Your body is an amazing creation – it has the ability to heal itself of almost any illness or injury if you just give it the opportunity. Anything that causes stress to your body and makes it work harder to heal and function should be eliminated from your life for optimum health.
Excessive amounts of caffeine in energy drinks or coffee stress your adrenal glands and your immune system. Caffeine is considered a drug and increases your heart rate, leading to the traditional 2:30pm ‘caffeine crash.’
The number one rule to be alert in the morning without caffeine is to get eight hours of sleep the night before.
Although all of us know that “getting enough rest” is important, it’s one of those things that your mother always said that you start to tune out as soon as you hit puberty. How many of us actually get eight hours of sleep every night, or any night for that matter? It really is crucial to your energy and health, and the older you get, the more you will realize how much your body needs that time to heal itself and recharge from the day before.
Take a 15-20 minute power nap during the day.
Just putting your head down on your desk, closing your eyes and resting can help perk you up. If you live close enough to the office, run home and take a 15 minute nap at lunch.
Eat protein for breakfast.
Because protein keeps you fuller longer, one fried egg in the morning may be all that you need. A breakfast taco, or scrambled eggs with cheese, are other options. Keep it small and eat the minimum amount you need to feel satisfied. If you have problems with cholesterol, go with egg whites.
Stay away from any sugar for breakfast, including fruit and fruit juices.
Breads turn to starch, which turns to sugar when you eat them, so if you must have breads or grains for breakfast make sure they are whole grain and contain no sugar. Whole grain toast with peanut butter (make sure the peanut butter doesn’t contain sugar) is another great breakfast option.
Go for a run or a walk first thing in the morning. If you start feeling tired during the day, take a break and go for a walk outside or head to the gym after work. The fresh air will help awaken your senses. The exercise will also get your blood pumping to your brain so you can focus more easily.
If you still need a little boost, try a more natural and gentle form of caffeine.
Green tea has caffeine, but in smaller doses than coffee and can be found at any good supermarket. If you have access to ice, brew several tea bags very briefly, then pour the hot tea over ice in a glass and enjoy a refreshing glass of cool fruit flavored iced tea that will not only wake you up, but will provide your body with antioxidants that it requires.
Ditch the Sugar in Your Tea.
Try to drink tea unsweetened, enjoying the natural flavors. If you get good tea and don’t brew it too long it should be fine without sweetener. If you prefer it sweeter, use agave nectar. It’s a low glycemic sweetener that comes from the agave plant and doesn’t affect your blood sugar as much as sugar or honey. You can find agave nectar at Henry’s, Mother’s Market, or at Fresh and Easy stores in Southern California.