Advertising
Advertising

10 Effective Ways to Have More Energy With Less Caffeine (From a Former Caffeine Addict)

10 Effective Ways to Have More Energy With Less Caffeine (From a Former Caffeine Addict)

We’ve all seen the memes about morning time and coffee, but do you really want more coffee or do you just want more energy? Believe it or not, caffeine is not a synonym for energy. There are plenty of ways to get energized with less, or no caffeine. Caffeine should be used strategically – there’s nothing strategic about drinking an entire pot of coffee every morning. I’ve been there. As a recovering caffeine addict, I know what it’s like to want more and more energy when the caffeine seems to work less and less. Enough is enough.

Here are 10 ways to get more energy with less caffeine:

1. Get Moving

more energy less caffeine

    If you’re tired, more sleep may not be the answer. Exercise may be the answer. New research shows that exercise can help fight fatigue. Patrick O’ Connor, co-director of the University of Georgia Exercise Psychology Laboratory, says:

    “A lot of times when people are fatigued, the last thing they want to do is exercise, but if you’re physically inactive and fatigued, being just a bit more active will help.”

    Even just adding a minute workout to your morning routine can substantially boost your energy levels. If you want to incorporate a little caffeine, take a small amount just before your workout. The exercise will help to ‘activate’ the caffeine and give you even more energy.

    2. Lower Your Tolerance

    lower caffeine tolerance

      The less caffeine you consume, the more effective it is for you. Odds are, you’ve built up quite a tolerance to caffeine over the years. Try cutting back your caffeine intake to zero and then wait a few weeks before you ingest it again. You’ll be surprised at how much more effective the smallest amount of caffeine is once your tolerance for it has evened out.

      Just be sure to add it back to your life slowly or you’ll end up where you started. One study showed that caffeine tolerance can come back to the same level as it was before a caffeine hiatus in just 1-4 days if you jump right back into using the same amount as before.

      3. Change Your Mode

      Advertising

      type of caffeine

        Does your caffeine come in the form of coffee, espresso, energy drinks or something else? You may be going for whatever has the most caffeine and that could be why you have an energy problem. Green tea, for example, has about 1/4 the caffeine of a cup of coffee. After the above-mentioned caffeine hiatus, you’ll be surprised at how well a little green tea works for energy. Find some new ways to caffeinate – there are literally thousands of options.

        4. Go Green

        greens for energy

          Green smoothies, green powders and green teas are just a few of the greens you need in your life. Eating and/or drinking more leafy greens in food and smoothies will seriously boost your energy levels. Many people find that green smoothies work better than a cup of coffee and you don’t have to worry about building up a tolerance. Some people actually question the benefits of green smoothies, but once you try them, you’ll understand how effective they are. There’s some controversy over green smoothies, but it really comes down to sugar content. The key ingredient in a greens smoothie should be the greens, not sugary fruit and fruit juices.

          5. Sleep More Sleep Better

          get better sleep

            You may be getting enough sleep, but are you getting good sleep? The quality of your sleep is just as important as the amount, and you may find that you can function well on less hours if quality is better. Here are a few tips to improve your sleep:

            Advertising

            • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and heavy meals before bed
            • Invest in a high-quality mattress and a nice pillow
            • Adjust the temperature to your liking (usually 65-70° F)
            • Avoid ‘blue light’ from electronic devices before bed
            • Exercise – more exercise will lead to better sleep

            You should also try to sleep within the confines of sleep cycles. Sleep cycles are 90 minutes, so sleeping for 6, 7.5, or 9 hours is generally more effective than sleeping for 5, 8, or 10 hours. One way to take the guesswork out of sleep cycles is to get the Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock for your smartphone.

            6. Drink Water First

            drink water before coffee

              There’s nothing wrong with a cup of coffee in the morning, but drink water first. If you drink an entire liter of water, you may not even need the coffee. Our bodies are dehydrated after we go all night without any fluids. This isn’t just for morning time; drinking water throughout the day will help you to stay hydrated, which leads to increased and sustained energy levels. Contrary to popular belief, a reasonable amount of caffeine doesn’t really dehydrate you and the water that makes up the majority of your coffee can count towards your daily water intake, but it only accounts for a small fraction, so keep chugging that water.

              7. Cut the Sugar

              energy drinks sugar

                When you do use caffeine, go for things like black coffee and non-sweetened tea. Sugary energy drinks and coffee drinks are great for a quick boost- but then comes the crash. The crash usually isn’t from the caffeine (though caffeine can cause a crash), it’s usually from the sugar. If you’re going to have caffeine, have it alone, without all the sugar. Some people have found that energy shots work better for them, since the amount of sugar or sugar substitute is minimal- but everyone’s body reacts differently.

                Advertising

                8. Spread it Out

                spread out coffee

                  Don’t think ‘chug’, think ‘sip’. Sipping caffeine over a longer period of time can cause higher and more sustained energy levels. Often, the caffeine passes through your system before your body has a chance to react to it when you drink it quickly. Sipping also helps your body to slowly clear the caffeine out of your system, which means a crash is much less likely to occur.

                  9. Use Food for Fuel

                  food for fuel

                    Keep your diet clean and full of fruits and veggies. This will help to sustain your energy levels throughout the day, without even touching caffeine. I love food and I’m sure you do too, but every meal doesn’t have to be a celebration. When you want a nice dinner, take the time to focus on it, but for every other meal, you’re just putting fuel into your body. Separate your leisure meals and your energy meals. For example, you may want a leisurely dinner every night with your family, but for breakfast and lunch, you’re just filling up the tank, so eat food that will give you the energy you need. Think: vegetables, fruits, lean meat, nuts and occasional whole grains.

                    10. Go Natural

                    Advertising

                    natural caffeine

                      When you do consume caffeine, try more natural sources like Guarana. Guarana is a plant that contains naturally occurring caffeine. Coffee bean extract and green tea extract are a few more ways to naturally caffeinate. Sure, to an extent, caffeine is caffeine, but natural sources will help you eliminate the artificial sugars, preservatives and chemicals found in many drinks and pills.

                      Just remember, you don’t need caffeine, and if you think you do, you’re probably addicted and it’s not working very well anyways. There are plenty of ways to increase your energy without caffeine and there are even more ways to strategically use caffeine to your advantage. Don’t work for caffeine, make caffeine work for you.

                      More by this author

                      Kalen Bruce

                      Military, Writer

                      35 Real Ways to Actually Make Money Online kid millionaires Wanna Be A Millionaire? Learn From These 12 Kids Who Already Are Websites That Will Pay You for Things You Already Do 30 Websites That Will Pay You For Things You Already Do 10 Differences Between Middle Class And Rich People 10 Differences Between Middle Class And Rich People live well on one income 10 Tips On How To Live Well Even With Only One Income

                      Trending in Health

                      1 Simple Hacks on How to Relieve Neck Pain Fast (and Naturally) 2 7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life 3 15 Quick Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle 4 8 Best Fiber Supplements on iHerbs (Reviewed by a Gut Health Expert) 5 How to Protect Your Mental Health in Tough Times

                      Read Next

                      Advertising
                      Advertising
                      Advertising

                      Last Updated on July 2, 2020

                      Simple Hacks on How to Relieve Neck Pain Fast (and Naturally)

                      Simple Hacks on How to Relieve Neck Pain Fast (and Naturally)

                      There is very little in life as annoying or distracting as neck pain. Most people find that neck pain is temporary. What can you do if your neck pain seems chronic or if it comes and goes with no obvious source?

                      Whether you have simply slept on your neck wrong or you are working late, hunched over a keyboard half the night, neck pain is, well, a pain in the neck!

                      What most people are unaware of is that there are little known hacks that can help you find relief from neck pain fast and naturally. This means no pills or expensive exercise equipment to buy.

                      How can you get relief from neck pain?

                      There are several easy steps to follow to find the perfect hack for solving your neck pain fast and easy.

                      How Did I End Up With This Pain in the Neck?

                      Neck pain often has an I-was-looking-right-at-it source that we don’t recognize at first glance. Once you identify the source of the pain, you can take the best corrective measure, or several measures if need be!

                      Ask yourself these questions to find a possible source:

                      Advertising

                      • Do you spend much of the day sitting (desk job, typing, etc.)?
                      • How old are your mattress and pillow?
                      • How much exercise do you work into an average day?
                      • How do you manage stress?
                      • Have you been injured or in an accident (no matter how small) lately?

                      Perhaps one last question to ask yourself might be, “Is my pain a regular occurrence, or is my neck pain something that has just cropped up?

                      Once you know the answers to these questions, you can start searching for answers.

                      Remedies for Neck Pain

                      Once you know the source, try tapping into one (or several) of these solutions to start healing your neck pain now.

                      1. Everyday Activities

                      One of the important factors with neck pain will be your everyday activities. Other than an injury or accident, one of the largest factors for neck pain includes working overtime in an office and the stress that work entails[1].

                      Due to the coronavirus, many people find themselves working from home, in kitchens, basements, using a barstool, and/or other equipment that was not designed for humans to spend hours on end, typing and looking at a computer screen.

                      If you find that your neck pain has occurred during the past few months due to a job change, or if you suddenly began working from home, your issue may be due to ergonomics. Invest in an adjustable office chair to help make your workspace more neck-friendly.

                      2. Age of Mattress and Pillow

                      The age of your mattress and pillow should also be considered. Pillows, on average, should be changed every 3 years, and a mattress every 7-10 years. No matter how good or comfortable you think these items are, the truth is that they are hurting your neck and back with a lack of support.

                      Advertising

                      A good mattress is well worth the investment, and pillows are always on sale, as well as wallet-friendly. If you haven’t tried them, a water-filled pillow can be comfortable for many people.

                      3. Exercise/Movement/Stretching

                      It’s that old exercise question that no one wants to hear. This time around, it has been difficult for many people to get in good exercise since they have been housebound due to the quarantine. There are plenty of ways to get in some good, old-fashioned exercise.

                      Stretching exercises are even more important than before since many people do not get enough movement while sitting at home. There are hundreds of at-home exercise, dance, and yoga videos that require little to no equipment, so even if you’re a beginner, give it a go.

                      4. Stress and Stress Management

                      Stress is a hidden danger that robs more people of health than even most doctors realize. While everyone has stress, not everyone recognizes it, nor do they have a means of managing it. Exercise is one of the best ways to release stress, with meditation and yoga being the best ways to manage and relieve stress. All of these will remove tightness in the muscles and relieve neck pain.

                      5. Accident or Injury

                      If you have been involved in an accident or injured yourself lately (falling down, or having something fall on you, for example) and your neck pain began after this incident, you should speak with your doctor about this as soon as possible.

                      6. On-Going Problem or Sudden Occurrence

                      Finally, if your neck pain is something that has occurred recently, it could simply be that you slept on it wrong or turned your neck too hard. That will make this a very temporary condition. You can try some easy stretches for pain relief .

                      An on-going problem, however, might respond better to some other alternative methods, including:

                      Advertising

                      • Slowly moving and stretching your neck. Do not move too quickly or too far. Roll your head from side to side, shoulder to shoulder, to the front and to the back.
                      • Ice packs work well for some people, while heat works best for others.
                      • Be aware of how you use your cell phone or tablet. If you keep your neck bent downward for too long to look at it, you can develop an annoying pain called text-neck or tech-neck. Take breaks and look up to stretch those neck muscles.
                      • Long hours driving can also be hard on the neck. Look from side to side as far as you can, as well as up and down to prevent a stiff neck.

                       

                      Still Have Tight Neck Muscles? 3 Tips for Finding Relief

                      When tight neck muscles are not responding to the typical heat, ice, or massage treatments, you might want to give the following a try:

                      1. Gua Sha

                      This is an ancient Chinese practice that might seem a bit odd, but it works for many people. In this practice, a trained individual uses a spoon or other object and makes short strokes down the neck. It is believed that poor blood circulation causes it to become stagnant, if you will, and blocks the positive energy needed for life, called qi.

                      Fresh blood will indeed allow oxygen and nutrients to feed the tissues in a given area, and one study found that gua sha worked where traditional methods, such as heat therapy, did not[2].

                      2. Swimming

                      You probably know that swimming is a terrific low-impact exercise that works wonders for those with back and knee pain, but did you know that it also works well for neck pain and tight muscles? It helps if the water is tepid and not cold, but even just floating on your back can offer tremendous relief since most of the body weight is suspended by the buoyancy of water.

                      3. Chiropractic Massage

                      Not your typical day spa massage, chiropractic massage is performed under the guidance of a chiropractor. A trained massage therapist will still do the massage, but this time, the chiropractor will have discussed your neck pain and any problems you might be having with them. Many people have found real relief from neck pain through chiropractic massage.

                      The Best Treatment for Neck Pain

                      When you need to find relief from neck pain and nothing you have tried previously seems to give you more than a few minutes of relief, spending some time with a chiropractor often times can fix this issue, and it doesn’t often return if you follow a healthy lifestyle.

                      Advertising

                      I’m certain that many of you are thinking about those awful videos with those loud cracking noises you’ve seen on social media, or you are recalling a news story which might have suggested that allowing a chiropractor anywhere near your neck might be a health hazard[3]. Nothing could be further from the truth.

                      You should try the other suggestions in this article before you head off to the chiropractor, but when all else fails, don’t let neck pain nag you day in and day out. Take steps to make an appointment, and you will be surprised at the results.

                      What Can a Chiropractor Do for Neck Pain?

                      Many people mistakenly believe that the only technique a chiropractor will use is a neck adjustment. Chiropractors are trained in a variety of methods that are designed to help you find the pain relief you are seeking.

                      A few of the methods a chiropractor might use include:

                      • Cervical Manual Traction
                      • Flexion-Distraction
                      • Cervical Mobilization
                      • Ultrasound
                      • Cervical Drop Technique
                      • Trigger Point Therapy

                      There are many more options, but your chiropractor should explain to you which techniques s/he intends to use and why[4]

                      The Bottom Line

                      If neck pain wreaks havoc in your life regularly, the best way to stop it is to identify the source and attack it from that angle.

                      Getting plenty of exercises, having a proper posture, and buying an office chair that provides plenty of support, as well as a regular stretching program, will keep your neck strong and flexible for many years to come.

                      More Tips on Healing Neck Pain

                      Featured photo credit: Christopher Campbell via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      Read Next