“But first, coffee” is the morning mantra of many—especially those who are their grumpiest selves before their first cup of java.
There’s no doubt that when it comes to an A.M. pick-me-up, coffee is king. But must we be slaves to the roasted caffeine bean?! Nay. There are many other ways you can turn your morning frown upside down (‘cause if you drink way too much, coffee’s health perks could turn into problems). Here’s how to kickstart your day without java.
1. Have some (sugar-free) gum. Chew on this: In a Cardiff University (UK) study, researchers assessed mood, memory, and intelligence in participants using a series of tests. Some participants were given gum to chew, and others weren’t. Researchers found that those who were chewing gum were more alert and actually performed better on the intelligence tests (they found no effect on memory). Plus, chomping on gum can help you curb that morning donut craving too (just don’t swallow your gum).
2. Let the sunshine in. As soon as you wake up, open up those blinds and soak up some rays. Since your body’s internal clock (which regulates feelings of sleepiness and wakefulness) is triggered by light and darkness, getting sunlight in the A.M. tells your brain it’s time to wake up and start the day.
3. Cue up iTunes. High-energy music puts a pep in your step while you get ready for work or during your commute. And for all you morning gym goers, the right music can actually make your workout feel easier (and more fun): One study found that listening to music can reduce the perception of effort during your workout, and increase exercise endurance by as much as 15%.
4. Power walk around the block. Getting your heart pumping with physical activity increases blood circulation, which is an essential ingredient for an energy boost. What’s more, it’s also a great way to keep your ticker healthy. Here are more amazinghealth benefits of walking.
Still a sucker for a cuppa joe? Go ahead, sip happy. Just take note of these tweaks to make your coffee a little healthier.