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Need that Burst of Energy? Here’s How to Get through the Day Without Coffee

It’s not as hard as you think!

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BY Cristina Morales - 22 May 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

“You don’t drink coffee?!” Any non-coffee drinker is all too familiar with the incredulous reaction that inevitably follows their confession that—shock horror—coffee just doesn't work for them. Let’s face it: we are a society of coffee drinkers, and for many, that can be quite beneficial. But coffee isn’t a universal elixir of energy; some avoid coffee for health reasons, while others—believe it or not—just don’t like it.

For those who have become dependent on coffee to get them through the day, living a coffee-less existence may sound like agony; without it, how on earth will you get all the energy you need? Whether you’re thinking of totally giving up the coffee habit or just lessening your daily caffeine intake, these practical ideas may be of some help.

1. Listen to your body

Paying attention to how you feel and staying in tune with your body lets you meet your body’s needs better. Instead of self-medicating fatigue with caffeine and energy drinks, try adjusting your bedtime routine or diet and see what works for you. “To keep my energy up, I listen to my body,” says Davao-based entrepreneur and public speaker Karla Singson. “If I am sleepy, I sleep. I eat when I’m hungry, I drink when I’m thirsty, and I get massages. I work out regularly to keep my body manufacturing endorphins, too.”

2. Eat smart

How the body processes its energy is largely dependent on what you put into it. “Our bodies receive most of their energy from food,” says Kristel Tan, founder of Philippine travel start-up TanLines. “Given this, I make sure that I focus on consuming foods that have positive effects on my body.”

Apart from eating a balanced diet and avoiding processed foods, you can keep your energy levels up by eating small meals throughout the day—every three to four hours—instead of having large meals. Try to incorporate more energy-boosting foods (like whole grains, nuts, and lean meats) into your diet.

3. Allow yourself to truly rest

Nothing can recharge like a night of sufficient sleep (7 to 9 hours of quality sleep is what the experts prescribe). But rest is not limited to sleep—self-care is also a huge component of getting rested. Stress affects our sleep quality, so taking the time to unwind can really make a world of a difference.

“It’s important for me to make sure I get alone time to do activities that focus on just me, even for just a couple hours a week,” Tan continues. “This is different for everyone, but for me it involves things like reading, watching movies, getting a massage, or even sometimes just doing nothing. An unbalanced mental wellbeing affects the choices (food intake, sleep cycle, etc.) you make, which in turn affects your energy balance.”

4. Get moving

Exercise may sound like an energy draining activity, so this may seem counterintuitive. But studies have found that regular, low-intensity exercise Iike yoga and Pilates can, in fact, leave you feeling more energized. Even just getting up from your desk to take a 15-minute walk around the office can give you that extra boost you need.