Your eyes are fluttering. Your body feels heavy. Your mind is wandering. Everyone’s been there: 3 p.m. rolls around and it’s almost impossible to concentrate. When the post-lunch food coma sets in, it’s tempting to reach for that second — or third — cup of coffee. But it’s a temptation you need to resist.
Drinking caffeinated beverages late in the day can wreak havoc on your sleep schedule, cause jitters and, depending on your intake, damage your health. Fortunately, natural caffeine alternatives are available to provide energy without putting your sleep and performance at risk.
Instead of caffeine-rich coffee or energy drinks, opt for a refreshing cup of ginseng tea. Studies show that ginseng helps improve focus and mental clarity. Ginseng consumption also avoids the pesky side effects of coffee, like nausea, diarrhea, nervousness, irritability, and dizziness. If tea’s not your thing, try ingesting ginseng root in liquid extract, capsule, or tincture form.
High Energy Foods
Your diet will directly affect how alert you feel. High energy foods like apples, edamame, pumpkin seeds, and trail mix with nuts and dried fruits offer the protein, healthy fats, and fiber you need to be your best self.
Scents have a powerful effect on your brain, directly influencing your mood and emotions. Diffusing lemon, jasmine, rosemary, pine, and peppermint oils into the air will boost your energy level and promote concentration. Introducing a scented candle to your workspace can also do the trick.
Music has been scientifically-proven to change energy and attitude. If you need an afternoon lift, load your playlist with upbeat tracks for a little pick-me-up.
If you don’t like the idea of giving up your afternoon hot drink, switch your coffee for an herbal tea. Ginger, licorice, and rosehip are all revitalizing herbs that come in tea form.
Just 10 minutes of exercise is enough to get your blood pumping and increase oxygen flow to your brain and muscles. Jumping jacks, squats, lunges, and stretches will quickly trigger the body. If you don’t want to break a sweat at work, walk up and down the stairs a few times, or take for a brisk jaunt around the neighborhood. The fresh air will help too.
Use the power of herbs to get the pick-me-up you need. Energy-boosting tinctures utilize the effects of herbs like ginseng, kava, or guarana to stimulate and refresh your body. The tinctures come in a portable bottle and are easy to use — just add a couple of drops to a glass of water and feel re-energized.
If you’re feeling lethargic, you might just need a tall glass of water. The body depends on water for a variety of functions, and most people don’t consume enough. Add a slice of lemon to keep things flavorful and give your body a boost of Vitamin C. Keep a water bottle by your side to fight dehydration and stay energized.
While these caffeine alternatives can all help you stay awake and feel refreshed, the best way to fight fatigue is to make sure you’re getting enough sleep at night. With a good night’s sleep, you’re energized, focused, and ready to tackle the day ahead.