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Last Updated on January 20, 2021

8 Natural Energy Drinks to Give You a Boost Without Caffeine

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.

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 April 20, 2021

5 Best Guided Morning Meditations for Energy And Motivation

5 Best Guided Morning Meditations for Energy And Motivation

Do you wake up feeling fatigued, depressed, or unmotivated? Adding a simple morning meditation for energy may help. Practice one of these guided morning meditations for increased energy and motivation daily, and you will wake up refreshed and ready to take on each day!

The benefits of meditation are hard to ignore. Meditation is a long-held tradition in Eastern cultures that has recently become popularized in Western culture, using science to back its effectiveness. Meditation has been proven to decrease stress, depression, anxiety, and pain. It has also been shown to increase motivation and attention.[1]

What is Meditation?

First, let’s explore the different forms of meditation before diving into specific guided morning meditations for energy and motivation.

There are a few different forms of meditation that we will explore:

  • Moving Meditation
  • Mindfulness Meditation
  • Mantra Meditation

Moving meditation combines gentle exercises, breathing, and focus. Examples of moving meditation include walking meditation, yoga, tai chi, or qigong.[2]

Mindfulness meditation involves present-moment awareness of whatever action you are taking. It can be practiced as you move through your day simply by bringing your awareness to your breath, mind, and body.

Mantra meditation is similar to using positive affirmations. It incorporates repetition of sounds, words, or chants as a focal point for meditation. Mantra is thought to shift stuck energy from the body. Certain mantras (or sounds) have been shown to synchronize both hemispheres of the brain. This can help oxygenate the brain, decrease blood pressure and heart rate, and calm brainwaves.[3]

While this is certainly not an exhaustive list, it provides a general introduction to the several forms of meditation. For a more comprehensive list check out: 17 Types of Meditation (Techniques and Basics) To Practice Mindfulness.

How Does Meditation Increase Energy and Motivation?

Meditation increases endorphins in the brain, which is the chemical responsible for a runner’s high. However, when compared with runners, master meditators show higher levels of endorphins than runners post-meditation.[4] Long-term meditation practices are also associated with increased melatonin, which is responsible for regulating sleep.[5] Over time, consistent sleep patterns increase overall wellbeing and energy levels.

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Other long-term effects of meditation include an increase in the grey matter in the brain. Meditation has also been linked with increased cognitive function, memory, and attention.

The long-term impacts of stress contribute to feelings of exhaustion, burnout, and fatigue. Meditation has been shown to decrease the impacts of the sympathetic nervous system (commonly referred to as the fight or flight response). A regular meditation practice may assist in relaxation by decreasing heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing. [6]

However, meditation is not just for relaxation. The Buddhist tradition where mediation originated focuses on remaining alert during mindfulness. Seasoned meditators show increased alertness and awareness in brain functioning compared to non-meditators.[7]

5 Best Guided Morning Meditations for Energy and Motivation

Now that you know how meditation can help increase energy and motivation, here are the 5 best guided morning meditations you can try.

1. Wake Up With a Sun Salutation for Increased Energy

Yoga practices that focus on breathing have been shown to increase energy and attention.[8] Starting your morning with a Sun Salutation is one excellent way to increase energy and motivation in the morning for lasting results.

A Sun Salutation is a sequence of yoga poses strung together in a specific way. A focus is placed on moving mindfully with the breath through the postures. If done mindfully, one can enter a flow-like state while practicing a Sun Salutation.

Practicing Sun Salutation Type A

Inhale and reach the arms up overhead. Exhale and fold forward with a slight bend in the knees. On your next inhale, place the hands on the thighs while straightening the spine. Exhale and melt down into a forward fold once more.

On your next exhale, place your hands on the mat and step your feet into a plank pose. Lower down from straight legs or bent knees with your triceps just grazing your rib cage. Your whole body will be flat on the mat. As you inhale, keep your hands on the earth and lift your head, neck, and chest off the mat. Exhale and press back into downward-facing down.

On your next inhale walk your feet back to the top of the mat and hang in a forward fold. Roll your body up letting your head and neck come up last. You can choose to finish your practice here or flow through the sequence once more.

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If you are new to yoga, practice alongside a trained instructor or find a yoga video that walks you through the correct alignment to ensure you do not injure yourself as you practice. Allow yourself to be guided through the practice so you can focus on your breath as you move from one pose to the next.

2. Practice Walking Morning Meditation

Another way to combine movement and mindfulness is through walking meditation. Walking meditation involves slow, mindful steps with a focus on the breath. Exercising outdoors can help to boost serotonin and increase endorphins. This can be a wonderful way to start the day with increased energy and a positive mood.

Step slowly and mindfully, as if you are walking on thin ice. Slowly begin to inhale through the nose and count the number of steps you take. Then, slowly exhale and count your steps. As you walk, keep counting your steps on each inhale and exhale. Try to keep your pace even while focusing your attention on your breath and body.

Try to avoid busy areas with lots of people or traffic to reduce distraction. A walking path with lots of open space is ideal. Once you have finished you can bring your attention to the sights around you and mindfully breathe in and out as you slowly return to a normal pace.

3. Let Your Stress Melt Away During a Mindful Morning Shower Meditation

One of the easiest ways to practice meditation is by adding it into activities you already do. The trick is to bring your attention to the present moment. Choosing activities with lots of sensory input can help heighten the experience of mindfulness.

Examples of mindfulness activities can include chores like doing the dishes or sweeping. It may also involve routine activities like exercise or showering.

If you shower in the morning, you can easily incorporate mindfulness into your routine. It is best to remove any distractions while you shower but if you would like you can play gentle, instrumental music in the background. Focus on the sensation of the water running over the crown of your head and down your entire body. Imagine the water is cleansing stress, tension, and worry from the body and mind.

Bring your attention to the five senses. This can aid in grounding for decreased stress and anxiety, which will improve long-term energy and focus. Notice the temperature of the water and the air. Smell the different soaps and shampoos as you wash. Allow yourself to indulge in the moment by closing your eyes as you stand under the water. If you get distracted come back to one of your senses.

This shower meditation is a form of mindfulness. It does not take any extra time from your day. It is simply one way to incorporate present-moment awareness into your routine.

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4. Practice Bellows Breath for Increased Energy

Deep breathing is another way to increase energy and attention. There are several forms of breathing exercises utilized in yoga and meditation. Breath of fire or bellows breath is one exercise for increasing energy and vitality.[9]

This breathing exercise can cause dizziness or light-headedness. Discontinue practicing if you experience any negative side effects and return to normal breathing.

Begin by inhaling through the nose. With a forceful exhale, contract the diaphragm as you breathe out through the nose. Inhale and allow the belly to expand and then exhale and allow it to contract.

When first starting, it can be helpful to go slowly. Reverse breathing, where you expand the belly on the exhale and contract on the inhale, is common but should be avoided.

Once you have the rhythm down, you can move quickly through the breathing exercises. An emphasis is placed on the inhale while the exhale is forceful and contracted. The inhale and exhale should be similar in duration.

Aim for three breath cycles a second. Do not practice for more than 15 seconds without taking a break when you are first starting. As you become more advanced you can add 5 seconds, working your way up to a minute of practice.

5. Practice Mantra Morning Meditation for Increased Energy

Science suggests that repeating the mantra “OM” can result in increased alertness and sensitivity to sensations (pronunciation of “OM” sounds similar to “A-U-M”). In spiritual traditions, it is considered a primordial sound, which created all other sounds[10].

When “OM” is chanted aloud, it vibrates at 136.1 Hertz. This is the same frequency as everything in nature.[11] Scientific studies have uncovered evidence to suggest that chanting OM may be related to vagus nerve activation, which assists in the rest and digest response in the nervous system.[12]

If you are new to chanting, it can be helpful to practice reciting “OM” aloud. The sound of “OM” is similar to “A-U-M” with the word being drawn out for several seconds on the exhale. More seasoned meditators may choose to focus on the word internally.

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To begin, simply inhale, and on you exhale, chant “A-U-M.” You may choose to set a timer on your phone for as long as you have to practice.

Another way to practice mantra or chanting is to use mala beads. Mala beads come from the Hindu faith and are a string of 108 beads with one larger bead at the end. Hold the mala in your left hand and begin with the first bead between the thumb and pointer finger. Each time you chant OM, move your fingers to the next bead until you reach the largest bead, also known as the guru bead.

Once you have finished, take a few moments to sit in silence and observe any new thoughts or sensations that arise.

Incorporate Morning Meditation into Your Routine

Now that you know the 5 best guided morning meditations for energy and motivation, where do you begin?

Follow these tips for forming a new habit:

  1. Set realistic and sustainable goals
  2. Practice at the same time, every day
  3. Weave the practice into your current routine

Ten weeks may be a realistic time frame to commit to a consistent practice, despite the adage that it takes 21 days to form a habit.[13] Choose one of the morning meditations for energy and motivation that fits your current schedule. Keep it simple and try to build it into your already established routine.

Choosing to practice at the same time every day will make it easier to practice consistently. Instead of looking at this like something you have to do, choose to view it as something you get to do. This should be an enjoyable activity that you look forward to each morning.

Doing one of these activities each day can assist with increased energy and motivation, not to mention the variety of established physical and psychological benefits of meditation. Practice these guided morning meditations for energy and motivation every day for ten weeks and you might just become a morning person, after all.

Featured photo credit: Sage Friedman via unsplash.com

Reference

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