This Is Exactly How You Can Have More Energy in the Morning
From a cold shower to a cup of matcha, here's how to get a morning energy boost.
Despite what you may think, not many people jump out of bed feeling like the Energizer bunny every day. Even your friends who power through their mornings without any grogginess in sight probably had to put in the effort to get there—and there are some simple tactics anyone can do to get on their level. Whether it's adding a few extra steps to your morning routine, switching up your breakfast, or reexamining the eight hours before you open your eyes, these are the changes you can make now to up your energy levels. And for some more ideas on how to feel your best at any time of day, check out 100 Easy Ways to Be a Healthier Person in 2020.
Put yourself first.
How often do you wake up and instantly start going through your email before getting out of bed? Even if you initially woke up with energy, that's a surefire way to zap it. Instead, Hilary Hinrichs, the New York City-based health and nutrition coach behind Holistic Hilary, recommends taking time for yourself before you dive into work and catching up on messages.
"A great way to help ease stress and have a more productive morning is by putting yourself first," she says. "Stress can deplete energy, so avoiding things like emails, social media, or texts until you absolutely need to check them can keep your morning energy levels up." And for a little inspiration to get your day started right, check out 50 Inspirational Morning Quotes to Kick Off Your Day.
Get in some light exercise.
Moving your body first-thing in the morning can help wake you up and increase your energy for the day. "Engaging in some light exercise or going on a walk in the morning is an easy way to uplift your mood," Hinrichs says. Even 10 minutes of yoga or a quick HIIT workout will help. Do whatever feels best for you, and you'll reap the energy-boosting benefits. And for some ideas on how to be more active without devoting too much of your time, here are The 50 Best 5-Minute Exercises Anyone Can Do.
Don't drink coffee right after waking up.
If you tend to pour yourself a cup of coffee in the morning in order to get an energy boost, switch up your habits and go for water or herbal tea first—two things Hinrichs says will energize your mornings much better than a cup of joe.
"Staying hydrated is crucial for energy levels to stay up all morning long," she says. "Even though most people love drinking coffee, it's not only dehydrating but can also cause you to crash earlier when you drink it right away. By putting coffee off for a few hours, you'll wake up more naturally."And if you want to forgo the java altogether, check out 25 Ways to Boost Your Energy Level Without Coffee.
Dim or turn off lights at least 30 minutes before bed.
According to Hinrichs, sometimes having more energy in the morning starts the night before. And the best thing you can do to wake up feeling more energized is dim the lights around your bedtime.
"A great way to increase energy in the morning is by avoiding lights at least 30 minutes before the time you'd like to fall asleep," Hinrichs says. "This can help naturally increase melatonin in your body to alert your brain that it's time for bed. When we have lights on, it can act similar to the sun keeping us more alert and make it harder to fall asleep at night."
Put away your phone before going to bed.
Speaking of the night before, there's one other thing you can do, too. Not only does your phone emit blue light that messes with your sleep, but that endless scrolling can also stress you out before bed—two things that won't have you waking up feeling happy and energized. "Place your phone out of reach in order to avoid checking it over and over again," Hinrichs says. By doing so, you'll start your day much more refreshed, both mentally and physically.
Eat healthy fats.
If you want long-lasting energy, the key is adding in healthy fats. That way you won't be left hungry and tired an hour after eating. "I recommend keeping several healthy fats in your kitchen so you can easily add them to your breakfast," says Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, a plant-based registered dietitian in the New York City area. "For instance, pistachios add delicious satiating plant-based protein, fiber, and better-for-you mono- and polyunsaturated fat to [your] oatmeal and yogurt parfaits. I'd also recommend keeping avocado on hand as a topping for omelets or breakfast burritos."
And get some protein.
Are you getting enough protein in your breakfast? According to Gorin, it's an important complement to fiber and healthy fats. "Whether your protein of choice is a couple of eggs, beans in a breakfast rice bowl, or Greek yogurt in a parfait, having ample protein in your breakfast will help your meal stay with you for longer—which means more energy," she says. And for more helpful information on health and more delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Drink plenty of water.
Gorin says every day should begin by drinking water, as it's not only a way to combat headaches, but also fatigue. "Accomplish this however works best for you, whether that means leaving a bottle of water on your nightstand or pairing a large glass of water with your breakfast," she says. "You can even infuse fruit such as strawberries in a pitcher of water overnight."
Eat more fresh fruit.
Having some fruit first thing in the morning is one of the most simple ways to up your energy. "It can be a great way to gently wake up your digestive system," Hinrichs says. "It contains fiber, is full of nutrients, and has the healthy carbohydrates our bodies thrive on for energy. Whether you're pairing fruit with oats, making a smoothie, or eating it on its own, any of those options can be a great way to energize you in the morning."
Try some matcha.
Matcha is one of the best morning beverages for upping your energy levels. Although it contains caffeine, it's different than coffee in that it's balanced out with L-theanine and therefore energizes you more slowly—aka there's no sudden crash an hour later. You can sip it as a tea, or make a frothy matcha latte.
"L-theanine promotes both alertness and calm at the same time," Michael J. Breus, PhD, a clinical psychologist and sleep expert in Manhattan Beach, California, wrote on his website. "It can put you in a state of wakeful relaxation, reducing stress and anxiety while at the same time improving focus and concentration."
Limit how much negative news you consume.
A lot of people start their day by turning on the news, reading the newspaper, or checking the latest headlines online to see what's happening in the world. But according to the Mayo Clinic, news overdose is a thing, and it can really get you down—especially with everything happening in the world right now. Instead of letting the negativity suck all your energy, do something happier first-thing instead.
Get some fresh air and sunshine.
What's more simple than stepping outside in order to give your energy levels a boost? A past study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found the exposure to bright morning light can be effective against insomnia, making you feel less tired and more energized. Bonus: It can also help with seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Take a cold shower
Kicking your day off with an ice-cold shower might not sound pleasant, but it's a proven way to up your energy in the mornings. A 2016 study published in PLoS One found 91 percent of the participants wanted to continue their cold shower routine after the study ended because of how energized it made them feel in the mornings. In fact, they said it gave them a similar effect to drinking caffeine. When you shower, finish with at least 30 seconds of cold water to reap the benefits.