Wednesday, 5 December 2018

10 Ways to Boost Your Energy Faster Than Caffeine

Hate waiting for that cup of coffee (or tea) to kick in each morning? You don’t have to. There are many other methods to boost your energy, often faster than the time it takes for caffeine to start working in your body. Here are 10 ways to perk up without caffeine.


Exposure to natural light has numerous health benefits. It can boost your vitamin D, improve your mood and even enhance alertness and performance. And research has shown that light exposure in the morning not only perks you up faster, but it can improve your sleep quality by regulating your body clock. That, in turn, can lead to ample energy throughout the day.


Have you ever cut into an orange and felt suddenly invigorated by its citrus scent? Certain smells can wake us up much faster than the time it takes for caffeine to hit the bloodstream. According to the National Sleep Foundation, smelling citruses can both be energizing and make you feel happy and calm. Peppermint can make you more alert and focused. Rosemary can help your work performance. And eucalyptus can enhance your mental clarity and mood. 


Think of how relaxed you feel cocooned in your warm, cozy bed — and then how it shocks your system when you throw off the covers to face the cool morning air. A little chill — such as a cold shower or even just splashing cold water on your face — is a quick and simple way to get your blood pumping. “The cold water sends many electrical impulses to your brain,” according to Healthline. “They jolt your system to increase alertness, clarity, and energy levels.” Plus, a cold shower also can increase endorphins and boost your metabolism and circulation — all positives for your energy.


Music can have a profound effect on your mood. It can bring you to tears, lull you to sleep and improve your focus. Plus, ample research has shown music’s positive influence on energy. One study from 2012 found cyclists who listened to music used 7 percent less oxygen than those who cycled without music. Upbeat music also can help an athlete maintain pace and push through fatigue. And it even can serve as a pick-me-up at workas you toil through emails and spreadsheets.


Laughter really is excellent medicine. According to Mayo Clinic, a laugh increases your oxygen levels, stimulates your heart and lungs, boosts endorphins and relieves stress. It temporarily increases your heart rate and blood pressure — much faster than caffeine can — and leaves you with a tension release rather than a crash. And all of this can be accomplished with a quick joke or funny story.


Fatigue often is an indicator of dehydration. In fact, if you’re mildly dehydrated, sometimes you might even feel sluggish without experiencing any thirst. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution here: Hydrate. If you’re low on energy, reach for a glass of water before anything caffeinated. That might be all your body needs to get moving again. And make sure you keep drinking (or eating hydrating foods) throughout the day to stave off any hydration-related energy dips.


If you feel yourself starting to fade during the day, try popping in a piece of gum. Research has shown chewing gum can improve both your concentration and memory on tasks. One study found participants who chewed gum and had to complete a series of questions showed quicker reaction times and more accurate results. And this was especially apparent toward the end of the task, when the group that wasn’t chewing gum began to show more fatigue.


Stress from always being “plugged in” to the world can sap your energy, sometimes without you even realizing what’s happening. Maybe you’re a news junkie bombarded with too many depressing stories. Or you’re a workaholic always checking emails and calendars. Allow yourself some time to unplug before your body becomes too drained. Even just taking short breaks or minor items off your to-do list can have a major rejuvenating effect.


Exercise is one of the best ways to boost energy. And it doesn’t take much to get you out of a slump. Even a short walk around the block can be enough to wake up your body. “Exercising causes your body to release epinephrine and norepinephrine, stress hormones that in modest amounts can make you feel energized,” according to Harvard Medical School. Plus, it boosts circulation and even improves your sleep quality. And right around the time you’d be experiencing a caffeine crash, the endorphins you get from exercise will still have you in good spirits.


Just a few minutes of meditation might be able to pull you out of an energy slump. According to Cleveland Clinic, “mindfulness-based techniques” can lower stress levels, increase energy and improve sleep. Plus, a study from the University of Waterloo found 25 minutes of yoga or meditation per day significantly improved brain function. So if you tend to experience mental fog, meditation might be a good option to try over caffeine.

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