Many of us grab a cup of coffee to get started every morning. And some of us continue to drink it throughout the day or take in caffeine in some other form. We find caffeine in tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, and chocolate.
While moderate caffeine consumption may have some benefits, there are negative health consequences for consuming too much caffeine, and for some people for consuming any at all.
The Mayo Clinic found that consuming more than 500 to 600 mg of caffeine a day may lead to insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, upset stomach, fast heartbeat, and even muscle tremors. The effects of caffeine vary for each individual, so what’s a healthy amount for one person may not be for another.
Plus, for those who drink caffeine regularly, you’ll need to drink more and more of it as time goes on to get the same energy jolt. Research shows that it drinking caffeine can actually make you more tired in the long run.
Fortunately, there are other ways to boost your energy throughout the day besides consuming caffeine. Try these options next time you need a pick-me-up:
1) Make sure you’re eating enough of the B-complex vitamins
Contrary to popular belief, B vitamin supplements don’t give you an energy boost themselves. But when you eat food that contains B vitamins, those B vitamins work to convert the calories you consumed into energy.
To make sure you’re getting enough of the B-complex vitamins, eat plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables, healthy fats (found in fish, nuts, seeds, avocados and olive oil), and lean protein sources found in beef, pork, skinless chicken and turkey, dried beans, and soy products.
2) Keep your blood sugar stable
Nothing zaps your energy like a drastic dip in blood sugar levels, but that’s exactly what happens when you eat sugar. High-sugar foods lead to a spike and then a drop in your blood glucose. Eat healthier, non-processed, low-sugar foods to keep your blood sugar stable.
3) Eat your veggies
Try to add more vegetables to your diet. Vegetables are rich in the nutrients that give your body the fuel it needs to keep energy levels up. Many experts suggest eating nine
or ten servings of vegetables a day. That seems like a lot, but remember that a serving is only one-half to one cup. So if you add three of these portions to each meal, you’re eating all the vegetables you need.
4) Get enough sleep
This one is a no-brainer, but if you’re not getting adequate sleep, nothing is going to give you the energy you need to tackle the day at your maximum level.
5) Do 5 to 10 minutes of light exercise when you’re feeling tired
Just a few minutes of light exercise will really get your energy level up. If you’re feeling tired and need to keep going, take a break and do some push-ups, jumping jacks, or climb the stairs a few times. If you can, take a short walk—and if you can walk outside, that’s even better! Just a few minutes outside in the sun can make you feel energized. But just do what works—a few minutes of any light exercise will get your blood flowing and your energy level back up.
6) Drink more water
You already know how important drinking water is to your health and diet, but you may not realize that staying hydrated also raises your energy level.
7) Laugh more
This one’s easy! If you need an energy boost, go talk to the friend who always makes you laugh, or watch a funny video. When you laugh, your body increases its oxygen intake and releases endorphins. These both give you a boost of energy.
8) Play your favorite music
As any of our personal trainers can tell you, music can do wonders to boost energy levels. Listen to your favorites and see how much better you feel after just a few minutes. Play something upbeat and positive—it will almost always make you feel happier and more energized.
9) Meditate for a few minutes
Just for a few minutes, stop what you’re doing and do some deep breathing. Focus on your breath. If your mind wanders, bring it back to concentrating on nothing but your breath. If you haven’t tried this before, you’ll be surprised what it does to boost your energy.
10) Add chia seeds
Whether it’s on cereal or in a smoothie, add some chia seeds to what you’re having for breakfast. This superfood gives you the nutrients that provide energy.
11) Add magnesium
Another nutrient that will ramp up your energy is magnesium, as it breaks down glucose into energy. Almonds or whole grains will give you a magnesium boost.
12) Eat your frog
This is a proven method that many motivational experts suggest. Mark Twain said, “If you have to swallow a frog, don’t stare at it too long.” In other words, get the tasks you’re most dreading out of the way first and as quickly as you can. The motivation and accomplishment you’ll feel after “eating your frog” early in the day will keep you energized.
Boost Your Energy Without Caffeine
Although a cup of coffee isn’t a problem for most of us, everyone has different caffeine sensitivities and can tolerate varying amounts. People with health problems, children, teenagers, and pregnant women may need to eliminate caffeine entirely, and everyone else should limit consumption to small or moderate amounts.
See which of these healthier options we’ve listed work best for boosting your energy throughout the day. You’ll probably feel even better with these than you would if you grabbed another cup of joe!