I am a caffeine fiend. I mean full on energy drink guzzling, skull-splitting, withdrawal headache suffering, caffeine fiend. And I need to stop. The deeper I try to dive into living a healthier lifestyle the more I’ve been trying to rid myself of things (as you would) that just really don’t benefit me positively, mentally or physically, and caffeine is definitely on the list to go. It’s one of the most socially acceptable “drugs” and while fine in moderation, there’s no reason I need to rely on it as heavily or as often as I do! I’ve made it my mission lately to try to find alternative sources of energy for when I need that extra push during the day (hello 2 pm), especially while I try to wean myself off energy drinks.
While caffeine affects the person consuming it on a surface, mental level, these provide energy on a cellular level, which means they’ll last longer and won’t give you that jittery high and quick low coffee or energy drinks have! Here are my favorites:
These nuts are packed full of magnesium, a macro-mineral essential for your energy metabolism, as well as B2, a quick source of energy. The fiber in almonds also helps to stabilize blood sugar which can help regulate your energy levels. I prefer to just consume them raw, but almond butter is all the rage and worth trying!
Okay okay, so matcha does have some caffeine in it, but wait!–it’s only about half the level of a cup of black coffee. And because of how the caffeine is bound to the molecules of the tea, it gets released slowly over the course of 6 or so hours. That means you won’t crash hard like you will with coffee! Matcha also has the amino acid L-Theanine, which can create a calming effect while also improving your alertness.
Apples are rich in fructose, which takes longer to be metabolized into glucose. This means it won’t spike your blood sugar too much, but it’ll definitely give you another hour’s worth of fuel! The same goes for bananas. They’re also a decent source of fiber, which will help you feel full and energized for longer. An apple a day, guys.
Unlike most caffeinated drinks, honey has natural sugar (instead of super refined which will crash you) which can easily be absorbed by the body, making it a great pick me up! It’s high in both fructose as well as glucose, proteins, enzymes, and amino acids, basically making it liquid gold. I’d say just dip your apples from above in some or maybe squeeze it into your afternoon tea (matcha anyone?!) for a smooth energy burst!
5. Dark chocolate:
Not only does dark chocolate feature a decent amount of magnesium like almonds do, it also has a natural stimulant called “theobromine” that is similar to caffeine, but affects the muscle system instead of the nervous system. Theobromine can also help lower your blood pressure. Make sure you’re reaching for dark chocolate, not milk chocolate, because it’ll be lower in sugar and higher in health benefits!
6. Citrus Essential Oils:
Any sort of citrus, especially lemon, can boost your body’s serotonin production, reduce stress hormones, and increase your mental stimulation. I like to a keep a lemon essential oil mixture in my backpack for a quick pick me up (try this easy DIY and keep one on ya too~) because it’s my favorite scent. I even use citrus body wash and conditioner to help wake myself up in the morning!
What are your favorite pick-me-ups?