Coffee is probably the world’s most loved beverage. From the morning caffeine to the middle-of-the day pick-me-up to the afternoon latte, coffee has been a part of many people’s lives. Unfortunately, many of us rely too much on coffee whenever we feel that we are low on energy. Others simply yawn and they reach for their fifth cup.

While coffee has many benefits, including having some healthy antioxidants, there are other ways for you to get that energy boost you need.

Eat Some Carbs

While carbs are associated with afternoon crashes, the good ones can actually help you feel more energized. It’s only a matter of choosing wisely and the best options are whole grains over refined carbs. Increase your energy by having whole grain cereal or a slice of toast in the morning with some protein for more energy.

Get a Hobby, Such as Gardening

Many people choose to exercise to boost their energy, but there are people who don’t like to go down this path. If you’re one of them, you shouldn’t force yourself because you’ll end up quitting and feeling guilty about quitting. Instead do something that you love, such as gardening, which actually counts as a workout. From digging the soil to watering and taking care of your plants, these not only keep you happy, but also stimulate your brain resulting to a more alert day.

Throw away that cup, you won't need it / PicHelp
Throw away that cup, you won’t need it / PicHelp

Choose Your Light

Having bright light can help awaken your brain. If you need to stay alert, opt for blue light, even during lazy afternoons. According to a 2013 study in New York, blue light is the most helpful in keeping you up, but at the same time, it keeps you calm. Red light can also keep you awake, but it can contribute to you being more irritable and moodier.

Chew Gum

Gum can refresh your breath, but it has other uses, including giving you extra energy. Science has discovered that chewing gum for 15 minutes can make you more alert. This simple activity does the following to your body:

  • Increase your heart rate
  • Increase blood flow to your brain, causing mental alertness
  • Arouse your autonomic nervous system

For best results, choose mint-flavored gum, which has that similar effect as splashing cold water on your face.

Use these techniques to boost your energy for play, for work, or for your everyday life, so you don’t rely too much on coffee to wake you up and keep you alert throughout the day.