Do you feel like coffee is constantly on your mind? It’s often the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning. What coffee shop will I visit today, and what creative way will the barista spell my name? (I once saw “Meri-death” which definitely takes the prize.) Once I get my caffeine fix for the day, start thinking about when craving my second cup. According to research, it seems that I’m not alone in this! Everyday, Americans guzzle down 450 million cups of coffee–or about 150 billion annually. In fact, according to one study, coffee is the most consumed antioxidant in the Standard American Diet (SAD). How ironic that something SAD could be good for you!
I would love to become one of those freakishly chipper morning people that always has a smile and whistles a tune as they walk into work. But in order to even come close to that, I need coffee…and lots of it. It’s kind of depressing how much I need caffeine just function like a normal person during the day. However, there are other options besides coffee, Diet Coke, or straight up injecting caffeine into your veins. It may take a little while for you to want to jump out of bed and start singing “Oh What a Beautiful Morning,” but anything is possible. Here are some things you can try.
1. Practice yoga.
The sun salutation sequence is a go-to for many yogis starting their day for good reason; it give you the benefits of yoga without using up too much energy. In addition, regular yoga practice can result in better work performance.”Yoga helps with developing mental focus which then creates clarity and productivity as well boost efficiency,” Maren Showkeir, co-author of Yoga Wisdom at Work Finding Sanity off the Mat and on the Job told Levo. Get more tips from her by following this link.
2. Pump up the jams.
Start your day by leaping out of bed and turning on some morning music. According to scientists, listening to tunes can increase endurance and better your mood. Just be certain to select peppy, upbeat songs.
3. Drink more water.
Although it may not sound as appealing, water is essential to help you stay awake and energized throughout the day. According to Sara Ryba, a nutritionist in Scarsdale, New York, “Hydrating first thing increases the chances that you’ll continue throughout the day and prevents dehydration, which causes fatigue.”
4. Have a cup of ginger root tea.
By increasing our metabolism, circulation and overall easing digestion, ginger makes us more alert.
5. Wear red.
Did you know that colors can affect your mood? Red, for example, is known to raise energy levels. “Red lipstick is a source of strength,” says Poppy King, creator of Lipstick Queen. “You put it on and suddenly you feel more capable than you did without it.” According to Andrew Elliot, a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, red helps enhance physical reactions because it’s seen as a warning sign by our brain.
Start your day off right by filling it with laughter. Watch a hilarious video when you first wake up, or tell yourself a joke that always makes you laugh. I like to have a comedy playing in the background while I get ready for my day, and currently I’m really enjoying Boy Meets World.
7. Take a cold shower.
Though it may not sound appealing, this method is guaranteed to help you wake up in the morning. If ancient Romans did it, surely you can too? If a cold shower is too much for you, start by splashing some water on your face.
8. Eat kiwi.
If you’re looking for a nutrient-rich fruit, kiwis are a great option! According to Dr. Oz, just one kiwi has 2.5 grams of fiber—enough to keep you full and prevent those pesky energy crashes when you start feeling hungry. Kiwis’ simple sugars will also give you an energizing boost when needed.
9. Stay in the light.
Just like Carol Anne was told in Poltergeist, you should stay away from the light… when you go to sleep. But as soon as you wake up, head straight for those windows and let that sun shine on in! Sun exposure helps the body produce vitamin D, which is important for good health. It also boosts serotonin levels, which can improve mood and help you sleep better.
10. Go on a run.
It’s always been difficult for me to find the motivation for morning exercise, but I know that it really pays off. You feel so much more energized throughout the day, and you’re alert and focused after a run. This improved productivity is definitely worth fighting through the grogginess of early mornings. Plus, once you get your workout done in the morning, you don’t have to worry about finding time later in the day!
What non-caffeine activities help increase your energy in the morning? Tell us in the comments!
Ask Levo co-founder Caroline Ghosn about giving up caffeine!