Staying energized and healthy is one of the most important things for college students. The body and mind are intimately connected, and as in so many other aspects of life, one hand washes the other. Nourishing your body with natural sources of energy will make sure that your mind stays sharp, allowing you to excel in your studies and enhance your college experience. Many students turn to coffee, cigarettes, or other unhealthy substances as a quick fix to stay energized and focused, but the negative impact these things have on your health should spur you on to look for other options.
As with almost everything in life, your foundation must be a healthy balanced diet. Load up on fruits, vegetables, and simple carbohydrates for a naturally nourishing diet that will give your body clean burning fuel to help keep you energized all day. Brown rice is a terrific staple, loaded with simple carbohydrates that will keep your energy up all day long without the weight gain issues usually associated with carbohydrate heavy foods. Leafy greens are a good source of iron, one of the body’s most needed nutrients for staying active. The natural sugars found in fruit will give you a reliable energy boost without the eventual crash that comes with caffeine and refined sugar.
If, like many others, you can’t imagine a life without caffeine, don’t panic about going cold turkey. Too much coffee will have a negative impact on your health for sure, and those sugary caffeinated energy drinks should most definitely be avoided. An overload of caffeine can cause nervousness, tense muscles, digestive problems, and a disrupted sleep schedule–all potentially disastrous for college students. Caffeine can be just fine, however, if consumed in moderation. Consider switching from coffee to green tea. Green tea has a smaller dose of caffeine than coffee, and has less adulterants. It is a more natural source of energy that will give you a boost with much less of the negative side effects.
Consider juicing. Creating your own juices and smoothies from fresh organic produce is one of the best ways to increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables while getting a great morning energy boost at the same time. And remember that juicing isn’t just for apples, oranges, and carrots. Get creative. Incorporate leafy greens like kale, lettuce, and spinach, or other delicious nutrient rich foods like beets, celery, and even garlic. A hearty green smoothie can be the best morning pick-me-up you can get.
Finally, get outside for some fresh air and sunshine. Nothing saps your energy better than sitting in front of books and computers all day. Whether you’re holed up in the campus library writing essays or toiling for an MPA degree online, set some time aside to take a break. Sunshine can energize you and improve your mood, which are both highly important in achieving success in academia. So don’t be a hermit–take a lesson from the trees and go out to soak up some sun.