How To Wake Up In The Morning Without Caffeine, According To Science
Before I have my double shot of espresso in the morning, I am basically a zombie. Groggy, and irritable, I turn towards my morning fix of coffee to kickstart my day. But, counting on caffeine to boost your energy in the morning is the norm: A 2014 study estimated at least 85 percent of Americans consume at least one caffeine product every single day — through products like coffee, tea, energy drinks, chocolate, and pills.
On average, it takes around 10 minutes for you start to feel the effects of caffeine. However, the energy-boosting drug doesn't hit peak concentration in your bloodstream until around 45 minutes after you drink a cup of coffee or tea. Though the energy-boosting benefits of consuming caffeine depends largely on the individual and how much caffeine is consumed, too much of it can lead to a caffeine crash and have negative impact on your health — causing symptoms such as nausea, insomnia, headaches, restlessness, or irritability.
Caffeine may be a staple of most people's morning routines, but it doesn't have to be the only source of energy you rely on to jumpstart your day. If you need a little boost, here are 11 science-approved ways to wake up in the morning — without caffeine.
1. Eat Breakfast
If you tend to choose grab-and-go meals like granola bars, or skip breakfast entirely, you may feel more tired in the AM. Food gives you calories, which equate to energy. So, fueling yourself with a good meal after sleeping all night may be an easy way to improve your energy in the morning. Classic breakfast foods like bananas, eggs, and yogurt are all energy-boosting options.
2. Work Out
Exercising while you're tired sounds miserable, but if you are in desperate need of extra energy, this may be your answer. Exercising releases endorphins — not only kickstarting your day by giving you energy, but by also improving your mood. Less tired and less grumpy? Yes, please!
3. Just Move
If you don't have the time or ability to do a full-on morning workout, try committing to just a ten minute exercise routine to get your heart pumping. Working out even for a short period of time can give any night owl a little pick-me-up in the morning, and throughout the day.
4. Take Vitamin B-12 (If You Know You're Deficient)
Vitamin B-12 is all the rage among fitness gurus on social media, but the truth is, it virtually does nothing if your body already produces a normal amount of B-12. However, people who do have a deficiency find taking B-12 can actually help combat fatigue and boost energy. Those with chronic health issues such as immune disorders or bowel diseases are more susceptible to developing a deficiency; you can determine if B-12 will help you with a simple blood test and consult with your doctor.
Yes, something as simple as stretching in the morning can make you feel more awake. Much like exercise, stretching can help improve blood flow, circulation, and oxygen levels — thus, giving your muscles more energy.
6. Develop A Routine
If your bedtime is all over the place, you may not have much energy in the morning — despite drinking a cup or two of coffee. "Keeping a regular and consistent sleep schedule helps your body get into a natural rhythm. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day," wrote HuffPost contributor and author Michael Fishbein. "By doing so, you will begin to naturally fall asleep and wake up at the same time each day. Waking up will feel more natural."
7. Listen To Upbeat Music
There's no doubt that music impacts our bodies, minds, and well-being. While slow songs tend to calm you down and help you relax, fast tempo music can actually increase your heart rate, and re-energize you. So, if you're morning is off to a slow start, playing upbeat music could help get you moving.
8. Drink Water
After a full night's rest, it's super important to drink water in addition to your morning cup of joe. Women's Health reported a 2007 study found just a decrease of 1 to 2 percent of your body's water weight could impair your thinking. Staying hydrated and replenishing your body can help you beat the morning slump.
9. Go Outside
Catching some rays during the summer will boost Vitamin D intake, and in turn, give you more energy. However, subjecting yourself to cold temperatures, or splashing cold water on your face will have the same effect of waking you up. Either way, utilizing extreme temperatures can help give you much needed energy in the morning.
No, seriously. Laughter has a whole host of health benefits, including lowering your stress, improving your mood, and energizing you by elevating your heart rate. Turn on a funny show on Netflix, or watch YouTube videos while you're waking up to help kickstart your morning.
11. Pop A Mint
Ever wonder why most toothpaste seems to come in mint flavor? "Mint stimulates your nerve fibers — it’s kind of like splashing cold water on your face,” Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum told Prevention. On top of brushing your teeth, chewing gum or keeping mints on hand at work may combat morning fatigue, as well as mid-afternoon slumps.
Not everyone can be a morning person, but these small tips could help you get that extra pep in your step. You don't need to rely solely on caffeine to boost your energy in the morning.