“I’m too tired.”
How many times have we heard this? How many times have we said this? It seems to be a universal justification for why we’re not up for hanging out with friends, going to dinner with our spouse, or going all the way to the ballpark to watch the kids play baseball. But by being “too tired,” we’re missing out on a lot of fun – and a lot of life. Want to boost your energy naturally? Here are 6 tips:
1. Can eating more boost your energy?
Don’t we all wish that just once someone would tell us to eat more, not less? Well here you go: Eat more and it will boost your energy! Food is fuel, and your body needs fuel to keep moving. Without enough fuel, your body will drag and sputter like a car running out of gas. Some experts advise never letting your gas tank reach empty. Fuel up your body before you get hungry. That way you will always have a source of fuel at the ready and you won’t poop out. Try eating smaller meals and snacks every few hours rather than 3 larger meals each day. One meal you definitely don’t want to overindulge on is lunch. Experts at Harvard Medical School point to research that shows eating a big lunch causes your energy to take a more pronounced dip in the afternoon. If you don’t want to be reaching for a caffeinated soda or another cup of coffee in the afternoon, keep your lunch small and nutritious. This is also the optimum way to feed your brain. The brain uses a ton of energy and doesn’t have much in the way of reserves to call on when it needs a fix. Giving the brain a constant supply of nutrients might help prevent that feeling of mental slowdown that can be interpreted as physical fatigue. You might be trying to lose weight, because you know that losing excess weight will give you more energy. But there’s the rub. You’re eating fewer calories now and you’re feeling sluggish and tired. Your body is conserving energy because it is not getting as much fuel as it is used to getting. What to do? Fuel up! So eat more! But there’s a trick to eating more: You want to eat more of the stuff that is good for you.
2. What foods should you eat to increase your energy?
Carbs: Your body doesn’t want to work any harder than it has to. When it has a need for energy, it’s going to go for the nutrient most easily converted into energy: Carbs (sugars). Carbs are easily metabolized by the body for quick energy. Simple sugars, or simple carbs, are used up first. Simple carbs (candy, cookies, cake) give your body a big boost of energy fast when your blood sugar spikes. But after
it spikes, it can crash, and that crash can leave you feeling worse that you did before you at the candy bar. Complex carbohydrates take longer to metabolize, giving you sustained energy for a longer period of time. So when choosing carbs for energy, make your body work a little harder. Give it complex carbs rather than simple sugars. Some to try: brown rice, multigrain cereal, beans, quinoa, whole-wheat bread • Protein: OK, let’s say you did reach for that candy bar. If you combined it with some protein, you might feel OK after all. Protein slows down the absorption of sugar in the body, which can help prevent the crash that follows a spike in blood sugar. Protein can also help you feel fuller longer, because it is digested more slowly than some other nutrients. Protein helps keep your blood sugar on a nice even keel, giving you sustained energy throughout the day. Some to try: Eggs, almonds, chicken, lean beef, cottage cheese, fish • Good fats: Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are the “good” fats. Good fats can lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. The “bad” fats are trans fats and saturated fats. Bad fats can raise cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease. When your body doesn’t have carbs at the ready, it turns to fats for energy. So it’s nice to have some good fats around. Fat fuels the body during low-intensity activities and endurance exercise. Carbs will get you through the sprint, but fat will get you through the marathon. Some good fats to try: Avocados, cheese, olives, walnuts Helpful Hint: Afraid that healthy eating is going to make you feel deprived? Try adding in the good foods before you start taking out the bad foods. Instead of shooting a death glare at the co-worker who is downing a bag of chips while you’re nibbling a bit of lean chicken, eat the chicken and a few of the chips too. Get your body used to having good nutrition and increased energy. Once you’ve added in the healthy stuff, you can weed out the not-so-healthy stuff. Give it a shot. Your energy level will remain high while you achieve on your healthy-diet goals.
3. Should I drink plain old water for energy?
Yes! Definitely! Drink plain old water for energy. Here’s why: Dehydration can cause fatigue. You might feel that you need a snack or an energy drink to keep you going, but you might just need water. Water is essential for all your body’s systems to function properly. If you don’t have enough water in your body, your systems will not be performing at optimum levels, and you could start to feel tired and sluggish. What about other beverages? They will hydrate you, but probably not as well as water. And many other beverages contain things you don’t want, such as artificial additives and excessive sugar.
The downside of water is that it can be so – bland. Going to the soda machine or the coffee pot feels like an adventure. Going to the tap feels like a chore. Go ahead and reward yourself with some soda or coffee once in a while. You work hard – you deserve it. But when your energy flags and you feel like you are not going to make it to 5 o’clock, fill up your water bottle instead of your coffee cup. Your body will thank you for it.
4. How does exercising boost energy?
It’s been an exhausting day, and all you want is to relax in front of the TV. The last thing you feel like doing is hopping up off the couch and taking a nice long walk. But if you can make yourself do it, the energy benefits will be myriad. Exercise is one of the best ways to increase your energy in the long term. Endorphins: Exercise causes your brain to release these magical little hormones into the bloodstream. Endorphins promote a feeling of well-being by easing stress and helping to reduce the body’s perception of pain. When your body and your brain feel good, you’re going to want to do more stuff, right? Oxygen: Exercise increases the flow of blood, which carries oxygen and other vital nutrients to muscle tissue. This improves the ability of our muscles to produce more energy. Don’t overdo it: When exercising to increase overall energy, you should work out at a low to moderate rate. You get the benefits of energy-increasing exercise without getting the fatigue that accompanies a high-intensity workout. Don’t go so far as to reach the tiredness threshold. Some exercises to try: Walking, yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi
5. Are you getting enough sleep?
Are you getting too much sleep? During sleep, your body regenerates. It needs this time rest to replenish systems and restore energy levels. Sleep helps regulate body temperature, hormone levels, digestion, and appetite. If you find yourself reaching for caffeine or a sugary snack during the day, maybe you just didn’t get enough sleep the night before. Adults are generally advised to get between 7 and 9 hours of good quality sleep each night. So we know how important it is to get enough sleep – but is there such a thing as getting too much? Yes! It might be that that afternoon nap isn’t doing your body that much good and will prevent you from falling asleep at bedtime. Go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time. Tempted to sleep in on weekends? Don’t. You’ll feel sluggish and out of sorts when you subvert your body’s natural rhythms. If you wake up in the morning feeling sluggish, take a brisk walk around the block to get your blood pumping and the oxygen flowing. Throw in some laundry. Play ball with the dog. Soon you’ll be feeling as if you’d had that pot of coffee.
6. Can supplements increase your energy? There are vitamins and supplements that will help boost your energy. One supplement you might want to try is SeroVital ADVANCED. SeroVital® ADVANCED builds on the foundation that made the original SeroVital® America’s #1 anti-aging therapy – supporting the body’s natural production of human growth hormone, or hGH. SeroVital ADVANCED contains ingredients that work synergistically to increase energy and improve sleep (as well as accelerate skin benefits and weight loss!).* In recent studies testing some of the key ingredients in SeroVital ADVANCED, women experienced serious improvements in energy levels and sleep, as well as skin hydration, elasticity, smoothness, and even barrier function* — the protective “shield” that helps keep moisture in and is vital for radiant, hydrated, healthy skin.
Learn more at www.SeroVital.com. *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.