There are two necessities that most college students cannot seem to survive without-caffeine and sleep. Yet many times, it's the lack sleep that leads to a sharp increase in caffeine intake. College students consume caffeine in a variety of forms to stay alert and focused throughout the day, with coffee and a variety of sugary sodas and energy drinks such as Red Bull, Monster and 5-Hour Energy being among the most popular. Since lack of sleep, caffeine, crash, more caffeine, then lack of sleep due to caffeine becomes a vicious cycle when continued over a period of time, there are definitely solutions to break that habit before it gets out of hand.
If you're not ready to give up the caffeine kick, there's a much more natural, nourishing pick-me-up that has the power to do wonders for your body. Green tea has the second highest amount of caffeine next to black tea, and contains plenty of antioxidants, which can aid in fat burning, preventing stroke and diabetes, and lowering cholesterol, according to WebMD.
Staying hydrated without caffeine by drinking water throughout the day is one of the most important factors in keeping your body awake and energized, since water acts as a cleansing agent for your body, helping to rid it of harmful toxins. Try thinking of drinking water as giving the inside of your body a shower, keeping it fresh, clean and ready to take on the day.
How you carry yourself also has a lot to do with the way you treat your body internally, and the types of foods you eat and the times you eat may also have a major effect on how alert you feel throughout the day.
According to Discovery Fit & Health, consuming low-glycemic-index foods, such as whole grains, allows for the body to stay in a constantly energized state and prevents sudden highs or lows that can lead to crashing in class or passing out while working on a big paper. Choosing healthy varieties of whole wheat bread, pastas, lightly or unsweetened whole grain cereal and rolled oats are all great ways to get your daily need of nutritious carbs.
Also, consuming a range of fruits throughout the day can give your body that extra natural boost of energy due to fructose (sugar) that regulates blood sugar levels. Constantly nourishing your body with frequent, small meals may keep you feeling your best as the day progresses as well.
"I usually try to have a lot of Vitamin C to give me energy, like orange juice, or really anything with a lot of antioxidants. I really like blueberries too," sophomore Gloria Rodriguez said.
As many may already know, one of the keys to feeling and staying alert is eating right, but there are other ways to remain focused and positive throughout the day that you may not have ever thought of.
According to Self.com, dressing the part may be the answer to a day with a more positive outlook, thus leading to a day with more productivity.
"Putting on clothes that you associate with happy times can perk you up and put you in a more positive mindset, saving you from a grumpy day," Self.com said.
Last but definitely not least, one of the ultimate ways to be at your best and achieve maximum energy requires you to first release some energy of your own.
Going to the gym or working out in the comfort of your dorm helps release endorphins, which both increase mood and make you feel more revitalized.
According to WebMD, "Researchers say nearly every group studied-from healthy adults, to cancer patients, and those with chronic conditions including diabetes and heart disease-benefited from exercise."
Many individuals, such as sophomore Monique Capuzzo, believe that just getting the motivation to get up and work out is the most difficult feat, but the feeling afterwards is rewarding.
"When I go to the gym I totally feel energized and ready to start my day. It helps me stay alert in class and stay motivated to get my work done," said Capuzzo.
Follow these tips and you'll be feeling healthier and awake in no time.