31 Surprising Energy-Boosters That Aren’t Coffee

Updated: Mar. 22, 2021

If you're suffering from an energy crisis, another cup of coffee may not cut it. From standing on your head to wearing orange glasses, some of these strange-but-true energy boosters might be just what you need to wake up and face the day.

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Rub your ears

An instant burst of energy may be as close as your ears. When you massage your ears, you stimulate acupressure points that release energy throughout the body and increase circulation, according to traditional Chinese medicine. You don’t need to use any specific techniques; just spend a minute kneading, rolling, and pulling on your earlobes, then slowly move up to the top of your ear. These are 25 natural energy boosters that could change your life.

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Wear orange lenses

If you’re in the habit of bingeing on Netflix before bed, the blue light emitted by the TV could inhibit your body’s ability to secrete melatonin, a sleep hormone, according to Harvard researchers. To counteract the blue light and safeguard your sleep, try donning glasses with orange lenses before tuning in to Orange Is the New Black. You’ll get better rest and spend less time wondering why you’re so tired.

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Take a Scottish shower

It might sounds soothing to start your day with a hot shower, but a freezing cold one will increase alertness and give you a powerful burst of energy, according to a report in Medical Daily. The blast of cold water will increase your rate of breathing in response to the shock, and your oxygen intake, heart rate and blood flow will all increase as your body works to keep itself warm. All of these physiological actions work elevate your mood and increase your energy. Here are more good reasons you should take a cold shower in the morning.


Eat two kiwis

These fuzzy powerhouses are loaded with vitamins and minerals associated with increased energy, such as vitamin C and potassium. In addition, they’re the most nutrient-dense of all the top-27 most consumed fruits. Research shows that eating just two kiwis per day can reduce fatigue and depressive symptoms and boost energy. Here’s more on the surprising health benefits of kiwi.


Down some bee pollen

Kimberly Snyder, author of The Beauty Detox Foods, recommends something she calls “energy in a spoon.” It’s a tablespoon of bee pollen with coconut oil drizzled over it. Bee pollen is loaded with essential nutrients that have been shown to increase stamina and focus. Coconut oil is made up of Medium Chain Triglicerides (MCTs), which your body can convert to quick energy. Here’s what fitness experts eat to refuel after workouts.


Do a headstand

Your coworkers might think you’ve lost your mind if you do this in an open-plan office, but inversions are a quick way to enhance mental clarity and shake off the blahs. Inversion therapy boosts brain health by increasing blood flow. “If there is increased blood flow to the area, there will be increased bio availability of oxygen and glucose, the two most important metabolic substrates for the brain,” says Dr. Karen Koffler, director of Integrative Medicine at Northwestern University.

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Cut the grass

The thought of mowing the lawn might fill you with dread, but research shows that the smell of fresh-cut grass can ward off mental decline and promote feelings of joy, calm and well-being. The feel-good chemicals in grass affect the emotional and memory parts of the brain known as the amygdala and the hippocampus.


Keep a journal

Documenting the things you’re grateful for can help you feel refreshed and happier, and it can also help you get better sleep, according to a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Focusing specifically on blessings and gratitude has a positive effect on emotions and interpersonal relationships, the study found. Here are ways counting your blessings can improve your life.

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Listen to loud music

If you’re in danger of nodding off at work, slip on a pair of headphones and crank up your favorite playlist. According to a 2011 study reported in the International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology, loud music is an effective tool for boosting energy and improving your mental state. As a bonus, happy music triggers positive memories.

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Eat breakfast

Whether or not you believe that it’s the most important meal of the day, there’s solid research to support eating breakfast. A 2009 study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition found that breakfast eaters feel better and are less stressed and more resilient than those who skip breakfast.

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Wash your face

Need a quick burst of energy? Instead of brewing a pot of coffee, try splashing cold water on your face. According to a study in the journal Clinical Neurophysiology, you’ll feel invigorated faster than if you downed a latte. Just try to avoid these face-washing mistakes that can ruin your complexion.

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Pay off your credit cards

Researchers at Ohio State found that people who were stressed over credit card debt had lower energy levels credit card debt had lower energy levels and worse overall health than those who weren’t in debt. Here are smart ways to reduce debt stress.

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Eat eggs

Regardless of the egg recipes you use, eggs are are packed with long-acting, energy-boosting protein, according to a study published in Nutrition Today. Eat them early in the day to get the biggest benefit.


Take a walk

Sitting all day can deplete your energy and leave you feeling cranky, but a short walk may be all you need to feel happier and more energetic. A recent study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity found that people who took a five-minute walk once an hour experienced increase energy, improved moods, decreased levels of fatigue and reduced food cravings.


Eat yogurt

Yogurt is packed with complex carbohydrates, protein and fiber, which provide a sustained burst of energy. Sure, yogurt’s good for your body, but you’ll never guess what else it can do.


Sniff a sprig of rosemary

This aromatic herb has been shown to improve physical exhaustion and mental fatigue. It is also believed to boost memory retention and soothe headaches.

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Get more magnesium

If you feel like you’re constantly running on empty, you may be low on the mineral magnesium, according to WebMD. When you’re not getting enough of this essential nutrient, your body has to work harder to regulate heart rate and break glucose down into energy. As a result, you feel exhausted. The recommended daily intake of magnesium is around 300 milligrams for women and 350 milligrams for men. Nuts, whole grains and fish are all good sources of magnesium. Don’t miss the signs that you could be magnesium deficient.


Eat chia seeds

Chia seeds are right up there with kale on the list of superfoods we’re all sick of hearing about, but there are few foods that pack such a powerful and sustained energy punch, according to eatthis.com. Add two tablespoons of chia seeds to a cup of unsweetened almond milk, then refrigerate until a thick pudding forms. Top with cinnamon for a healthy and delicious afternoon snack.


Skip alcohol

Your happy hour habit or that glass of wine you reward yourself with after you get the kids to bed might be messing with your sleep and zapping your energy levels, according to WebMD. While alcohol can initially make you feel drowsy, it also increases your stress hormones, which can disrupt your sleep late at night and lead to insomnia. Here’s how to cut back on alcohol without giving it up.

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Chew peppermint gum

Chewing peppermint gum won’t just give you fresh breath, according to a 2009 study at the University of Rhode Island, it will also make you feel more awake. In the study, participants chewed gum for an hour in the morning and reported feeling more energetic afterwards. Mint is known to increase alertness as effectively as a splash of cold water. Here are 20 conditions peppermint can ease.


Put oranges on the AC

A Florida school principal puts orange slices on air conditioners, claiming that the citrus scent helps students stay alert. It’s not as nutty as it sounds—research suggests that people who drink orange juice for breakfast are less likely to succumb to an afternoon slump, and generally feel more alert.

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Go out for Indian food

The spice cardamom, which is found in chai tea, curries, and other Asian dishes, is known to have medicinal properties including increasing circulation, improving mood, and boosting energy, according to doctoroz.com.


Watch cat videos

Stress can drain your energy and take a toll on your mood. To feel better, some researchers believe that laughter may be the best medicine. So cue up some of those hilarious videos your friends are sharing on social media and see if a good laugh can help you shake off that sleepy feeling. “I believe that if people can get more laughter in their lives, they are a lot better off,” said Steve Wilson, MA, CSP, a psychologist and laugh therapist in an interview with WebMD.

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Sip cinnamon tea

Instead of reaching for a can of Red Bull the next time you’re feeling drowsy, brew up a cup of cinnamon tea instead. Researchers at Wheeling Jesuit University found that study participants got boosted brainpower just from sniffing the spice. Results included improved memory, attention span and visual-motor response.


Take vitamins

Vitamin B is essential for energy production, but up to 40 percent of people aren’t getting enough of it. A B12 deficiency can result in fatigue, mood changes, and dementia-like qualities. To feel your best and keep your body functioning optimally, try a vitamin B complex supplement.

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Take a mental health day

If you’re stressed out at work on a continual basis, you may find yourself feeling tired, cranky and depleted. To restore your energy, give yourself a break and take a day off. A mental health day will allow you to leave work at the office and focus on your happiness, which will help restore your flagging energy. Be sure to plan out your day so you don’t end up doing chores. Instead, spend some time reading, writing in a journal, going for a walk, or doing anything that makes you feel fulfilled. Here’s how to carve out more me-time.

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Drink more water

The human body is 60 percent water, and even mild dehydration can lead to an energy crisis, according to a report in Fitness magazine. To keep your body functioning optimally, aim to drink eight to nine cups per day. Use these genius tricks to ensure you’re drinking enough water.

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Stand up

A sedentary lifestyle is associated with a host of health problems, including cancer, depression and diabetes. It can also leave you feeling lethargic. To boost your energy and safeguard your heart, try working from a standing desk, or just get up once an hour and stretch. You’ll boost your heart rate and energy levels, and reduce your risk of serious health problems all at the same time, according to Shape magazine.


Jump on a trampoline

Irum Tahir of High Point Chiropractic Wellness swears that jumping on a trampoline, or “rebounding,” releases endorphins, boosts mental clarity, and generates positive energy that lasts all day. Tahir jumps for ten minutes every morning.

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Eat blueberries

When a wave of tiredness hits, combat it with a handful of sweet, delicious blueberries. They’re known to boost energy and promote brain function thanks to their rich concentration of phytonutrients and antioxidants, which have been linked to increased nerve signaling in the brain, improved memory as well as more more balanced brain energy.