Who among us could not do with an energy boost from time to time. Whether you are struggling to stay alert at work or feeling sleepy after lunch at school or simply feeling fatigued in general, you could do with boosting your energy. Health store shelves are full of supplements that promise to give you that energy with products like ginseng and guarana marketed as a natural means of boosting your energy levels. And of course many of us turn to cups of strong black coffee while energy drinks continue to grow in popularity.
We have already looked at the best supplements to boost your energy but this article will focus on other ways that you can achieve your goal. They mostly involve lifestyle changes that not only improve your energy levels but can also have significant physical and emotional benefits.
The Best Ways to Boost your Energy Naturally
1) Get Plenty of Exercise
One of the best ways to boost you energy levels is to get plenty of good quality exercise. Not only will a daily workout give you a major boost in energy but it can help relieve stress while the physical benefits are well-known.
Exercise can help ensure you sleep better and more deeply giving your body the proper rest it needs to deal with the new day. Exercise also helps transport nutrients and oxygen to the body’s cells which helps the lungs and heart work more effectively. Not only that but getting your body moving causes the release of the stress hormones epinephrene and norepinephrene which can actually help to energize the body in the right amounts.
If you have not exercised for a long time, take it easy at first. Brisk walking, cycling and swimming are a great way to start. As you get fitter, you can start to make your routines more rigorous but keep your goals realistic. I have lost count of the friends I have had that started exercising with great enthusiasm only to find their routines too difficult to maintain and losing heart altogether. Just make sure that you get 30 minutes of exercise a day and your body and mind will benefit greatly.
2) Try to Get Stress Under Control
This is easier said than done but it is worth noting that stress cause your body to consume an enormous amount of energy that would be better spent elsewhere.
There are many different ways to relieve stress. Exercise is extremely effective as we have already mentioned but you may also benefit from meditation, yoga, reading, listening to music or just chatting to a friend. Various herbal teas and essential oils have also demonstrated an ability to help relieve stress.
3) Try to Lighten your Load
Being overworked is one of the major contributing factors to fatigue and exhaustion. Overwork may include family life, professional duties and social obligations. Be kind to yourself where possible and try to set priorities which will allow you more of a break. You may have to ask for extra help at home or at work but it is important that you try to reduce your workload to treat your fatigue and also to reduce stress.
4) Quit Smoking
Everybody who smokes is fully aware that the habit damages their health but did you know that smoking also contributes to insomnia which can be devastating for your daytime energy levels. The nicotine present in tobacco products has a stimulant effect on the body; it raises your heart rate and your blood pressure. It also stimulates the brain-wave activity linked to wakefulness.
These factors can make it much more difficult for your mind ands body to relax completely and to fall asleep. Unfortunately, even when you do manage to get to sleep, the addictive nature of nicotine can mean your body wakes up craving more of it.
5) Limit your Sleep
This suggestion may sound completely counter intuitive but if you are feeling constantly fatigued, sleeping for fewer hours may actually help boost your energy levels. By determining the amount of sleep you need, you can decrease the time spent in bed awake. This will make it easier to get to sleep more quickly and also help you get a better quality of sleep – a pattern that can continue in the long-term. In order to do this, follow these measures:
- Don’t take daytime naps
- On the very first night, you should go to bed much later than usual and sleep for only four hours.
- The next night, add 30 minutes to your four hours of sleep.
- Keep adding 30 minutes or so each night until you find the precise amount of sleep that you need.
6) Eat the Right Stuff
Apart from eating the right food to boost your energy, it is better if you eat snacks and smaller meals every couple of hours rather than three big, heavy meals each day. This will help supply your brain with as regular supply of important nutrients and reduce the perception that you are fatigued.
You should avoid eating too many carbohydrates. Although they can give your body a short-term boost of energy, they will also leave your body feeling sluggish and devoid of energy. Try eating plenty of food with a low GI (glycemic index). The sugars from low GI foods are absorbed more slowly which can help you to avoid the dips in energy associated with refined starches.
Foods with a low GI include high fiber fruit and veg, whole grains, nuts, legumes and healthy oils such like olive oil. High carbohydrate foods on the other hand have a very high glycemic index.
7) Avoid or Limit your Alcohol Intake
Anybody that has drunk alcohol during their lunch break knows that it can cause a terrible slump in the afternoon. Alcohol has an especially powerful sedative effect when drunk at midday. If you need more energy in the evening, try also to avoid drinking any alcohol in the early evening. Alcohol can also cause sleeping issues that result not only in a hangover but also a feeling of fatigue the day after.
8) Use Caffeine Wisely
As the millions of strong coffee drinkers know, caffeine certainly helps make you more alert and helps to focus the mind. However, if you want to experience the full energizing effect of your caffeine, you should use it wisely. Too much caffeine especially at the wrong time of day can lead to jitters and insomnia. Try not to drink too much after mid day.
9) Stay Well-Hydrated
When it comes to providing your body with energy, the best thing you can drink is good old fresh water. While there are hundreds of popular and very expensive energy drinks on the market, water is the best nutrient your body can consume for the vast majority of activities.
Fatigue and exhaustion are some of the first signs that your body is dehydrated and in need of more fluids. Simply not drinking an adequate amount of water may be the reason you are feeling so tired all the time and it is a very easy thing to fix.
The recommended amount of water for an adult male is 13 cups a day while women are advised to drink 9 cups. There is a more accurate calculation based on body weight. Divide your weight in half and drink that number in ounces each day. Add even more if you are pregnant, very active or fighting an illness.
10) Try Some Adaptogenic Herbs
If you are feeling fatigued, exhausted or stressed out then there are plenty of adaptogenic herbs that can help enormously. These wonderful herbs can give your body a real tonic and restore your ability to deal with daily stresses from work, family life or study. They work by regulating the body’s adrenal system responsible for managing the way our hormones react to stress.
So called adaptogens do not target specific parts of the body, instead they work by helping the entire body and mind to deal with anxieties, stress and fatigue. There are a number of effective adaptogenic herbs that can help relieve your stress and boost your energy levels. These include rhodiola rodesa, ashwaghanda, ginseng, holy basil and licorice root.
We hope that one or more of these simple, natural methods can help give you the boost in energy that your body needs. If you would like more information on the best herbal supplements to boost your energy, click on this link.