You may be told that you are tired because a lack of sleep. That could be true, but there are quite a few factors that can increase or decrease energy (i.e. diet, exercise, lifestyle). We’ve compiled a few simple and easy ways to produce good, healthy energy for a more sustained period. Give them a try, and let us know what you think.
Begin your day with bran – Having fiber in the morning may help you stay alert during the day. Recent studies found that eating high-fiber cereals in the morning had a 10% decrease in fatigue, lower depression, and better cognitive skills. One of the theories behind this is that fiber helps slow down the absorption of food in the stomach, releasing energy at a steady rate for a longer period of time to keep your energy levels up longer.
Try eating more (often) – Switching from a standard three meals a day can help you with your energy. “Eating small meals frequently throughout the day—every 3 to 4 hours—helps keep your blood sugar steady, so you don’t experience energy crashes or get so ravenous that you overeat,” explains Kathy McManus, RD, director of the Department of Nutrition at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. You should balance small meals with carbohydrates, proteins, and good monounsaturated fats.
Add a plant to your office – This may seem a little odd, but having plants in your working area can help with energy. Some recent reports found that having plants in your home or office resulted in less stress felt and fostered more creative ideas. Purchase some plants for your desk, and around the office or home.
Gulp some water – Staying hydrated is one of the easiest ways to keep energy and focus. Recent studies show that 92% of athletes felt fatigued after limiting fluids and water-based foods for 15 hours; they also had memory and concentration problems. “Half of the people who come to me complaining of fatigue are actually dehydrated,” says Woodson Merrell, MD executive director of the Continuum Center for Health and Healing at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City.
Enjoy a GreenTeaHP Pixie – Not only does it increase the amount of water you bring in, it contains many natural ingredients that increase energy. The antioxidant EGCG that is contained in green tea leaves increases you metabolism. Increasing your metabolism means that your body is creating more energy. Additionally, many reports have found that combining caffeine and L-theanine, that are found in tea, decrease mental fatigue and improved alertness, reaction time, and memory. GreenTeaHP also contains trace minerals that are great for energy.
Walk it off – Taking a walk can really give the rest of your day more pep. The American Heart Association found that women who walked briskly for 70 minutes a week reported an 18% increase in energy. They also reported feeling more focused, confident, felt fewer headaches, and exerted less effort for simple daily physical tasks.
Have a ‘kids’ lunch – A banana and peanut butter sandwich are great for a quick energy boost. Bananas contain potassium which is a mineral that your body needs to produce energy. Peanut butter contains magnesium which provides energy on the cellular level of our bodies. You can also consume potassium and magnesium in other fruits, nuts, vegetables and beans.
Be your own DJ – You know exactly which songs increase your energy or help you focus. Try listening to music while you work. One study found that employees who used headphones were 10% more productive.
Go natural – There are some great ways to obtain energy from natural cures as well. Rhodiola is a natural aid and may increase brain chemicals that give your nervous system a boost and increase alertness. A Russian study reported higher levels of fitness, coordination, and less mental fatigue using Rhodiola.
Try a seaweed salad – This might be something new to you, but seaweed salad has lots of iodine. Iodine is a chemical that helps maintain correct levels of thyroid hormones that regulate weight, mood, and energy. Typically you’ll get iodine in your salt, but most iodized salt brands don’t contain the FDA’s recommended concentration. If you don’t like the idea of seaweed you can find iodine from fish and yogurt.