It’s a Monday. It’s raining. And it’s 8 in the morning. Ugh. Could life get any worse? Luckily there are some easy and yummy ways that will wake you up better than coffee in the morning.


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Photo by Sean Koetting

Ever heard the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away?” Well, it turns out that apples can keep sleepiness away too. Packed with thirteen grams of natural sugar, apples are a great way to wake up — even better than coffee.

If you’re heading to an early morning lecture class and need your brain firing on all cylinders, be sure to pick up an apple on your way out.


energizing foods

Photo by Megan Prendergast

Protein, protein, protein. Not only will it make your body crazy muscular, it’ll bulk up your brain too. Eggs are bursting with essential nutrients and all the fancy stuff to keep your body charged longer.

Because of the healthy dose of omega 3’s, fat, and protein, eggs will keep you full longer, which really helps avoid that mid-class slump. So load up your plate with eggs — scrambled, fried, over easy, or in an omelette — and make your 8 AM simply egg-cellent.

Chocolate Milk

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Photo by Hannah Lin

It’s chocolate, of course it’s a power food. Now I’m not saying to gobble down a whole bag of chocolate chips, but a healthy dose never hurt anyone. Aside from eat chocolate straight up, mixing it with something is a sure-fire way to kick start your morning.

Milk has been the poster child for healthy bones since forever. But, when we add chocolate, it gets even better. Protein helps your body to make important enzymes that send signals to your brain to wake up and get moving.

Chocolate should basically be its own food group. Not only is it good with everything, but it also provides nutrients that can help your body to feel more awake. Cocoa has natural caffeine, and will help to maintain blood sugar levels longer when paired with calcium-rich protein.

Plus, there are tons of things to mix in to maximize the awesomeness. Chocolate milk tastes great, is good for you, and boosts energy. Boo-yah.


energizing foods

Photo by Lily Allen

Did you know some smells can actually have a physical effect on your body? Now you’re probably thinking we’re going to tell you to wake up and smell the coffee, but you should really be waking up to smell the grapefruit.

According to The National Sleep Foundation, the smell of citrus can naturally make the body more alert, and it’s full of immune system boosting Vitamin C. Even if you’re not the biggest fan of this tart, tangy fruit, be sure to saunter by it and take a little sniff. Not sure how to cut one up? Check out this link: How To Cut a Grapefruit.


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There are a lot of rumors floating around the foodie-sphere about carbs in the morning. While it’s true that an overload of carbohydrates will leave your feeling sluggish, the right amount can go a long way in the morning.

The key, my friends, is to avoid simple carbs like waffles, pancakes, and muffins (I know, I know, those are the best breakfast foods). Save those heavy, sugary breakfast foods for weekends and choose a complex carb to start your morning grind.

Oats steal the show with their fabulous fiber, and their ability to keep you full longer and kick start your metabolism for the day.


energizing foods

Photo by Nina Lincoff

I know, I know. Spices aren’t really a food. But when added to certain breakfast staples, they can take your dish from snooze to “Oh snap!”

Spices such as cinnamon, cumin, paprika, and of course red pepper send your metabolism into over drive, those spices triggering hormones in your body that wake you up immediately!

If you’re a fan of sweets in the morning, try cinnamon on a apple, in your oatmeal, or on top of toast with some peanut butter. If you’re more into savory dishes, try to sprinkle a little something spicy on your eggs in the morning.

Greek Yogurt

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Photo by Shirley Chen

Ah yes, Greek yogurt. Showing up on “power food” lists everywhere, Greek yogurt has officially been named one badass mama-jamma. Greek yogurt is super important if you have a big exam or presentation because it will provide the protein and healthy bacteria that your body needs to bring it’s a game.

As an added bonus, Greek yogurt actually burns fat because it takes more energy to digest it than it does to eat it…. How’s that for badass?


energizing foods

Photo by Stephanie Lee

Purer than white sugar, sweeter than brown sugar, and healthier than that creepy fake sweetener, honey takes the cake when it comes to sweetening your food. Honey has natural sugars that take energy to break down, so your body has to be awake and functioning to digest it.

If you need a boost to start your morning, don’t reach for the coffee pot, but instead for the little plastic bear full of honey. It is more effective than caffeine because it stays in your system longer, and it tastes great with toast or fruit.

Waking up is hard, we get it. But fear not! You now have the tools you need to wake up and get yourself going in the morning.