10 Natural pick me ups

For some of us, it hits us mid-morning. For others, we get it mid-afternoon. It’s that moment when you feel your eyes beginning to droop, your shoulders slumping and your concentration waning and, frankly, you just feel like having a quiet snooze somewhere! As most people can’t afford the luxury of power nap during the day, when you start to feel drowsy, you reach for a pick-me-up to get you going again, and that usually means a cup of coffee. While coffee does the trick for a while, the boost that it provides won’t last for long and it will probably keep you awake at night as well, so read these ten great alternatives to caffeine that will naturally pick you up during the day.

1. Bananas

Bananas are a great energy booster and that’s why you see so many sports people snacking on bananas. Whilst we can’t guarantee that bananas will make you a world class tennis star, they will provide you with instant energy boost from the glucose that they contain and a more prolonged energy boost for the fructose that is in them too.

2. A glass of water

It’s boring, and you keep reading about how you aren’t drinking enough of the stuff, but one of the biggest causes of people feeling lethargic during the day is simply that they are dehydrated. If you feel yourself flagging, you may not need any food at all, so just grab a glass of water, and see that helps.

3. Dark chocolate

No one’s suggesting that you eat a whole bar of dairy milk chocolate to give you energy, but a few pieces of dark chocolate won’t do you any harm at all. Dark chocolate, in moderation, is a very good pick-me-up snack. It contains a little bit of caffeine to wake you up, and some sugar to provide you with a bit more energy. It’s also a good source of antioxidants, which can also help to boost your energy levels.

4. Ginger tea

Ginger tea has a lovely refreshing taste that will wake up your senses and your mind. It’s a lot better for you, than caffeine, or a sugar loaded energy drink, and it will keep you alert for a lot longer. There are also a lot of other health benefits that come with ginger tea, one of which is its ability to reduce stress, which can be a cause of fatigue in the day.

5. Fruit and nuts

If you combine fruit and nuts together, you will get an instant source of energy from the fruit, a sustained energy boost from the nuts, and the water in the fruit will help to keep you hydrated too. And fresh fruit will supply you with natural sugars to boost your energy reserves. The best type of nut to eat for energy is almonds.

6. Beetroot juice and carrot juice

Beetroot juice and carrot juice (drunk separately or mixed together) supply a range of different health benefits, as well as providing an excellent source of energy, both long term and short term. The power of beetroot as a pick-me-up is so great that, in a study conducted by the University of Exeter, researchers found that drinking beetroot juice gave people the energy to exercise 16% longer than those that had not drunk the juice.

7. Fruit and cheese

Another great way to boost your energy is to combine fruit and low fat cheese in a snack. The cheese will give you protein, for sustained energy, and you will get the sugars from the fruit as well. Try eating some grapefruit slices with cottage cheese, the next time you feel a slump in energy, and you will feel the instant effect it has on your energy levels.

8. Eggs

You can never get bored of eggs, there are so many different ways that you cook them, or you can just eat a hard boiled egg for a snack when you start to feel a slump in energy coming on. Eggs are packed full of protein that will provide you with energy and they also contain Vitamin B, which aids the production of energy and boosts the functioning of the brain.

9. Peanut butter and fruit

Another way to get the protein and natural sugars that will boost your energy levels is to combine peanut butter, wholegrain crackers and some fruit. Peanut butter on wholegrain crackers, layered with slices of banana on top, would give you all the energy you will need, all combined into one delicious snack.

10. Get up and walk around

Humans are simply not designed to be sitting a desk all day long and, after a while, your blood circulation slows, your muscles begin to ache and, guess what, you start to feel tired. Take frequent breaks from your work, get up and move around every half hour or so, or go for a little walk. You never know, you might even find that you don’t really need a pick-me-up at all.

Stay happy and healthy!

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