THE SECRETS TO STAYING AWAKE

Without the coffee!
PHOTO: TATJANA ZLATKOVIC/STOCKSY

Trying to cut back on your daily cups of Joe? Going cold turkey or even simply reducing your daily intake of coffee can be daunting, especially if you’ve come to rely on the strong stuff to get you through a busy day packed with workouts, a job and everything in between.

But there are many easily implemented lifestyle changes you can make that will ensure your energy levels stay high throughout the day – whether you have that coffee kickstart in the morning or not. You don’t have to avoid caffeine altogether if you don’t want to, but making smarter choices could give you the positive effects you’re looking for – which means that coffee-after-coffee habit to keep your energy levels from dropping no longer has to rule your life. Sound good?

1 Work out in the morning

If you’re used to working out in the afternoons or evenings, switching your gym routine so that your workouts take place in the mornings before the rest of your day resumes could be the missing piece to your energy puzzle. It sounds brutal now (setting that alarm evenearlier despite having energy troubles later on in the day?!), but crawling out of bed to catch an early class could pay massive dividends.

While other people might take an hour or two at their desk before they even mentally check in at work, exercising prior to your workday will have you strolling into the office with a smile on your face (and maybe DOMS in your legs!). Kickstarting your morning with an energising workout will get your blood flowing and endorphins rushing for the day ahead. Those positive interactions will also feed you – and you’ll be reaching for that protein shake rather than that caffeine fix, trust us.

2 Do yoga in the evenings

If you find yourself cranky and overtired throughout the day despite getting an okay-ish amount of sleep at night, the quality of your sleep may be the issue – especially if you work a high-stress job or tend to feel anxious quite easily.

Taking an evening yoga class could help you unwind from the stresses of the day, free your mind from negative thoughts and calm your body, priming you for the perfect night’s sleep. Try a relaxing style of yoga rather than an energising or physically challenging one for this purpose.

3 Choose green tea over coffee

If you do really feel like you need a little pick-me-up at any point during the day, opting for a matcha drink or green tea rather than a coffee could be a better choice. While green tea still does contain caffeine, the content is much less than that of coffee, so you’ll be less likely to experience such a quick hit followed by a sudden crash of energy. This sequence of energy highs and lows can set you on a never-ending cycle that’s hard to break free from.

4 Eat to stabilise your blood sugar levels

Making the right food choices throughout the day, especially in the mornings, can have a huge impact on your energy levels.

Choosing foods that release energy slowly and steadily, rather than foods that spike your blood sugar suddenly, will keep you on the right path. That means; steer clear of refined carbohydrates like white pasta, white bread and sugary, processed foods and instead tuck into whole grains and unrefined carbohydrates.

Preventing your blood sugar levels from rising too quickly will make sure they also don’t fall too quickly – which will lead to an energy crash that’ll have you reaching for that coffee.

5 Get those steps in!

Fresh air teamed with deep breathing? A match made in heaven. Throw some walking into the mix and you’ve got one of the easiest, cheapest and most effective ways to give both your body and mind the reset it needs.

Whether you cut your commute short or you pop out for a break during the day, going outside, getting some steps in and mindfully breathing in that good air is worth making a habit out of. It can work wonders to remove those draining thoughts from your mind and get the blood flowing around the body as well as the brain – which will give you new life.

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