I recently posted a question on Facebook asking for advice on alternatives to coffee, brown soda, and any other sugary brown substance known to cause cavities and heart palpitations. The paraphrasing of that question goes something like: “Help y’all cause I just can’t keep living this life. What do you do to keep your energy up during the work day?”. Surprisingly I received a variety of suggestions to counteract “the brown demon” as I like to call it. A couple of the suggestions are related to daily supplements and sleep patterns which I will refer to in a later post. For now I’d like to share 6 alternatives that you can just pick up and chug (or bite into) at your desk upon that first desperate moment of energy drop.
Disclaimer: I’m describing these sources of energy as they affected me. Though it can be different for everyone. Feel free to give them all a try to see what personally keeps you out of the snooze zone. 🙂
1) Black Tea
Black tea is my all time favorite. I live for the iced version at Starbucks but most mornings I can barely roll out of bed and get ready, let alone make a breakfast stop. I’ve tried a few other hot versions that I wasn’t too “hot” about. (Yep, that pun was intended.) But one day I was strolling through Trader Joes. Back track… I already made my purchase but got distracted on my way out the door with all the things I didn’t see when I came in the opposite door. Sigh.
Anywho, I came across the above pictured Mango Black Tea and it caught my eye. Translation – it ended up in my cart and I doubled back to the register. I really enjoy this tea because the mango flavor gives it a fruity twist but still the great energy boost that comes with black tea. Not to mention it’s smooth because nothing is worse than bitter tea!
I was surprised when apples came up as a suggestion. No doubt the natural sugar they contain could be helpful but I didn’t realize how so. I have used this pick-me-up method on many of days around 10am when breakfast is over but it’s too early for lunch and I need something…stat! So it serves a dual purpose: snack and energy kick. For the most part I stick with the red ones since they’re sweetest.
3) Green Tea
This is a tricky one for me. I’ve tried hot green tea before for energy but it doesn’t seem to give me a pick me up. Though the iced Matcha green tea above does the trick. According to my sources (the great Google), Matcha is a ground tea leaf so you get all the nutrients. Which most likely explains the greater kick it gives as opposed to the brewed versions.
The tea pictured is from Bird Pick Tea. (Hyperlink will take you directly to Matcha green tea but feel free to browse the very informative and tasty site.) I used to work close by the tea shop and would occasionally get these lattes on my lunch break. Result: I’d get back to my desk and knock out all my afternoon phone calls and emails in record speed.
In short, kombucha is a fermented tea. Upon first hearing about this tea I had to head over to ole’ trusty Wikipedia because I had never heard of it before. It definitely does the job on the energy assist but I must warn you, it is strong and has an acquired taste. The first time I drank it, I was reminded of Red Bull. And similar to Red Bull, I suggest you eat something with the tea because it can give quite the rush on an empty stomach. (*Note: Please don’t be tempted to go out and grab a can of RB. Remember, we’re on a healthy kick here! Just mentioning for comparison purposes.) Above is a pineapple peach version by Kevita which I found at Fresh and Easy.
5) Yerba Mate
So I heard of yerba mate tea vaguely in the past but now that I have tried it, different versions are popping up everywhere! Which I suppose is a good thing implying that it’s a quick, convenient grab before picking up the coffee (hits hand mid reach). I tried two versions by Guayaki: one in a bottle and the other in a can (pictured). The can seemed to give me more energy for a longer period of time. So I would suggest going that route if you’re looking for a boost that will go the long haul. I also picked this up from Fresh and Easy.
6) Fruit Infused Water
This was another one that caught me by surprise. I know that water can help keep you awake because it promotes frequent bathroom trips. (Yay!) But I’m often more doubtful than I should be about its ability as a source of energy. Low and behold, the fruit infused version is very helpful! I received a bottle (pictured) with an infuser as an office swag gift at my last job which I used to make my fruit infused water. Here is a nifty pitcher with an infuser that I found at Target. Just add the fruit of your choice (raspberries pictured) to the infuser and add water to your bottle (or pitcher). I’ve read recipes which require you to store the water overnight to get the most flavor. Though I’ve drank it immediately after assembly and it was just fine. Probably not as rich in flavor, but the most important factor was still present…the energy boost!
Feel free to give one…maybe even all of these a try! And if you have a healthy suggestion that I did not mention here, please feel free to share below. I’m open to anything other than coffee or soda to keep me going through the work day and I’m sure others would appreciate the same!