Do You Need to Break Up with Coffee? 5 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Energy
The alarm goes off. Exhausted, you crawl out of bed and stumble to the kitchen. Once that first jolt of java hits your brain, life begins again and allows you to merrily go about your day.
If you have blood sugar fluctuations, adrenal fatigue (hypofunction), anxiety, or high blood pressure, coffee is not your friend. I’ll share with you my top 5 way to naturally boost your energy without caffeine.
Coffee: A Health Deficit
Coffee is a necessary stimulant in our adrenally-challenged society. It estimated than around 90% of the U.S. population has some degree of adrenal fatigue.
Could you be one of them? Take this quick test to find out: Pupilary Response Test
Caffeine artificially stimulates the adrenal glands and depletes these already overworked energy producers. Eventually, you’re caught in a vicious cycle of needing more coffee and more sugar to help compensate for the continued decrease in natural energy.
It also lowers blood sugar and causes sugar cravings, energy crashes, and brain fog mid-morning once the stimulation fades.
Find out more about the dangers of getting *hangry* and how the adrenals are affected by the blood sugar roller coaster here.
Break the Habit
Instead of breaking down your body to just get through the day, restore it’s function. Start with a nutrient-dense diet that heals both the gut – the core foundation of health – and the adrenal glands.
Focusing on gelatin-filled broths, pastured meats and fats, and antioxident-rich vegetables are a great way to regulate blood sugar levels necessary to adrenal health and to the health of the entire endocrine system (infertility and PMS are two conditions tied to endocrine dysfunction).
And above all, rest. Learning your limits and giving yourself permission to not reach beyond them is a critical step to a true health.
During this transition – and after unavoidable nights of little sleep -, I’ve put together a few of my favorite ways to wake up and shake away the cobwebs.
These will naturally boost your energy without artificial stimulants.
Certain scents can clear your head and wake you up almost instantly. Essential oils can either be used in your personal care products, worn on the body, or sniffed as needed. I always have some essential oils on hand to sniff throughout the day.
Invigorating Oils (not a comprehensive list) —
Citrus oils such as lemon, orange, grapefruit, and lime
Pine including rosemary
This is my #1 way to shake off the cobwebs. The steamy warmth from the hot towel coupled with the increased blood flow and glow that it brings to my face makes oil cleansing my favorite beauty routine.
If you’d like to learn more about how I cleared up my acne-ridden skin and made my skin look 5 years younger, go check out my comprehensive post on oil cleansing.
Oil pulling can be as effective as a cup of coffee for getting your brain moving and ready to start the day. It also has the added bonus of reducing facial puffiness, bags under the eyes, and tones facial muscles. Read more about the health benefits of oil pulling here.
A glass of room temperature or warm lemon water helps to clear the liver of stagnant toxins, allows the digestive system to wake up, and hydrates your cells.
Dehydration is one of the most common causes of fatigue.
Just squeeze 1/4-1/2 of a fresh, organic lemon into 10-12 ounces of filtered water and drink at least 20 minutes before eating, so the large amount of water doesn’t hinder digestion.
Eat a Balanced Breakfast
Start the day with a health combination of protein, healthy fats, and carbs. A good rule of thumb is 30% of calories from protein, 30% from fat, and 40% from carbs and then adjust to find the best combination for your body.
For me, 60% of calories from fat gives me the best sustained energy and keeps away the late morning blood sugar crash and sugar cravings. I used to have epic sugar cravings.
Still fighting the change?
If you aren’t ready to give up your coffee, try a healthier version (replacing the stevia with honey, maple syrup, or omitting it altogether) that’ll give you lasting energy and help prevent the late morning blood sugar crash.
Another alternative is to switch to organic black or green tea during the transition. They’ll naturally boost your energy – along with sniffing peppermint essential oil – and help you avoid the withdrawal headaches while being less stimulating to your system.
However you decide to nurture yourself, making the mental shift is the biggest hurdle on your road to change. Make the commitment and see it through.
If you stumble, pick yourself up and start again. Be persistent. The lasting changes are often the ones we most struggle with.
Jennifer Nervo is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Reiki Master Practitioner & teacher, and Aromatherapist. Her focus is on digestive, nervous, and immune system dysfunction and the fields of functional nutrition & psychoneuroimmunology. She works with all conditions and diseases including environmental and food allergies, autoimmune diseases, multiple chemical sensitivity, diabetes, eczema, anxiety, weight loss as a symptom of dis-ease, and gut-brain disorders like autism.
When she’s not herding her small troupe of monkeys or seeing clients, her free time is packed with researching and perfecting new wellness techniques (her not-so-secret passion). Jennifer is currently a group leader for the newest class of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners out of Ann Arbor, MI, studying for the national board exam in holistic nutrition, and running a combined distance and brick and mortar practice in metro Detroit. She’s also a homeschooling suburbanite, foodie, and mama to two littles and a schnoodle.