If you are like me, and do not really want to pump your body with some of the chemicals found in today’s energy elixirs, there are other ways to gain more energy and focus through less drastic measures. Coffee is always the go-to mental booster, and significant research has shown that your body will benefit from the caffeine and the anti-oxidative compounds as long as you drink 6 cups (3 mugs) or less a day. Besides being a coffee monster, here are some other ways worth exploring to be promote healthy energy levels and improve daily focus and mental clarity:
1. Drink high quality coffee. No chain coffee house offers the highest quality coffee. You will need to either go to a specific coffee house (Check out either Monmouth Coffee in London or Panther Coffee in Miami) to buy your beans or get them online. Right now, my favorite coffee bean in North America to order online from is 49th Parallel Roasters. I would recommend picking a single origin bean from Latin America. In summary, high quality beans increase the efficacy of the positive anti-oxidants and caffeine, improving your mental clarity without the nasty jitters.
2. Clean up your vegetables. You’re eating 4-8 servings of vegetables a day, right? If not, get on that immediately. Veggies are naturally rich in key vitamins and minerals that help to maintain a healthy energy balance. If you already are, take a look at the Environmental Working Group’s "Dirty Dozen" list of fruits and vegetables that have a high level of pesticides. These 12 fruits and vegetables would be best to buy organic. The clean fifteen? Buy conventional. Ridding your body of excess pesticides one grape at a time!
3. Clean up your meat. Most people love meat—White meat, dark meat, cow meat, pig meat. All of these have a place in a healthy diet. It’s important to understand your body needs protein for virtually every function, so making sure you’re getting enough on a daily basis will be critical to maintaining focus and staying energized. However, there are a lot of potential side effects to over-consuming meat. One of the most carcinogenic compounds found in meats is charred protein. If you grill everything to a crisp, it might be best to let off the fire a little bit. Not only does it destroy many of the naturally occurring nutrients, but it also increases the concentration of the carcinogens in it. To help reduce some of the risk behind high levels of carcinogens, try and grill leaner cuts of meat, as the fat drips can cause more hazardous smoke rising through the food.
4. Don’t take a multi-vitamin, eat your vitamins! Taking a multi-vitamin in pill form has been shown not to improve any health markers related to low vitamin levels. However, consuming real foods that are high in your vitamin deficiencies have been shown to greatly improve your health. Yes, I’m telling you not to take a multi-vitamin. You do not need it. Don’t buy it. Spend the money on a package of blueberries or kale.
5. Sleep. Simple, huh? Sleep is very important for promoting energy. We know that. A lot has been done in the field of sleep research on how important it is for the body and how best to attain the benefits of adequate sleep. Limiting blue light (artificial lights emitted from your phones, computer screens, TVs, etc.) by installing Flux onto your computer and NOT BRINGING ANY ELECTRONIC SCREEN into the bedroom will do wonders for your sleep. I know it is tough to go to sleep without scrolling through Instagram, but give it a try. I promise it will help you get to sleep faster and deeper.
Use these 5 tips either one at a time or gung-ho and use them all starting right now. Any way you implement these tips into your life, you should start to see increases in mental clarity, productivity and energy right away.