If you’ve found yourself a little short in the sleep department lately and need some healthy ways for boosting your energy without caffeine, sugar or stimulants, check out some of my favorite options. The truth is, all of those things will give you a quick burst of energy, but the after effects will be much worse than the initial fatigue you started out with. Don’t put yourself through that! Instead, just choose some better and much more natural alternatives to boosting your energy without caffeine or other harmful tactics instead.
Maca would be the first food of all options I would suggest for boosting your energy without caffeine, sugar or stimulants. In fact, it’s one of the most popular superfoods in the world, and with good reason. Maca is a root vegetable only found in Peru, but it’s much more powerful than the roots we know from North America, like potatoes, beets and carrots. Maca actually contains special nutrients that make it an adaptogen. This means that if your body is stressed or tired, maca can help relax you and provide steady, long lasting energy. Adaptogens help your body adjust no matter what state it is in, so if you’re extremely anxious or have too much energy, maca can also help to calm you down and level off that energy to where it is more steady. Maca is sold in the U.S. as a superfood powder in specialty stores, or online. It is also known as a libido enhancer, since it enhances mood-boosting hormones in the body, and has even been linked to helping with menopause symptoms in women. It has a deep, caramel flavor, no sugar and a good bit of fiber. I like it in smoothies, oatmeal and yogurt, but you can use it anyhow you like.
2. More Sleep
If you’ve been pulling all nighters lately, which I’m guilty of, or just under a lot of stress, then you might just want to make sleep a priority and get more of it. It’s easy to think we can go without sleep when we get in a crunch, but this necessary activity is one of the most important things to do if you want clear focus, steady energy, and a healthy mood. Not to mention, your appetite is all over the place without sleep, and that robs your body of energy, health and vitality on a whole other level. Clock in 7-8 hours and 9 if you’ve been super stressed lately. Make it a priority, and “just go to bed”, as my mother always says!
We often find ourselves tired in the late afternoons, when really, we might just be dehydrated. If it’s been a while since you’ve had something to drink, have a large glass of water. Water can hydrate our cells, which need H2O to function optionally to provide us energy. I suggest adding a little lemon which contains Vitamin C, that’s amazing for your energy, immunity and it adds a nice taste as well.
4. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are a popular energizing superfood that almost everyone has tried. In fact, they’re so common now, that they’re losing their “exotic” title, and becoming more of a staple, which I think is great! Chia seeds are like tiny bombs of energy, if you ask me. They’re filled with magnesium to provide your body energy, potassium to regulate your electrolytes, fiber to keep you full, and protein to stabilize your blood sugar. Their healthy fats are amazing for your heart, and these seeds have been linked to providing such long lasting energy, that ancient Aztec warriors used chia seeds to withstand hours of battle. Try this superfood, or what I call “supermarket staple” now. I add chia to my breakfast in the morning and also my lunch. As a bonus, they help to hold water in the body, so you don’t become as dehydrated as quickly, and their potassium content can actually help prevent bloating! This makes them a win-win combo for any busy woman out there, if you ask me!
Cacao powder and cacao nibs ( raw forms) are two of my favorite energizing foods to eat every single day. These are the two highest antioxidant sources of food in the world, and higher in magnesium than any other food as well. Cacao is a well known superfood, and it’s a top remedy against depression, obesity, heart disease and fatigue. In fact, it’s one of the best plant-based sources of iron, zinc and copper you can consume. These minerals are crucial to your energy levels, mood, immune system, and your heart. I use cacao powder and nibs in smoothies, yogurt and sometimes stir them into hot almond milk with stevia for a homemade cocoa. Cacao provides long lasting energy, a sense of wellness, and contains no caffeine like processed chocolate and heated forms of chocolate do.
Let’s never forget about the beautiful, basic whole grain oats when we want long-lasting energy. Oats are just bursting with energizing nutrients. For starters, they contain B vitamins, the mineral magnesium, fiber, protein, and potassium. Each one of these nutrients work to provide your body constant energy, regulate your nervous system so you don’t get stressed and burned out quickly, and they also help to provide the body with the precursors it needs for certain cellular functions. Oats are also one of the most filling foods to eat for breakfast you can consume. I suggest having anywhere from ⅓-½ cup in the morning, and add whatever toppings you like. Just be sure to choose rolled oats, or steel cut. The closer to the actual whole grain the oat is, the longer it will provide energy for. Instant oats are very processed and are digested much more quickly, which doesn’t provide the best benefits for your blood sugar. Keeping your blood sugar stable will help prevent crashes and dips that lead to low energy throughout the day.
7. Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are also amazing for your energy! I hate to hear people say they still fear fat. It is a great source of energy and the body needs fat for optimal metabolism. A little goes a long way too, so just 1-2 tablespoons at each meal and snack, and you’ll notice a huge improvement in both your metabolism and your mood. Nutrients are not absorbed as efficiently without healthy fats, so don’t deprive your body from them. Plus, they add satiety to meals and help stabilize your blood sugar longer.
8. Take a Walk
Sometimes, sitting all day at an office or lying around your house can make you tired, believe it or not. Your body prefers to be active, so give the gift of movement! Get up and take a walk if you need some energy. Just 20-30 minutes will do wonders for you, I promise!
9. Get Some Fresh Air
Another natural remedy for getting a little energy boost is getting out into the fresh air! You’d be amazed how healing nature is for almost anything. If the weather is decent, or really nice, get out and take a walk to get some fresh air. Vitamin D from the sun energizes you, improves your mood, and even just the smell of fresh air can boost your energy a bit.
I hope these tips will help you curb the addiction to caffeine, sugar and stimulants for quick energy. You can only take so much of those things before your body says “enough already!” Give it a rest and try some of the tips above instead. What’s your favorite way to get a little energy without caffeine, sugar, or stimulants?