Sensitive to coffee, caffeine or in the middle of a detox that doesn't have even green tea on the list of foods allowed? Don't fret! There are many natural ways to boost the body and mind energy, including taking a cold shower, eating specific foods like certain nuts and even certain exercises. Next time you hit snooze on that alarm clock in the morning or your eyes begin crossing as you are staring through the computer screen at 3 pm, take note of the following go-to remedies to boost alertness, energy, and mood.
Cold water not only shocks your body systems (in a good way), it enhances blood circulation, keeping you more alert. You can also try cold shower intervals, with short durations of cold water in between warmer water. Not only will your mind be jolted into clarity, your skin and pores will thank you as well! If you don’t feel like dunking your whole body for this wake up quick ritual, simply splash cold water on your face for a fast and easy refresher.
Most water out of the faucet and from water bottles lack the proper hydrogen and oxygen structure appropriate for true body re-hydration. Many are also tainted with artificial chemicals (through the bottling, packaging and transferring process) and are acidic (a perfect environment for disease). Drinking alkaline water and fresh, clean filtered water can give the body systems the perfect energy boost and take away most migraines and headaches caused by dehydration. Next time you feel lethargic, reach for a tall glass of room temperature living water. You will immediately notice the difference.
According to Fitness Magazine, a quick exertion of power and energy (though you may not feel up to it) will surely get the heart going (which means blood flowing, heart rate up, muscles contracting and metabolism boosted. Doing plyometric exercises (squat jumps, jumping jacks, jump lunges, pushups) will also keep that afterburn energy steady and elevated. Even a quick jog around the block or brisk walk will do. I love kettlebell exercises and just a few sets get my energy pumped and I feel strong and happy! Remember your motivating, upbeat music and headphones to get you in the mood!
Even if you are not an experienced yogi, doing a simple downward facing dog or a few sun salutations will surely get the mind and body energized. Do these moves with the inhale and exhale breaths with each move and you will see how no venti cup of joe can compete. Waking up the body with breath and blood circulation is simply one of the best ways to gain energy naturally without caffeine.
Cold apples have a great crispy crunch and lots of natural sweetness in its juices to stimulate your body’s alert sensors. It also has malic acid which delivers energy without energy drop (like coffee does). For a healthy and effective pre-workout snack, try half an organic apple (sliced) with a dollop of almond butter. Apples are rich in fiber and natural sugar (which will not spike your blood sugar and drop it like coffee or other caffeine-rich foods will). Other benefits of apples include lowering cancer risk, diabetes, alleviating constipation, and colon/liver health.
Processed sweets cause blood sugar to spike and plummet; making people feel tired and moody (most processed carbs will do this as well). Select sprouted, whole grains like sprouted Ezekiel bread, paleo bread, whole-wheat bread, quinoa and brown rice. The body absorbs whole grains more slowly, keeping the blood sugar and energy levels stable.
A hand full of healthy (non-peanut, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts) nuts, especially rich with vitamin E, protein and magnesium is a great way to gain some lasting energy. Magnesium is a mineral that plays a key role in converting sugar into energy. Being low on magnesium can drain your energy, says WebMD. Good sources of magnesium include whole grains, particularly bran cereals, and some fish, including halibut.
If you can plan it and afford to sleep in each morning, or earlier each night, do it! Your energy levels will positively correlate (as long as it is not a 13 hour hibernation which can backfire and make you feel even more tired, depending on your body constitution). Sleep takes care of stress. In fact, it absolves all the noise that produces stress in the brain. The more stress people carry around them, the wider their midsection, which in turn may result in lower energy and feelings of being weathered.
Wild caught fatty fish, such as salmon, is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which may protect against depression and be good for heart health. Besides fish, sources of omega-3 and 6 include nuts and leafy, dark green vegetables, krill, extra virgin olive oil (unheated and cold pressed), hemp seeds, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and avocados.
Dark leafy greens and dark green vegetables such as asparagus are best eaten raw because they are a rich source of folate, a powerful anti-depression and energy boosting nutrient. Other great sources are spinach, romaine lettuce, legumes, nuts, and ripe on the tree citrus fruits. Celery is a great one to chew on too.