One year I decided to determine once and for all what the absolute best morning energy drink was. Coffee is ok for most people, but what if you want healthy, sustained energy without jitters and crashes?
Does that seem too good to be true?
In this article I will go over specific ingredients that you can add to water (or coffee or milk or whatever…) that will get you fired up to get s*** done.
What to Drink in the Morning for Energy (the basics)
So basically there are a few things to think about when selecting your favorite morning drink.
First thing to understand is that most people think that ENERGY = STIMULANTS… don’t fall for that trap. There is A LOT more to energy than just getting stimulants in your system.
In the Western world we think that if we feel tired we need some sort of stimulant to power us up… Caffeine being the big one.
There is another type of energy booster that is making waves and growing in popularity.
Keep that word in mind, you will be seeing a lot more of it. The growth in interest in adaptogens has been rapidly growing.
Take a look at this google trends chart, for example:
Adaptogens are a healthy, sustainable alternative to stimulants like coffee. There is one BIG factor that differentiates stimulants and adaptogens.
Adaptogens vs Stimulants
Adaptogens are a class of herbs that help the body adapt to stressors, both physical and mental.
They work by normalizing the body’s response to stress and produce more energy without the crash later.
Stimulants create energy NOW and give you a crash LATER. Adaptogens gently increase energy over time without the crash.
So, which is better for you?
If you need energy for a specific period of time, like a big game or a workout or a big meeting at work, stimulants work well.
For long term sustained energy, adaptogens might fit your needs better.
SPRINT = STIMULANTS
MARATHON = ADAPTOGENS
A common trend now is to mix adaptogens into your morning coffee, which gives you the benefit of both while allowing you to ease up on the caffeine in the afternoon and avoid the inevitable crash.
So without further ado here are the best things to drink in the morning for energy (at the end I will give you a few bonuses for specific conditions like ADHD and brain fog).
1. MUSHROOM COFFEE
Mushroom coffee is exploding in popularity and with good reason. It combines adaptogens and stimulants for great performance. Both are considered very healthy for the long term. Coffee especially has a long studied history and seems to be very beneficial in moderation.
Tim Ferriss was singing praises of mushroom coffee since a long time ago. He specifically talks about how it improves his cognition and helps with those “heavy load” days.
Mushroom Coffee is real, actual coffee… but with added adaptogen mushrooms.
Common mushrooms to add are:
Lion’s Mane – Used for cognitive and brain health. Often seen as a “nootropic” aka “smart drug”. Good for reducing anxiety and depression.
Reishi – A very commonly used mushroom due to its overall health properties. Used for immunity, relieving stress and improved sleep.
As well, triterpenes and beta-glucans found in Reishi may help reduce overall cholesterol and LDL (the bad cholesterol you don’t want).
Chaga – Used for immune health, reducing inflammation, lowering blood sugar, reducing blood pressure and alleviating arthritis.
Cordyceps – Used for increased energy, improved stamina, immune health.
Cordyceps mushroom is the natural “pre-workout formula”.
This adaptogenic mushroom helps to support your adrenal glands (improving adrenal fatigue) and helps your body produce and maintain consistent energy levels.
Try some in your coffee or get a premixed mushroom coffee drink available online.
While the 4 mushrooms mentioned above are adaptogens, they are not the whole list of energy-boosting natural energy foods available to us.
Let’s look at some other common adaptogens that people use to give their day a kick-start.
This one has been very popular and talked about by celebrities and fitness influencers.
Ashwagandha can (according to some studies):
- Relieve Stress and Anxiety
- Lower Blood Sugar and Fat
- Increase Muscle Mass and Strength
- Boosts Hormones and Sexual Health in Men and Women
- Improves Memory, Focus and Concentration
Maca is a cruciferous vegetable from Peru. It’s been very in demand recently because of the reported health benefits that people have been noticing.
It’s believed to increase libido, improve mood and energy and preserve cognitive function.
Rhodiola is an herb that grows in the cold mountains of Europe and Asia.
Like all adaptogens it improves our stress response, but has been show to help :
- reduce fatigue
- treat depression
- improve brain function
- increase exercise performance
3. HYDRATING “MORNING ENERGY DRINK”
Even a 1% drop in hydration can affect various systems in our body that affect how much energy we have and how well our brain works.
During sleep our bodies get dehydrated and that’s a big reason why we feel groggy and “out of it” in the mornings.
This can be fixed partly with water, but you also need to make sure you replenish you electrolytes.
A simple fix that is used by many biohackers to jump start their energy systems in the morning and quickly hydrate their bodies is to mix:
- WATER (8oz or more)
- PINK HIMALAYAN SALT (just a pinch)
- LEMON JUICE (from organic lemons)
Hydrating with water first thing in the morning PLUS getting your electrolytes from salt PLUS getting some Vitamin C is a great combo to get the day started.
Salt plays a huge role in how our bodies function. Here’s Dr. Huberman, a teacher and reseacher at Stanford University School of Medicine on the importance of salt:
Morning Energy Drink Summary
Those are the top ways to approach the morning energy drink problem.
Try them out and see what works for you!