While many people boost energy with caffeine every morning via a cup of coffee, this is not necessarily the best choice to start your day. Why? Caffeine – in large amounts, and when used over time – can have adverse effects on your health.
It is not just coffee that is the culprit either. Even healthier drinks – like green tea – contain trace amounts of caffeine that could lead to health problems if you rely on them too much for a daily energy boost.
Boost Energy With Caffeine? Here’s The Downside
In the short term, one too many coffees can make you feel jittery and may trigger headaches and anxiety. In the long run, caffeine may affect your nervous system, blood pressure, and even your reproductive health. If you’re leaning too much on caffeine to stay alert, it’s better to find alternative options that are healthier and more sustainable.
Many ways to boost your energy have other health benefits as well such as reducing your blood pressure, decreasing your risk for cardiovascular diseases, and lowering your heart rate. In fact, as you try to adapt to a caffeine-free lifestyle, you may reap the added benefits of getting healthier overall and you will feel so much calmer and less scattered.
Control Your Stress Levels
Stress can have many insidious effects on all aspects of your health. Not only can stress deplete energy and adrenal health, it can raise your blood pressure, inhibit sleep, and lead to long-term emotional problems like depression and anxiety. If you are feeling stressed out already, don’t try to boost energy with caffeine. This is likely to increase levels of stress and anxiety.
Try to find some healthy stress reduction techniques as well. Deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and tai chi can all help you retrain your brain to remain calm during potentially stressful situations. Keeping a journal where you write down bad feelings can help you get them out of your system.
If you are struggling to manage stress on your own, you may benefit from talking to a therapist. Underlying mental health issues – like generalized anxiety disorder and depression – can often contribute to unmanageable feelings of stress. Speak with your Naturopath, NLP Practitioner or Hypnotherapist to detox your body and mind.
Drink More Water
Staying hydrated is important for your health overall, including your overall energy levels. In fact, if you’re not drinking enough water, you may mistake your dehydration for sleepiness or even hunger. Dehydration is in fact the number one cause of daytime fatigue. Making sure you drink water throughout the day can increase your energy level without any caffeine necessary and of course adequate sleep.
Instead of starting out your morning with a cup of coffee, have a glass of water or lemon and warm water instead. Carry a water bottle with you throughout the day and take sips periodically – even when you’re not feeling thirsty.
Many people avoid water because it does not have much of a taste, which can make opting for sugary juices, sodas, or sports drinks more appealing. One way to combat this is either trying flavored mineral waters or adding sliced cucumbers, lemon, or fruit to purified water to add a bit of flavour. The more you enjoy drinking water, the more likely you are to do it.
Work On Your Sleep Hygiene
An estimated 20 to 30% of the population may not get enough sleep. Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep per night. However, even if you’re technically getting your hours in, poor quality sleep will still leave you feeling sluggish. Take some steps to adopt good sleep hygiene to ensure you’re actually getting the rest you need.
First, try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every night – including weekends. Put away any electronics at least half an hour before bedtime, as the light they give off can be stimulating and cause poor sleep. Try to adopt some kind of routine you do every night before bed, like reading a book or taking a bath or a shower. Your body will learn to associate this activity with sleep, and you’ll naturally start to feel tired.
If you’re dealing with anxiety, meditating before bed can help you fall into a deeper, more substantial sleep. There are many guided routines you can find online that will help you drift off easier and stay asleep longer.
While exercising seems like a surefire way to tire yourself out, in the long run getting regular exercise will actually help with your overall energy levels. Even something as short as 20 minutes of walking a day will leave you feeling more energetic throughout the day. Exercise has other benefits – like improved cardiovascular health and potential weight loss – that can all increase energy levels as well.
Make sure to start slow if you are new to exercising. Start with light activities for short periods of time and gradually work your way up. It is always a good idea to talk to a doctor before starting a new workout routine.
Avoid Tobacco And Alcohol
Both tobacco and alcohol can drain your energy and have myriad other negative effects on your brain and body. It is best to avoid smoking altogether and drink alcohol only in moderation. This will not just boost your overall energy – it will lead to a longer, healthier life overall.
Toxins like these interrupt your mitochondria function, the powerhouse of every one of your trillions of cells that produce energy in the form of ATP. Your liver can also be harmed by both tabacco and alcohol, which will also deplete your energy as your liver is responsible for the metabolism of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
If you do drink, do so in moderation. Stick to only one to two drinks at a time and avoid drinking every single day. If you do smoke, take steps to quit. Quitting tobacco can be difficult, so it is recommended you seek help from a doctor or join a smoking cessation program in your area.
Quitting any substance takes willpower, so make sure to care for yourself throughout the process. As many rely on tobacco and alcohol to relieve stress or socialise, work on finding drug and alcohol-free ways to have fun. Try joining a yoga studio, walking group, gym, AA meetings, book club or taking up a new hobby, for example. Perhaps you may need to see an addiction specialist.
Eat Healthy Snacks Throughout The Day
Hunger can lead to fatigue, but so can a big meal. Rather than relying on a carb dense midday meal, try to snack lightly throughout the day on fruits and vegetables – especially leafy greens and protein salads, good fats like avocadoes and grilled atlantic salmon from the fish shop.
Even sashimi is a good option with edamame. This will keep you energetic and alert, so much so you may not miss your regular afternoon coffee or tea at all.
Nuts and nut butters like peanut butter are a good midday snack as they’re high in protein. This can keep you full longer, preventing overeating which can lead to fatigue. However, make sure to control portion size. Good fats are good though especially when you are following a low carb, keto diet.
The Bottom Line
If you routinely boost energy with caffeine, this can lead to both short and long-term health complications. There are many alternatives to caffeine to boost your energy and that come with the added bonus of bettering your overall health.
While a cup of coffee now and again is unlikely to have an adverse effect on your health, it is better to find more sustainable options to stay alert through the day. Also try dandelion coffee as it’s so beneficial for your liver. Small lifestyle decisions and tweaks can translate to a big difference on how you feel.
Your Naturopath and Coach,