December 18, 2014 by Dr. Sana Keller
Having a hard time powering through your daily afternoon energy slump? Maybe for you it’s a late morning slump…or early evening…depending on your personal work schedule. Whenever your slump hits, what is your ‘go-to’ fix? An concentrated multi-hour energy drink? A caffeinated soda? A Venti latte? Caffeine…Caffeine…or Caffeine?
I’m seriously not a caffeine hater—I savor my double espresso every morning and often sip on green tea when working on my laptop—yet the common practice of consuming multiple caffeine-filled products to maintain energy and alertness on a daily basis can take its toll on our overall health.
So how about it…are you willing to try a few healthier options as a simple step toward better health? I thought so! (Side note: I don’t sell any of these items…I include them as examples I have found and enjoy myself).
>>Let’s start with non-caffeine ‘energy drinks’:
Teeccino An herbal coffee substitute. Gluten-free. Antioxidant-rich. Made from carob pods, barley & chicory root with other ingredients like figs, dates & almonds.
Kombucha Tea A fermented tea. Tart and effervescent. Great body detoxifier. Antioxidant-rich. Probiotic, Contains glucosamines which are beneficial for joint health.
Ginseng Tea An immune boosting herbal tea. Benefits concentration & cognitive abilities. Natural appetite suppressant. Lowers risk of cancer.
Green Juice (DIY) Juice spinach/kale/apple/cucumber/lemon/celery/ginger–you choose–or check out this basic recipe. Powerful energizing drink loaded with nutrients. Store in glass jar if making ahead of time, adding filtered water to maximize freshness.
B Vitamin Water (DIY) B Vitamins provide great energy. Make your own B Vitamin Water! Directions here.
If caffeine-free is too ‘cold turkey’ for you, check out these lower caffeine options with great nutritional benefits:
Yerba Mate South American tea—The strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea and the euphoria of chocolate all in one!
>>Non-drinkable Energy Boosters:
How about moving BEYOND the typical “reach for an I NEED more energy type of drink” to simple, inexpensive/free, and good-for-you energy boosts?
>>Walk! Run up and down a flight of stairs
>>Breathe! Dr. Andrew Weil’s website describes The Stimulating Breath as a quick and easy way to energize: “Inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose, keeping your mouth closed but relaxed. Your breaths in and out should be equal in duration, but as short as possible. This is a noisy breathing exercise. Try for three in-and-out breath cycles per second. This produces a quick movement of the diaphragm, suggesting a bellows. Breathe normally after each cycle. Do not do for more than 15 seconds on your first try. Each time you practice the Stimulating Breath, you can increase your time by five seconds or so, until you reach a full minute.”
>>Aromatherapy! Essential oils such as Lemon Oil have been found to improve concentration, enhance awareness, increase energy and reduce stress. Peppermint oil is energizing and increases alertness. This site has photos and basic information on diffusers that can be used in homes and offices.
>>Take a short stretch break! Check out these ‘Deskercise’ exercises–you’ll appreciate the creative names of the stretches, including this “Who Cares If I’m At Work Shrug.” Add a few deep breaths after stretching for an added bonus!
I’m curious to know what you think of these energy-boosting options…Let me know what works best for you! Me? My go-to at a coffee shop is often shaken iced green tea…Kombucha is another fave…and the breathing exercise really helps! 🙂
To your ever-improving health…
Sana Keller, PhD, RN, CNC www.healthunlimited.biz
Photo credits: innerfigure.com, steffienelson.com, e-health101.com, yoganonymous.com, everydayroots.com, iherb.com, fit-journey.com, anuna.com.au, healthline.com