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Ditch The Red Bull: Energy The Natural Way

Vivian Tang |
October 9, 2014 | 4:37 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Avoid the inevitable sugar crash by skipping out on the energy drinks (Fxnesser/Tumblr).
Avoid the inevitable sugar crash by skipping out on the energy drinks (Fxnesser/Tumblr).
“I drank a lot of Red Bull and Monster to stay up all night because it gives me a slight energy boost, but it doesn't necessarily make me focus or work harder,” recalls USC sophomore, Paul.

Trying to cram for a final and finish a paper, Paul drank around five energy drinks between the hours of 7pm and 9am. Instead of staying awake, he ended up “crashing” and feeling mentally burnt out. Paul defines “crashing” as “processing things extremely slow[ly] and feeling queezy and tired while sleeping and resting a lot."

With the pre and post-stress of midterm season present and the lack of sleep that the start of a new school year usually brings, it is inevitable that many college students turn to infamous Monster and 5-Hour Energy beverages to stay awake.

Whether you are a college student determined to keep your eyes open or someone who wants a jolt of energy to rejuvenate yourself, ditch the energy drinks and try these alternative, natural, yet simple, forms of energy boosts next time you feel like a zombie.

SEE ALSO: Stay Healthy and Happy In College: Wellness

Green Tea

Instead of relying on an energy drink’s unnatural ingredients, try sipping on a cup of green tea. Between the three most common varieties of tea including green, black and oolong tea, green tea has proven to be the most beneficial since it is made from unfermented leaves. Alongside decreasing the chance of cancer, green tea has also been clinically proven to aid in weight loss and protect against dental cavities. 

Green tea can reap such an amount of health benefits, that researchers have even conducted experiments to incorporate the ingredient into the thin layer that surrounds some drugs and antibiotics. The research, conducted by IBM, shows that the green tea element in the "drug carrier" helps deliver the drug more efficiently to patients.

Tap Your Thymus 

The thymus is positioned in the middle upper half of one’s chest, in between the breasts but below the collar bone. Thymus thumps have been proven to activate the production of T cells, stimulating your energy, decreasing and releasing stress, and improving your strength and vitality. Experts recommend tapping the thymus with one’s fingertips for 15 – 20 seconds while taking deep breaths to feel a quick burst of energy.

Check out the video below to perfect your thymus tap:

Brain Breaks

Often times when your eyelids are feeling heavy and your head is slightly falling into a downward position, it might be time to give your brain a mini-getaway. When you are studying, surfing the web, or even just playing video games, remember to blink 10 to 20 times per minute, since each blink allows your brain to catch some zzzs.

Prevention magazine stated that “We need a solid 7 or 8 hours of shut-eye each night to stay healthy, but as it turns out, our brains actually catch plenty more winks—every time we blink. New research explains that every time we blink, the human brain uses that tiny moment of shut-eye to power down and recharge itself.”

SEE ALSO: Stay Happy and Healthy In College: Fitness

Drink Water

What better way to feel rejuvenated than by drinking a cup or two of chilled ice water? Yes, something as simple as drinking water can help boost our energy because a common source of exhaustion is dehydration. Dehydration occurs when “you use or lose more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn't have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions.”

Often times, dehydration can cause dizziness, fatigue and bodily systems to slow down. Aside from serving as an easy pick-me-up drink, water has been said to aid in weight loss, reduce skin blemishes and increase metabolism. Next time you’re feeling weary, opt for a refreshing glass of water.

Change Your Posture 

Believe it or not, changing the posture of your body can do wonders. The way we stand, talk and even sit subconsciously affects our mood and energy levels in multiple manners. 

Erik Peper, Dutch behavioral scientist, conducts research experiments where he tells participants to stand up and stretch in classes. He found that “when we sit up straight, we are more likely to remember positive memories or think of something positive in general.”

Dana Davis, a certified yoga teacher and Balance Posture Method instructor at Sonoma Body Balance in Petaluma, California encourages a naturally aligned posture to aid in decreasing exhaustion and stress. Watch Davis’ quick tutorial below to find your best energy boosting posture:

Contact Staff Reporter Vivian Tang here.



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