Being a coffee addict for almost twenty years likely had me funding Starbucks franchises in the Northeast and falling into the same caffeine addiction that so much of the world runs on.
Years ago, I tried soy-free Eco Teas Organic Yerba Mate Unsmoked Green Energy, 24-Tea Bags (Pack of 6 boxes) which tasted like raw hay which even honey couldn't save. It is supposedly used by athletes in the Olympics to increase energy and stamina. Yes, it did increase my energy and focus for maybe two hours, but it didn't last. It definitely is good for if you need to focus without the jittery, heart-palpitations effect. For this reason, I use it as a pick-me-up before the gym.
Then I tried soy-free CoEnzymeQ10 which worked to give me a "second wind" around 4PM when I usually was ready for a nap. It also imbued a glow to my skin, which was a nice side effect. It is a supplement usually taken for people with heart problems or who just want to increase their energy levels, but my energy levels were still not enough to continue taking it long-term.
So recently, I discovered Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (I use Bragg's brand from Whole Foods) which I drop two tablespoons in a huge glass of cold water and down it next to my morning coffee. I realize that is probably counterproductive, but I've cut down coffee to only that one cup a day... (My usual drink at Starbucks at around 4PM was a triple-shot espresso with three inches of steamed milk in a short cup. Talk about extremes!) It is also a good idea to drink it with a straw and rinse your mouth out with water or water w/ 1/2 tsp baking soda to neutralize the vinegar's acid on the teeth. What happens is when this Organic ACV is taken internally, it alkalizes the PH of the body after going through your pancreas. It has long been used for acid reflux, weight-loss, chronic fatigue syndrome and so many other things. I have definitely noticed an increase in energy and mental clarity in the past few days. I don't mind the taste of the Organic ACV, it reminds me of Kombucha drinks...but if you can't stomach it, try adding some organic honey or maple syrup. If you are really daring, 1 Tablespoon of Blackstrap Molasses stirred in adds 20% of your daily intake of several vitamins and several minerals!
Two days ago, I started taking soy-free MSM 1000mg - 120 - Tablet (Methylsulfonylmethane) - It is basically a sulfur compound which is normally found in small amounts in some foods like onions and garlic as well as some drinks. It reportedly has no adverse effects, but some people have reported heart palpitations so definitely check with your doctor before taking and especially if you have a heart condition. It is used to treat allergies, arthritic conditions, inflammation and even chronic fatigue. I have also read that it treats melasma and skin conditions. I noticed a difference in my energy levels the very first day. As with all my supplements, I take it with food and a Solgar, Ester-C Plus 1000 mg Vitamin C since Ester-C helps aid in absorption of the MSM. Ester C is also an anti-inflammatory so I take 2000mg with a meal, two or three times per day (three if I'm sick or need my immune system boosted) which helps greatly with my environmental allergies. Last night, I tossed and turned in my bed until 4AM, I kid you not...and I had not even a sip of coffee. My conclusion is that MSM works, but if you decide to take it, do so in the morning!
So now, I am thrilled to announce with my energy levels, I can get back to my workout routine! As long as I keep my diet peanut/tree-nut/soy-free, I can finally carry out all the things I need to get done, and then some!!
Disclaimer: Any vitamins or supplements that you decide to take are taken at your own risk. I am just sharing what has worked for me, but as with anything you take internally, read ingredients thoroughly to avoid allergic reactions and ALWAYS check with your doctors.