Top 11 ways to to boost your energy
1. Control stress
Stress-induced emotions consume huge amounts of energy. Talking with a friend or relative, joining a support group, or seeing a psychotherapist can all help diffuse stress. Relaxation therapies like meditation, self-hypnosis, yoga, and tai chi are also effective tools for reducing stress.
2. Reduce Carb Consumption
While they do provide your body with energy, foods heavy in carbohydrates can leave you feeling sluggish. The main culprit? Simple carbs, like those found in sugary drinks, cookies, and processed foods (think white bread and pasta), which burn through your body quickly. Though they provide a fast boost of energy, it’s quickly followed by a crash as your blood sugar spikes and then drops.
The solution? Stick to whole-grain, low-glycemic carbohydrates that take the body longer to digest and avoid the crash and burn effect. Nuts, legumes, sweet potatoes, oats, and brown rice are all low-glycemic carbohydrates that will provide the body with a steady supply of energy.
3. Lighten your load
One of the main reasons for fatigue is overwork. Overwork can include professional, family, and social obligations. Try to streamline your list of “must-do” activities. Set your priorities in terms of the most important tasks. Pare down those that are less important. Consider asking for extra help at work, if necessary.
Exercise almost guarantees that you'll sleep more soundly. It also gives your cells more energy to burn and circulates oxygen. And exercising causes your body to release epinephrine and norepinephrine, stress hormones that in modest amounts can make you feel energized. Even a brisk walk is a good start.
5. Vegetable Juice
Drinking fresh vegetable juice is a shock to your body — in a good way! Losing the fiber during juicing makes them easy for your body to absorb and digest. And because less work is required for your body to reap the nutritional benefits, you’ll notice an increase in energy. Additionally, drinking your veggies helps eliminate toxins from the body while also feeding your cells.
If you feel an illness coming on, vegetable juice is also a good way to stop it in its tracks and keep energy up before it dips.
6. Avoid smoking
You know smoking threatens your health. But you may not know that smoking actually siphons off your energy by causing insomnia. The nicotine in tobacco is a stimulant, so it speeds the heart rate, raises blood pressure, and stimulates brain-wave activity associated with wakefulness, making it harder to fall asleep. And once you do fall asleep, its addictive power can kick in and awaken you with cravings.
7. Better Quality Sleep
Spending your nights tossing and turning can definitely make you feel exhausted the next day. While you sleep, your body is restoring and repairing the day’s damage. Additionally, adenosine, a by-product of cell activity that’s produced by the body, is believed to be a favor in humans’ perception of being tired. Adenosine builds up during the day but, during sleep, our bodies clear it from our systems, helping us feel alert.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, try some of my favorite tips:
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same times each day, including weekends. This will help regulate your internal body clock.
- Eliminate caffeine after 3 p.m. — the effects can last up to 12 hours.
- Write out what’s stressing you out or keeping you up at night before heading to bed.
8. Eat for energy
It's better to eat small meals and snacks every few hours than three large meals a day. This approach can reduce your perception of fatigue because your brain needs a steady supply of nutrients.
Eating foods with a low glycemic index — whose sugars are absorbed slowly — may help you avoid 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.
9. 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 have to use it judiciously. It can cause insomnia, especially when consumed in large amounts or after 2 p.m.
10. Drink water
What's the only nutrient that has been shown to enhance performance for all but the most demanding endurance activities? It's not some pricey sports drink. It's water. If your body is short of fluids, one of the first signs is a feeling of fatigue.
11. Limit alcohol
One of the best hedges against the midafternoon slump is to avoid drinking alcohol at lunch. The sedative effect of alcohol is especially strong at midday. Similarly, avoid a five o'clock cocktail if you want to have energy in the evening. If you're going to drink, do so in moderation at a time when you don't mind having your energy wind down.