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5 habits for the optimal day

5 habits for the optimal day
Most people leave the first 60 minutes of their morning to chance. Sometimes they're late, sometimes they manage to eat breakfast quickly before leaving the house, and sometimes they just go through their wash-face-brush-teeth-drink-coffee sequence like a robot. That's stupid, because thanks to decades of behavioral research we now know exactly that how you start the day and how you end it also influences everything that lies in between.

If you adjust your habits in the morning and evening just a little bit, this can have a huge impact on your productivity, your performance and your satisfaction. So what are you waiting for? Take your morning and evening routine into your own hands and decide to optimize your day.

There probably isn't much you need to change; you may already be unconsciously integrating some of these habits into your day. If you know why these small actions have such positive effects on you and your body, you may find it easier to make the right decisions.

Here are 5 habits for you that make up an optimal morning routine - both scientifically proven and optimized through our own experiences and we are sure that you already do No. 1 every morning, because it is nothing more than:

1. Drink water

Think about it, you probably lay in bed for 7 to 8 hours without giving your body any fluids! We consist of 70% water and our brain essentially swims in liquid. The first thing you should do in the morning is go to the tap, fill your glass to the brim with still water and then empty it.

If you want to upgrade it a bit, you can add some lemon or lime juice. For those who really want to know, you can also add a dash of apple cider vinegar and a pinch of salt. The salt provides you with valuable electrolytes, the apple cider vinegar lowers the pH value slightly and the lemon provides you with vitamin C.

But if it just stays with the water, that's okay too. All those influencers who put a squeeze of lemon in their alkaline water sell it as “particularly gentle on the stomach and digestive,” but scientifically speaking, you can’t put so much lemon and vinegar in your water that it becomes anywhere near as acidic as yours gastric fluid. So it's a nice little help, but not decisive for the war either. Just water works too and we think it can really be done by everyone in the morning. So let’s move on to habit #2

2. Let sunlight into your eyes (on a short walk)

At least as important as #1 is setting your day and night rhythm, and there's nothing easier to do than with a load of real daylight directly into your eyes. When daylight falls on the cones and rods at the back of our eyes, it signals to the so-called suprachiasmatic nucleus which wavelength is falling here. As the primary timer of our biorhythm, the suprachiasmatic nerve then sends the corresponding commands for daily hormone production. The more bluish daylight in the morning stimulates the orexin system, which makes you alert and awake. In the evening, when the light contains more red wavelengths, signals are sent to release melatonin (the sleep hormone) and the digestive organs shut down.

Daylight (or even better, direct sunlight) is therefore one of the most important things you should integrate into your routine. You can also do this at the end of your morning routine on the way to work by walking or cycling and briefly holding your face towards the sun. It is also enough if you can only vaguely suspect the sun under a cloud cover, because then as much daylight as possible still falls into your iris and your body receives the signals that it is “morning” and the day can begin. Even if you're driving to work, pause before you open the car door and try to find the sun in the sky and align your face with it.

In latitudes where the sun is in the sky for a maximum of an hour in winter or only rises late, a daylight lamp can also serve this purpose. We therefore think point 2 is also feasible. Because every one of us reading this should have access to water and sun. Let's move on to point 3 of 5.

3. Break your fast (or breakfast) with protein

Your first meal of the day should be protein or at least contain it. Various studies have shown that consuming protein with the first meal lowers cortisol levels, stimulates digestion and leads to fewer cravings during the day and in the evening. I specifically write the first meal and not breakfast because not everyone can manage to eat a bite in the morning. But that's not a bad thing, I personally never had a problem with breakfast, but we are all different and nobody has to force themselves to eat something in the morning, it's more about the first meal after the night's fast (even if it's only... takes place at 2 a.m.) contains protein. In English this is clearer: breakfast is not something early in the morning but simply breaking the fast.

But no matter when you have breakfast – the question is “how do you best get a little protein in the first meal of your day?” That's why I developed the Protein Goatmeal during my competition phase with a protein content of 30% per serving! The protein here comes from well-tolerated A2 casein and is easy to metabolize (because we want to stimulate our digestion in the morning and not overload it).

It is also known from the Indian healing theory “Ayurveda” that it is beneficial for the mind and body to start the day with a warm meal. In Ayurveda, the morning between 6 and 10 a.m. is the so-called kapha time, when we feel particularly lethargic and tired. Here we don't want to burden our gastrointestinal tract with anything that is difficult to digest. Whether you believe in Ayurveda or not, most of us can at least confirm that we need a little longer to get going in the morning.

With the Protein Goatmeal I have created the optimal and quick solution. The Maca cinnamon roll variety also contains maca root extract and Ceylon cinnamon, which also stimulates the metabolism - but that's only in passing, as an explanation of why I developed this product the way it is now available today. Of course, you can also cover your protein intake differently in your first meal of the day. For example with a plant-based protein powder, eggs or some lean chicken or wild salmon.

4. Write and make decisions

Or as it is spread on social media, “journaling” is when the girls sit at the breakfast table with their artfully decorated notebooks and their alkaline lemon water (which, by the way, is contradictory in itself). But there really is something to “journalizing.” Both proven by behavioral research and confirmed by my own experiences, I have to say it helps me immensely to sit down in the morning and organize my thoughts in writing. I do it - probably 5 out of 7 days a week and on those days when I take the time to do it, I'm actually more structured in the rest of my day. I think it's mainly because I took the 3 minutes in the morning to make decisions in writing in advance that would otherwise cost me time and energy later in the day.

Sometimes a question like: "If it can only be one thing - what would it have to be for me to say at the end of the day that it was still a successful day?" , where to start.

Often I simply write down my tasks for the day, sorted by priority. Then I don't waste any time later thinking about what to do first. On other days, I don't bother too much with my tasks, but instead write down my long-term goals as if I had already achieved them. For example: “I’m going on a trip to Scandinavia in April 2022”. Our brains don't differentiate much between real and fictional events. The only important thing is that they are hammered into the subconscious, because then we subconsciously make the decisions that get us there and align our daily actions with our goals.

Try it: 3 to 5 minutes to write something. Start with questions like: “What do you want to do today?” (in order) or “What will it look like when you have achieved your goal(s)?” Always write as if you had already done it and never in the negated form - an example: "I'm doing yoga today at 2 p.m." and not "I won't miss the yoga class today". The former is easier to memorize and leads to positive motivation instead of avoidance behavior.

5. Let's get started - Getting things done with functional mushrooms

If everything has gone perfectly up to this point (and even if it hasn't), I'll now get started with the tasks for that day, maybe set a Pomodoro timer and work on the most important things first. For this I make myself a green tea with Lion's Mane or a forest coffee with Chaga extract. Chaga is a tree fungus that grows on birch trees, especially in northern regions. It has been valued in Russian and Scandinavian healing for over 1,000 years and is used there as a natural strengthening agent for the body and especially the immune system.

Lion's Mane is also a mushroom that grows on trees. With its peculiar structure, it looks like a lion's mane and is known to support the growth and regeneration of nerve cells in the brain, making it the ideal accompaniment for cognitive and learning tasks. I therefore don't miss the opportunity to add these mushroom extracts to my morning hot drink to increase my concentration and prepare my immune system for the day.

And what helps in the evening?

I don't overdo the routine in the evening, so there's no list of points to work through. I usually end the evening with something that brings me back to myself. This could be meditation or stretching, or if I've had a strenuous workout I'll just roll out on the foam roller. It doesn't have to take a lot of time, 5 to 10 minutes is enough and in the end I saved it because I'm more relaxed and fall asleep 10 to 20 minutes quicker (so the bottom line is that it's worth it - at least for me).

After or before I drink a forest cocoa - why? Not because I want to praise the product, but because Robin and I developed it with intelligence and a scientific background. Forest cocoa contains Reishi mushroom and Ashwagandha root extract. These are both adaptogens that help bring your body back into balance. Everything can now be “balanced” again because everyone wants to be in balance - but to make this a little more concrete: Ashwagandha actually helps - proven! - to reduce the cortisol level if it is still too high in the evening.
Although we need cortisol to get going, cortisol is preferably highest in the morning and falls towards the evening. This only works semi-well for some people - depending on how much stress you put yourself under. Ashwagandha can help. Just like Reishi. Reishi has been used in China for thousands of years to relieve stress and calm. It acts like a herbal sedative. You could say it's like valerian only stronger.

In addition, forest cocoa contains the amino acid L-glycine, which has also been proven to contribute to nerve relaxation and regeneration. Because nobody (really nobody!) ever wants to drink Ashwagandha and Reishi straight, we designed the whole thing in the form of a cocoa that gets its sweetness from natural coconut blossom sugar and L-glycine. A small amount of easily digestible carbohydrates in the evening also has a relaxing effect on the body. He then doesn't have to worry about the energy supply and can simply fall asleep relaxed. Of course, you shouldn't overdo it with the amount of carbohydrates and you shouldn't shovel a mountain of potatoes too late, because this puts a strain on your digestion. A small cup of cocoa is therefore the ideal solution for us to combine all of this.

Ideally, we also make sure to turn on the blue light blockers in our devices in the evening or, better yet, completely avoid using screens 2 hours before going to sleep. The blue light, which helps you start the day in the morning and set your daily rhythm, confuses the body in the evening. He then asks himself whether a new day is beginning again, because blue light in the evening is not natural for us. When the sun goes down in the evening, we get a lot of red light in our faces, which calms our body and mind and prepares us for the night. Red light in the evening or at least avoiding blue light can help immensely when it comes to establishing a good day and night rhythm.

So that's it. It's become a lot of text again, but if we were to put all the information here into a video, we would probably be able to explain it in 5 minutes. In our opinion, the habits themselves (drinking water, sunlight, protein…) are really not difficult to implement. Try it out for a week, you now have the knowledge and have an advantage over all the people who don't know. We are sure you will notice a change, you will be less tired in the morning and get more done, and everyday things will become easier for you because you will give your body a beneficial routine.

Here is a summary for your optimal day:

In the morning:

1. After getting up, drink a large glass of still water (optional: lemon, apple cider vinegar, salt)
2. Consciously allow sunlight or daylight to fall on your face.
3. Breakfast with protein or generally breaking your fast with protein.
4. Write for 5 minutes and make decisions for the day if necessary.
5. Add functional mushrooms to tea or coffee for maximum focus.

At evening:

Stretching, mobility or meditation, drinking forest cocoa and avoiding blue light