Caffeine Alternatives That Boost Energy

That habitual coffee routine can have negative consequences on your health and athletic performance. Daily consumption hinders your adrenal glands, which help your body respond to stress—the flight or fight response.

Over time, coffee drinking will make these glands burn out, causing adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue, when combined with training can lead to:

  • Weight gain
  • Constant fatigue
  • GI distress
  • Mood irregularity

If you're suffering from any of these issues, or currently drink coffee every day, it's time to find a substitute. These five options provide nutrients and lasting energy, two things your favorite coffee does not. 

More: Caffeine-Free Snacks That Boost Energy

Matcha Green Tea

The difference between coffee and matcha are alkalizing properties. An alkalized body is desired for optimal health. Matcha also contains nutrients—L-theanine, antioxidants and flavonoids—that coffee does not. Drink a cup of matcha green tea in the morning to help regulate blood sugar for all-day energy.

Sleep

Time in bed does not always equal time slept. Factors like how long it took to fall asleep, how many times you woke up and how long it took to fall back asleep all take away from total sleep time. Assess at your current sleep habits and work to make them better if necessary. Some ways to improve your sleep:

  • Turn off all screens well before bed to help your body adjust to sleep mode.
  • Get into bed earlier to allow yourself time to fall asleep.
  • Reduce stress through yoga. Even a short, solo session before bed can help.

More: 8 Tips to a Good Night's Sleep

Maca

Maca powder supports your fatigued adrenal glands, which boosts your depleted energy, while helping you cope with stress, reduce anxiety, and improve hormone and endocrine balance. It also contains iron, magnesium, calcium and vitamins B1, B2, B, C, D and E. Add an 1/8 teaspoon to a smoothie or cold pressed juice at first, slowly working your way up to 1 to 2 teaspoons.

Chia

Chia seeds contain protein, iron, calcium, fiber, omega-3s, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin B3 and vitamin B1. All of these minerals and vitamins are essential for your health and daily energy levels. Add a tablespoon of chia seeds, fresh squeezed lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of raw honey to your water bottle for a workout.

Chia seeds hold up to 12 times their weight when they expand, which makes them a fantastic binder as well. Use them to boost the nutritional content of jam, oatmeal or coconut pudding.

More: 7 Reasons to Take the Chia Seed Challenge

Water

Up to 60 percent of your body is water, and without it you feel sluggish and tired. If you eat a lot of processed foods for fuel during the day, you need even more water than someone who eats mostly whole food. Keep a reusable, non-plastic water bottle with you at all times, sipping it as you feel thirsty. Add lemon or strawberries for natural flavoring if you prefer. 

More: 5 Whole Foods That Should Be in Every Athlete's Kitchen

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