Get more energy without caffeine

I have to ask: why? But over on Reddit, there is a discussion I’ve just seen about how to stir yourself instead of your coffee, specifically:

I know a lot of people whose morning habit is to down a cup of coffee to get them ready for the day. Not only have I seen many articles knock that as a bad thing, but I am also not a lover of hot drinks. At the moment of writing this, it is 10am in the morning and I only woke up 2 hours ago. I am feeling tired and could easily jump back in to bed.
So, how do you increase your energy without consuming caffeine?

How Do You Increase Your Energy without Caffeine? CallumVlogs, /r/productivity (27 April 2015)

He – I just somehow sense it’s a man, I don’t know – is still getting replies today, that’s how it floated up in front of me, but he also got responses immediately including this one:

take a nap – it is overused and trivial, but it works like a charm
take a cold shower – cold is key. Warm relaxes you, cold gets you perked up
make yourself a green smoothie – kale / spinach + a fruit of your choice + water + nuts. The greens will give you quite a boost, the fruit will make the taste good, the nuts will give you some energy lasting energy
juice some veggies – carrots / celery / beats
juice some citrus fruits – lemons / oranges / grapefruits – the vitamin C will give you an energy boost
do some HIIT exercises – you’ll have to push yourself mentally past the barrier of “I don’t have the energy for it”, but you’ll feel like a champ after that


Read the full piece and contribute a strong defence in favour of Pepsi Max, would you?

The coffee pot that only works in windy weather

Seriously. Coffee when it’s windy. Not because it’s cold outside and the coffee is warming. Instead because it’s windy outside and it’s the power from a turbine that’s warming the coffee. Researchers at Lancaster University have developed the Windy Brew, a kettle which can only boil when there is exactly enough energy from a nearby wind turbine.

Read more about how and in particular why.

Do you want caffeine to be good for you or what?

Here’s the thing. If you want it to be an aid to your writing, there are reasons to be cheerful. If you want to think that it’s dangerous in any way, here you go.

There are a lot of people who don’t drink coffee, and it is easy to assume that there are plenty of writers who are very creative without resorting to caffeine intake at all. Coffee may stimulate creativity for some, while for others it may result in the mind’s being too alert for creativity to freely flow. Coffee may have health benefits, but there may also be negative effects if one drinks too much of the beverage.

As for me? I started writing this article while drinking a hot cup of coffee, but now my cup is empty. The buzz of caffeine alertness is gone, and I’m considering having a second cup. Or, perhaps to encourage creativity, I should just let my mind wander instead.

Ellis Shuman Writes: Does Caffeine Make You a Better Writer? – Ellis Shuman (19 March 2014)

Read the full piecefor balanced but leaning-toward-coffee detail.

Making 5am starts even harder

Ah, what the hell? I’m 264 days into this 5am start lark, let’s shake it up. Today, for the first time – do you know, I’m suddenly embarrassed about admitting this? – I didn’t do the usual fast shower, mug of tea, bleary, get down to typing business.

I went straight to the keys.

From bed to alarm to keys, nothing else.

It was because I needed to write something and get it sent quickly, an extra thing ahead of a busy day, but also I woke with the first line in my head. I would like to stress to you now that it’s gone 6am and I have showered, made tea and, well, dressed.

I may never have written the words “well dressed” about me. I’ve certainly never written it without a comma.

But images of me sitting here nude and dishevelled aside, I can report that it may have worked. I walked away to do that showering and tea-ing after writing the piece and before sending it so I could come back with a freshly shampooed and caffeinated mind. I did rather rewrite it but more lots of twiddles than anything big. And I’m happy with it, it’s gone, I’m back to the rest of the day.

Can’t decide yet whether I’m actually recommending this to you. It was quite cold. But that was as much motivation to write quickly as the dangling prospect of tea was.

Put it this way: I’m not going to rush to do this every morning. But once in a while, it’s good to cut out everything that stands between you and the keyboard.

I must get a heater.

Have a coffee and tell me all about it

Caffeine may give you the shakes but at least if it’s keeping you up at night, it’s because of its chemistry and not because you sleepily agreed to some really morally questionable ideas at the office today.

“When you’re sleep deprived at work, it’s much easier to simply go along with unethical suggestions from your boss because resistance takes effort and you’re already worn down,” said David Welsh, an organizational behavior professor at the University of Washington. “However, we found that caffeine can give sleep-deprived individuals the extra energy needed to resist unethical behavior.”

“Our research shows that sleep deprivation contributes to unethical behavior at work by making you more susceptible to social influences, such as a boss who tells you to do something deceptive or unethical,” said Michael Christian, an organizational behavior professor at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. “Caffeine can help you resist by strengthening your self-control and willpower when you’re exhausted.”

Coffee: Cup o’ ethics – UNC Kenan-Flagler News (2 April 2014)

Nod to Lifehacker for spotting this and making a more readable account than the official paper.