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July 1, 2012

5 Caffeine-Free Ways to Boost Your Energy.

Many of us rely on caffeine when our energy wanes.

Coffee and tea great in moderation, but sometimes it’s not it’s not the best option. I know I often hit that three p.m. wall of tired and it would be easy to grab a cup of yerba mate. Relying on caffeine to pick you up sets you up for interrupted sleep and higher levels of stress hormones like cortisol—much more than you bargained for when you ordered that tall Americano.

Instead:

1. Have a glass of water.

Often mid-day fatigue results from dehydration. Our bodies are 50 to 60 percent water. When we aren’t replenishing our fluids, the result is a sluggish, headachey feeling. When I feel that afternoon blah, my first plan of attack is a glass of water.

 

 

2. Eat an apple.

The malic acid in apples is a great natural energy boost that doesn’t result in a cascade of hormonal changes the way caffeine does. Some newer “natural” energy supplements use synthetic malic acid to help perk you up. As with most things, you’re better off going the whole food route.

 

3. Smell something minty.

The scent of peppermint is an instant energizer and mood booster. Peppermint is among the least expensive aromatherapy oils, but even doing something as simple as adding some mint leaves to your water or chewing some natural mint gum will have the same effect.

 

4. Go for a walk.

We think of resting when our energy feels low, but often being sedentary just adds to fatigue. Get up. Get moving. Get your blood flowing. It doesn’t have to be an hour long workout—even a five minute walk will perk you up. Bonus points for dance walking!

 

5. Laugh!

Laughing has a profound effect on your body chemistry. Taking a few minutes to talk to a friend or watch or read something funny will raise the level of endorphins in your body, move lymph fluids to boost your immune system and bring more oxygenated blood to your organs. I don’t think anything on the menu at Starbucks can do that.

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