Natural Energy Boosters – How to Maintain Energy Without Caffeine

Sleepy man holds a pot of coffee

Image via Dave77459, Flickr

Caffeine addiction is an all too common problem in workplaces all across the globe. Whether you’re in a cubicle, semi-truck or rocket ship, artificial sweeteners and unnatural stimulants are increasingly accessible. Nine cups of coffee may seem like the best way to cure tired eyes, but there are better, healthier options to increase energy naturally for all the zombies out there. Keep reading to learn about some natural energy boosters.

Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You may hate hearing it but deep down you know it’s true. Rather than reaching for a donut or pouring a bowl of Sugar Snaps, opt for foods rich in whole grain and fiber.

  • Fruit: Tossing back an apple or an orange on an empty stomach is an excellent way to get a quick glucose boost. Since fruit takes considerably less time to digest than denser foods, it requires less energy to consume, therefore allowing you to reap all the benefits of increased energy.
  • Cereal: Whole grain cereal is a quick remedy for those a.m. hunger pains. However, if it’s Lucky Charms you’re after, you might want to reconsider. Sugary cereals may work momentarily but will certainly lead to a sugar crash later.
  • Yogurt: A yogurt parfait with granola and sliced fruit is an easy and nutritious way to start the day. Greek yogurt, which is higher in protein, is highly recommended, but if you’re in a pinch, unsweetened yogurt is a viable option.

Water

Most people who need a quick jolt rarely go for a glass of water. In fact, for those who need an easy fix, water consumption as a source of energy is often overlooked. Relying on coffee to stay awake poses countless health problems including: Gastritis, increased chances of miscarriage, heart attacks and infertility.

The list is extensive and ever growing as caffeine continues to dominate the beverage scene. What many people fail to realize is that drinking water has the same effect as coffee and energy drinks, but in a healthier way.

Rather than suffering painful caffeine crashes, water lets you down easier and keeps energy levels higher over time. Also, it’s important to note that with every cup of coffee you drink, three glasses of water are needed to compensate for the diuretic nature of caffeine. The first sign of dehydration is fatigue, so drink up.

Snacks

When it comes to maintaining energy, stocking up on healthy snacks is a must. Keeping small, health-conscious treats with you helps fight that lunchtime lull without forcing you to crack open another Red Bull or Mountain Dew.

  • Nuts: Unsalted almonds or peanuts are the perfect companion for a long day at the office. You can munch on them periodically throughout the day and keep your protein levels up while combating mid-afternoon hankerings.
  • Vegetables: Packing a sandwich bag full of baby carrots before your shift will go a long way. The health benefits of carrots are aplenty, especially when coupled with hummus.
  • Eggs: Hard-boiled eggs don’t keep for too long, but are great for staving off hunger. If you’re looking for a healthy lunch, mix up a light egg salad with low fat mustard, spread on whole wheat bread and go to town. 

Tea

Starting your morning with a hot beverage is as energizing as it is comforting. But if a warm tummy is what you’re after, it might be a good idea to switch to tea, specifically green tea for its laundry list of health benefits.

Closeup of mug of hot tea

Image via benbeck, Flickr

Countless studies have linked green tea consumption to the inhibited growth of cancer cells, lowered cholesterol levels and increased heart health. Basically, by introducing several cups a day into your diet, you will become healthier, as studies have shown.

There is no magic number for the amount of green tea you should drink daily. Research has suggested people drink anywhere from 2 to 10 cups a day in order to reap the maximum health benefits, but the number is thought to be somewhere between 4 to 5.

Sleep

It should come as no surprise that sleep is the best way to combat fatigue. Regardless of dietary changes or unnatural chemicals, without the proper amount of sleep, you might as well stay in bed. Six to 8 hours of sleep a night is highly recommended, although it can vary from person to person.

If lengthy sleep cycles aren’t for you, shorter, more frequent naps can compensate for poor sleep patterns. You might not able to sprawl out on the desk at work for 20 to 30 minutes at a time, but shorter breaks or 10 minutes out of your lunch can make a difference.

When it comes to staying awake it’s important to take it a step further and consider what it takes to stay alive. At the end of the day, your first priority should be your health. Whether that means cutting out caffeine or consuming leaner foods is up to you, but always consult a physician before making drastic changes and most importantly, use your head.

The point is, there are many ways to give yourself an energy boost without having to load up on caffeinated beverages. Consider some of the more natural energy boosters mentioned above — they’ll do the job just as well as that cup o’ joe but they’re a heck of a lot better for you!

Do you have any tips for maintaining your energy on the road?