10 ways to boost energy - that don’t involve caffeine

If your batteries are drained but your to-do list is lengthy then these easy actions will help you maximise your energy and tick off those tasks.

How to get more energy in the morning

Your mornings can dictate your energy levels for the rest of the day, so it’s important you start it right. Follow these five steps to feeling fresh first thing with alternatives to caffeine:

1. Wake up with music

Most of us hate the sound of our morning alarm. To avoid that dreaded ring, set your top tune as your alarm tone. Studies published in Nature Neuroscience found that when you hear your favourite song, your brain releases significant amounts of dopamine. Plus, music causes the entire brain to light up on 3D scans, which means it makes you feel more alert. Or why not try the Snoozle app (free), where you can wake up to a message from your loved ones?

2. Do some yoga

Then drag yourself out of bed and bend into a Downward Dog. Place your hands on the floor beneath your shoulders and push up into an inverted V – you’ll feel full of zing in no time. “The Downward Dog is a great morning yoga exercise, as it’s an inversion (done upside down!),” explains yoga expert Caroline Sandry. “It sends blood to your brain, lifting your energy and helping you focus, while also stretching out the whole back of your body.”

3. Seek the sun

The “shine” is key in your “rise and shine” routine, as exposing yourself to daylight first thing will send a memo to your body’s internal clock that it’s time to feel wide awake and get moving. Simply eating your breakfast by a bright window can do the trick.

4. Add citrus to your day

The scent of oranges, lemons and grapefruit boosts your body’s production of happy hormone serotonin, reduces stress hormone norepinephrine and has a powerful effect on mental fog and irritability. For an instant pick-me-up first thing, shower with a citrus-scented body wash. For an all-natural shot of motivation, try Neom Energy Burst Body & Hand Wash, £16.

5. Eat your greens

Who said you can’t bottle energy? Ditch the usual morning coffee and turn over for our revitalising smoothie. “It’s packed full of vitamins and minerals,” says dietitian Emer Delaney. “Plus, the avocado and spinach will release a continued source of energy throughout the day, to keep you feeling alert.”

Natural energy boosters

  1. Perfect your posture - Women spend the equivalent of 74 days a year sitting. And we’re often not doing it well. Sitting in a slumped position increases your chance of lower back pain by 50%. So, sit up tall, engage your core, keep your ribcage lifted and legs uncrossed. This will allow you to inhale more oxygen and increase circulation.
  2. Buy some houseplants - Plants absorb carbon dioxide and fatigue-inducing pollutants. Plus, they’ve also been shown to improve concentration and productivity by 47%.
  3. Turn up the heat - You might think a cold blast will jolt you awake, but in fact lower body temperatures indicate that it’s time to sleep. Throw on a jumper to fight that drowsy feeling and keep warm.
  4. Wear red - Your brain associates this vibrant colour with action, and looking at it can cause a temporary increase in speed and strength. Wear a scarlet nail polish before an interview or meeting.
  5. Make sure you're not getting too much sleep - Are you sleep drunk? Struggle to recall what day it is when you wake up? You might be sleeping too much – there really is such a thing. Having a lie-in can disrupt your body clock, making you feel hung-over. Try and get up at a regular time each day, even on weekends.

Natalia Lubomirski is a health journalist with 14 years experience in the publishing industry. She has worked for a number of well-known magazines and websites including Marie Claire, marieclaire.co.uk, woman&home, Top Sante, Boots and The Telegraph. 

She likes to think she practices what she preaches when it comes to health and fitness. She loves the great outdoors and you’ll often find her up a mountain somewhere. She’s climbed eight major mountain ranges across four continents and hit the summit of Half Dome (in Yosemite) during her honeymoon.