Energy drinks, shots, venti coffees…we’re always looking for ways to get that boost to keep us going. Our lives are busier than ever; and good, HEALTHY energy levels are hard to come by these days!
We go, go, go and often fail to do the basics that will energize us, and keep us healthy in our bodies and minds.
When we have little or no energy, our productivity suffers, our immune systems suffer, and the simplest tasks can be hard to accomplish.
Here are ten ways to increase energy levels to keep you feeling awesome and productive in your busy life!
10 Ways to Increase Energy Naturally
1. Don’t Skip Breakfast
Beginning your day with balanced servings of protein, carbohydrates, and fat will start you off on the right foot.
Studies have found that when you eat breakfast, you’ll likely be in a better mood and have more energy throughout the day.
Eating a solid breakfast, after being in a fasted state during your nights sleep, immediately gives your body the fuel it needs to function the way it is meant to, which means better energy for you!
2. Change Your Diet
It’s easy to watch your calories and think you’re eating right. But WHAT you’re eating is as important as the amount you’re eating. Protein is key here.
Eating a diet higher in protein is essential for staving off fatigue, especially early in the day when your cortisol levels are higher (see above, don’t skip breakfast!). If you eat only carbohydrates, you’ll crash early and hard.
Protein will help minimize rise in blood sugar after a meal or snack, which helps in extending energy. So be sure to eat protein with every meal you eat throughout the day for more sustained energy!
3. Have a Snack
Eating consistently, approximately every three to four hours, can help keep blood sugar levels stable and give you a burst of energy to keep you going. Plan in some healthy snacks between your meals for optimal energy throughout your day.
Again, be sure to have a balance of healthy carbs, protein, and fat. Carbs offer a quick pick-me-up, protein keeps your energy up, and fat makes the energy last.
4. Increase Your Magnesium Intake
Eating a balanced and varied diet can help ensure your vitamin and mineral needs are met. However, if you still feel like you’re struggling with low energy, it could be a magnesium deficiency.
This mineral is needed for multiple biochemical reactions in the body, including breaking down glucose into energy, so when magnesium levels are even a little low, energy can drop.
When we’re low in this electrolyte, our bodies simply have to work harder to complete functions that magnesium aids in, and over time it can leave us feeling depleted.
The recommended daily intake of magnesium is around 200-400 mg. To make sure you’re getting enough, eat lots of leafy greens, whole grains, a small handful of nuts, and more fish.
While it may seem as if physical activity when you feel exhausted is the quickest route to feeling more exhausted, the opposite is true.
Increasing physical activity will boost your energy by giving your cells more energy to burn and it circulates oxygen. It also releases small amounts of stress hormones that can give you an energy boost.
In a study by Robert Thayer, PhD, at California State University, a brisk 10-minute walk not only increased energy, but the effects lasted up to two hours. Also when the daily 10-minute walks continued for three weeks, overall energy levels were up and mood was better.
So anything from a quick walk to a great sweat session in the gym will help you feel energized and ready to go!
6. Reduce Stress
Stress-induced emotions consume huge amounts of energy, and you may not even recognize it. If you can find ways to manage and reduce stress, you would be amazed at how your energy levels can increase.
Exercise, talking with a friend or relative, joining a support group, or seeing a therapist can all help diffuse stress. Relaxation therapies like meditation and yoga can also be effective.
7. Clear Your Plate
And by plate, we don’t mean your dinner plate here. This is the proverbial “plate” referring to your busy life. One of the main causes of fatigue is plain, old over-working. Family, social, work obligations can fill that plate pretty darn quick, and suddenly you can barely keep your head above water.
Set priorities, streamline your “to-do” lists, cross things off that don’t HAVE to be done. Ask for extra help if needed and don’t beat yourself up if every little thing doesn’t get done to perfection.
8. Make Sleep a Priority
Optimal sleep will help both reduce stress levels, as well as increase your energy levels. So don’t skimp on it!
Establish a nightly routine to help your body prepare to settle into a solid sleep state — cut-off screens at an earlier time, take a bath, do something relaxing.
If you can get a consistent amount of sleep, it will do wonders for your energy levels. Those who are consistently exhausted don’t even realize how much better they could be performing, both physically and mentally. It really does affect you!
9. Drink Water
One of the most common causes of fatigue is dehydration. Why? If there is not enough fluid in your body, blood volume can drop; as a result, your body has to work harder in order to supply your cells with oxygen and nutrients.
Dehydration can cause everything from mental fogginess, impaired short-term memory, dizziness, and fatigue. Be sure to hydrate all day long, but especially when you start to feel fatigue coming on, to help combat low energy.
And water is your best choice here. Sodas, sugary juices, and calorie-laden iced-coffees will only do more harm than good. Stick with good old-fashioned water and you’ll feel like a million bucks.
10. Supplement with NATURAL Energy
Sure, you can grab your favorite caffeinated soda or monster-sized energy drink for that quick spike in energy, but chances are you’ll feel the crash coming down just as fast as you got that boost.
There are healthier, more natural forms of caffeine out there and matcha green tea is the leader of the pack.
Matcha is a traditional Japanese powdered green tea that’s harvested from the tips of the plant while they’re still young and packed with flavor, nutrients, and caffeine (2g has just as much caffeine as an espresso) — but not the kind that makes you crash.
Matcha contains L-Theanine, an amino acid found almost solely in teas, that works with the caffeine to provide a more calm, focused, and happy energy.
It also has 10 times the antioxidants of a cup of regular green tea, which helps control blood sugar, cholesterol levels, and can even boost your metabolism by increasing the body’s thermogenesis both at rest and while exercising. BOOM!
Eat, Sleep, Move, Drink Matcha
Don’t be fooled by marketing that says you have to drink a calorie-laden coffee the size of your head to feel like a normal person. The basics of healthy food, a good nights rest, some solid exercise, and a little stress management will go a long way in helping you feel like your best version of you.
And when you DO need a little extra help, try IdealRaw’s Organic Matcha. It will give you just the boost you need without any of the negative side effects found in other “energy drinks.” Add it to your smoothies, baking, or warm it and drink it as traditional tea.
When you take care of your body, it will take care of you — in the form of excellent energy levels — that will allow you to do the things you love to do.