5 ways to energise your morning – minus the coffee

It’s so easy to hit snooze on those cold, dark mornings when you can’t get out of bed, then trudge into the kitchen for a coffee, or two, before starting the day.

Brits alone drink some 70 million cups of coffee everyday – Australians, Americans and Europeans all have a long-standing love-affair with the brew, but few think about the negative effect it has on our bodies.

Coffee impacts the nervous system. In Ayurveda, it particularly aggravates vata, or the element of air in the body – this is responsible for moving the blood around and controlling the nervous system.

Vata also rules the colon, so when you disrupt this flow, it impacts the ability of the body to rest, be nurtured and effectively eliminate – in many cases causing constipation.

In its nature coffee has a heating ability and it also acts as a stimulant and aggravates pitta, the body’s element of fire, which often plays out with indigestion, mood swings, frustration, irritable behaviour and anger.

When looking at detoxing, or just giving your body a bit of a break, coffee is one of the first things you will need to eliminate. As soon as it’s gone, you’ll feel more soft and gentle, your skin will be more nourished – essentially you’ll look younger and feel better.

Then there’s the addictive element. Studies show that people who even have one cup of coffee a day build up a physical dependence that triggers withdrawal symptoms, like headaches, muscle pain, depression and lethargy when taken away. This is because coffee releases an addictive neurotransmitter called dopamine – the pleasure hormone – which keeps coffee drinkers constantly looking for their next fix.

While a quick cup of coffee can do the trick in the morning (or 3pm slump), here are some sure-fire ways to boost your energy without it. 

  1. Drink water: Making sure you are adequately hydrated increases your ability to stay alert during the day. Kick off the day with a big glass of hot, or room temperature, water – or even better, a glass of warm water with lemon. This stimulates your liver to detoxify naturally.
  2. Exercise: Starting the day with exercises has many benefits – for one it supercharges energy levels by increasing oxygen into your system.
  3. Watch your breathing: Try energising breathing techniques like Hatha breathing – which involves short, sharp exhalations of breath focusing on the diaphragm. Three rounds of 30 breaths will give you an instant boost.
  4. Strong herbal tea: Instead of reaching for a strong brew of coffee, try herbal teas or even better, medicated water (you can DIY a healthy brew yourself with cumin, fennel and coriander) or buy one we make here.
  5. Eat a good breakfast: Include a good dose of protein and veggies into your breakfast to ramp up power and take you through the morning, or a cooked gluten free porridge will keep you grounded throughout the day. Why not try spice things up with a little more cardamom, this will help cut cravings throughout the day.

 Quitting, or at least cutting back caffeine will free you from the addiction of needing it to function, you’ll save money and your body will thank you for it.

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