If you’re like me, you’re a coffee FUHREAK. I used to have 2 strong cups a day (who knows how many cups was in one cup), and ever since I became pregnant I had to lower my caffeine consumption to one cup a day. If you are used to incorporating caffeine into your daily routine like I am, decreasing your caffeine consumption can be a serious pain in the tush.
Now more than ever we are constantly on the go, our brains usually working at top capacity throughout the day (and if not, we turn to caffeine), and it seems like a lack of energy or chronic fatigue is becoming an increasingly difficult daily nuisance to battle. Even if we have a cup of joe in the morning (or two), by 3 or 4pm the midday slump usually hits and all of our plans to be productive in the evening start to dwindle. There have been so many days that I’ve wanted to hit up a 530-6pm workout after a long day of work, yet instead promptly flopped on the couch to binge watch TV instead. All because of fatigue.
Ever since I became pregnant I’ve had to find alternative ways to keep my energy levels consistent throughout the day without caffeine, and I’m excited to share what I do, as well as tricks I did before I was pregnant as well. I know many of us can utilize these strategies so I hope it helps you power through your day too! Check them out..
How To Get Energy Without Caffeine
Start your day with vegetables: This could be in the form of a green smoothie made primarily of greens, a simple green juice (or celery juice). This could also be in the form of a warm bowl of sauteed arugula with an egg or two on top. Starting your day by consuming nutrients will give you an extra burst of energy without having to down an extra cup of coffee. PLUS it helps prevent cravings throughout lunchtime since you aren’t starting your day with a grain heavy meal. Which brings me to my next point..
Test your morning grain tolerance: I know for some folks that eating grains in the morning like oatmeal, cereal, avocado toast or a traditional breakfast is fine for them. But if you notice that after breakfast you start craving a snack before lunch, or your energy levels are a bit wonky throughout the day, it could be because you’re starting your day with grains. When I personally eat grains in the morning, my blood sugar spikes and then crashes – resulting in cravings and feeling fatigued throughout the rest of the day. The *time* when you eat specific food groups can make a HUGE difference! Because everyone’s different – test this out for a week and see if you notice a difference. If you can eat oatmeal in the morning and power through your day, I’m seriously jealous.
Eat all high energy foods throughout the day until 5pm: You may see a pattern here. Turning to a piece of chocolate in the afternoon may give you a quick burst of energy, but it will eventually zap the life out of you. Fill your day with as many plant-based foods as you possible can, and minimize a grain heavy meal until the late afternoon. By making nutrient dense foods a focus during the day like soups, salads, lean proteins, and fats, you’ll notice that you may not go into after meal slumps. I typically love to eat my grains and denser meal for dinner when I can blissfully fall asleep and not worry about keeping my energy high. You may have heard not to eat after a specific time each day, but if you focus on complex grains like quinoa, brown rice, sweet potato etc there is absolutely no problem to eat them in the evening – you’re metabolism does not literally halt overnight.
Do mini bursts of cardio throughout the day: I typically power walk for 30 minutes before work, take a brisk 10 minute walk around lunch time, and then another brisk walk around 330-4pm. I know that exercising and motivating yourself to move when you’re feeling exhausted can be SUPER hard, but believe me once you get your blood flowing you will literally feel a surge in energy. If I want to make a 530pm workout class, I’ll do some yoga stretches midday to get me moving. Even if I have to literally drag myself to an afternoon class, I leave feeling full of energy and I’m swimming in endorphins (which is a mood booster) – more energy and happiness for a productive evening is always on my list!
Focus on your breathing: There are specific breathing techniques you can do to increase your energy. A lot of times when I’m looking at a computer screen all day I notice that my breath starts to become shallow – which results in less oxygen flowing through my bod. This specific breathing technique will help you open up your airways which will deliver a boost of zest into your day.
Guzzle water: You probably already know this, but when you don’t drink enough water and you become even slightly dehydrated, you can definitely feel more tired throughout the day. I drink as much as 3-4 liters of water a day not only to keep my energy levels up, but also to improve digestion and of course – to keep my lil bubby boi hydrated too.
Supplement smart: After my lunch, I’ll usually supplement with a digestive enzyme depending on what I ate. Ensuring that your digestion is in tip top shape throughout the day will make a serious difference in your energy levels. If you’re bloated, backed up, lacking in nutrition assimilation, it shows up in your body by feeling fatigued. Another KICK ASS supplement I used to take before pregnancy but am now waiting until after birth to take again is Rhodiola. Rhodiola is an adaptogen that people use to literally replace coffee. It is super stimulating without the shakes and can really help improve your focus, your endurance both physically and mentally, and of course – lower your levels of feeling sleepy!
Do you have any of your own tricks that you use to stay energized throughout the day without caffeine? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below or if you’ve written about it on Instagram – tag me in your comments! (@balanced_babe)