Let’s be real – most of us can’t live without coffee. During midterms, coffee is essential to staying up and studying, plus it tastes amazing. However, buying coffee every day at Dutch Bros can burn a massive hole in your wallet and sometimes result in some serious heart palpitations. Here are some ways you can still feel energized enough to complete your to-do list without drinking coffee.
1. Get those ZZZ’s…
Falling asleep during lecture or while trying to read that play for your English class? It’s probably because you didn’t get enough sleep the night before. Adults are recommended to sleep between seven and nine hours a night, so prioritizing your sleep is one of the most important things you can do to make sure you have enough brain power to get through the day. Your REM cycle is like a filing system that organizes and files away all the information your brain received when you were awake. So, don’t put sleep on the back burner, and hit the sheets.
Setting an intention for your day will help you feel organized, alert, and motivated enough to accomplish your goals. A free app called Headspace has daily ten-minute meditation sessions that guide you through the meditation process. Meditation has loads of health benefits that reduce stress and increase concentration. After waking up in the morning, take ten minutes to relax and prepare for your day.
3. Drink Lots of Water
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! If you’re feeling tired and groggy, it’s probably because you haven’t had enough water. Drinking water throughout the day helps your mind and body stay alert and active, increasing your energy. To remind myself to stay hydrated, I log how much water I drink on an app called iHydrate. The app has a graph that tracks your daily water intake, you can set reminders to hydrate throughout the day, and you can connect it to your Apple Watch, Fitbit, or Jawbone. The next time you feel like you’re falling asleep in class, drink some water. Flavoring your water with lemons, limes, cucumbers, or strawberries are fun ways to make your water taste good and will also make you more likely to drink it!
4. Eat a High-Protein Snack
While the pizza at the Silo smells amazing, try drinking a protein shake or eating an apple with almond butter instead. Greasy fast-food may be satisfying in the moment, but your body and brain will thank you later if you eat something more wholesome. Eating things that are high in protein will make you feel full longer and take your body longer to digest, which will give you long-lasting energy.
5. Take a Nap!
A 15- to 30-minute nap can work wonders on your daily energy level. Biking from one end of campus to another, studying, and just focusing during lecture requires a lot of mental and physical energy. Giving yourself a break during the day to relax and close your eyes will recharge your body so you can focus for the rest of the day. However, naps lasting longer than an hour can actually make you more tired. So, lay down on a hammock in the quad and take a quick nap. But make sure you set an alarm on your phone so you don’t sleep through your next class!
Getting up and moving is good for your body and releases endorphins in the brain. Running for 30 minutes on a treadmill, or jogging in the arboretum before class will help you feel energized and ready to tackle your day. According to a recent article in Time Magazine, researchers have found that exercise increases blood flow to the brain resulting in quicker learning and better focus. Instead of rushing straight home after class, stop by the ARC for an hour instead!
Even though we all love coffee (some of us, a little too much), be sure to try these alternative ways to feel wide awake throughout the day to save yourself some cash and experience the health benefits!
Thumbnail courtesy of Kirsten Burrell