Today’s Solutions: November 30, 2023

If you’re someone who feeds off the energy of others or craves their daily routine to wake up, quarantine may be sapping your energy and motivation. If you don’t like coffee or just want to cut back, here are some alternatives to give you that same feeling of caffeine in a more natural package.

  1. Chicory root “coffee.” This digestion-boosting root has a flavor that mimics coffee when roasted. To enjoy this placebo coffee, steep the root in hot water and add your choice of milk and sweetener. 
  2. B Vitamins. Our bodies need B vitamins like nicotinamide riboside for energy and concentration. Natural foods like nuts, seeds, and fortified grains are rich in B vitamins, or you can take it in supplement form.
  3. Carob. This chocolate alternative contains protein, vitamins A and B, carbohydrates, and with some minerals. It also has high levels of pinitol which works with minerals to give us energy. It’s sweeter than chocolate and has digestive benefits so add it to hot chocolate or a smoothie for a delicious kick. 
  4. Rhodiola. This flowering plant, available in supplement form, improves memory and stamina for a mental and physical pick me up. 
  5. Water. Dehydration can make us fatigued, so start your day with a big glass of water. Enjoy it infused with lemon or berries for a little added flavor.
  6. Maca. For centuries, maca has been used to boost adrenal function and improve energy levels. Enjoy a couple scoops in a smoothie or in hot milk for a maca latte.
  7. Peppermint. This refreshing herb has been shown to improve brain oxygen levels. It also grows like a weed so you can easily keep it around fresh or dried. 
  8. Cordyceps. This one is a favorite of athletes. It has been shown to enhance aerobic performance and endurance and is great in smoothies or oatmeal. 
  9. Ginseng. This is a common ingredient in popular energy drinks and has long been used in Chinese medicine for its overall health benefits and for improving focus. It comes in tea and capsule form, but be sure to check dosage and speak to your doctor before taking it regularly.
  10. Nuts. This energy-boosting snack choice is a perfect balance of carbs, fat, and protein. A study found that eating nuts on a regular basis improved brain-wave frequencies associated with cognition, so enjoy by themselves or in trail mix, oatmeal, salad, or any other recipe. 
  11.  Berries. These natural sugar bombs are a great nutrient-dense alternative to snacking on candy. They contain antioxidants and they promote blood flow. 

It can be difficult to motivate when working from home, but if coffee or tea isn’t cutting it anymore, try one of these natural alternatives during your next mid-afternoon slump.

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