Due to our fast-paced lives, most of us are always looking for ways to increase our energy levels to be more productive throughout the day. From personal experience, I’ve found some really great ways to increase my energy without the help of caffeine. Although I still drink coffee once a week, I’m working on reducing that and hope to eventually eliminate it from my diet. Most of us go straight for the coffee when we are feeling fatigued and unmotivated because it’s quick and easy. While it certainly helps temporarily, relying on coffee too often has its negative side effects. It can cause anxiety, dehydration, insomnia, indigestion, and that awful ‘crash’ at the end of the day. So, here are some tips with no negative side effects at all!

1. Start your day with a smoothie. I have a morning smoothie everyday and I’ve noticed some really great changes in my body and in the way I function on a day-to-day basis. My favorite is a banana smoothie, also known as my “banana milk” (for the recipe, click here). I like adding dates to my smoothies because they are great source of energy and it also adds sweetness to my smoothies. So, avoid the sugar and add a few dates instead. The main ingredients I usually gravitate towards when making smoothies are pineapple, bananas, apples, spinach, and mangoes.

2. Exercise daily. This is super important, not just when it comes to your energy levels but for your overall health. I always feel really energized after a workout. I usually like to get my exercise in first thing in the morning. It’s a great way to start your day and you don’t have to worry about fitting it into your schedule later on. It doesn’t have to be an intense one-hour workout. You can start out with a 10-minute walk outside and slowly increase the intensity as you’d like.

3. Eat the right foods. Some great fruits for energy include oranges, papaya, pineapples, and bananas. Make sure they’re ripe, ripe fruits are easier to digest and have more natural fruit sugars to energize your body. Vegetables are also good energy-boosters. My favorite include spinach, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes. If you’re looking for something more filling,  you can try some rice, avocados, quinoa, and nuts.

4. Get enough sleep. I’ve never understood the importance of sleep until just recently. I was listening to Shawn Stevenson’s podcast and it really motivated me not only to get at least 8 hours of sleep daily, but to go to bed early and wake up early. It plays a huge role in the way you feel throughout the day. It feels so much more refreshing to get an early start, while feeling well rested. I also find that I get much more done in the morning when there are very little distractions around.

5. Drink more water. Proper hydration can maximize your performance. Most of us don’t even realize how dehydrated we are but when you start increasing your water intake, there are noticeable differences. When you feel hydrated, you are able to get more things done and it also helps to eliminate headaches. So, make sure you drink plenty of water and you’ll feel ready to take on your day!