Are you spending more & more time working? Do you find yourself reaching for more & more coffee to help boost your energy levels? Caffeine is a great pre-workout supplement. It is also a good way to boost your output for a specific period of time in your day… but you can also have too much of a good thing!
While Resting Intensely is a smart way to boost your health & increase your energy, when you are at work & rest is not an option, there are alternatives to reach for besides caffeine.
Seven ways to boost your energy without caffeine…
- Chew Gum:
According to a study from the UK, those who chewed gum for 15 minutes felt more alert. Study author Andy Smith, PhD explains that chewing gum: increases the heart rate, increases blood flow to the brain & stimulates the autonomic nervous system – all which can help increase feelings of alertness. Always look for a healthy option as most gum contains synthetic sweetener which could be detrimental to your health. Stevia is always the best option to sweeten your drinks, meals or gum.
- Stick to Whole Grain Foods:
White flour can give you a quick boost as it raises your blood sugar levels but then you will feel the crash as those levels drop. Whole grains are a great way to increase long-term energy.
The energy from these foods is released into your blood stream slower. Look for lower GI food options, your blood sugar will remain stable & you will notice the difference. Your ability to concentrate will also improve.
- Brighten Up Your Workspace:
A study from the Lighting Research Centre found that a blue light at your desk, switched on in the late afternoon can help increase feelings of calm alertness.
SAD – seasonal affective disorder – uses light to manage mood & mental focus. A similar principle applies here. Think of each 24-hour period as a full year – having 4 distinct seasons. As the autumn rolls in (late afternoon) apply a little more light to help keep you focused for a little longer. Remember, do not apply this technique into the evening (winter) as you will then affect the quality of your sleep & the preceding morning energy (spring) when you may mind you have less ‘spring in your step!’
- Listen to Music:
A study in London proved that singing solo increases energy & decreases tension nearly as much as a cardio workout! Similar to the light example above, your favorite music can also provide a boost for a period of time. Just listening will do the job – you don’t have to sing!
Again do not be listening to intense dance music or heavy metal late into the evening as it will negatively affect your sleep. Later in the day, try more relaxing tones like those of classical.
Even if you’re not into classical music try listening to it for a few minutes before sleep, see how it helps you chill out before bedtime.
- Massage Your Ears:
According to Dr. Teitelbaum, the ears contain ‘acupressure meridians’ that can get your energy flowing throughout your entire body. To do this, pinch the rim of each ear between thumb & forefinger & rub up & down for 10-30 seconds. This should give you a few minutes of improved alertness. The more intense the massage to your ear the more of a boost you will receive.
- Learn Something New:
John Caldwell, PhD, a fatigue management specialist & former NASA researcher explains that you can actually overcome a good bit of sleep pressure just by engaging your brain in learning something interesting.
Learning something new will stimulate dopamine production, your neurotransmitter of attention span & focus. Keep your brain fueled as well as your body.
The Bottom Line…
Once you are home, remember to rest as much & as long as possible, there are wise ways to do this, which encourage optimal health, but keep these other options in mind during any possible afternoon lull.
Too much caffeine will have the opposite affect of its potential benefits when your intake is out of balance. Look to take your caffeine on board early in the day & as a general rule of thumb 2 double shots (200ml) or 4 singles (200ml) spread out through your morning should be more than enough.
To Your Best Health,
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