Power Through Your Day Sans Coffee
These quick and natural energy boosters will keep your energy levels soaring
We love the caffeine kick we get from a hot cup of latte, but when our body’s adrenal system crashes after the short energy boost, fatigue often sets in. While coffee has many antioxidant benefits, too much caffeine can increase production of the stress hormone cortisol. The recommended maximum daily consumption for the average person is three to four cups (which works out to about 400mg of caffeine), but drinking more than that can lead to some adverse health effects. Research has shown that caffeine raises the adrenal system and stays in the nervous system for approximately four to six hours, which may result the disruption of regular sleeping patterns, or a reduction in the kidneys’ ability to store vital minerals like calcium, zinc, and magnesium.
If you’re looking for alternatives to help power you through your day, here are some great options that’ll keep you energised!
How many cups of water do you drink a day? The daily recommended amount for adults is two litres, but many of us remember to drink water only when we feel thirsty – and thirst is one of the last symptoms to appear as a result of dehydration, and usually only after fatigue sets in. Nutritional studies have also shown that low levels of hydration can bring on enough fatigue to influence an athlete’s ability to exercise properly. When our body lacks sufficient hydration, it cannot perform at 100 percent. Other signs of dehydration include having a headache, feeling tired, and an inability to focus. Keeping a water bottle with you at all times is a great way to help you remember to drink enough water. Make it tastier by infusing it with fresh fruits such as lemon, cucumber, or watermelon.
We’re talking matcha green tea powder, which is an excellent substitute for coffee. Matcha gives you an energy boost – but with only one fifth the caffeine in a cup of coffee. Because the caffeine in matcha is delivered into your system over six to eight hours, there’re no side effects like energy crashes, jitters, or fatigue, which means you’ll be able to stay alert for longer durations. Containing the highest amount of amino acid L-theanine, matcha also increases dopamine levels in the body and helps to boost memory and concentration. To drink matcha, dissolve about two grams of powder into one cup of water and stir.
If you’re a yoga practitioner, you’ve probably already experienced the stimulating effects of backbends! Like the caffeine of yoga, they awaken the nervous and lymphatic systems, revving metabolism and releasing adrenalin as a result. Try these variations for a quick energy tune-up:
Cat And Cow Pose
Ground your palms and knees on the floor, and look forward. Now arch your back and push your belly out while you gently open your chest and gaze slightly upwards. Then slowly, round your spine while you turn your gaze downwards and bring your chin towards your chest. Alternate slowly between the two variations for another two cycles.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Lie flat with your belly resting on the mat, and keep your legs extended with toes pointed outwards. Place your palms under your shoulders and gently press down, slowly lifting your chest off the ground. Keep your belly on the ground, with your arms slightly bent. Drop your shoulders away from your ears and continue to squeeze your shoulder blades. Your tailbone should be tucked, and your lower back relaxed. Hold the pose for 10 to 15 seconds, then rest for a few breaths before repeating it twice.
Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
Lie on your belly and place your hands along both sides of your body, palms facing up. Exhale and bend your knees, bringing your heels towards the back of your head. Now reach back with your hands and gently hold on to your ankles, keeping your knees about hip-width apart. Soften your back muscles as you continue to lift your heels and thighs higher, and open your chest by pressing your shoulder blades firmly against your back. Draw your shoulders away from your ears as you keep your gaze forward. Stay in this pose for 20 to 30 seconds and release as your exhale. Rest for a few breaths before repeating it twice.