When you’re traveling serious distances for work, passing through one or more time zones on the way to your destination, it’s easy to let fatigue affect you the next morning. But if you’re a traveling physical therapist, you’ll probably be starting your latest job a few hours after you arrive, so you can’t afford to let jetlag get to you. Yes, there are energy drinks and coffee galore no matter where you go, but as a physical therapist, you know how important it is to keep your body and mind at their healthiest.
Unfortunately, many of the most popular ways to get energized in the morning aren’t the healthiest ways to keep your mind sharp and your body ready for action. It’s easy to rely on that morning cup of joe, especially when you’re spending the night in a hotel that has that convenient little coffee maker right there on the dresser. But you can get a healthier and more effective boost of energy from one or more of the following drinks, and it’s easy to make them even when you’re on the go.
The main benefits of tea (as opposed to coffee) are that it’s packed with antioxidants and you’re less likely to add excessive amounts of cream and sugar. It’s still potent enough to wake you up, but it’s gentler on your system and won’t let you down quite as hard as coffee might. I drink a cup of black tea every morning, and I used to be a coffee addict – I find the flavors of black tea to be more appropriate for morning and I love the “clean” energy I get from it. Black tea also has more caffeine than green tea, but depending on your needs, green tea might be energizing enough for you.
You probably don’t want to drink the same tea every morning, especially when there are so many great varieties, so here are three of the best and easiest to find that I’ve tasted. You can simply take the teabags with you and use a coffee maker to heat up the water, and this brand is easy enough to find that you can get more in most places even if you run out. All three of these are made by Tazo and can be found at coffee shops, grocery stores, health food stores, and even superstores like Target and Wal-Mart. To taste them before buying a whole box, simply find a coffee shop that carries them and order a tea to get a single teabag.
- Awake: This blend of black teas from India and Sri Lanka is an all-natural way to feel invigorated, no matter what happened the night before. To me, it carries hints of citrus and anise, giving it a fresh but substantial flavor that wakes up the senses.
- Focus: To be honest, I do have a favorite, and this is it. In addition to all-natural black tea, it has lemon, orange, chicory, and cocoa flavors that blend together into a beverage that tastes like pure energy. You get caffeine from both cocoa peels and black tea, so it’s a perfect way to get that morning kick when you need it the most.
- Organic Chai: If I’m feeling especially sluggish, I choose the chai. Double doses of energy from a black tea blend and ginger root wake you up gently, but it’s the black pepper that jump-starts your taste buds. Other spices like cinnamon, cloves, and anise make this tea a winner in the fight against jetlag.
If you want to avoid caffeine entirely, but you still want to enjoy the energizing effects of a healthy morning beverage, try this on for size. You’ll have to get your hands on a fresh lemon, but you can easily carry a few with you (along with a small manual juicer and peeler). Before you do anything, wash the lemon with soap and warm water to get rid of any pesticides – if you’re really committed to a healthy drink, try to use an organic lemon. Once your lemon is clean, cut it in half, juice one half, and add the liquid to a glass of room-temperature water. Next, use your peeler to get a teaspoon of lemon zest out of the peel that’s left from the juiced half, adding this to the water and lemon juice. Stir it up and enjoy – it’s surprisingly refreshing and will get your morning off to a healthy and alert start.
Bio: Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education where she’s been researching the lowest paying degrees as well as the highest paying jobs. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.