Let’s face it: it’s midterm season, and you’ve probably already reached for your second or third cup of coffee today. While your constant state of sleep deprivation may be unbearable, the feeling of a caffeine crash is worse: jittery hands and dizziness are not a good combination for studying.
According to a study by the US Food and Drug Administration, a person should only be drinking one to two cups of coffee each day to avoid a caffeine overdose. While coffee does keep you awake, it can also leave you dehydrated and disrupt sleep patterns. Luckily, there is a large selection of natural energy boosters that won’t leave you awake all night.
1. Coconut Water
Low in calories and rich in potassium, coconut water has been heralded as the perfect, all-natural energy drink. While it is high in electrolyte content, which is important for hydration, coconut water also has the proper ratio of sugar to carbs to keep you awake throughout the day. Don’t like the taste? Add sliced fruit or herbs (Spoon loves berries and mint leaves) into a container of coconut water and let it sit overnight. The next morning, you’ll have a natural Gatorade alternative—minus all the chemicals and sugar.
2. Yerba Mate
While many know that green tea is a natural source of caffeine, yerba mate, a South American herbal tea, also packs a punch on the energy front, providing 52 more active compounds than green tea. The taste of yerba mate is more prominent and herbal than that of green tea, so it might take a couple tries before you’re used to the taste. If you’re still not feeling it, add a slice of lemon and a drizzle of honey.
A tried and true favorite of athletes, bananas are rich in potassium, and also contains fructose, which the body utilizes to create glucose. Because bananas have a lower glycemic index than many other foods, they are more suitable for diabetics. Next time you’re feeling tired, try having a sliced banana with almond butter—the perfect protein-packed snack.
Often seen as the most protein-dense fish, salmon also contains a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids not only have anti-inflammatory benefits, but also provide a boost of energy. Omega-3 also helps soothe injuries or muscle tears. We love having salmon for dinner—try this easy recipe for the easiest baked salmon ever.
We at Spoon love a good curry, so we’re over the moon that this Indian dish also provides an energy boost. Curry powder, along with other spices, boosts energy levels with antioxidants. It also promotes heart-healthy circulation and normalizes blood sugar levels. This healthy Jamaican chicken curry can be made in a hurry and is perfect for when you’re busy studying.