“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 or going to dinner with our spouse. Fatigue can mean missing out on a lot of fun – and a lot of life. Want to boost your energy? Here are 6 tips.
1. Eat More
Don’t we all wish that just once someone would tell us to eat more, not less? Well, here you go: Overly restricting calories, or going long periods between meals, can lead to sluggishness. If you’re doing either of these things, try eating more to boost your energy! Food is fuel, and your body needs it to keep moving.
Some experts advise never letting your gas tank reach empty. Fuel your body before you get hungry. That way you will always have a source of fuel at the ready. 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.
2. Eat a Variety of Foods
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). Simple sugars, or simple carbs (candy, cookies, cake), are used up first.
Simple carbs give your body a big boost of energy fast by making your blood sugar spike. But after it spikes, it can crash, and that crash can leave you feeling worse than you did before you ate the candy bar. Complex carbohydrates take longer to metabolize, giving you sustained energy for a longer period. 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: 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.
Healthy fats: Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are the “good” fats. Good fats can lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.
When your body doesn’t have carbs at the ready, it turns to fats for energy. 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.
Afraid healthy eating will 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.
3. Drink Water
Dehydration can cause fatigue. You might feel you need a snack or an energy drink to keep you going, but you could 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, you could start to feel 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 sugar.
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 off the couch and taking a nice long walk. But if you can make yourself do it, the energy benefits may just amaze you. Exercise is one of the best ways to increase your energy in the long term.
Exercise also causes your brain to release those magical little endorphins into the bloodstream. They promote a feeling of well-being by easing stress and helping to reduce the body’s perception of pain.
Exercise increases the flow of blood, which carries oxygen and other vital nutrients to muscle tissue. This improves our muscles’ ability 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. Some exercises to try: walking, yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi.
5. Try a Quality Supplement
There are vitamins and supplements that will help boost your energy, like SeroVital ADVANCED. This supplement boosts energy and improves sleep (as well as accelerating skin benefits and weight loss).*