Wondering what to do when that caffeine crash hits you in the afternoon? Anyone else would tell you to go for more coffee. But that’s not a good idea, you see. Check this, this and this out. Here are some effective alternatives to coffee that can still help you effectively fuel your work productivity and keep your energy levels at a high for the rest of the work day:
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1. Jump around or do some yoga!
Do whatever tickles your fancy, but you need to get active, get your heart pumping. Stretch your limbs, take a 15 minute walk and breathe in some good old fresh air into your lungs. Do some jumping jacks, yoga positions, dance moves–anything to make your active inner child squeal with glee. Don’t have much time? Try this super-popular World’s Fastest Workout!
Coffee or Tea?
Coffee may be your first love, but the faster you energize, the harder you crash. So how about something a little less painful like organic green or black tea? Add a dash of honey or almond milk if you like. You can easily get a box of Stash tea for less than the cost of a single trip to Starbucks. Ever tried the herbal drink “mate”? It’s the energy kick of choice in countries like Argentina and Paraguay.
3. Dare to do decaf
Don’t smite us for this one! If you’re just in love with the flavor of coffee, then try a decaf coffee, which does still retain a bit of caffeine and might be just enough to lift you from that late afternoon slump. However, fruit/berry/green smoothies are also excellent alternatives that give you a much healthier and cleaner energy zap. Coconut water (without added sugar) is also an excellent source of energy. Or try the energy elixir of the Aztecs if you’re really feeling hardcore—Peruvian maca root powder.
4. Snack for an energy boost
Instead of slurping your way back from the post-lunch food coma, snack on energy-giving foods like sunflower seeds, chia seeds, sugar-free dried fruits or bananas (stick one in the freezer for a creamy ice cream snack). Bonus points if you already incorporated any of these foods into your lunch. If you work at home, try not to snack at your desk. Take a break and head to the kitchen for a meal!
5. Accept that you need rest
If you seriously can’t keep your eyes open, your body might be sending you a message. So heed this wise advice and take a cat nap. Think midday naps are for lazy people? Some of the most productive people in the world swear on power naps. Set a timer for 15 minutes and when you awake, you’ll feel shiny and new and ready to be your productive self.
6. Turn up the Pandora Radio!
Fast, bassy, groovy rhythms might be just what you need to get yourself back into the zone after lunch. Have some fun putting together an afternoon playlist and crank it up in your speakers or headphones when you’re starting to feel sleepy.
7. Turn down the thermostat
It’s two in the afternoon, you’re warm and comfy, and your eyes slip closed while staring at your computer screen… Wake up! Cranking up the AC, opening the window for a cool breeze or turning on a fan in a stuffy room can help you feel more alert—it’s the same technique used in testing rooms (SATs anyone?) to keep everyone awake. Warning: This might cause a Thermostat War in your office. If you can’t turn down the temperature without getting glared at, just go outside for some cool air. Try one of these alternatives each day and see how productive you feel. And if you’re seriously trying to kick the coffee habit, remember that it takes 21 days to form a new habit, so don’t give up!
Image courtesy – Kill Bill
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