It’s 3 pm at work, and you’re dragging.

You’ve still got a couple hours to go, and you’ve already had a coffee or two, but you just can’t get the energy to really focus enough and keep going to make it happen.

What do you do?

Well here are five tiny habits you can start doing (today) for loads more coffee-free energy to keep you fueled for your busy life.

1. Go plant-based

Ever notice how when you eat certain foods (or a big meal) you feel sluggish, tired and gross for a few hours?

Maybe you just feel unproductive and sleepy after lunch while you’re working – well that’s because what we eat has a large influence on our perceived energy.

Think of it like this: how do you feel after eating a salad versus eating a big steak with mashed potatoes and gravy?

The steak and mashed potatoes probably make you feel stuffed and tired. Now I’m not saying to stop eating steak, but maybe save that for a dinner meal later in the day.

When you add more plants to your meals, you’re going to be getting more fiber, more nutrients, and more water, while also getting filled without stuffing yourself and feeling heavy after.

2. Swap your fruit juice and coffee for ice cold water.

Ever find yourself struggling to get anything done first thing in the morning without coffee?

Maybe it’s the afternoon crash  – if so, wait before you reach for that next cup of coffee.

A recent study suggested that drinking ice cold water first thing in the morning (or anytime you need a pick me up) might be just as effective as drinking coffee (and a lot better for you).

Next time you need to wake up a bit and don’t have a good spot to nap, take a couple ice cubes, toss them in your water and drink it down quickly. It’s a jitters-free way to get a pick me up.

3. Follow the rule of 180 

You’ve probably heard all the conflicting advice on the internet – eat every three hours, make sure to eat breakfast, do intermittent fasting and so on and so forth.

But eating every three hours is one of the best things you can do to offset low blood sugar. Low blood sugar is a primary cause of fatigue, lack of energy, mood swings, and cravings. And just by eating more regularly – keeping your blood sugar consistent, you can offset any kind of crash that will alter your energy levels.

Like we’ll talk about in step five, the best way to also have a stable blood sugar is to also change what you’re eating.

4. Drop the refined carbs 

It’s so temping to grab a bagel with butter when you’re rushing to work in the morning, but in reality, refined carbs (white bread, bagels, etc.) especially in combination with sugar (hello pastries), are quite possibly the worst combination for your mood and energy.

Refined carbs (versus whole grains for example) have two major problems.

First, they rapidly spike your blood sugar and then make it quickly crash after.

This is bad news for your energy (and weight!). The reason is because they lack some of the fiber and bran that unrefined carbs have, so they affect your blood sugar much more rapidly.

The other big problem is that refined carbs actually have a lot less nutrition than whole, unrefined carbs. In some nutrients, it’s as little as 1/20th the nutrition.

5. Have a  “30g” breakfast

The last principle here to having way more energy today is to have the “30g” breakfast which just means emphasizing at least 30g of protein with the meal.

In fact, if you want energy all day long, have at least 30g of protein at each meal with your veggies.

Having a sizeable amount of protein in the morning will help you stay fuller, longer, it’ll help stabilize blood sugar which is important for mood and energy, and it’ll keep those cravings away.

These five principles have dramatically boosted my energy on a daily basis, without relying on coffee or other stimulants that lead to you burning out.

What’s worked for you? Share it below!

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