Put down that energy shot! There’s no need to chug questionable canned concoctions or buckets of coffee to get through the day without a 3 p.m. slump.

We found 24 quick and easy ways to up your energy level — no unpronounceable chemicals required.

1. Drink *some* joe

We can say from experience that six back-to-back cups of coffee is a recipe for an energy crash. But one cup is usually just right.

A 2012 study found that a single cup of coffee was enough to keep sleepy drivers on a long haul more alert at the wheel.Mets M, et al. (2012). Effects of coffee on driving performance during prolonged simulated highway driving. DOI: 10.1007/s00213-012-2647-7

2. Hit the chocolate

Sure, chocolate’s got caffeine, but that’s not the only reason it offers a quick pick-me-up. Research has shown that the flavanols found in cocoa may boost cognitive performanceSocci V, et al. (2017). Enhancing human cognition with cocoa flavonoids. DOI: 10.3389/fnut.2017.00019 and improve mood.Scholey A, et al. (2013). Effects of chocolate on cognitive function and mood: a systematic review. DOI: 10.1111/nure.12065

And yes, there are a lot more of those beneficial flavanols in dark chocolate than in milk chocolate. Flavanols give chocolate its bitter taste.

3. Chew-se wisely

To avoid nodding off during an endless meeting, pop a piece of gum. Research has shown that chewing gum can increase alertness and improve mood.Allen AP, et al. (2015). Chewing gum: Cognitive performance, mood, well-being, and associated physiology. DOI: 10.1155/2015/654806

4. Drink up

Whether you’re at the gym or just dealing with the daily grind, it can be hard to remember to drink enough water. But even mild dehydration can make you sleepy, so try chugging a glass or two when fatigue strikes.Liska D, et al. (2019). Narrative review of hydration and selected health outcomes in the general population. DOI: 10.3390/nu11010070

5. Eat regularly

Your body needs fuel (aka food) to function, and without it your energy and mood can take a nosedive. A study published in 2000 found that eating regularly could boost energy and improve memory and motivation.Lombard CB. (2000). What is the role of food in preventing depression and improving mood, performance and cognitive function? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11149371

But keep in mind that not getting enough sleep may cause you to snack more often and even eat more junky food.Dashti HS, et al. (2015). Short sleep duration and dietary intake: Epidemiologic evidence, mechanisms, and health implications. DOI: 10.3945/an.115.008623 Check in with your stomach to prevent mindless munching.

6. Open the curtains

Environmental cues play a huge role in your body’s energy grooves (aka circadian rhythms), and sunlight can help alleviate seasonal affective disorder. There’s no need to invest in a light therapy box if you have a sunny window nearby.

7. Light it up

Sunlight is probably best, and circadian rhythms can have a big impact on how alert we feel, but one research review found that feeling more awake at any time of day can be as easy as flipping on some lights.Souman JL, et al. (2018). Acute alerting effects of light: A systematic literature review. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2017.09.016

8. Bring in the green

Although not entirely backed by science, in a stuffy office, a houseplant may help make your air a little cleaner.

Indoor air pollutants can have both long- and short-term health effects, including energy-draining allergies and headaches. Add a plant, though, and it might absorb some of those nasty emissions for you.

9. Seek some lemon aid

Sniffing certain scents (hello, aromatherapy) is rumored to have all kinds of mood benefits, but lemon oil is one of the essential oils with a proven effect. Lemon is a stimulating scent, and at least one study, from back in 2008, showed it improved participants’ moods.Kiecolt-Glaser JK, et al. (2008). Olfactory influences on mood and autonomic, endocrine, and immune function. DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2007.11.015

10. See red

Research has shown that the color red is associated with winning and self-confidence.Elliot AJ, et al. (2011). Perception of the color red enhances the force and velocity of motor output. DOI: 10.1037/a0022599 Try looking at some red or violet hues (or wearing them!) to feel more awake.

11. Go outside

Head into the great outdoors — if no woods are nearby, a green park will do. According to a 2010 study, just 20 minutes outdoors is enough to make you feel more alive.Ryan RM, et al. (2010). Vitalizing effects of being outdoors and in nature. DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2009.10.009

How’s that for an energy boost?

12. Stretch out

Just a few desk stretches may be enough, but studies have suggested a little yoga can make people feel more energized and confident.Golec de Zavala A, et al. (2017). Yoga poses increase subjective energy and create self-esteem in comparison to “power poses.” DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00752

If you want to get your whole office in on the “ommm,” let your boss know that yoga has been shown to improve resilience, positivity, and job satisfaction.Trent NL, et al. (2019). Improvements in psychological and occupational well-being in a pragmatic controlled trial a yoga-based program for professionals. DOI: 10.1089/acm.2018.0526

13. Think fast

It may not sound so easy when those eyelids are drooping, but making your brain work a little quicker may help your body follow suit. In a 2006 study, thinking faster (i.e., reading at a quicker pace, brainstorming in a group, or learning a new concept) made one group of people feel more energized.Pronin E, et al. (2006). Manic thinking: Independent effects of thought speed and thought content on mood. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2006.01786.x

14. Take a few deep breaths

Nope, it’s not just the key to resisting the urge to scream at that driver who cut you off. A 2006 study found that yoga breathing from your diaphragm gets your blood pumping, which may also boost your energy all day long.Jerath R, et al. (2006). Physiology of long pranayamic breathing: Neural respiratory elements may provide a mechanism that explains how slow deep breathing shifts the autonomic nervous system. DOI: 10.1016/j.mehy.2006.02.042

15. Do something interesting

Plan to do the most engaging or interesting task of your day during the sleepiest time of day (typically around 3 p.m.). A 1994 study found that being interested in a task makes it significantly easier to stay alert.Mavjee V, et al. (1994). Boredom effects on sleepiness/alertness in the early afternoon vs. early evening and interactions with warm ambient temperature. DOI: 10.1111/j.2044-8295.1994.tb02527.x

16. Be social

Research has shown that people who have strong social ties are happier and healthier and get more sleep.Nieminen T, et al. (2013). Social capital, health behaviours and health: A population-based associational study. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-613 In a 2006 study, chatting it up made people feel more awake than quiet office work.Eriksen CA, et al. (2006). Comment on short-term variation in subjective sleepiness. DOI: 10.2466/pms.101.3.943-948

17. Straighten up

Slouching can cause fatigue. Research has shown that sitting up straight — that’s shoulders back, eyes forward, and lower back slightly arched — can make you feel more energizedPeper E, et al. (2012). Increase or decrease depression: How body postures influence your energy level. DOI: 10.5298/1081-5937-40.3.01 and maybe even give you a confidence boost.Briñol P, et al. (2009). Body posture effects on self‐evaluation: A self‐validation approach. DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.607

18. Work out midday

When you get that midafternoon urge to doze, hit the gym instead of the sack.

A 2011 study found that working out during the workday can actually increase productivity enough to counteract that time away from your desk.von Thiele Schwarz U, et al. (2011). Employee self-rated productivity and objective organizational production levels: Effects of worksite health interventions involving reduced work hours and physical exercise. DOI: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31822589c2

19. Power nap

Avoid the temptation to pull a Rip Van Winkle — take a midday power nap instead. A nap has been theorized to revitalize you enough to keep concentrating or working and seldom interferes with night sleep.George PT. (2018). The psycho-sensory wake drive-a power source for power naps and other common sleep-wake phenomena: a hypothesis. DOI: 10.1007/s11325-017-1505-6

20. Laugh

Laughter is a proven stress-buster, but studies suggest it has a bunch of other health benefits, including boosting energy levels.Yim J. (2016). Therapeutic benefits of laughter in mental health: A theoretical review. DOI: 10.1620/tjem.239.243

(Feel free to use this as permission to go on YouTube for the next half an hour.)

21. Take a cold shower

Embrace the polar bear swim! A 2007 study suggested that even a 3-minute cold shower could be enough to counteract some of the effects of chronic fatigue.Shevchuk N. (2007). Possible use of repeated cold stress for reducing fatigue in chronic fatigue syndrome: A hypothesis. DOI: 10.1186/1744-9081-3-55

22. Turn up the volume

Don’t just turn on the tunes to chill out. Research has shown that getting down with some uplifting music can improve alertness, attention, and memory.Riby LM. (2013). The joys of spring: Changes in mental alertness and brain function. DOI: 10.1027/1618-3169/a000166

Planning a road trip? One study found that medium-tempo music was best for increasing alertness and reducing fatigue on a long-distance drive.Li R, et al. (2019). Effect of music tempo on long-distance driving: Which tempo is the most effective at reducing fatigue? DOI: 10.1177/2041669519861982

23. And sing along

Singing requires breath control. Belt out a full song and you’ll get plenty of extra oxygen pumping — not to mention the adrenaline of taking it to the (karaoke) stage. Plus, one 2008 study found that singing boosted energy levels among college students.Lim HA. (2008). The effect of personality type and musical task on self-perceived arousal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18563971

24. Leave your desk

Skip the sad desk lunch. According to a 2016 study, taking a real mental break from your work at lunchtime can improve your energy level over time.Sianoja M, et al. (2016). Recovery during lunch breaks: Testing long-term relations with energy levels at work. DOI: 10.16993/sjwop.13

Whether it’s a quick walk or lunch outside the office, take some time to wake up away from the glowing screen. Those emails can wait a few minutes. Really.