That infamous afternoon slump gets the best of all of us. Unfortunately, caffeine has become our go-to pick-me-up throughout the day—and it really shouldn’t be. Too much caffeine can have drastic side effects and can sometimes cause fatigue or dizziness.
There are plenty of natural ways to increase your energy without caffeine. So instead of breaking your bank and hitting up the Green Mermaid 3 or four times a day, try these tips and tricks instead.
If you haven’t gotten on the essential oils train by now, maybe you should. The smell of Rosemary has been scientifically proven to increase alertness and productivity levels during the day. Investing in a desk-sized essential oils diffuser will provide you with a constant, steady supply of aroma. Also, if you work near a window, you may consider getting a plant for your desk. Plants like lavender, lemon verbena, and rosemary are natural ways to expose yourself to some rejuvenating aroma throughout the day to boost energy levels without caffeine.
The Great Outdoors
Taking a step outside and getting a dose of fresh air, vitamin D and the negative ions emitted from the soil around you can boost your energy. If you work from home, taking a break to work in a garden has numerous health benefits, and can re-engage your mind. You can approach work after your break with renewed concentration.
Light ‘Em Up!
Research suggests that waking up to the sunrise each morning increases your energy throughout the day. Slow exposure to golden light while you wake up is the most natural, rejuvenating alarm clock there is—so leaving your blinds open might just reform your work day!
In addition, exposure to blue light throughout your day keeps you alert. Replacing your desk lamp light bulb with a blue light may help you get through that late afternoon slump.
Turn The Electronics Off
In addition to making it hard to get to sleep, there is no science to prove that a game of Candy Crush wakes you up during the day. In fact, by surfing social media and playing games throughout the day, we are not selective with our attention. This makes it harder to concentrate on the things we need to!
Instead, try re-engaging your brain with a “fun fact” each day. Research suggests that learning something new mid-day refocuses your attention and wakes you back up. Check out these cool intellectually stimulating websites for inspiration.
Healthy Food In Healthy Amounts
You may have heard that loading up on carbs makes you prone to crashes throughout the day. This is true and not true. White, highly process carbs give you a rush but then allow your blood sugar to drop suddenly. Whole grains do the exact opposite, with sustained energy throughout the day!
Protein is another way to increase your energy without caffeine. Loading up in the morning with a balanced breakfast boosts your metabolism and keeps you alert throughout the day. However, be warned—eating a heavy lunch, even one with whole grains and lean protein, causes more blood to go to your digestive system and less to your brain, causing light-headedness and fatigue.
There’s a reason you speed up when you’re listening to blood-pumping music in the car. An upbeat song engages our brain and wakes us up, and the process is intensified when you sing along! If you can afford to, turn on your favorite song and belt out a chorus or two—you’ll feel brand new again afterward.
Drink More Water
According to a study conducted by the University of Connecticut, a loss of even 1.5% in your normal water volume can result in fatigue, rapid mood changes, and the inability to concentrate.
Aside from being extremely healthy for you and being necessary for everyday bodily function, water can keep you alert and energized throughout the day. Keep a water bottle by your desk, or take regular water fountain breaks throughout the day!
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