Get Energized Sans Coffee with These 7 Health Hacks


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In need of a quick jolt of energy? Don’t want to order another iced coffee? These health hacks provide caffeine-free alternatives that will clear your mind and power your body through yet another round of studying. With seven healthy options to choose from, try one every day this week and see which ones work best for you!

  1. Do ten minutes of physical activity.

When you’re exhausted, the last thing you want to do is exercise, but hear us out. According to a study conducted by the University of Georgia, sedentary adults who engaged in as little as 20 minutes of aerobic exercise three days a week for six consecutive weeks reported feeling more energetic and less fatigued.

And we’re not talking about high-intensity sprinting here—just a few minutes of low-intensity cardio, such as walking or biking, can do the trick. Even taking the stairs or parking further away from the grocery store can make a huge difference to your energy levels. Next time you’re experiencing major brain fog, try taking a brisk walk or leisurely bike ride around the block, then evaluate how you feel afterward.

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  1. Take a power nap.

It may seem contradictory to your study schedule to take frequent naps, but research shows that brief periods of shut-eye can pack a big punch when it comes to keeping yourself awake later on in the day. The goal is to nod off for 20 minutes maximum. Any more and your body will think it’s getting ready for a full night’s rest, which can make it nearly impossible to wake back up quickly.

If you’re finding that power naps aren’t enough to keep you going, you may need to commit to getting more sleep on a nightly basis. Studies suggest that college-aged adults need about 7-8 hours of sleep per night, plus or minus one hour. So, if you’re regularly clocking 5 hours a night, consider taking steps to improve your sleep cycle. You’re sure to find that increased sleep results in more productivity!

  1. Use cool temperatures to your benefit.

People have been using cold water for its energy-boosting benefits since ancient times. Rumor has it that Romans used to plunge themselves into icy waters anytime they needed an energy boost. To this day, taking cold showers is a favorite morning practice of many entrepreneurs and Hollywood stars, including the late Katherine Hepburn, who took one every morning throughout her entire life.

So, how does it work? We’re glad you asked. The initial shock of the cold water on human skin encourages deep breathing to help regulate body temperature. This causes the heart rate to increase, sending a rush of blood throughout our bodies and providing a dose of natural energy that lasts the whole day.

Lacking an overwhelming urge to jump in an ice-cold shower? We can’t blame you. You can either try splashing cold water on your face, or eliminate water from the equation completely by monitoring the room temperature while you study. If you’re feeling sluggish and have access to the air control, consider turning it down. You’ll instantly feel more alert. And if you’re used to studying in a cozy sweatshirt and thick socks, consider removing them for the ultimate revitalizing effect.

  1. Mind your eating habits.

Ever notice how eating a lot seems to be directly related to feeling absolutely exhausted? As you may have guessed (or learned from experience), you’re not doing yourself any favors by binging on a high-calorie meal and then attempting to sit down at your computer for hours on end. Consuming an excessive amount of food, especially meals high in carbohydrates, signals to your body that your full stomach wants to sleep.

Stay ahead of your body by eating smaller meals and snacking more frequently if you’re still hungry. Since the brain has very few energy reserves of its own, it depends on regular meals to stay alert. Eating smaller meals more frequently stimulates the brain by sending it a steady supply of nutrients throughout the day.

According to diet specialists, the best snacks for energy boosts involve protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. Since these snacks take longer for your body to break down, your bloodstream slowly receives the energy-boosting nutrients and keeps you feeling satisfied for longer amounts of time. Great snack choices include apple slices with peanut butter, almonds, turkey and cheese roll-ups, bananas, hummus, or protein smoothies.

  1. Enjoy a short break.

As if you needed an excuse to ditch the homework for a few minutes, studies show that disengaging from assignments for short segments of time can boost energy levels. A Johnson & Johnson study reveals that “microbursts” of activity will not only ease tension after staring at your computer for hours on end, but it will also result in increased energy levels.

Best of all, these bursts of activity need not be purely physical. Do anything mental, spiritual or emotional, and you’ll immediately feel the positive effects. Complete a crossword puzzle, spend a few minutes meditating, or watch a funny viral video. These activities can make you feel more alert, or at the very least, break up the monotony of studying.

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  1. Try a B vitamin.

Studies suggest that all the hallmarks of low productivity and sluggishness (mood changes, poor concentration, low energy – sound familiar?) can be linked to Vitamin B deficiency. And many energy drinks that promise to deliver amazing results really pale in comparison to the real deal, which are B vitamins.

There are many types of B vitamins on the market such as B-1, B-2, B-3, B-5, B-6, B-12, Folic Acid, and so forth. Each come with their own set of benefits, and despite which B vitamin you choose, you can bet that your choice will provide the improved mental clarity you’re seeking. If you’re already taking other medications or supplements, don’t forget to consult with your doctor before purchasing that economy-sized pack on Amazon.

  1. Try a bit of aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy makes use of aromatic plant oils to improve physical or psychological well-being. Even if you’re not into the natural health scene, you may be surprised how effective taking a whiff of the following scents may be:

  • Rosemary: One study conducted by the University of Northumbria in the United Kingdom suggested that smelling this herb can boost brainpower. Test subjects who were given rosemary aromatherapy performed better on word puzzles and memory tests than participants who did not receive any aromatherapy.
  • Peppermint: Peppermint is one of the most recognizable scents in the world; plus, it can boost memory function. One study conducted by the International Journal of Neuroscience involved 144 volunteers who were either given peppermint aroma, ylang ylang aroma, or no aroma. The evidence concluded that the participants given peppermint essence experienced increased alertness, memory enhancement, and shortened task processing speed while the participants given ylang ylang aroma experienced decreased memory function and alertness.
  • Eucalyptus: Much like peppermint and rosemary, eucalyptus has purifying properties that help with mental clarity and physical well-being. One double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that when a combination of peppermint and eucalyptus were applied to the forehead and temples of 32 participants, they experienced increased cognitive performance.

So, if you’re looking for an effective way to become more focused and avoid excessive energy drain, try any of these caffeine-free health hacks for increased academic performance. Happy studying!

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Amelia Woolard is a graduate of Millsaps College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications Studies and an Art History minor. A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Amelia moved to New Orleans in 2014 to begin her career in marketing and design. She is particularly interested in the intersection of art and language, and enjoys projects that merge the two fields. Amelia is an avid yet critical pop culture consumer and a loving mother to her cat Faulkner.

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