How many times have you woken up early only to crave a nap midday or slept in late only to feel groggier than waking up at 5 a.m.?
Sometimes no matter how early we go to bed, how late we sleep in or how many cups of coffee (or 5-hour energy bottles) we drink, we just cannot keep our eyes open and our bodies alert.
So what do you do when you find yourself falling asleep in class or unable to stay alert while studying? What are the best ways to revamp your energy midday so you can make it through your classes, exams, and whatever else you have going on in your busy schedule?
Instead of heading to the vending machine and getting a candy bar, bag of chips or soda, pick up a bag of almonds, a fresh apple, some form of protein (such as nuts, a hard-boiled egg, chicken, etc) and a dose of iron if you can.
Don’t bother filling your stomach up with junk food, it will only make you more tired from the rush of sugar/fat will only make you feel worse later on.
Nuts contain protein and the enzyme CoQ10, which is a nutrient that provides your cells with the elements needed to produce energy. Nuts will not only give you a burst of energy, but will keep working long after you’ve consumed them.
An apple is full of natural fructose sugar which will provide you with the burst of energy you are looking for, but will also supply your body with fiber and complex carbs to keep you going throughout the day.
Give in to temptation
If you are about to hold your eyelids open with a strip of tape, you obviously need to take a nap.
Stop fighting the temptation of a nap and give in! Allow yourself anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour nap in order to revamp your energy. A lot of times, all you really need is a quick power nap to revitalize your mind and body so you can stay alert instead of falling sleep.
Think about it logically: if you went to bed at 3 a.m. because you were studying late (or partying into the morning), and you forced yourself out of bed at 6 a.m., your body is telling you that is needs more sleep so simply give in to its demands and get some rest.
Cut out the sugar and caffeine; it’s not helping you!
If you think pounding coffee and energy drinks is going to help you stay alert, you may be right…. but only for a little while.
The problem with solving the problem of fatique with caffeine or an energy drink is simple: the caffeine will give you a short burst of energy, but you will inevitably come crashing down not too long after.
If you are really tired, coffee or an energy drink is a quick fix, but that is about it! You need to stick to healthier options that won’t leave you feeling jittery or drained an hour or two after consuming them.
These types of drinks will only leave you feeling more tired and probably irritable later on. The caffeine in coffee is a natural diuretic and also shrinks your blood vessels. The combination of going to the bathroom and speeding up your heart rate and bodily functions will only make you more dehydrated and thus, more tired.
Coffee and energy drinks block adenosine reception (which makes you sleepy) so you feel alert. These drinks will also give you a shot of adrenaline into your bloodstream, but once that wears off, you crash and feel much worse than before.
Drink, drink drink
Instead of pouring cup after cup of coffee, pick up the Brita filter or some bottled waters. In my opinion, consuming high amounts of water is the best way to revamp your energy.
Aside from being central to many of the processes within your body (including cell repair, waste removal and energy production), water constitutes 70% of your body so why deprive yourself? Water helps to move electrolytes to the cells of your body which also provide you with energy so the more water you drink, the more energy you are replenishing and distributing throughout your body.
Get in a quick workout
If possible, hit up the gym before, in between or after classes to give yourself a quick boost of energy midday.
Bring your workout stuff with you to class and get on the treadmill for 20-30 minutes. If you’re not into running, grab a jump rope or lift weights. Try doing sets of resistance training for about a half hour.
You will be surprised how much more alert, focused and refreshed you will feel after a quick, midday workout.
The reason? The increase in your heart rate from working out will automatically pump more blood into your blood vessels, organs, and muscles which will in turn make you feel more alert and awake.
If you consume a lot of water during and after your workout, this will help to revamp your energy even more!
Take a stroll
Don’t have time to hit the gym? Simply get up and walk around. Take a break if you are studying or walk to your next class instead of taking the shuttle across campus.
Getting some fresh air and exercise is sure to get your body moving, your blood pumping and your energy up.
Drink a bottle of water while on your stroll and when you return to your dorm, study area or get to your next class, you will feel 100x better.
Simply moving around and taking a bunch of deep breaths will get the oxygen pumping through your blood and your body so even just strolling around your dorm and breathing gently will help you if you are feeling tired.