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Last Updated on January 20, 2021

8 Natural Energy Drinks to Give You a Boost Without Caffeine

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8 Natural Energy Drinks to Give You a Boost Without Caffeine

Between work, meetings, cleaning, working out, and trying to have a life on top of all that, it’s no wonder you’re feeling a little worn out. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was some way you could get the energy you need to power through your day without those nasty caffeine-induced side effects? Fortunately, natural energy drinks can help.

It turns out there are many healthy energy drinks that can boost your energy levels without caffeine—a stimulant that has been linked to insomnia, migraine headaches, and even cardiac arrest. Below are some options to consider when you want to get your energy levels up the safe and healthy way, without reaching for a cup of coffee or a Red Bull.

1. B Vitamins

While B vitamins won’t give you a kick like caffeine, they are essential for your body to produce energy. Vitamin B-12, along with others in the B-vitamin complex, helps the metabolic functions in the body. Adults should be getting around 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B-12 daily, and many natural energy drinks provide more than enough to keep your body running smoothly.

Some great sources of B Vitamins include meat (especially liver), seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, legumes, leafy greens, seeds, and fortified foods, such as breakfast cereal and nutritional yeast[1].

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Perhaps, next time you make a fruit smoothie, consider throwing in some spinach or kale to give it a little boost of Vitamin B.

2. Kvass

A popular drink in Russia and Eastern Europe, this fermented drink is a healthy way to get your energy levels up without using caffeine. Kvass is created through the natural fermentation of wheat, rye, or barley and has a similar taste to beer[2].

Besides giving you energy, the probiotics in kvass have been found to enhance your immune system, aid your digestive tract, and even protect you against cancer. The best kind of kvass to boost your energy level will be mixed with fruits and veggies. Kvass is available in many natural food stores nationwide, and can even be made in your own home.

3. Coconut Water

Known as nature’s sports drink, coconut water is a great way to boost your energy through the coconut’s high levels of minerals and its good dose of potassium. The best coconut water comes from young, Thai coconuts. Be careful with store-bought coconut water as it will often have added sugars.

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Drink the water by itself, or blend it with bananas and strawberries for a tasty smoothie.

4. Kombucha

This fermented, probiotic tea is a tasty way to detoxify, heal, and boost your body’s energy levels, making it one of the best natural energy drinks. Kombucha is a mixture of brewed tea and SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) producing organic enzymes, amino acids, and vitamins[3].

The drink is available in many health food stores, or it can be purchased online. You can also buy your own kombucha brewing kit to create various flavored drinks and even beauty products.

5. Acai Berry

Besides the acai berry’s amazing nutritional properties, acai juice is a great way to boost your energy levels. Acai contains a host of B vitamins, potassium, protein, and fatty acids. The acai berry boosts your metabolism, which gives you more energy and can help you lose weight, making it a great natural energy drink.

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When searching for a good, energy-boosting acai drink, make sure to check the nutrition label and look for those with acai high on the list of ingredients and with a low amount of sugar.

6. Eleuthero and Ginseng

Ginseng is a herb that aids your body in adapting to stress and helps boost energy and stamina. There are different kinds of ginseng, and the Siberian ginseng, also known as eleuthero, is the most conducive to increase your energy levels[4]. Adults should take around 200-400 milligrams of ginseng daily, and the herb can be found in many healthy energy drinks.

7. The Green Monster Juice Drink

In addition to helping with weight loss, juicing is also an effective way to meet your fruit and vegetable quota while boosting your energy naturally. Below is a recipe that is sure to give your body a healthy energy boost with this natural energy drink.

Ingredients:

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  • 2 cups of spinach (about 3 handfuls)
  • 2 cups of kale (about 6-8 leaves)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • ½ of a cucumber
  • ½ of a lemon
  • 4 stalks of celery

Steps:

  1. Rinse fruits and vegetables well.
  2. Peel the lemon, if you want.
  3. Put into your juicer and juice.
  4. Pour over ice, and drink up!

8. Berry, Beet, and Wheatgrass Smoothie

This is homemade treat and one of the best natural energy drinks, with vitamins A, B, C, and potassium! Beets are one of many foods that have the ability to help your body use oxygen more efficiently.

Blend together one small beetroot, 1/4 cup strawberries, half an avocado, a handful of spinach, one banana and one cup of almond milk. Add a tablespoon of fresh or powdered wheatgrass to add the additional benefits of antioxidants, minerals, and even more vitamins.

Final Thoughts

Life demands a lot from you, and you owe it to yourself to be able to bring your A-game, no matter what the day might throw your way. For increased energy and stamina to tackle your to-do list and do the things you love, try the natural energy drinks listed above or check out this list of 165 energy drinks.

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More energy, great health benefits, and no nasty caffeine-induced side effects? We’ll drink to that!

More on Energy-Boosting Foods

Featured photo credit: Dylan Alcock via unsplash.com

Reference

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Last Updated on October 20, 2021

7 Daily Stress-Management Rituals that Improve Your Productivity

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7 Daily Stress-Management Rituals that Improve Your Productivity

If you’re trying to be as productive as possible, stress will always be your biggest obstacle—and it’s not an easy one to overcome. To do it, you’ll need to develop a plan to make stress management a core component of your daily routine, but doing that takes commitment. The good news is that if you succeed in learning how to manage stress, you’ll unlock your potential and be well on your way to peak performance. But first, you need to learn how to make it happen.

The best way to do that is to learn about and integrate some stress management rituals into your daily routine. To help you get started, here are seven tips on how to manage stress and improve your productivity.

1. Give Yourself an Extra Hour in the Morning

If you were to do some research on some of the world’s most successful—and productive—people, you’d notice that many of them have one thing in common: they tend to be early risers. Apple’s Tim Cook gets out of bed before 4 AM each day.[1] Michelle Obama is already getting in her daily workout at 4:30 AM.[2] Richard Branson gets up at 5:45 AM each day, even when he’s vacationing on his private island.

There’s a good reason why they all do it—once you reach the point in your day that your work schedule kicks in, you no longer have control of your time. That means you have a limited opportunity every morning to reduce your stress by taking care of the things you need to do without anyone making other demands on your time.

What’s important about this isn’t the time you get up. The important part is getting up early enough to start your day without feeling rushed. For most people, getting up an hour earlier than you normally would is sufficient. This should give you ample time to complete your morning tasks without having to hurry or fall behind.

But when you implement this ritual, be careful. Don’t do it at the cost of getting the right amount of sleep each night. If you do, you might increase your stress instead of relieving it. Sticking to a proper sleep schedule and getting enough sleep is, in itself, a critical part of stress management.[3]

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2. Determine and Review Your Most Important Tasks Each Day

If there’s one productivity tip that almost all experts agree on, it’s that you should spend some time before bed each night to write down your three most important tasks for the following day. But if you want to maximize that practice and turn it into a stress-buster, you should turn that notion on its head.

Instead, you should do this as a part of your morning routine. There’s a couple of reasons for this. First, it’s that our always-on, always-connected business world means your priorities can change overnight, literally. You may list your top priorities, go to sleep, and wake up to find them woefully out of date. That means the best time to set your priorities for the day is in the morning. This will keep those priorities up to date and let you think about them before the distractions of the day begin. But don’t stop there. You should take some time before bed each night to review that day’s priorities.

Ideally, you’ll be able to check them off as accomplished. If not, though, think about what prevented you from getting to them. This is your chance to figure out some of the common daily interruptions that get in your way. Chances are, these also cause some of your stress. So, spend the time before bed game-planning how to remove those interruptions and stressors from your day. If you make this a habit, you’ll be more productive and far less stressed out in no time.

3. Save Your Emails for Later in the Morning

Another tip on how to manage stress is to save your emails for later. One of the key causes of stress comes from our inability to cope with the unexpected. If you stop to think about it, what is your most prominent source of near-constant unexpected information every day? You guessed it—it’s your email.

Now, you can’t simply ignore your email. The only thing you can do about your email is to learn how to manage it most effectively. But no matter what you do, it’s going to remain a source of daily stress and distraction. That’s why you should make a habit out of giving yourself an email-free hour or two at the beginning of each day’s schedule.

In that time, try to tackle one of your daily priorities and get it taken care of. Your email will still be there when you’re done. And when you do get to it, you’ll do so in a much better frame of mind knowing that you’ve already gotten some real work done before having to deal with anything unexpected. That alone will improve your mood and reduce the amount of stress you’ll feel—no matter what’s waiting for you in your inbox.

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4. Take a Walk After Email Time

Since you’ll have to deal with your email sooner or later, there’s no way to completely avoid the stress that will come with it. Although you’ll be in a better frame of mind after putting off your email to get some real work done, you’ll still feel some stress when you get to it. That’s why you should make a post-email walk a part of your daily routine.

Taking a walk is one of the best ways you can relieve stress. It’s a form of meditation that will put you back into the right condition to be productive, and there’s no better time to do it each day than after taking care of your emails.

Ideally, you’ll want to take a walk outdoors, and preferably in the most natural setting possible. If you’re in an urban environment, a nearby park will suffice. Studies have demonstrated that walking in such environments for as little as 20 minutes per day leads to an overall reduction in the body’s cortisol level.[4]

Cortisol, if you’re not aware, is your body’s main stress hormone. It helps regulate your blood pressure, energy levels, and even your sleep cycle. Every time your stress goes up, cortisol production also increases, throwing your body into chaos. So, taking a walk right after dealing with your email will help you to relax, reset, and get ready to be productive for the rest of the day.

5. Reserve Time to Research and Plan a Vacation

By now, everybody knows that taking vacations every now and then can improve your productivity and lower your stress level. But did you know that even thinking about a vacation can help you to reduce your stress? It may sound strange, but it’s true.

A Cornell University study in 2012 found that the anticipation of a positive experience—like a vacation—can reduce stress and make you measurably happier. It logically follows, then, that adding to that anticipation each day can maximize the stress-relieving effects of a vacation.[5]

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To do it, set aside at least a half-hour each day to research or plan an upcoming vacation. You can read about destinations. You can research airfares. You can even look at places to stay in locations you’re interested in visiting. And if you’ve already got a vacation booked, use the time to take a deep dive into what your destination has to offer.

This is an especially important daily ritual to observe right now, while the COVID-19 pandemic may be limiting your vacation options. If it’s been a while since you’ve been able to take a trip, the act of planning your next vacation will have a therapeutic effect. With vacation rental bookings still hovering below 50% in most major markets, there’s no doubt that the vast majority of people are in desperate need of their next stress-relieving vacation.[6]

6. Create a Shutdown Ritual to End Your Day

Another simple yet effective way to manage stress is to create a shutdown ritual. Just as it’s important to get your day off to a stress-free, unhurried start, you’ll want to do the same when the day is through. It’s because after spending each day in a reactive mode—dealing with the unexpected—you need to get back into a proactive mode to relax.

Studies have shown that having the perception of control over what you’re going through acts as a buffer against negative stress.[7] In other words, feeling like you can manage even a small chunk of your own time counteracts the stress from the parts of your day when you can’t.

This also means that your shutdown ritual can be whatever you want it to be. You might write in a journal, get in a quick light workout, or prepare your outfit for the following day. As long as you’re the one in complete control over what you’re doing, anything goes. Just make sure that you include the aforementioned review of your daily priorities somewhere in your routine!

7. Set a No-Screens Rule to End Your Day

Even though your shutdown routine is important, there’s one more ritual to include before bedtime that will help you manage stress. Spend the last 30 minutes to an hour before you plan to go to sleep observing a strict no-screens rule. Not only will this give you time to disconnect from the stresses of your day, but it will also allow your body to make a transition into a proper sleep mode.

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The screens we use—smartphones, tablets, laptops—all emit a wavelength of blue light that disrupts our sleep patterns. It’s the same type of light that our bodies recognize as daytime, so seeing it is like telling your brain that it’s the wrong time to be asleep.[8]

By eliminating all sources of this type of light before bedtime, you’ll increase your odds of getting restful, deep sleep. And since getting proper sleep is one of the best ways to manage your stress, this is the perfect way for you to end each day.

Final Thoughts

Although a totally stress-free lifestyle would lend itself to achieving maximum productivity, not many people will ever manage to live that way. So, the next best thing is to work some or all of these daily stress-busting rituals into your day to minimize the inevitable stress instead. Doing so will put you in the best possible position to succeed. And there’s no better antidote for stress than to make the most out of every day no matter what it has to throw at you.

More Tips on How to Manage Stress

Featured photo credit: Kaboompics via kaboompics.com

Reference

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