It’s a Monday. It’s raining. And, it’s 8 in the morning. Ugh. Could life get any worse? If you've already had your cup of joe and still feel like crawling back into bed, it's time to try something else. Here are some easy and yummy ways to wake up that work better than coffee. 


apples, Fuji apple, Fruit, whole apple
Jocelyn Hsu

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 13 grams of natural sugar, apples are a great way to wake up. 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.


egg, egg yolk
Parisa Soraya

Protein, protein, protein. Not only will it help make your body more 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

chocolate Nesquik, chocolate, Nesquik, milk
dena dianati

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. The protein helps your body to make important enzymes that send signals to your brain to wake up and get moving. And, when we add chocolate, it gets even better.

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.


juice, grapefruit, citrus, blood orange, sweet, lemon
Jocelyn Hsu

Did you know some smells can actually have a physical effect on your body? Now you’re probably thinking of waking up to 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.

#SpoonTip: If you're struggling, learn how to cut a grapefruit.


porridge, rice, oatmeal, sweet, milk
Christin Urso

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 could leave you 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 count and their ability to keep you full longer.


cumin, herb, pepper, cereal
Sarina Raman

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 as they trigger 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

milk, cream, yogurt, dairy product, coffee, sweet
Kathleen Lee

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.


sweet, honey, honey dipper
Sam Jesner

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, I get it. But fear not, you now have the tools you need to wake up and get yourself going in the morning.