play something that makes you want to move! Even if you're not into dancing like no one's watching, listening alone can help put a smile on your face and get you out of bed. The right song may even inspire you to hit the gym first thing in the morning!
6. Take a Nap
A little shut-eye may not always be convenient but on days when you can squeeze in a nap, you should. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that in order to feel most refreshed you should stick to 20-minute naps. Any longer might cause you to feel groggy. Also, try not to nap late in the day because that could lead to sleep disruption at bedtime.
7. Give Your Eyes a Break
Staring at your computer or smart device endlessly can cause your eyes to dry out and become fatigued. Give your peepers a rest and keep them refreshed by blinking often and following the 20/20/20 rule from Mayo Clinic: every 20 minutes, look at something else 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds!
Next time you're feeling exhausted and need that extra boost of energy without the crash, try one of these healthy tricks for a quick pick-me-up!