If you’re trying to cut down on caffeine or you accidentally run out of K-cups, there are other ways to wake up fast in the morning. Rub your eyes and take a look at these tips for natural energizers.
Breakfast Ideas for Waking Up without Caffeine
1. Drink water. Your body needs water to function efficiently, so a big glass in the morning will prime your metabolism and help you digest food. Rehydrate with 16 ounces of water served up at room temperature or colder if you prefer.
2. Peel an orange.Citrus smells have a stimulating effect, so indulge in oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines. Whole fruits have an advantage over juice in giving you more fiber.
3. Add mint. Mint is another invigorating choice. Brew a cup of mint tea, sprinkle mint on your eggs, or pop a breath mint on your way to the office.
4. Reach for protein. When you’re planning your breakfast menu, opt for dishes high in protein to give you energy. Some delicious choices are eggs, Greek yogurt, and bean burritos.
5. Focus on complex carbohydrates. Stabilize your blood sugar by eating whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Starting the day with fruits and vegetables will also help you to reach the recommended 7 to 9 servings.
6. Prepare the night before. What if you’d like a hearty meal, but you know you’ll be in a rush, Arrange the ingredients before you go to bed. Whip up a smoothie that’s ready for the blender or a casserole you can pop in the microwave.
Other Lifestyle Ideas for Waking Up without Caffeine
1. Let in the light. Exposure to light signals your brain that it’s time to stop sleeping. Turn on your bedroom lights as soon as your alarm clock goes off. Open a window or go outdoors for at least a few minutes.
2. Skip the snooze button. Those extra few minutes of slumber are actually sabotaging your efforts. You wind up feeling more groggy than if you jumped out of bed. Put the alarm clock out of reach if you need help resisting temptation.
3. Take a cool shower. Count on cold water for an instant jolt. If a freezing shower sounds unpleasant, cool water will do. You can also splash cold water on your wrists and face.
4. Work out. Exercise is a great pick-me-up, especially in the early hours. Join a 24 hour gym where you can visit at dawn, and avoid long lines for the rowing machine. Sign up for a tai chi class in your local park.
5. Have a laugh. You can’t feel drowsy when you’re whooping it up. Spend a few minutes playing with your children or pets. Listen to a funny program during your commute.
6. Make some small talk. Engaging in conversation will challenge your brain to start thinking clearly. Share interesting news stories or daily plans with your family at the breakfast table. Greet your neighbors and chat with retail workers while you run errands before work.
7. Go to bed on time. Giving your body adequate rest is the ideal wake-up strategy. Turn off the TV and computers so you’ll have a full night’s sleep.
Moderate amounts of caffeine are considered safe for most adults, but you don’t have to depend on coffee to help you rise and shine. Even when there’s no Starbucks in sight, there are plenty of options to help you start your day bright and alert.
Besides reducing your ability to perform and increasing your risk of making mistakes (sometimes fatal ones), sleep deprivation has been blamed for issues including things such as memory loss and cognitive impairment, depression, relationship stress, various kinds of injuries and generally lower quality of life.
And not only can a lack of sleep affect you mentally and personally, but it can affect you physically too. For example, sleep deprivation has been known to cause physical ailments and symptoms such as high blood pressure and other cardiovascular symptoms, stroke, obesity and more.
While we all know that getting enough sleep is an important component of our mental and physical health, sometimes it’s easier said than done. Everything feels harder when you’re sluggish and tired.
Obviously, the most important thing you can do for yourself in this situation is to just simply get more sleep. But I’m not here to preach at you. You know what you need to do to stay healthy.
What I am here to do is to help you get through today, this moment, right now.
So, in that spirit, I offer the following five ways to boost your energy fast so that you can get done what you need to get done. And after you do, I hope you’ll go take a nap.
Eat Something Good
Eat energy-boosting foods. Skip the candy bars and sweets. As it turns out, Snickers doesn’t really satisfy you. In fact, according to Christine Gerbstadt, MD, MPH, RD, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, you should eat a healthy snack that has both protein and complex carbs in it.
Gerbstadt says that snacks like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on whole-grain bread or whole wheat crackers and low-fat cheese are ideal energy-boosters.
“That combination of protein and a complex carbohydrate (digested more slowly than simple carbs) increases your blood glucose in a sustained way,” she says. “It boosts energy longer than if you eat gumdrops, for instance.”
Give Yourself a Little Pressure
And I don’t mean that you should beat yourself up. Next time you’re pooped and pushing through the day on autopilot, try a little self-massage.
“Massage stimulates your nerve endings, which increases blood flow and gets your circulation pumping,” says Maureen Moon, past president of the American Massage Therapy Association in an interview with Parents Magazine.
Moon recommends the following quick pick-me-up massages.
“Using your fingertips, rub your scalp or temples in a gentle, circular motion for two minutes.”
“Vigorously rub each earlobe between your thumb and forefinger for one minute.”
“Place your forefingers behind your ears (where the base of your skull meets the top of your neck), press for ten seconds, release, and repeat.”
Get a Move On
It may sound counter-intuitive, but try getting up and moving your body. You don’t have to go into full-blown workout mode, but try doing five to ten minutes’ worth of exercise. This can be anything from a walk or jog around the block to doing a couple of laps in the pool to dancing around your living room to a good beat. Just move.
“A lot of times when people are fatigued, the last thing they want to do is exercise,” says researcher Patrick O’Connor, PhD, in a news release. “But if you’re physically inactive and fatigued, being just a bit more active will help.”
Drink Some Water
One reason many people feel tired is that they’re actually dehydrated. Studies show that most people don’t drink enough water throughout the day. Next time you’re tired, try drinking a glass of water, and try to stay hydrated throughout the day to maintain your energy levels.
“It’s generally not a good idea to use thirst alone as a guide for when to drink,” says a Mayo clinic expert. “By the time you become thirsty, you may already be slightly dehydrated.”
Citrus is Your Friend
Vitamin C is known to help increase both energy and nutrient absorption–and the scent of citrus is proven to increase alertness and energy levels. So eating citrus fruit such as oranges, clementines (my favorite!) or grapefruit can significantly improve your energy levels in a hurry.
“Study after study shows the correlation between citric acid deficiency and chronic fatigue,” says Zen Habits blogger Leo Babauta.
A tip from me to you: have a piece of cheese or lean turkey with your orange to help balance the natural sugar.