How to have an Energetic Day without Stimulants

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How often do you find yourself feeling completely unplugged so you grab an energy drink or have several cups of coffee just to get through the day?

That is definitely not a healthy habit to get into. Drinking even just one energy drink per day can boost your blood pressure as well as interfere with the rhythm of your heart; this according to a 2013 American Heart Association meeting in New Orleans.

But you need something to help get you through your crazy, active day, right? Well, there are things you can do to naturally boost your energy levels. These things work because they will give your body what it needs to function at top performance all day long.

This doesn’t mean you need to give up your morning cuppa Joe. Simply check out our list of the top 10 secret ways you can make it through your day without breaking out a six pack of energy drinks.


1. Drop It

The room temperature, we mean! Rooms that are too warm can make you feel lethargic. Keeping the room cool not only forces your body to burn more calories but it also makes it pump more blood to stay warm. This means you will feel like being more active as well as having more energy. This is not an internet rumor, this is based in fact. Multiple studies have shown that workers are dramatically more productive when the temperature inside offices  were lowered to about 76 or lower in the summer and 72 or lower in the winter.


2. Stay Hydrated

You probably learned in high school that your body and brain are mostly made up of water. Allowing yourself to get dehydrated (see reasons for dehydration) means that everything slows down, this includes your mind. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and this will keep your mind on track in a natural, healthy way.


3. Eat a good breakfast

When you are pressed for time it’s easy to just rush out the door, or call a cup of coffee and a donut “breakfast” but when you eat a well-rounded meal at the start of your day it’s a sign to your body telling it that it’s time to get up and start the day’s work. Breakfast will ensure that your body and brain has all the nutrients that it needs to keep going all morning long and avoid that 11AM crash.


4. Drink More Water

Yes, we mentioned staying hydrated but it can’t be emphasized enough. Simply drinking a glass of water in the morning won’t be enough. Be sure to drink a minimum of 6 glasses of water during a typical workday. If water isn’t your thing, try flavored herbal teas or add a squeeze of fresh fruit to a glass of water, to give it some zing.


5. Have a little dark chocolate

Sometimes, when you feel tired it’s because your body is iron deficient. Since iron moves oxygen through the body, it’s extremely important that your body gets its iron. Have an ounce of dark chocolate if you are feeling tired. This is a much better choice than an energy drink. Find out other health benefits of chocolate.

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6. Sleep Enough

5 or 6 hours surely won’t cut it. Sometimes even 8 hours is not enough for some people.  Multiple studies show that in the absence of cues on when to sleep (such as clocks or sunlight) most people sleep more than 8 hours. A recent study in the New York Times shows that a more average time for people to sleep is closer to 9 hours than 8. So be sure you are getting enough rest. If you are trying to squeeze in so many things that you don’t have at least 8 hours, then you need to reevaluate your days and your priorities.


7. Sleep Correctly

Sometimes it’s not so much the hours, as the quality of your sleep. This explains why 7 hours of quality sleep beats the heck out of 9 hours of tossing and turning. Don’t forget that your body keeps a kind of “sleep contract”.  For example, if you sleep only 7 hours during the week, Monday through Friday, then come the weekend, you need to make up for those 5 lost hours. If you don’t, then come the following Monday you are going to feel like, well, crap. Have you ever had a day, or even a weekend, when you thought you might be coming down sick so you spend an entire day, probably 20 hours, or the entire weekend, in bed sleeping? Once you wake up you feel fine and you pride yourself on “shaking off that bug”. More than likely, however, it’s that you were simply catching up on the contract your body has for its sleep requirements. Read more about better sleeping positions.


8. Nap

Western societies still have to catch up to the fact that napping isn’t shirking your work; it’s actually a productivity tool! Study after study has shown that when workers take a 20-30 minute nap, they are more productive, as well as energetic. Don’t sleep past that 30 minute mark, however, or it might keep you up later at night.


9. Get a little exercise

When you feel yourself sliding down that energy slope and about to hit bottom, get a little exercise. Take a quick walk, do a couple dozen jumping jacks, or even run in place if you can’t leave the office, but get moving! A short but vigorous burst of exercise is a super easy way to revive your senses as the blood begins pumping harder and it brings fresh oxygen to your brain.


10. Go to the light!

You don’t have to be afraid of the light. Even if it’s artificial light, it tells your body that it’s daytime and it needs to be ready to function. Sitting in a darkened room tells your body it’s time to shut down for some sleep. So keep it bright so you can keep functioning!

Now everyone’s body is different. Some of these tips will work for some people but not necessarily for others. You might be one of those lucky people who truly do need only 7 hours of sleep, or perhaps you never did like coffee to begin with. But you will never know until you try some of these tips whether some of them will work for you or not.