The Best Non-Coffee Drinks and Practices for Energy
We love coffee. Love is an understatement!
We know, however, from research and from continual personal experience, that relying on coffee can lead to a lower rate of return with each subsequent cup of our favorite drug. The more coffee that you drink, the more that you must drink in order to feel awake, buzzed, jazzed.
So, let’s say that we reserve coffee for the morning. How does one get through the rest of their day with a sparkle in their eye and jump in their step when feeling deeply burned out?
Here, some natural sources of energy that will provide you with a dose of sustained focus, vigor, and vivacity throughout your day.
Matcha has a calming agent called L-Theanine in its makeup, so it’ll provide you with a more even-keeled caffeine effect. More of a lift than a jolt. You can find individual packets of matcha and simply stir them into water, or buy it in cans and use a matcha scoop or teaspoon. Matcha is best when it’s prepared using a matcha whisk or frother.
Try this delicious, clean recipe if you’re still iffy about matcha:
● 1.5 cups of unsweetened cashew, coconut, or almond milk
● Liquid stevia or monk fruit to taste
● A pinch of sea salt
● A few drops of real vanilla extract
● 2-3 teaspoons of Matcha powder
● 1.5 tablespoons hot water
1. Heat the milk in a small pot until it reaches a simmer
2. Stir in the sea salt, stevia or monk fruit, and vanilla, and whisk to combine them until a foam forms.
3. Add the matcha powder to a small bowl and pour the hot water over top, stirring quickly to make a bright green liquid paste
4. Pour the sweetened milk over top of the diluted matcha and top with the foam
5. Top with cinnamon! Note: to make this drink iced, simply stir the matcha into room temperature water, pour over ice, and mix with the plant based-milk and the other ingredients.
Walk the walk:
Going for a walk will help you to oxygenate your body and will get your blood circulating. It also provides you with a short break from whatever you’re doing. Take a few five to ten minute walks during the day, and you’ll likely feel refreshed, less anxious, and happier.
Coffee and life are dehydrating, and you may find that by simply drinking more water, you’ll feel more energized. If you really want to go for it, stir some electrolytes and//or trace minerals in your water. They’ll make you feel amazing. We love Australian Trace Minerals and LMNT—they’re both free of sugar and come in an array of delicious flavors. How much water should we be drinking for proper hydration? The eight cups per day rumor is done. Women should aim to drink a minimum of nine cups of water a day, and men should aim to drink a minimum of 13! Tea and sparkling water count!
Get to the root of it:
Ginseng has been used by Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years and is very effective in fighting fatigue, promoting energy, and sharpening focus. You can get it in liquid, capsule, tea, and powder form.
Cordyceps, Lion’s Mane, and Chaga: these mushrooms are powerful, earthy in flavor, and impressive. You can buy capsules or find them in a powder form and stir them into your...umm...non-coffee drinks.
Spending even just a few minutes in direct sunlight will help to correct your circadian rhythm, warm your skin, and heighten your energy level. Just make sure to protect your eyes from harsh UV rays—in style, of course, with a pair of SALT sunglasses. It’s been advised that one of the first things that we do every morning is get into direct sunlight.
Elevate your entire life with clean, frequent meals. We need energy—in the form of nourishment—in order to have energy. Having a meal or snack every three to four hours will provide you with a steady surge of energy. Certain foods have also been proven to sharpen your focus and make you feel more animated. Unsurprisingly, these include leafy greens, vegetables, fresh fruit, proteins like fish, chicken and meat, and complex carbs like sweet potatoes. Stay far, far away from sugar, which will just leave you to crash. Keep some clean snacks with you at all times—think greek yogurt, protein bars, jerky, pistachios, apples, etc—and enjoy them in between meals. Dark chocolate is also energizing, so have a square or two of a high quality bar after lunch. Consider taking a Vitamin B supplement, too—it’s essential for energy and you may not be getting enough of it in your diet. Ciao, brain fog!
Looking for an easy afternoon snack that can replace your afternoon almond milk latte?
Try this simple and delicious recipe, which is packed with foods that have been proven to boost energy, sans sugar or caffeine crash:
1. Slice a banana and place a layer at the bottom of the bowl
2. Sprinkle cinnamon on top of the banana
3. Transfer a single serving container, or 1⁄2 to 3⁄5 cup of plain Greek yogurt, into the bowl, alternating layers with banana slices sprinkled with cinnamon.
4. Depending on your flavor preferences, sprinkle any combination of sesame seeds, sugar free dark chocolate chips, cashews, or chia seeds on top of the yogurt and banana layers, and sprinkle with more cinnamon.
Get a whiff of this:
Certain essential oils—especially peppermint, lime, cinnamon, ginger, lemongrass, and grapefruit—can boost your energy. Keep a few bottles with you and wear them, spritz them to scent the air, sniff them directly from the bottle, or dab a bit on a cotton swab.
Don’t make eye contact with the coffee machine or coffee shop after morning time—just keep walking. Try these instead of or in tandem with your beloved coffee, and enjoy steady, sustainable surges of energy.
Written by Alexandra Malmed for SALT.