It’s easy (and let’s be honest, delicious) to resort to an iced cold brew to beat your daily 3 p.m. slump, particularly as temps are effortlessly hitting 85 degrees daily this summer. While caffeine can keep you awake, too much of it can cause you to feel jittery and raise your blood pressure. Plus, if you’re not one to drink your coffee black, adding sugar and flavored sweeteners to each cup means you’re also consuming empty calories your body doesn’t need.
Skip the sugar crash and save a few bucks by giving yourself an organic jolt of energy. These science-backed natural ways to boost energy can keep you trucking through your day without having to make a coffee run.
The number-one key to getting some more pep in your step isn’t found at the bottom of your favorite coffee mug, it’s in your pantry. A study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition found that those who ate a high-fiber, whole-grain breakfast were more alert and stayed energized for longer compared to a high-fat meal.
Start your morning with a bowl of oatmeal or a whole grain wrap with scrambled eggs and spinach to give yourself an energy boost that will sustain you well into the day. You’ll also feel fuller for longer, leaving you less likely to nosh on sugar or sodium-laden snacks that are often energy-zappers.
Ever take a walk around the block and instantly feel better? It’s no coincidence; the sun has some big-time benefits (when enjoyed with SPF of course). Exposure to natural sunlight can boost your energy and improve your mood. Make a point to take a break outside during the day and refill your energy reserves.
And about that walk: research from the University of Georgia discovered that sedentary people who felt fatigued increased energy levels by 20% by sticking to regular low-impact exercise. If you’ve been sitting for more than an hour, get up and take a brief stroll to stay sharp.
Instead of pouring that second cup of coffee to stop feeling sluggish, you may just need a glass of water. Being dehydrated can be a real drag – literally. Research from the University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Laboratory found that mild dehydration (approximately 1.5% loss in normal water volume in the body) can alter a person’s mood and energy levels. The effects of dehydration were the same when comparing a person who walked for 40 minutes on a treadmill to one sitting, meaning that you can get dehydrated even when you’re not actively exercising or sweating. Remind yourself to steadily sip on water throughout the day to avoid an energy dip. (Read this to see exactly how much water you should aim to drink a day.)
About the author
Colleen Travers is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in health, nutrition, diet, fitness, and wellness trends for various publications and brands. Her work has appeared in Reader's Digest, SHAPE, Fit Pregnancy, Food Network, and more.