If you’re feeling sluggish lately, whether it’s from SAD (seasonal affective disorder), or just from burnout, you’re not alone. On that fifth cup of coffee and still no sign of that lively, energetic person you once knew? You’re not alone. If you’re in dire need of an energy boost, these tips for boosting energy are worth a shot.
Your body reacts when you’re feeling overwhelmed, overworked, and downright stressed out by making you feel fatigued and tired all the time. It could also be preventing you from getting better sleep quality which makes you tired throughout the day. In order to get better sleep, try meditating, exercising, reducing caffeine intake, or whatever helps you unwind.
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, natural hormones that give you a boost of energy. On top of that, exercise has been proven to improve the quality of sleep, mood, and overall wellness. Instead of waking up and grabbing your coffee, go on a walk or run or do some yoga to boost energy and start your day off on a good note. Plus, you’ll get added benefits of cardiovascular health–it’s good for your heart.
Get better quality sleep
Getting a full night’s sleep is everyone’s goal, but let’s face it–it’s hard. Getting restful sleep is a surefire way to fight that midday fatigue and urge to grab another coffee. Luckily there are easy ways to get better sleep. To get better sleep, exposing yourself to daylight during the day and shutting off electronics 1-2 hours before bedtime will help you regulate your body’s circadian rhythm which will regulate your body’s melatonin production in order to get you sleepy in time for bed.
It’s no secret that diet and exercise are the keys to a healthy life and it’s no different when it comes to energy. Eating nutritiously will get your body the vitamins and nutrients it needs to operate at its full potential; it’s literally fuel for your brain and body.
Similar to what’s recommended on from the EAT-Lancet Commission’s Planetary Health Diet, a plant-based diet with low amounts of meat can have significant benefits to health. Eating nutrient-rich foods like whole grains and nuts will help you reach your daily recommended value of magnesium and folic acid (300mg for women and 350mg for men).
You’ll also get B12 from animal-based foods like meat and dairy–for those who don’t eat meat, you might be deficient in this vitamin that is only found in animal products, but you can take supplements to get your daily recommended amount. Just remember meat-eaters: you won’t get extra energy from B12 if you already get an adequate amount.
Low levels of iron can also leave you feeling tired and weak. Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin, which is a protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen from your lungs to the organs and tissues in your body. You can find iron in foods like edamame, lentils, spinach, clams, and mussels. Make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin C as well to maximize your absorption of iron.
Caffeine is not always the answer (especially at odd hours of the day), but there is a way to optimize its powers. According to this study, you should be drinking coffee between 9:30 am and 11:30 am, the time frame which your body secretes the highest levels of cortisol (the hormone that helps you regulate metabolism), to reap the most benefits from the caffeine.
If you’re an avid coffee and it’s just not affecting you anymore in the way that it should, try weaning off of it and swap for matcha. Matcha has caffeine to keep you alert and boosts energy, but it also contains L-theanine which is an amino acid that promotes well-being and relaxation. L-theanine has the added benefit of helping with memory and learning as well as inhibiting the possible side-effects of caffeine. It gives you that energy boost without the jitters, and it has a slow-release effect that gives you energy for longer periods of time, contrary to coffee.
If you’re feeling fatigued, ask yourself if you’ve drunk enough water. If you’re dehydrated, one of the things you’ll feel immediately is tired and lethargic. Drinking water will give your body what it needs to be alert. Try to avoid just chugging a ton of water when you realize you haven’t gotten enough. Instead, keep your reusable water bottle with you throughout the day so you always have easy access to water. The LARQ Bottle is a self-cleaning bottle, so it doesn’t need to be cleaned after every refill like others do (it’ll prevent bacteria and mold growth with UV-C LED technology!), so you won’t forget it in the sink at home or get sick from this water bottle. No bacteria or funky smells here. If you prefer something lightweight with high water capacity, try out the LARQ Bottle Movement. It cleans and purifies water on-the-go too, with an ultra-lightweight non-insulated stainless steel build so you can carry more water without the added weight.
If essential oils are more your speed, peppermint is a great one for focus. Dab or roll-on a bit of this for a fresh minty scent that will wake you up. Scents are effective because they travel through the olfactory nerves that connect to the parts of the brain that dictate emotions, mood or memory. Your body will react to the smell of peppermint by feeling more invigorated and alert.
Get some sunshine
The sun boosts serotonin levels, also known as the ‘happiness hormone’. You’ll feel calm and more alert, so if you’re sitting inside with no sunlight, take a moment to walk outside and you’ll come back refreshed.
Sunlight also helps regulate your circadian rhythm–your body’s sleep schedule. Getting an appropriate amount of light throughout the day keeps you alert when you should be alert, and sleepy when it’s time for bed.
These easy tips for boosting energy are extremely attainable and can make a huge impact on your daily life. When it comes to your well-being, don’t cut corners.