7:30-8:00 AM is known as the caffeine rush at Starbucks. This is when poor baristas must deal with scores of very angry, very grumpy professionals trying to jack themselves up on as many stimulants as possible before they must deal with their high-pressure, stressful days at work. It really amazes me what baristas have to deal with. During a very short-lived job at a coffee shop, I was put in charge of the caffeine rush. In retrospect, I would rather work as a land-mine collector on the Korean border than deal with that job again. But I digress.
By means of some early-morning practices, there are ways to energize yourself without caffeine. Even if you have built up a tolerance to caffeine, it’s impossible to avoid some level of a caffeine-crash about an hour after you feel the most energized from that cup of espresso. If you’re anything like me, coffee provides a brief jolt, and then for hours later you feel queasy and generally awful.
Here is an alternative routine to the caffeine rush:
- Give yourself at least an hour and a half before you go to work, school, or wherever.
- When you fall out of bed, immediately do 20 push-ups. This will get the blood flowing throughout your body, will stimulate endorphins, and quickly put you into a physically-active, versus of out-of-bed and sluggish, mode.
- If you have time, you can follow this by a quick run.
- Eat breakfast, but minimize the carbs. Protein is the best thing to eat in the morning. Carbs (biscuits, bagels, pastries, pancakes, etc.) will give you a sugar-rush, and an unavoidable carb-crash a few hours later. You will feel spent. Meat and eggs are good, but try to avoid grease also. Protein rich foods like tofu and egg-whites are excellent.
- Take some B-vitamins, Ginkgo Biloba, and Ginseng. The Ginseng and B-vitamins are natural energizers (you will often find these ingredients packed into energy drinks), and Ginkgo Biloba helps with blood-flow to the brain. Ginkgo in your diet will increase your concentration.
- Do something mentally challenging. A few Sudoku puzzles, a crossword, or anything to get your mind active and functioning.
- Fill yourself with positive energy. Putting yourself into a positive mind-set is one of the most energizing things I’ve discovered. Read your favorite inspirational writing. For some this is religious, others it’s self-help, or purely philosophical. Whatever inspires you. If you can put yourself into a good mood, the minor challenges in the day will not feel like such trying circumstances.
Do this process in the morning, and you won’t need to join the masses in line at Starbucks. You’ll be happier, your performance will be better, and you won’t have terrible carb and caffeine crashes to deal with.