How to Boost Energy Naturally
If you’ve been feeling worn out or fatigued more than usual recently, it might be necessary to give your energy levels a boost. You can do this naturally by changing your diet, making some lifestyle changes, taking herbal supplements, doing yoga, and avoiding things that can sap you of energy. Scroll down to Step 1 for more information.
Changing Your Diet to Boost Energy
Eat breakfast every day.Breakfast means breaking the fast that you went through while you slept. On waking, your body needs an energy boost to function and perform your routine activities. Of course, try not to miss any meals, as this can deprive your body of the energy boost that food can give you.
- However, do not overeat, as stuffing yourself can decrease your energy levels because it makes you feel lethargic.
Eat more fruits and vegetables.Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of energy. The natural sugar content in fruit and vegetables can boost your energy levels without causing a sudden drop in energy that you can experience when eating sugary cakes or energy drinks. This is because the natural sugar in fruits and vegetables is easily absorbed by the body.
- Energy-boosting fruits include: Bananas, oranges, grapes, apples, papayas, lemons, cherries, watermelons, and blueberries.
- Energy-boosting vegetables include: Carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, spinach, and cucumbers.
Snack on nuts like almonds and cashews.Nuts have protein, which is a good source of energy. Coenzyme Q10, a nutrient present in nuts aids your cells in producing energy. Nuts are also good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which boost your energy. Energy-boosting nuts include:
Add whole grains to your diet.Whole grains keep you energized for longer. They have a low glycemic index, which means that they take longer to be absorbed by your body, allowing you to have energy from your meal for longer. Whole grains are also high in fiber and protein, both of which boost your metabolism and energy. Energy-boosting whole grains include:
- Brown rice.
- Whole wheat.
Eat healthy fats.Your body uses fats as a backup source of energy that can help to raise your metabolic rate. However, there are only certain kinds of fat that are good for an energy boost. Fat from junk foods should be avoided. In particular, eat:
- Foods with Omega 3 fatty acids like fish, walnuts, flax seeds, and canola oil.
- Monounsaturated fats like olive oil, avocados, olives, almonds, and peanut butter.
- Polyunsaturated fats like soybean oil, flax seeds, soymilk, and tofu.
Stay hydrated.Poor water intake leads to dehydration which causes fatigue. To boost your energy levels, it is essential to hydrate your body. The best way to hydrate the body is by drinking plenty of water every day. Consume at least one and half to two liters of water each day.
- When you exercise, remember to sip water every 15 minutes to replenish your water stores that you lose when you exercise.
- Increase the amount of water you drink when the weather gets hotter.
Drink electrolyte-packed lemon juice.Lemon juice is packed with electrolytes like magnesium and potassium, which are essential for energy production. Squeeze juice out of half a lemon and add it to 150 ml of warm water. Add a pinch of salt and drink it first thing in the morning to start your day off with an energy boost.
Take a magnesium supplement if you are feeling low-energy.Magnesium deficiency can lead to low energy levels. You can take a magnesium supplement each day, or you can eat foods that are rich in magnesium. Good sources of magnesium are:
- Nuts like almonds, cashews, hazelnuts.
- Bran muffins, pumpkin seeds, barley, and buckwheat flour.
Making Energy-Boosting Lifestyle Changes
Get plenty of sleep each night.While you sleep, your body repairs itself and the brain restores its energy supply so that you can wake up in the morning feeling ready for the day. Depriving yourself of sleep can drain your body because sleep acts like a charger that charges your brain cells and replenishes your energy levels. The amount of sleep you should get depends on your personal lifestyle, but rough outlines include:
- Less than 2 months of age: 12-18 hours.
- Between 3 and 11 months of age: 14-15 hours.
- Between 1 and 3 years: 12-14 hours.
- Between 3 and 5 years: 11-13 hours.
- Between 5 and 10 years: 10-11 hours.
- Between 11 and 17 years: 8-9 hours.
- Above 17 years: 7-9 hours.
Reduce your stress levels.Stress, worry, and anxiety can all lead to both mental and physical fatigue. A lot of energy is used dealing with these emotions, so if you lower your stress levels, you can put that energy towards other activities. To lower your stress levels:
- Confront the thing that is making you stress and try your hardest to change it.
- Practice breathing exercises that you can do when you feel stressed. A common breathing exercise is to slowly breathe in for 10 seconds, hold your breath for a moment, and then slowly release your breath for another 10 seconds.
- Try meditating and practicing yoga (See Method Four).
- Exercise. Exercising releases endorphins that can combat stress.
Try to exercise each day.To boost energy, exercising is a must. Exercising or any physical activity releases ‘happy hormones’ called endorphins. These help in strengthening the immune system, in elevating the mood and regulation of your appetite. All of these things can help to boost your energy levels.
- Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes each day.You should try to do both cardiovascular exercises and strengthening exercises. Cardio exercises include walking, running, biking, and swimming. Strength exercises include weightlifting, resistance training, stretching, and yoga (see Method Four for more on yoga).
Spend some time in the sun.Early morning sun exposure can boost your energy levels. Sunlight helps your body to produce vitamin D, which the body needs to help keep your bones healthy. Sun exposure also helps your body to release certain essential enzymes in your body that act as mood elevators, which in turn can increase your energy levels.
Take a break from your routine every once in a while.It need not be always ‘All work and no play’. When you get stuck in the same routine, you can start to get burnt out. Take a break from your routine and switch it up once in a while. Travel somewhere or spend the day on the beach—you may find that your energy levels have been restored when you do get back to your routine.
Try meditating each day.Meditation decreases the activity of the part of your brain that becomes highly active when you are stressed. Meditating regularly limits your stress level and makes you more calm and but energetic. Meditation relaxes your brain and improves your ability to handle your emotions well.
Increase your sexual activity.Sex actually has a wide variety of health benefits. It stimulates the performance of your brain, oxygenates your body, relieves you of stress, boosts your immune power and naturally energizes you. If you have a partner, try to incorporate more sex into your relationship to help your boost your energy levels.
- Always practice safe sex by using proper birth control.
Taking Energy-Boosting Herbal Supplements
Try Korean ginseng.Korean ginseng is also called Panax ginseng. In traditional Chinese medicine, Panax ginseng was used to improve health and reduce fatigue.Panax ginseng is known to nourish the cerebral cortex with additional nutrients which help to produce extra long-lasting energy.
- You can take 100 mg of ginseng extract in capsule or liquid form about 4 times per day.
Get Siberian ginseng a try.Siberian ginseng is also known as Eleutherococcus Senticosus. It is known to strengthen the immune system and decreases stress on your body. It contains adaptogen, a substance that can relieve stress and boost your energy levels.
- The recommended dosage of Siberian Ginseng is 2 gm to 3 gm whole herb or 300 mg to 400 mg of extract.
Combat fatigue with rhodiola.is an herb which helps to combat fatigue, increases general health and boosts physical performance. It has also been shown to help increase a person’s attention span and memory.
- The recommended dosage of rhodiola is 170 to 185 mg per day.
Drink yerba mate tea.Yerba mate contains low levels of caffeine along with many other nutrients. Since the other nutrients balance out caffeine, Yerba mate does not act like a stimulant. It helps to boost energy levels naturally.
- The most common way to consume yerba mate is to drink it as a tea or other beverage.
Take stinging nettle supplements.Stinging nettle contains lots of minerals and vitamins necessary for a healthy body. It can be taken to reduce stress and elevate energy levels. It builds up immunity, nourishes the body, relaxes the muscles and reduces adrenal overload thus alleviating fatigue and irritability.
- You can take stinging nettle as a supplement, though the amount you should take depends on your age and weight. Look at the supplement bottle to determine the amount you need.
Doing Yoga to Boost Energy
Consider the benefits of the back bend.Back bend poses in yoga, like those listed in this section, help to engage both your nervous system and lymphatic system. The also help to create a flow of adrenaline that can make you feel energetic and youthful. Try the following poses, but always make sure to stop if you feel any pain—you should never feel pain when doing yoga.
Try cobra pose.Lie down on your stomach with your hands by your sides. Place your palms closer to your chest and lift your face and chest off the floor. Straighten your elbows as you raise your upper body but do not lift your hips while you do this. With your head straight forward, pull your shoulders back—doing this should expand your chest.
- Hold the pose for 15 to 30 seconds, and then release your upper body slowly back to the floor.
Give bow pose a try.Lie down on your stomach and let your hands rest at your sides. Bend your legs so that the bottom of your feet are facing towards your head and hold your ankles with your hands. Pull your legs upward so that your thighs and chest float off of the floor so that only your abdomen is touching the ground. Hold this pose for 30 seconds.
- To release the pose, let go of your ankles first and then slowly bring your hands and legs back down to the ground.
Work your way into wheel pose.Lie down on your back on the yoga mat. Bend your legs so that your feet are flat on the ground and scoot your feet closer to your butt. Keep your feet hip-distance apart. Raise your hands beyond your head and place the palms closer to your ears. Let the fingers point towards your shoulders. Lift yourself up with your palms and feet, which should still be firmly placed on the floor. You can hold this pose here, or:
- Straighten your elbows so that your whole body is arched. Hold this position for 30 seconds.
- To release, slowly bend your elbows and knees, and lower yourself back to the ground. Do not simply drop to the floor, as this could lead to injury.
Try the opposite of the back bend by doing downward dog pose.Downward Dog pose extends your spine, stretches your chest muscles and opens up your chest. This enables free flow of oxygen to your lungs and increased lung performance to keep you energetic.To do the pose:
- Go on your knees and hands so that your wrists are in line with your shoulders and your knees are in line with your hips.
- Place your feet and palms firmly on the ground and push your hips high up and as you straighten your legs.
- Let your chin move closer to your chest. Your arms and legs should feel like they are getting stretched out.
- Focus on your breathing while you hold this pose for 30 seconds.
Avoiding Certain Substances and Activities
Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.Alcohol can drain you off your energy reserves. Avoid drinking alcohol before bed-time as it can affect the quality of sleep—you might sleep the whole night through, but your body is not really resting when it is trying to process alcohol.
- If you are drinking alcohol, try to have your last drink at least two hours before you go to bed so that your body can process it before you lie down for the night.
Quit smoking.Tobacco is a stimulating agent which increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure and intensifies brain activity. These changes can lead to a lack of sleep and feelings of stress that can drain you of energy. Smoking, tobacco chewing etc are also addictive habits and can cause chronic fatigue.
- If you don’t smoke, but spend time with smokers, try to remove yourself from the area when they light up. Second hand smoke can affect your health and energy levels too.
Avoid artificially sugared drinks.When you drink sodas or other sugary drinks, your blood sugar levels spike and can give you energy. However, this energy is short lived and you will soon experience a ‘crash’ that saps you of energy and leaves you feeling fatigued.
Try not to ‘midnight snack’.We have all had them—midnight cravings that leave your stomach rumbling as the clock strikes 12. While it can be a serious challenge, try to hold off on your midnight snacking and save the food for morning. When you snack in the middle of the night, you are much more likely to choose foods that are high in calories. Eating right before bed also causes your body to have to work to process the food while you sleep.
- When you wake up in the morning, you will most likely still feel really tired because while your brain was asleep, your body was processing your midnight snack.
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