If you’re like most Americans, you groggily drag yourself out of bed each morning and reach for a cup of coffee to get your day started.
And after downing 1-2 cups of coffee at least, other caffeine addicts often turn to energy drinks and continue to pound these synthetic beasts until sunset, and then wonder why they have trouble sleeping at night.
The cycle continues day after day, and despite how much caffeine you pump into your body, your energy levels don’t seem to improve.
But what if the caffeine is actually decreasing your energy, and there was another way?
Here are 4 ways to boost your energy sans caffeine:
You Are What You Eat
Garbage in, and garbage out.
If your diet consists of processed food, starchy carbs, and sugar – your body is bound to feel exhausted.
After all, you’re neglecting to give your body the fuel it needs to perform.
Look, we’re not saying you have to only eat carrots and apples all day. (Although if you really are struggling with junk food cravings– check out our previous tip to help knock that nasty habit for good).
WebMD points out that not all food is created equal – and that your energy levels are deeply affected by what you eat.
And according to WebMD, eating healthy foods like oatmeal and eggs for breakfast are some of the healthiest choices you can make:
“A single one has just 70 calories, and yet has 6 grams of protein. That provides fuel that gets released slowly. It also has more nutrients per calorie than most other foods. That helps it satisfy hunger. As a result, you’re more likely to skip that mid-morning doughnut in the office break room that will spike your blood sugar and crash your energy.”
Other helpful protein sources include free range and organic meats –skip the processed meats like hotdogs.
And yes, veggies do matter. But you can get creative! Stir-fry them. Sauté them with spices. Add them to a healthy salad.
Consider using lettuce wraps as alternatives to bread when making sandwiches.
Try simply changing what you eat and watch how much your energy levels improve throughout the day.
Check Your Stress
Yes, you’ve probably heard it before – stress kills.
You may have heard of the word cortisol – also called the “stress hormone” which can be off the charts if you are stressed.
And if your cortisol remains high it can wreak havoc on your body– which will ultimately leave your body feeling fatigued and drained.
In fact, The Mayo Clinic reports cortisol “increases sugars (glucose) in the bloodstream, enhances your brain’s use of glucose and increases the availability of substances that repair tissues.”
But even if your cortisol levels are normal, if you are drained and exhausted each morning, you may not be sleeping through the night.
Consider implementing some stress-fighting techniques into your routine.
Maybe it’s as simple as keeping a journal on your nightstand and writing out any racing thoughts that come to mind – so they are on paper and your brain can relax.
Or, consider adding a workout routine into your day so your body becomes naturally energized through releasing endorphins (which makes it easier to sleep at night).
Just skip the booze and other unhealthy stress beating techniques.
The Balance of Sleep
More on sleep, as it is just that important in regulating energy levels.
Start to log just how long you are sleeping.
Many people struggle with either sleeping too much or not enough – and both are major energy zappers.
As it turns out, adults sleeping more than 9 hours actually wake up feeling more tired.
In fact, Freedom Health News previously reported how too much sleep is really a bad thing.
The sweet spot for most adults seems to be between 7-9 hours.
But this number can change depending on current lifestyle events (newborn babies, work schedule, etc.).
The National Sleep Foundation reported on the variation in sleep needs:
“Sleep needs vary across ages and are especially impacted by lifestyle and health. To determine how much sleep you need, it’s important to assess not only where you fall on the “sleep needs spectrum,” but also to examine what lifestyle factors are affecting the quality and quantity of your sleep such as work schedules and stress.”
See how you feel after sleeping each night. Do you wake up feeling tired? Or do you feel rested each morning?
Consider monitoring how you sleep by keeping a sleep journal.
Besides the fact it will kill you, smoking is actually said to cause insomnia.
Harvard Health Publishing reports:
“The nicotine in tobacco is a stimulant, so it speeds the heart rate, raises blood pressure, and stimulates brain-wave activity associated with wakefulness, making it harder to fall asleep. And once you do fall asleep, its addictive power can kick in and awaken you with cravings.”
So if you’re one of the folks who still struggle with smoking, no shame, but understand it may actually be contributing to your drained energy throughout the day.
And again, those cigs will kill ya, so really just give ‘em up.
If you’re looking for ways to increase your energy throughout the day, consider our recommended tips.
And listen, we’re not saying you can never drink coffee again. But a good cup of joe should be enjoyed and savored – not used as a crutch to get through the day.
But skip the energy drinks. Most are full of sugar and while they may “temporarily” provide you an energy boost – they are bound to make you crash faster than you can finish the can.
Consider our natural ways to increase your energy. Give them a try and see what works for you.
When you gain your energy back and reset your body the natural way – trust us – you’ll never return to counterfeit methods again.
What are some natural methods you use to increase your energy?
Have you ever given up caffeine in the past? What was the end result?
Tell us your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to share this article with your friends and family to give them tips on how to keep their energy levels strong!