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How can I feel energized without caffeine?

This was a top energy question on Dr. Oz’s Sharecare community, and one that I think may apply to a lot of us, so I decided to share my answer with all of you!

There’s a lot you can do to help mimic the effects of that quick cup of coffee, without actually reaching for a cup of coffee. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to give yourself an energy boost without resorting to caffeine and other stimulants to wake you up. Thirty minutes of exercise, just four times a week, has proven to increase energy levels drastically after just six weeks. Exercise helps improve your lung capacity over time, allowing for more oxygen to reach your brain and muscles, waking you up and facilitating the production of energy in cells throughout your body. In the short term, increased heart rate and heightened blood flow from exercises as simple as taking a walk around the office instead of grabbing a cup of coffee can help you feel more energized. And exercise can be very simply incorporated into a busy lifestyle. Try going for a short walk during your lunch break, getting off the bus or subway a stop sooner than you normally would and walking a few extra blocks, or just doing some jumping jacks when you first wake up in the morning to get your heart pumping.

Eating healthy is also ideal for keeping your energy levels up. Eating nutritious, all natural meals will give your body the essential nutrients it needs to function at its best. Eating a healthy breakfast within an hour of waking up will kick-start your metabolism and keep you feeling energized for several hours into the day. Incorporating protein and healthy fats into your breakfast is especially important for getting your energy kick-started in the morning. Whole grain foods and healthy sources of protein like Greek yogurt, cage free eggs, and grass fed beef are all excellent energy-boosting foods to incorporate into your diet.

Staying hydrated is another important way to keep your energy levels up. Water is absolutely essential for maintaining our metabolisms and keeping our energy levels up. Dehydration, even when minor, can make you feel sluggish, think foggily, and cause headaches. Drinking a glass or two of water will help your body keep your metabolism going and keep you feeling at your best.

Getting a good night’s sleep is naturally one of the most important things you can do for your health. In addition to helping you feel more energized, getting a good night’s sleep helps you maintain a healthy weight and fight off illness. And many of us don’t prioritize sleep enough. Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep a night, so make getting a good night’s sleep a priority and start your day off right every day.