Let's be real. With the demanding routines of everyday life: our jobs, relationships, family and commitments, we can't really blame ourselves for wanting a boost of energy from time to time. We also can't be blamed for reaching for a delicious cup of coffee in the morning (and maybe 1 or 2 more times throughout the day...)
Coffee is a staple in kitchen cupboards up and down the country, with coffee experts (yes, they exist) estimating that in the United Kingdom, we drink approximately 95 million cups of coffee per day. Madness.
Unfortunately, despite the delicious flavour of coffee: the varieties, the warmth, the extra flavours... caffeine in excess is really not that good for us. Research has suggested that excessive caffeine consumption can cause anxiety disorders, sleep problems, and have generally harmful psychiatric effects.
Chill - don't worry, we're not saying you need to go caffeine free. No no no.
Morning energy without caffeine might sound like a pipe dream right now but with the research available, we think it's a good idea to try and cut your intake where you can. So, we've put together a list of five of our favourite caffeine free alternatives. Here’s how to stop consuming caffeine…
1. Stay hydrated
We're starting with the classic advice - drink 6 - 8 glasses of water per day. It's important to stay hydrated for so many health reasons, including an improved mood, sleep and general organ functioning (so yeah, pretty vital).
Low sugar drinks, tea, decaf coffee - it all counts, just make sure you are regularly drinking. This will up your energy levels and leave you feeling more alert. Make sure to take into account personal and environmental factors when it comes to your water intake too – if it’s a sunny day (a rare occasion in the UK), or if you’re pregnant, make sure to increase this to ensure you don’t become dehydrated.
If you find keeping track of what you drink hard, there are a bunch of fun apps or even water bottles that help you track how much water you’ve drank. If you fancy sporting some Innermost merch too, we’ve got some pretty snazzy shaker bottles that double up as a reusable water bottle. Come on, you know you want to.
2. Exercise regularly
Surprise surprise, it’s Innermost telling you that you should exercise. Again.
A regular exercise routine that you stick to is beneficial for a number of reasons: it gives structure to your day, ups your stamina and wellness, and even gives you energy. This is because when you exercise, our body releases feel-good hormones called endorphins (we talk about these a lot, if you haven’t noticed).
Exercise is also a great serotonin booster – the happy hormone. So, ensuring to fit in daily exercise, whether that be a lunch time walk or a daily gym session, is a great way to up your energy levels, and reach your fitness goals too!
If you’re looking for some exercise inspiration to get you on your way, check out some of our workouts, with some of our favourites including Hula Hooping, Fartlek Training, Pilates and Resistance Training.
3. Eat a healthy balanced diet
You probably think we sound like a bit of a broken record, but the benefits of a healthy balanced diet are not to be missed. Everything you eat affects your wellbeing, and therefore effects your energy levels, so addressing your diet is one of the first things you should do when it comes to upping your energy levels.
When considering your day-to-day diet, make sure you’re including all the food groups: eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, include dairy and a healthy portion of carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are vital for maintaining healthy energy levels, which includes foods such as rice, beans, pasta, potatoes and more, but make sure your carbohydrate source is a healthy one, and not processed, as this will have the opposite effect.
Looking for some caffeine free food inspiration? Check out some of the best foods for boosting energy.
4. Get a good night sleep
We’re sure you’ve felt the effects of a bad night sleep more than once. We’ve all been there, trying to get through the work day on a less than ideal amount of sleep. Your focus drops, your energy levels are through the floor and your performance takes a hit. Not good.
So, we think it’s time to prioritise a good night sleep, every night. This may seem easier said than done, but it’s a basic necessity that needs prioritising in order to increase your energy levels. Prioritise getting an early night and set yourself a schedule that you stick to, we promise you’ll thank yourself for it later.
5. Get some fresh air
Last but not least, the health benefits of the great outdoors are vastly underrated. Granted, getting outdoors can some days be a struggle, and that’s okay. But we really encourage you to take a trip outside at least once a day (one that isn’t connected to your daily commute or busy schedule) to relax, switch off and gain some perspective.
Sitting down at your desk inside all day isn’t good for you, let alone your energy levels.
Getting outside means that you will soak up vital Vitamin-D from the sun, which we all know is essential for your wellbeing. Not only does being out in the sun improve your mood, but this increases your energy levels too. Another great caffeine free energy source! And it’s completely free. Neat.
See – it’s not so hard to get that morning energy without caffeine after all! If you’re one of those people that probably consumes too much caffeine in a day (don’t worry, we aren’t judging) it’s definitely worth having a think about making some healthy switches.
You don’t have to say goodbye to caffeine altogether (or forever), but small steps everyday to a healthier lifestyle have great effects on your wellbeing – and as we’ve explained, your energy levels!
- Winston, A., Hardwick, E., & Jaberi, N. (2005). Neuropsychiatric effects of caffeine. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 11(6), 432-439. Click here.