Top Ways to Boost Your Energy
Everyone has experienced a complete energy drain, which leaves you unable or unwilling to get yourself up and go. You may end up finding it more difficult to concentrate on tasks and begin to find your frustration levels rising and your patience declining. There are energy zappers all around us. Fortunately, there is a way around almost all of them. Here are the top ways you can beat fatigue and boost your energy.
Stress-induced emotions consume vast amounts of your energy. Talking to a close friend or relative, seeing a therapist can both help diffuse stress. Relaxation therapies like meditation, self-hypnosis, yoga, tai chi are also very effective tools for reducing stress.
Increase your Magnesium
Help ensure that your vitamin and mineral needs are met by eating a balanced diet. However, if you still feel exhausted, you may have a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium, along with being needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, is also the primary mineral that breaks down glucose into energy. If you want to keep your energy levels high, you need to be sure to take in 300 milligrams of magnesium if you are a woman, and 350 milligrams if you are a man. Always check with a physician before adding any supplement to your daily routine.
Take a Walk
Increasing your physical activity, particularly walking, has shown to be effective in improving energy levels. Walking is by far the simplest way to increase your physical activity because it can be done anywhere and doesn't require specific training or specialized equipment. Studies have shown that taking a quick 10-minute walk not only increases your energy, but the effects last up to two hours.
Take a Power Nap
Pushing your brain too hard and information overload can quickly zap energy, according to research. However, taking a 60-minute power nap can reverse the mind-numbing effects from information overload, as well as helping us better retain what we've learned.
Drink More Water and Less Alcohol
Even the smallest amount of dehydration can make you feel tired and lethargic. Drinking enough water throughout the day is an essential and easy way to boost your energy, especially after exercising. If you find that you are still feeling exhausted, even after getting a good night's sleep, you can try cutting out the amount of alcohol you drink during the evening hours. While alcohol may help you fall asleep, it can interfere with your deep sleep, resulting in you not getting the rest you think you are. By cutting down on the alcohol you consume before bedtime, you’ll get more sleep, which will help to increase your energy levels the next day.
Eat for energy
Eating foods with a low glycemic index — whose sugars are absorbed slowly — may help you prevent the lag in energy that typically occurs after eating quickly absorbed sugars or refined starches. Foods with a low glycemic index include whole grains, high-fiber vegetables, nuts, and healthy oils such as olive oil. In general, high-carbohydrate foods have the highest glycemic indexes. Proteins and fats have glycemic indexes that are close to zero.
Steady energy feels great. To optimize your daily energy level, try adding some of these foods into your meal plan.
Oatmeal. The complex carbs in oatmeal mean it’s a slow-burning source of energy. Oats also boost serotonin production which can help us manage stress and enhance learning and memory function. Caveat: sugar-packed packets of flavored instant oats are worth avoiding. Make your own instead and load them up with berries, bananas and a drizzle of maple or honey for a healthy treat of a breakfast.
Walnuts. It’s those omega-3s again. Walnuts have one that your body uses for energy (alpha-linolenic acid). Though nuts are high in calories, studies show that people who eat them don’t gain weight or have other signs of bad health from them. That could be because the fiber slows how your body takes them in and the “healthy” fats satisfy hunger.
Bananas. One of the best foods for energy, whether frozen and blended into a smoothie, sliced onto oatmeal, or eaten on the go. They’re full of complex carbohydrates, vitamin B6, potassium and even a little protein.
Yogurt. The carbs in yogurt are mainly in the form of simple sugars, such as lactose and galactose. When broken down, these sugars can provide ready-to-use energy. Greek yogurt is an especially good choice. Top with fresh berries and a drizzle of local honey or maple syrup.
Sesame seeds. Toasted sesame seeds add a little crunch and flavor to salads, soups, stir fries and more. They’re chock full of magnesium, which helps convert sugar into energy, plus they’ve got a blood-sugar-stabilizing dose of healthy fat and fiber.
Cinnamon. Cinnamon works to keep blood sugar levels stable, therefore it also helps to stabilize your energy levels. One teaspoon of cinnamon contains as many antioxidants as half a cup of blueberries, one of the most antioxidant-rich foods. Shake a little into your yogurt or add a dash to your coffee.
Lentils are tasty little legumes, rich in carbs and fiber. Just one cup of cooked lentils contains about 15 grams of fiber and 36 grams of carbs. Lentils are energy powerhouses, upping your energy levels by replenishing your stores of iron, folate, zinc, and manganese. These nutrients help break nutrients down and help with cellular energy production.
Hummus. Chickpeas in hummus are a good source of complex carbs and fiber, which your body can use for steady energy. The tahini (sesame seed paste) and olive oil in hummus contain healthy fats and slow the absorption of carbs, which helps us avoid blood sugar spikes.
Dates are high in natural sugars, so if you need a quick burst of energy mid-day, instead of going for a second cup of coffee go for a handful of dates. Or, if you don't like plain dates, whip up some energy balls or oatmeal bars packed with dates and cinnamon to fight the mid-day slump. Dates contain vitamins and minerals like iron, manganese, copper, potassium, and magnesium, in addition to fiber and antioxidants.
Brown rice is a very nutritious, satisfying food. It’s less processed than white rice which allows it to hang onto more nutritional value in the form of vitamins, fiber, and minerals. Just a half-cup of brown rice packs two grams of fiber and lots of your recommended daily intake of manganese, a mineral needed for enzymes to break down carbs and proteins, turning them into energy. It’s also low on the glycemic index, meaning it could help regulate blood sugar levels and promote steady energy levels throughout the day.
Avocados. They’re a superfood! Avocados are rich in ‘good’ fats, fiber, and B vitamins. Around 85% of the fat in avocados is from monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which promote healthy blood-fat levels and boost the absorption of nutrients. About 80% of the carb content in avocados is made up of fiber, which means delicious, sustained energy.
Sardines & fatty fish. According to an article from Harvard School of Public Health, fish and other seafood are the major sources of healthful long-chain omega-3 fats and are also rich in other nutrients such as vitamin D and selenium. Fatty fish is high in protein and low in saturated fat. There is also strong evidence that eating fish or taking fish oil is good for your heart and blood vessels. In addition to boosting your energy, eating fish once or twice a week may also reduce the risk of stroke, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and other chronic conditions.
Eggs are satisfying and packed with protein, which means steady and sustained energy. They also contain leucine, an amino acid known to stimulate energy production in several ways. It helps cells take in more blood sugar, stimulates energy production in the cells and ups the breakdown of fat to produce energy. Eggs are also rich in B vitamins, which help enzymes perform their roles in the process of turning food into energy.
Shrimp. These versatile little critters are low in calories and offer nice helpings of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fat, a known mood and energy booster.
Cashews are low in sugar and rich in fiber, heart-healthy fats, and plant protein. They're a solid source of copper, magnesium and manganese which are key ingredients for energy production, healthy bones brain health and immunity.
Sweet potatoes are a great source of iron, magnesium and vitamin C, a nutrient needed for energy production. Add to that a healthy dose of fiber (complex carbs) and these nutritional powerhouses are also rocket boosters for your energy level.
Chicken trimmed of skin, it’s a great source of lean protein. A piece of grilled chicken with some steamed or lightly dressed salad makes a perfect light lunch that won’t weigh you down and will fuel you steadily until dinner. And chicken has less of that unhealthy saturated fat than other meats like pork, beef, and lamb.
Dark Chocolate. If you just must have candy, this is a good choice. It’s lower in sugar than candy bars and milk chocolate. It’s also been shown to improve mood and brain function. Antioxidants in the cocoa can help protect cells, lower blood pressure, and improve blood flow. This can keep you healthy and energized. Dark chocolate does have fat, so check the label and keep portions small.
Berries. Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries: They’re perfect if you want something sweet that doesn’t have the calorie blast and “sugar crash” of a doughnut or candy bar. Berries also have antioxidants and other nutrients that help nourish and protect cells all over your body.
Learn to use caffeine to your advantage
Caffeine does help increase alertness, so having a cup of coffee can help sharpen your mind. But to get the energizing effects of caffeine, you must use it judiciously. It can cause insomnia, especially when consumed in large amounts or after 2 p.m.
Tea. A simple cup of tea is a low-calorie way to replace sugary sodas and soft drinks that can spike and then crash your energy levels in the middle of the day. That switch makes you more likely to get the nutrients and fluids you need each day, which can help keep you alert and energized. Some teas have caffeine that can give you a little boost, too.
Coffee. It’s where many of us get our morning caffeine jolt. And it works. It boosts your energy and keeps you more alert. Just don’t overdo it. Caffeine can make you jittery and interfere with your sleep if you have too much, you’re not used to it, or you have it late in the day.
As you may know, it can be challenging to make it through your day when you are feeling fatigued. Follow these simple tips, and you can begin to see a boost in your energy to help you get through your day.