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Caffeine Free Ways to Energise

Everyone wants a little extra pep in their step now and then, so we’ve put together this guide that will help you feel more energetic in your daily life without relying on caffeine. We’re looking at caffeine-free ways to energise because cutting caffeine can help you sleep better, help lower your blood pressure and potentially reduce headaches if you’re prone to them. So, it’s no wonder people are looking for ways to improve their energy levels without reaching for the coffee cup.

What Are the Best Natural Ways to Increase Energy?

There’s no shortcut to improving your energy levels, so you may not find that an energy drink really leaves you feeling lifted in the long term. The best way to improve your energy levels is with light meals, a change in nutrition and regular exercise

How Can I Stay Alert Without Caffeine?

There are a few tricks that can help you liven up if you’ve reached a low point in energy during your day – try looking away from the screen, drinking some water or taking a quick walk outside. These are quick peps, but let’s also look at some long-term habits that can improve your overall energy levels…

Exercise and Physical Activity

One of the best and time-tested methods to increase your overall energy levels is through exercise. There’s more than one way to exercise so let’s have a look at the benefits of each approach.

three women on bikes

Can Exercise Help Increase My Energy Levels?

Exercise can help your energy levels by releasing endorphins, improving your cardiovascular health and helping you sleep better. Your endorphins rise around an hour post-exercise, giving you a sense of wellbeing and reducing stress. Improved cardio-vascular health will improve your energy levels because it means that your body is spending less energy fulfilling basic functions.

Cardiovascular Exercise

Cardio is great at boosting energy levels so swimming, cycling or jogging are a great way to liven up both in the short term and the long term. Studies have found that participants who report fatigue in their daily life were 65% more likely to report an increase in energy after participating in regular exercise.

Strength Training

Strength training can be an unexpected key to boosting your energy levels. One of the reasons for this is that your muscles contain mitochondria, which are tiny organelles that create the chemical energy we use to fuel our daily activities. Not only does strength training improve their function, but building muscle also creates more of them.

Yoga and Stretching

Any exercise is good for energy, especially regular exercise with ample recovery. Yoga might be just up your street; while sports science has a divided opinion on the specific benefits of yoga, studies suggest that yoga boosts self-reported energy levels and levels of self-esteem.

Nutrition and Diet

Nutrition and diet are also key things to consider if you want to boost your energy levels, because the things you eat constitute the fuel your body uses. The cleaner the fuel, the more efficient the daily process of life is.

Flat-lay Photography of Vegetable Salad on Plate

Eat a Balanced Diet

A balanced diet is a diet that has foods in the right proportion, usually with plenty of fruit and veg and lean protein. This combination usually provides the correct amount of macronutrients (carbs, protein and fat) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).

Choose Foods That Provide Energy

The first thing that comes into your mind may be ‘energy drinks’ but that’s more marketing than anything else. Generally, the best way to ensure you’re properly fuelled for the day is to eat slow carbs such as whole-grain breads, rather than fast carbs such as anything sugary. It also helps to eat these in smaller, more frequent portions rather than large, less frequent meals. This practice aims to avoid ‘insulin spikes’ where your blood sugar gets too high and your body releases insulin to reduce blood sugar levels, which can also make you feel very tired.

Avoid Foods That Drain Energy

A few types of food that will drain your energy include sugar, alcohol and processed foods. Some of these may be less obvious than others; for example, we usually check alcohol content rather than anything else on an alcoholic drink, and may not realise that they’re often high in sugar. Processed foods can also be a problem as they’re often digested faster than whole foods, which tend to have more fibre, and quick digestion can lead to blood sugar spikes.

What Foods Can I Eat to Boost My Energy Levels?

A few foods to try that will help you keep your energy up throughout the day include fruits and vegetables, water, lean proteins, whole grains and nuts. Fruits tend to have a high sugar content but also fibre so they’re digested more slowly; lean proteins and whole grains are unlikely to spike your insulin response and nuts are great for a snack. Water is also important because it’s possible to feel tired if you’re dehydrated.

Sleep and Rest

Sleep and rest are also an important way to keep your energy up throughout the day, so let’s look at some tips to make sure you stay rested…

Woman Sleeping in a bed with white sheets

Develop a Sleep Routine

There’s something to be said for a routine because it helps us prepare and expect. There’s little more beneficial than good rest and if you can expect a good night’s sleep it makes it easier to thrive during the daytime. You should find a sleep routine that works for you, but an example might be to eat a light meal before bed and have a shower or bath to relax; don’t watch TV but instead lower your bedroom lights and raise your home thermostat slightly; finally, turn off your phone and set your alarm. Any routine will take practice, so remember to be consistent.

Create a Sleep-Friendly Environment

Here are a few simple ideas that can help you create a sleep-friendly environment. We have so many internet-connected devices that can send us notifications, and this in turn can keep us on alert; that’s why it’s a good idea to leave any internet connected devices outside the bedroom. While we’re talking about devices, unplug your TV and remove it from your room. Make sure you’ve got light-blocking curtains and that your bed is comfortable.

Avoid Common Sleep Disruptors

The three biggest sleep disruptors include an uncomfortable mattress, excessive noise and the wrong temperature. If you’ve got an uncomfortable mattress then it might be time to invest in a new one, and there are plenty of memory foam mattresses on the market which promise to gently support the shape of your body; if you’re plagued by excessive noise, why not try some foam earplugs; it’s also a good idea to check your thermostat before bed and set it to a slightly warm and snug temperature.

Stress Management and Relaxation Techniques

One way of increasing your energy in the long-term is to find ways that will promote your overall sense of calmness so that setbacks don’t seem like a calamity. With that in mind, let’s look at some relaxation techniques…

Woman in Black Activewear Meditating Indoors

How Can Stress Affect My Energy Levels?

Acute stress causes your body to initiate a flight or fight response, spending all the energy you’ve been storing. This can feel like tension or anxiety, and the excessive use of energy can leave you feeling quite drained afterwards. Over the long term, this can also lower levels of dopamine and serotonin leading to mood swings and emotional exhaustion.

Practice Mindfulness and Meditation

Practising mindfulness helps you become less reactive and more reflective. It’s a good way to step back when faced with a challenge, rather than spend all your emotional energy. It might be a good idea to go to a meditation session where you’ll learn to pay attention to your breathing, helping control your emotional response to your environment.

Engage in Activities That Promote Relaxation

It almost goes without saying but we thought we’d mention it anyway as you know better than anyone what helps you relax. Maybe it’s a book after a difficult day, maybe it’s a long bath or even a quick jog, but anything that helps you relax will help you conserve physical and emotional energy.

Identify and Manage Stress Triggers

Most of the stress you experience will have a stressor, a thing that causes it. You can easily recognise them by keeping a stress diary. Over time, if you write down your daily stress levels along with things you’ve experienced, you’ll come to notice what things stress you out so you can avoid exhausting yourself in future.

How Much Sleep Do I Need to Feel Energised?

According to the National Library of Medicine, the average person needs between seven and nine hours per night, averaging at the well-known figure of eight hours. We tend to need more sleep when young, and less sleep as we age. It’s also worth remembering that everyone is different, so some people may need more or less sleep than others.

What Are Some Relaxation Techniques That Can Help Me Feel More Energised?

Deep breathing is an excellent way to combat anxiety and boost those energy levels, whereby a person simply fully concentrates on breathing slowly and deeply, rather than in a short anxious way. Visualisation is also another easy trick; find a quiet place and think of a time you’ve experienced total calm, perhaps in your garden or on a distant beach.

Other Ways to Boost Energy Levels

A few alternative ways to boost your energy levels include reducing your workload and keeping a food diary. A reduced workload is likely to lead to less stress and more relaxation, two key factors in maintaining your energy levels. Keeping a food diary is another way because a food diary will help you identify foods that agree with you and leave you feeling good for long periods of time.

Person Holding Drinking Glass

Stay Hydrated

You become dehydrated when your body is losing fluid and electrolytes more quickly than it can replace them, leading to various symptoms including feeling thirsty, dizzy or fatigued. Fatigue sets in due to reduced blood flow to your brain, but all of this can be avoided if you make sure to drink regularly throughout the day.

Take Breaks and Move Around

Sometimes it’s easy to get locked into work, to carry on until we’ve finished the next chunk of the project we’re working on, but we can boost our energy levels by taking a short break. West University of Timişoara in Romania surveyed thousands of participants and found those who took 10-minute breaks from a task had higher self-reported energy levels and enthusiasm.

Use Essential Oils and Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is great for relaxation and stress relief, which are both ways to make sure you keep your energy levels up. Let’s have a look at a few essential oils that will do the trick…

What Are Some Essential Oils That Can Help Increase Energy Levels?

Popular options for essential oils that can improve energy levels include rose, bergamot, lavender and jasmine. First dilute, then rub the oil on the skin as a test to make sure it agrees with you. Next, massage the diluted oil onto your arms, legs and stomach and get into a warm bath for added relaxation.

Composition of cosmetic essential oil bottle with pink rose petals and wooden plate

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