You're Kicking the Coffee Habit. Here's How to Get the Energy You Need.

Northwestern Medicine
Health and Wellness September 16, 2016
So, you’ve decided to give up coffee but you don’t want your forehead hitting the keyboard around 10 a.m. Anna Balabanova, MD, a family medicine resident at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital, has some tips on how you can keep your energy level up when your morning cappuccino is out:

  • Bring a healthy snack. Ideally with foods that have a low glycemic index. These foods are absorbed more slowly and won’t lead to a sudden drop in energy. Try a chicken sandwich on whole wheat or sprouted grain bread, unsweetened low-fat Greek yogurt with unsweetened granola or an apple with peanut butter.
  • Snack regularly. Skipping meals deprives you of the energy you need and can set you up to eat too much at the next meal. Eating healthy meals and snacks throughout the day helps to keep blood sugar levels steady.
  • Stay hydrated. Fatigue is a common sign of dehydration, so be sure to drink water throughout the day.
  • Get outside. Studies have shown that being around nature, even for small periods of time, helps people feel more energized.  
  • Work a power nap into your day. A 20 minute nap is long enough for you to receive the restorative benefits of the first couple of stages of sleep.  Be careful when napping later in the day as it may disrupt your sleep cycle.
  • Try a stimulating breath exercise. While keeping your mouth closed, inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose with short, quick breaths. Do this for about 10 seconds, then breathe normally and give yourself a break, and repeat several times.  Originally used in yoga, this breathing technique stimulates the diaphragm and signals the body to increase alertness.
  • Get your heart rate up. Even a quick walk, can be a great way to re-energize. Exercise tells your cells you need more energy and your body will rise to the occasion and provide you with more. It increases the flow of oxygen circulating in your body, and oxygen plays a key role in helping the cells go through the process of producing energy. 
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