Get a Workday Energy Boost Without Caffeine Crashes

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  • 7/26/2018

    We’ve all experienced some type of sluggishness at the office. No matter the time of day, it can sneak up on us. But what can we do throughout the day to increase our energy levels and feel less run down as we work? Well, have no fear, you are a short blog post away from finding out how you can change your routine to boost energy levels.

    Let’s start with breakfast

    First of all, drink some water! Seriously, our bodies are made up of about 70 percent of water. Because of this, we need plenty of water to keep our muscles moving, blood flowing and brain functioning. Drinking water first thing in the morning helps support these processes, but don’t stop after that! Dehydration leads to fatigue, which can eat away at the body functions we need to get through the day—so keep drinking all day. Try and make it your goal to drink at least one glass of water every hour.

    We know it may be a cliché, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. According to WebMD, eating breakfast in the morning before work gives you the energy you need to get things done and helps you focus easier. Are you at a loss for what to eat for breakfast in the morning? We’ve got you covered with some healthy and easy breakfast essentials!

    Now that we have been at the office for a while…

    Sitting all day getting work done is a good feeling with respect to productivity, but what does it do for your body and your energy? Sitting in front of a computer for hours can be exhausting on many levels. Try some of these helpful tips to refresh and reenergize.

    Avoid sitting for a long period of time
    Working toward the one-glass-of-water-an-hour goal also means you are able to get up and stretch your legs every hour. Even if it is a short five-minute walk to get the blood flowing, try and incorporate small movement breaks into your day. If you don’t need computers or other visual aids, offer to have a walking meeting with a coworker instead of sitting in a conference room.

    Another quick activity that’s easy to add to your day to get your blood flowing is doing 25 squats every time you go to the restroom. You’re already up, right?

    Desk stretches
    We are oftentimes hunched over our desks for long periods sending emails and trying to get work done. Make sure you take breaks for your body throughout the day. Stretching releases endorphins in the body to avoid tightness and increase energy. Easy stretches you can do at your desk include:

    • Neck stretches from side to side
    • Shoulder rolls
    • Interlocking your hands behind your back and straightening your arms
    • Toe touches

    Aside from desk stretches, a simple change that can make a difference in your work day is sitting straight up at your desk. According to American College of Sports Medicine Personal Trainer Amanda Sterczyk, sitting hunched over compresses your internal organs, including your lungs. This prohibits you from taking deep breaths to pump oxygen and blood to your brain and every other part of your body, resulting in a lack of energy.

    Taking a moment away from the computer
    It’s easy to get lost working on a computer for hours. Remember to give your eyes a break throughout the day. Try and look away from your computer every 20 minutes, and look at something in the distance for about a minute. This will give your eyes a break from being so close to the computer screen and the rest of you an energizing break!

    While you are resting your eyes, try engaging in some breathing exercises. Try breathing out as much air as you can, and then inhale slowly from your diaphragm while taking in as much air as possible. Hold that for five seconds and exhale slowly. Repeat this 10 times before returning to work to relax and reenergize.

    Time for a snack

    Personally, this is one of my favorite topics. Does anyone else have a personal grocery store hidden in a drawer of their desk? Sometimes when we are starting to feel a little run down, a small snack can be a helpful treat to either stay energized. Suffice it to say, snacks at work aren’t a bad thing—if we’re eating the right ones.

    You know where this is going: Avoid the processed foods. They are usually full of white carbohydrates and artificial sugars that provide you with limited energy and, later, cause your energy levels to crash and leave you craving nothing but a nap. The good news is there are plenty of other foods out there that make great snacks throughout the day. Try these out:

    • Almonds
    • Popcorn
    • Fruits, including bananas and apples

    These foods provide you with the nutrients you need for lasting energy to power you through the day. To kick up your focus, add in some veggies to sharpen focus!

    What about energizing drinks?

    You guessed it: Several cups of coffee a day isn’t really in our best interest. So what should we drink for our 3 p.m. pick me up? You’re in luck; there are plenty of other coffee alternatives that can boost your energy.

    • Green tea – okay, this strategy may introduce a bit of caffeine. Green tea contains about 24 to 40 milligrams of caffeine, which is less than coffee. So, for the caffeine addicts out there, it still provides you with some caffeine but at a more healthy level—enough that you are able to focus and will not receive a surprise crash, which is oftentimes what results from drinking coffee.
    • Coconut water – a great way to boost energy thanks to the high levels of minerals and potassium—and it makes you feel like you’re on vacation!
    • Kombucha – has plenty of live enzymes that can aid digestion while helping our bodies convert food into energy more easily.

    Exercise to refresh

    When it comes to being exhausted, the last thing that most of us want to do is work out, but do it anyway! A University of Georgia study found regularly engaging in low-intensity exercise can significantly decrease fatigue. Have you ever been exhausted before exercising and then surprisingly felt a rush of energy once it was over?

    “People who exercise during the day have better energy but also have better creativity, critical thinking and problem solving,” Certified Exercise Physiologist Michelle Cederberg said.

    Are you one of those people who struggle to get up and exercise because you either can’t find the motivation or you just don’t know where to start with your workout routine? Don’t be afraid to seek out assistance from others to help hold you accountable.

    Here at thunder::tech employees are encouraged to take advantage of weekly personal and group trainings led by Matt Stevens, Managing Producer of thirtysix::thirtyfive studios. In addition to being amazing with multimedia, Matt is a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and CrossFit Gymnastics Trainer.

    Now that we have gone over several energy-boosting tips from breakfast to exercise, why not try some of these out. You’ll see how much better you feel at the end of the day!

    What types of things help you get through the work day? Let us know in the comments!
    About the author::Rosie Haren is a Project Coordinator at thunder::tech. Her day-to-day work includes client communication and managing ongoing deliverables. Outside of work, Rosie enjoys riding bikes on a beautiful day, perusing the aisles of Target and eating sushi.
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