You wake up in the morning, grab your cup of java and by the time 3 o’clock hits around, you’re ready for another $5.00 sugar filled raspberry mocha, hold the whip please. You slam it like a tequila shot and gain maybe an hour of energy before you start to feel yourself crashing again. You consider reaching for the hard stuff. After all, an energy drink is only a vending machine away.
As if that’s not bad enough, you’re feeling edgy, stressed and frustrated throughout the day. You may find yourself reaching for a handful of chocolate just to calm your nerves, only to feel guilty hours later for using up the rest of your Weight Watchers points.
Here are some cheap, guilt free natural energy boosters that really work.
Laugh – It’s probably best that you excuse yourself from the office before you break out into a full belly laugh in front of your co-workers. After all, we don’t want them to think that you bat crap crazy. However studies have shown that laughter may very well be the best medicine for your mood, your heart, your immune system and your energy levels. Researchers aren’t entirely sure as to why laughter exhibits a healthy, physical effect on your body but there are a few theories.
It has been shown that laughter lowers the level of the stress hormone cortisol while releasing cells in the blood that fight off free radicals. It’s also believed (but as of yet, hasn’t been proven) that laughter also releases endorphins, which is the chemical that makes you feel good when you eat chocolate, receive a hug or engage in the horizontal polka with a lover.
Other physical effects of laughter include increased breathing, more oxygen use and a higher heart rate, which in turn, gives you that much needed natural energy boost.
So, don’t feel guilty about going home and laughing your butt off to an old school Jim Carry movie (Ace Venture, anyone?) It may just be what the doctor ordered.
Fruit – Ditch the coffee and go for some orange juice or fruit instead. It may take a while to wean yourself off of the caffeine, but once you do, your body will thank you for it. After all, you’ll be consuming vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which are proven to stable your mood, enhance your immune system and yes, give you an extra boost of energy with healthy sugars. Yes, that’s right, I said healthy sugars.
Typically, fruit lovers don’t experience the same energy crash that sugar loving patrons do. Why? Because the sugar in fruit is natural and your body processes it differently. Also, most fruits are high in fiber which helps to slower your digestion and helps you to feel full longer. This means that your energy last longer so you don’t go from feeling as if you could run laps around Olympic marathon champion Stephen Kiprotech only to consider taking a snooze in the backseat of your car a few seconds later.
Honey – Mary Poppins almost had it right. She should have replaced that spoonful of sugar with a spoonful of honey. After all, it’s known for instantly boosting the performance, endurance and muscle fatigue of athletes, work out enthusiasts and bodybuilders. The glucose in honey is absorbed quickly by the body and gives a quick quick energy boost, while the fructose is absorbed slowly which provides longer lasting energy. For best results, use raw honey as the effects of processed honey doesn’t last nearly as long.
Breathing – Most people associate breathing with calming your body, but what they don’t realize is that it can give you natural energy boost that you need. Instead of taking long, deep, relaxing breaths, try inhaling fully to the count of three and exhaling quickly to the count of one. How does that feel? You should notice an instant boost in energy as breathing in this way oxygenates your body quickly and sends a message to your heart that it better get ready to move fast!
Music – There’s no denying. Music can be an instant mood lifter or a major downer and that’s why all major movies and tv shows have music incorporated into them. The dialogue itself isn’t always enough to get the audience to feel what the characters are feeling, so they use music to help set the mood.
With that said, there’s no reason why you can’t use music to set your own mood. Put together a mix of songs that get you excited and make you want to get up and dance. Or, if you prefer, set up a station on Pandora or iHeartRadio. Both of these online radio programs allow you to give a thumbs up or thumbs down to the music played on your station, and they’re very smart at finding music similar to what you like.
Drink Water – Did you know that it’s been estimated that over half of Americans are chronically dehydrated?? While the statistics vary (studies range from 60% – 75%) the numbers are alarming. Americans just aren’t getting enough of water. Why is that? Because most of the time, they don’t even know that they’re thirsty as dehydration can show up in different forms, including weakness, exhaustion, mental fog, headaches and in cravings for sugar or salt. So doesn’t it stand to reason that re-hydrating your body with pure, simple water may alleviate those symptoms? Of course it does. However, you may not feel the effects right away. They may get worse before they get better because your body will need to flush out all the toxins in it that have you feeling tired or grouchy.