5 Coffee Alternatives for a Midday Energy Boost
There’s a reason 150 million Americans drink coffee everyday – it improves our focus and provides a quick surge of energy. Sometimes going through the day without coffee or a caffeinated beverage can seem impossible, usually resulting in loss of productivity. While it may be exactly what we need to feel better, overindulgence of this caffeinated beverage can have some downsides. It’s been shown to raise blood pressure, cost you extra money, suppress your appetite and when you build a tolerance, it loses its effectiveness.
So instead of having to rely on coffee, why not try some alternatives that may still give you the boost of energy you need.
Tea is similar to coffee and may be the best option when trying to break the habit. Tea has caffeine, but much less than the amount of caffeine, so you get a slight energy boost without the jitters. Also, the decreased caffeine content means reduced risk of hypertension! Tea also contains the amino acid L-theanine which when combined with caffeine stimulates the brain and increases mental focus. Finally, tea is full of antioxidants which can help fight off against many chronic diseases, including cancer! With all of these benefits and such a variety of flavors, no wonder it’s the most commonly-used drink on Earth!
A Healthy Snack
Did you know that eating the right foods, will also boost your energy? A candy bar can give you a quick rush of energy but once that sugar gets broken down, you’ll crash. So a better snack idea would be something high in protein, healthy fats, or complex carbs. Some good snack ideas include Greek yogurt with a handful of nuts, hard boiled eggs, an apple with peanut butter, or a light salad or bowl of raw veggies. The nutrients you get from these foods will definitely provide you a steady amount of energy and keep your hunger controlled throughout the day.
Exercise is great for the body and the mind. When you move your body, you stimulate your muscles and increase blood flow and oxygen to the brain. Remember, exercise doesn’t have to take an hour or be intense every single time, and you can do a quick workout and stretches right at your desk in under 10 minutes- you might get a few stares, but soon the entire office will be doing it too!
Take a Break
Yes– taking a break will give you some more energy. Think about how long you spend at your desk typing away, reading emails, making calls, and even eating lunch! While common work culture makes it seem absolutely normal to work through breaks, it’s really important to take a few minutes each day away from your desk. To recharge, you need a real break, that involves you to completely stop doing all types of work! During your break try to go outside and get some fresh air, meditate or do absolutely nothing! If you can relax for a full half-hour, you’ll come back to work as focused as you would’ve if you had a shot of espresso!
Remember getting in trouble for chewing gum in elementary school? Too bad our teachers never got to see the research linking gum chewing with mental alertness and mood enhancement. The process of chewing increases the circulation of oxygen to the brain, which increases your attention span and reaction time! Gum chewing also tricks into thinking it’s eating, relieving some stress. So just from a piece of this once-forbidden chew you’ll be less stressed, more focused, and essentially feel energized!
All in all, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a cup of coffee here and there. But the next time you’re feeling a little drained and need a quick pick-me-up, try one of these alternatives. You might even find that they work even better than your coffee!