I often get asked the question “How do I get more energy?” In an age where we tend to work long hours even when away from the office, we find it hard to power down and give our bodies the rest it deserves. In fact a recent survey showed employees spend an extra 7 hours working on mobile devices outside of regular work hours. This non-stop, always-tuned-in behavior can leave us feeling tired, irritated, and lightweight depressed all before 12 noon! If this sounds like you, then this article should help you get your mojo back — without dependency on coffee or other addictive stimulants.
1. Protein Power
Protein should be eaten at every meal for multiple reasons. For one, without protein, blood sugar can spike and drop quickly leaving you with cravings for sugar at 3pm in the afternoon. No wonder why you keep making trips to the 5Bucks across the street. Save your money and skip the sugar crash by eating 20-30g of protein per meal and 10-15g per snack. Pair protein with healthy fats and starches for the ultimate energy boost. Try these protein-packed lunch ideas.
Get active if you want to boost your energy. It may sound counter-intuitive but studies show that exercise boosts energy levels in even those who suffer from chronic fatigue issues. Exercise gets the blood pumping and boosts endorphins, the “feel good” hormones. If you are sedentary start moving by walking 15-30 minutes during lunch breaks. Any bit of activity will help with energy and clear brain fog. Need exercise ideas? Try here.
3. Don’t Go Hungry
The fastest way to get the energy knocked from you is to go hungry for too long. I’ve known people who refrain from eating all day and when they get home from work, they are ravenous and irritable. They end up eating waayyy more than they should because the body is trying to make up for the starvation it incurred earlier. This is how people gain weight: starving themselves therefore slowing metabolism. Don’t let this be you. Start your mornings by eating something even if just a cup of herbal tea and boiled egg. By eating before hunger strikes, blood sugar will level out thus stabilizing energy and boosting mood. Not to mention, metabolism will increase thus helping with weight loss. Try to eat every 3-4 hours to get ahead of hunger.
4. Refrain from Coffee
So many of you think that coffee is the way to gain magical energy. Sadly it is not a quick-fixer and in fact can cause major adrenal fatigue issues for those whose bodies are sensitive to the affects of caffeine. Not only that, but coffee energizes you than deflates you about 3-5 hours after. Hence why many people drink multiple cups per day — to keep the high going. Coffee also affects your sleep in the worst way causing restlessness and keeping you from entering deep, RIM sleep which leaves you groggy, tired, and reaching for that morning cup of Joe to get the day started. Vicious cycle.
If you are addicted to coffee consider a plan to reduce your intake. If you are looking for coffee alternatives, try black or green tea for 1/3 the caffeine + anti-oxidants. Green tea has been shown to improve weight loss and increase brain power without the jitters. If you apply all 7 tips you may soon learn that you don’t NEED coffee to function. A cup here and there for exercise performance or just for the taste is totally okay as long as there is no dependence.
5. Say “NO” to Energy Drinks
Similar to coffee, energy drinks are not only addictive, they also tend to contain loads of caffeine, sugar and artificial chemicals. These ingredients may be doing more harm than good in the long run as this article shows how energy drinks cause seizures. The sugar content alone should be enough reason to refrain from consumption. An 8 ounce serving of Monster Energy Drink has a whopping 27g of sugar! That’s equivalent to nearly 7 teaspoons of sugar in just that cup. Crazy enough, Monster drinks come in 16 ounce cans. When is the last time you drank just half a can? Do yourself a favor and skip the sugar spikes and lows which ultimately leads to increased hunger and fat gain.
6. Drink More water & less alcohol
Alcohol is a depressant and quickly sucks the life out of you. How many times have you woke up after a fun night of drinking feeling beat down to the bones? Blame it on the alcohol. Reduce alcohol intake to just 1-2 servings a few times a week or less and increase intake of water. Not only does dehydration create false hunger pangs, it can also exacerbate fatigue. So sip on water consistently throughout the day and limit alcohol intake to beat low energy.
7. Get More Sleep
Sleep is important to reset, recharge and rejuvenate the body to begin the next day on a high note. For those who believe the quote, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” you may be headed toward that state sooner than you think. Lack of sleep can cause obesity and other health ailments which can shorten one’s lifespan. Sounds like the new mantra should be “sleep more, live longer.” Promote adequate, deep sleep by dimming down lights, powering down your computer and phone at lease one hour before bedtime. Taking an epsom salt bath, reading, and relaxing right before bed can improve overall sleep quality.
Implement these 7 strategies to boost energy today.
What are actions you take to increase and maintain energy levels throughout the day? Share your thoughts in the comments.Follow @soulwholesome