Momentum Podcast: 849

Protect Your Energy

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

For entrepreneurs, it is incredibly important to maximize your energy, engagement, and presence in order to make better decisions and be more productive. The advice commonly given to entrepreneurs, like grabbing coffee and immediately starting work, can negatively impact energy levels and lead to a massive crash, and I don’t just mean in the afternoons. In this podcast, you will learn how to optimize energy and productivity, including blocking blue light in the morning, maintaining your hydration, and going outside for natural light exposure and a walk. 

Blue light exposure and dehydration creates massive constraint on the body. When you prioritize your energy and well-being, you will see increased productivity and a sense of possibility.

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Full Audio Transcript

This is the Momentum podcast.

As an entrepreneur, one of the most important things for me is maximizing my energy, my engagement, while staying grounded and present and aware. The more energy I have and the more grounded I am, the better decisions I make. The more I show up for my team, the more I show up for our clients and the more I get done throughout the day. And recently I have been hearing some terrible advice in the entrepreneurial world, and it seems to come up over and over and over again recently where people are saying, “Get up, grab a cup of coffee, go sit down at your computer and go to work”. And this could not be more challenging advice if you want to have energy, presence and awareness. Today, I want to discuss why and give you some alternatives so that you can optimize yourself as an entrepreneur and get as much done as possible.

I'm Alex Charfen and this is the Momentum podcast made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure. We pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny. We define it. We don't understand defeat because you only lose if you stop and we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we are the minority, the few who are willing to hallucinate. There could be a better future. And instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters, clearly the most important people in the world, because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution. And we always will be.

As entrepreneurs, let's get real. Our productivity, our personal productivity, our personal ability to do things is one of the most important things we have in the world. And the more present we are, like I said, the more engaged we are, the more in our bodies we are. And the more energy we have, the more we're optimizing, the more we're going to get done. And recently I've seen YouTube shorts and Instagram stories and so much TEDTalks. And while I don't really watch Tik Tok, I've seen a couple and I've seen more and more entrepreneurs giving the advice that you just have to get things done, get up in the morning, go straight to your computer, grab a cup of coffee and go to work. And when I break that advice down, it could not be more damaging. Let me explain to you why.

If you get up in the morning and the first thing you do is go sit at a computer, you're exposing yourself to massive amounts of blue light. And that blue light is resetting your circadian rhythm and it's setting you up for an afternoon crash. Blue light in a computer and a phone is brighter than the noon sun and our bodies are programmed by light. Our circadian rhythm is programmed by light. The hormonal composition of our bodies, the hormones that our bodies produce are triggered by and guided by light. And that makes sense. If you think about us as human beings on earth, when the light turns on, when the sun comes up, that's when we get up and we start waking up and we start moving around. And that's how it's always been. But today we have these artificial lights that give us way more light exposure than even the sun. That's right. Your screen, your computer, your phone. All of them have more blue light exposure to our bodies than the sun. And what this does is it tells you your body first thing in the morning, it's high noon and you're behind. And so your body starts releasing all types of chemicals, adrenaline and thyroid and whatever it needs to get you completely revved up and ready to go. And what is this going to do? It causes an afternoon crash where you're exhausted. If you've had this experience, I have to. That's why I figured this out. And three or 4:00, you feel like you want to take a nap, you feel like you're completely gassed. And as entrepreneurs, that's typically time that we're spending with our team or we're getting work done or we're engaging with clients. And if we're not fully engaged and we're crashing, all of that is challenging, incredibly challenging. And so do not get up and go straight to a screen or straight to your computer first thing in the morning and grab a cup of coffee.

Now let's talk about grab a cup of coffee. The reason I'm bringing this up is because I've heard it so many times: get up, grab a cup of coffee and go to work. Well, if you look at the science behind how coffee works, coffee and caffeine don't actually stimulate energy. What caffeine does is it blocks adenosine levels. And I might be pronouncing that wrong. I'm not a doctor, but you can look this up. And for the first 90 minutes after we're waking up, our adenosine levels aren't even there yet for the coffee to block. And so when we drink coffee first thing in the morning, we're actually stimulating the body in a way where we're not blocking adenosine levels and getting more energy. We're actually contributing more to that afternoon crash. So if you get up and you sit at a blue light screen and you drink coffee, you are setting yourself up to be challenged in the afternoon. I know how this feels. And you probably, too. it's like 3:00 or 4:00, you start feeling slow, you start feeling, like I said, you want to take a nap, you start feeling like you can't focus. And we have to power through. We have to muster up our energy and that gets harder and harder for us as entrepreneurs.

So here's some alternatives that will protect you, that will help you, that will give you more energy than you thought possible and will absolutely change things for you. So when you first get up in the morning, my first suggestion is that you block blue light and you probably, if you know me, you probably see me wearing orange glasses. I wear a Swanwick glasses, and they've been proven to actually improve your sleep and give you more energy. I gave a pair to a friend of mine recently and he said that actually he feels like it's improving his mood, which makes sense because blue light also causes stress on the body. So when we put on blue light blockers and we block off blue light, we're actually protecting our energy. We're increasing the amount of energy we have available. We're not letting that false blue light reprogram our circadian rhythm. And not only does it reprogram our circadian rhythm where it makes it hard to have energy in the afternoon, it actually makes it hard to have a good night's sleep. If you want all the energy in the world during the day, then you have to start the night before with getting a good night's sleep. And that starts the day before with the right habits. So blocking blue light is a big one. If you do have to be on a screen, if you do have to be at a computer, even if you're inside with blue light with natural light, wearing a pair of Swanwick glasses in the morning and then wearing them out in the afternoon after as the sun's going down and blocking the blue light in your house is going to help your body protect you and give you way more energy. So that's first.

The second thing, when you first get up in the morning, rather than grabbing a cup of coffee, hyper hydrate, go get some water, make sure your body is hydrated. We dehydrate overnight and caffeine actually is a diuretic. Coffee is a diuretic. So it actually dehydrates us further. So if we get up in the morning where we're already in a dehydrated state and we grab a cup of coffee when we feel like we're giving ourselves energy, we're actually dehydrating our body past where it already is. We're causing further dehydration, and dehydration causes a lack of focus, a lack of energy and all types of challenges. In fact, if you look at the top 20 prescription drugs in the United States, really you can go further than that. But if you look at the top 20 prescription drugs and you remove birth control, the drugs treat the symptoms of dehydration. And I know that sounds like an exaggeration, but dehydration can cause inflammation and body pain and depression and anxiety and lack of attention. And when you look at the top 20 drugs in the United States, they treat depression and attention deficit disorder and inflammation and pain in the body. All of those could be I think they are symptoms of chronic dehydration for many people. So drinking water first thing in the morning helps your body hydrate and gives you energy from coffee or caffeine of any kind. You should wait a minimum of 90 minutes, but at least I try to wait 2 hours before I have any of it. And you will see if you try this. It completely hits different. You get a completely different rush of energy and more stable energy throughout the day. I definitely drink caffeine. I use caffeine. I either drink matcha or coffee most days, but I do it at the right time so that I'm optimizing my energy and it's actually working.

Now, one last thing I want to recommend. So I've got blocking blue light. When you get up in the morning, hyper hydrating, staying away from caffeine, 90 minutes. But I would recommend 2 hours if you can. And then this is a big one. First thing in the morning, get outside. The same way that blue light over-stimulates our body and tells our body that it's high noon and gives us the wrong chemicals and overclocks things and completely crushes our optimization. If you go outside, you actually get natural light stimulation, which properly programs the circadian rhythm, calms the body and makes sure that your body is producing the right chemical combination and setting you up for success throughout the day. But more importantly, if you go outside first thing in the morning, you're setting yourself up for good sleep that night. And I've struggled with sleep my entire entrepreneurial career because I had habits like this. I used to get up first thing in the morning, struggle to go get a cup of coffee, sit down at a computer, be there forever. Sometimes I wouldn't go outside. Jeez, sometimes those days where I don't remember if I did go outside for the first few hours and I barely was outside. So if you have time, get outside. Well, if you. If you don't have a lot of time, get outside for at least 3 minutes. Like, literally time. At least 3 minutes. So that your body is programing to the natural light and your circadian rhythm is getting set up to succeed. And if you have a little more time, go for a walk. I recommend at least 20 minutes. But by going outside after you've hyper hydrated, after you've gotten up in the morning and blocked blue light, take the blue light glasses off and go outside and walk for 20 minutes. There's so much that you get from a morning walk. One, you get that natural light exposure for 20 minutes. Two, you start your body moving human tablets and start moving. When we kick off the metabolism like this, we get more energy throughout the day. And then the bilateral stimulation of walking, literally the feet hitting the ground when you're walking helps you offload any stress, helps you offload any trauma, helps you offload any issues that are going on. I often share with entrepreneurs, there's very little that can't be clarified or overcome by going on a 20 minute walk.

And if you do this every morning, you're helping your body process, you're helping yourself process what happened the day before. You're helping yourself optimize for the entire day. You're helping yourself get grounded and present and aware, and it will create a massive amount of energy. And so the advice out there is grab a cup of coffee, sit down at your computer and go to work that will cause you to crash, to have challenges in the afternoon, to have challenges going to sleep. And this creates a cycle that is completely destructive over time. It is a negative loop that you get into where you get more tired in the afternoon, where you feel like you need more coffee in the morning, where you feel like you need to work harder when you first get up in the morning and go to the computer faster and eventually you get to a place where you're not only not optimized, you're working at a fraction of the energy, productivity and presence that you could have. Contrast that with getting up in the morning, blocking blue light and protecting your circadian rhythm, hyper hydrating so that you hydrate the body that has dehydrated overnight. Getting up and getting some outside exposure. And if you have the time, go for a 20 minute walk, you will see an absolute shift in your energy levels, in your presence and awareness all day, especially in the afternoon, where you normally crash and you will feel momentum and capability and possibility that you probably aren't feeling right now if you're not doing these things, and especially if you're getting up, grabbing coffee and going to work.

I know that it feels like we have a lot to do, and I know that it feels like when we first get up, we should go get it all done. But the way I look at it is if I can optimize my energy throughout the entire day by taking 20 or 30 minutes in the morning to do these things, then I have more to put out there all day. I'm optimized for the entire day. I have energy for the entire day. I'm getting way more done than somebody who gets up and thinks they're being productive by getting after it right away. There is a lot of challenging advice in the entrepreneurial world today and a lot of people who just want to sound hardcore like they're working all the time. But the reality is if you're doing these things to yourself, you are slowing things down. You're working at a disadvantage. You're making things harder on yourself. And it's not that difficult to switch to where you're optimizing like crazy. Now, these are just some simple suggestions. I do a lot more in the morning to get myself ready. I believe in having a really clear morning routine so that every single day I know I'm doing all the things that are going to help me optimize. I dial it in over time and I know that when I go through that routine, especially with the parts that I've shared here with you, I have way more energy and I'm way more capable. And I want you to be too.

And if you are interested in optimizing overall and stopping dehydration in your body, I've written a program called the Ten-Day Natural Thirst Challenge that will help you drink more water than you thought possible. You actually skip caffeine for ten days. So probably I don't want to unsell this, but if you're willing to for ten days, go take the ten day natural thirst challenge. You'll drink more water than you ever thought possible and you will tap into energy reserves that you didn't even know your body had. You can go to to join the ten day natural thirst challenge and check it out. We've had literally thousands. I think we're over 10,000 people now who have tried the ten day natural thirst challenge. And over and over again I have people tell me how after a few days of adjusting to not having caffeine, they have more energy, more focus. They're getting more done. They feel better. Body pain has gone away and they feel fully optimized. And that's how I want you to feel. Because remember, as an entrepreneur, the more we optimize, the more we are capable of you. If you feel like you can make $1,000,000 at any point in time in your life, you're $1,000,000 racehorse. When you see a $1,000,000 racehorse, you know it's worth that much. By the way, it's taken care of, by the way, it's exercise, by the way. They scientifically approach every single thing they do with that racehorse. I want you to do the same thing for you because I believe in you. I believe you're $1,000,000 racehorse. I believe not only can you make $1,000,000 in your life, but far more than that. And I want to see you do it. So go to And try this. This simple process that I shared with you for a few days. If you have been doing the get up, grab coffee, get on screens and go to work, let me know if you try this strategy and how it goes for you. I'd love to hear from you again, And thanks for listening today.

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