Coffee this and coffee that…don’t get me wrong, I like to have a nice cup o’ joe in the morning to wake up and get my ass in gear for the day. However, science says that isn’t the best way to stay energized all day. Much to my surprise, chugging a Red Bull at 8 a.m. is also not the answer!
More often than not I skip breakfast, and I’ll bet I’m not alone in doing so. It’s the easiest meal to forget, even though breakfast food is my favorite meal. Not being much of a morning person, waking up at the crack of dawn (anything before 9 a.m.) doesn’t make hungry for anything.
So I hit the books (a.k.a. the Google) to find out what are the best ways to maintain energy all day as naturally as possible.
Control Your Cravings
We can all agree that getting enough sleep is a good idea, BUT an interesting fact I didn’t know: More sleep regulates your hunger hormones. Which basically means if you don’t get enough sleep at night, you will crave sugary foods throughout the day. Getting a good night’s rest will allow you to make better food choices starting in the morning so you can stay full and energized until lunch.
Embrace Your Cat/Cobra
Stretch it out when you wake up. Not a new phenomenon, but you may not know that when you sleep your muscles grow fascia, or the non-medical term, fuzz. Yes, it looks as gross as it sounds. If you have a queasy stomach, I’ll sum it up for you – fuzz grows between yours muscles when they aren’t being used (sleeping) which causes that morning stiffness, the movement of stretching or exercise in the morning wakes up the muscles making the fuzz “melt” away.
Use All of Your Senses
If you sit in an office all day, there probably isn’t much change in scenery. Take a break (better yet, schedule them on your calendar) and do something that gets you excited again. Get up and walk around, head outside and get some natural sunlight. If your computer and Spotify are your best friends in the office, turn around and engage in a real conversation. No one around? Try smell. Studies show that certain scents can increase your productivity, try keeping some peppermint, lemon, or rosemary oil at your desk.
Nothing makes me more awake than clowns chasing me. Thankfully I don’t work in an office where that is a thing. But getting your heart-rate up and blood flowing is a surefire way to be completely aware and focused on what is in front of you. Adrenaline is released when you have strong emotional feelings. Take a few minutes to watch scary movie trailers, or search for motivational, inspiring stories. Changing the pace of what you are working on will also help you re-focus.
Hydration is Essential
Water is the cheapest way to get a boost in alertness. Hydration creates sustained energy and can result in increased oxygen levels which helps muscles, cells, and all vital organs function properly. Even mild dehydration can cause fatigue. So instead of opting for that afternoon cup of coffee, grab some ice water. You are more likely dehydrated than out of caffeine.
Since power naps are frowned upon in most work environments and chugging coffee might not be the healthiest option to stay energized all day, it is important to make some adjustments that can help without the caffeine. These tips are all natural and can easily be incorporated into your daily routine without much effort. Now, I’m thinking about how much money I can save (about $650) by cutting out my morning Red Bull chugging contest!