11 Natural Ways to Boost Energy (Without Caffeine)

For many of us, 3 o’clock in the afternoon is the low point in our days. The morning coffee has worn off, the end of the day is just beyond reach, and our willpower seems to disappear completely. Instead of reaching for another coffee or a sugary snack, try these 11 tips to get you motivated, inspired, happy, and energized at the end of your day.

Eat some sweet potato. Sometimes, when you’re feeling a little tired midday, you might need a complex carb pick-me-up. Sweet potatoes are naturally sweet — hence the name — and have plenty of fiber to help you avoid a blood sugar spike. Oven roasted with a little oil and salt, they make the perfect 3 o’clock energy snack. They’re delicious, and a much smarter choice than those stale, sugary cookies in the vending machines.

Chew gum. Believe it or not, chewing can actually increase alertness. That means if you feel yourself dozing off in the midst of a meeting or class, pop a trusty piece of gum to keep yourself on the right side of the fence-bouncing sheep.

Turn on your bright lights. If you can’t whip open the shades to unveil a shining, bright sun, turn on some bright lights in your room. Light has a natural, energizing effect on your body. While natural light is the most potent, flicking on a few bulbs that emit a natural spectrum can be almost as effective.

Learn something. When you are interested in something, your body naturally becomes more awake and energized. If you’re feeling tired at work, take a 10 minute break to peruse that new how-to book you just bought, or watch some educational videos on YouTube or Ted. When it’s time to get back to work, you’ll feel more inspired and revitalized.

Go outside. “Nature is fuel for the soul,” says researcher Richard Ryan to Science Daily. Research has shown that people feel a heightened sense of energy and overall well-being when they spend regular time outdoors. An added benefit: it is well known to boost immunity as well! Don’t let your outdoors time fall by the wayside. Get some fresh air every day to keep feeling lively and inspired.

Get some fun exercise. If you love playing tennis, start playing tennis in the mornings. If gardening calms you, get out and get dirty after work. Exercise doesn’t always have to be a slog. It should be fun. Let your inner 5 year-old free and reap the energizing benefits!

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Blast those tunes. Blare your favorite upbeat song on your headphones and let it consume you. Music is supremely powerful, and has the potential to completely alter our moods and life outlooks. Use this to your benefit. If you’re feeling a little depressed or overrun, blast Uptown Funk and take a 10 minute break to strut your stuff. (Dancing will give you an extra boost, and is completely encouraged.)

Grab a power nap. Hey, sometimes you just need a good nap. If you have 10-20 minutes free, why not curl up, clear your mind, and snatch a few Zs? If you’ve been short on sleep, a nap may be just the ticket to keep you functioning at full capacity throughout your busy day without spending half of your paycheck at your local coffee shop.

Stretch your limbs. Sometimes all you need to get more energized is to lengthen those muscles and lubricate those joints. If you’ve been staring at a computer all day, get up and take a few minutes to stretch your major muscle groups — quads, calves, neck, shoulder, glutes, deep abdominals. It’s important not only to reenergize yourself, but also to undo the anatomical harm of all that sitting and slouching.

Deep breaths. Unleash your yoga breaths when you’re feeling low, stressed, or need to get your blood pumping. Even more effective, sniff a lemon. It may sound crazy, but the scent of lemon has a therapeutic effect on energy and mood.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Slight dehydration can cause fatigue, so before reaching for the coffee or chocolate, chug a refreshing glass of cold water (with lemon for a double whammy of alertness!). Many of our daily ailments can be solved by just drinking more water, so be sure to always carry a non-plastic canteen with you wherever you go.

There are many natural ways to keep yourself happy and healthy during those afternoon crashes that don’t involve caffeine or candy. The best part is: none of them will cause you guilt or a steep crash later in the evening. Try each of these tips out and figure out what works best for you!

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140 comments

Peggy B
Peggy B2 years ago

noted

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill3 years ago

thanks

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Julia Oleynik
Julia Oleynik3 years ago

Thank you for sharing:)

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Laurie j.
Laurie jope4 years ago

Thanks

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K B.
K B4 years ago

Good tips TY

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Nikki Davey
Nikki Davey4 years ago

Good list of tips to try. And glad these aren't "hacks" !

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Holli DuShane
Holli DuShane4 years ago

Great tips! Thank you!

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arnold B.
arnold B4 years ago

thanks

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