We all have jobs and families that need us at peak performance levels all week long and we all hope to do the best we can. But we don’t always have the energy to back it up! Especially as we get older, healthy energy levels become more difficult to maintain. Energy drink companies try to sell us temporary boosts or incorporate the latest ginseng derivative into another supplement. However, most of the energy-boosting products on store shelves have no real value for consistently maintaining high, healthy energy.
Most of the real solutions to low energy involve simple, effective lifestyle changes that can help you change your hormones and activity levels to achieve higher energy in the long run. However, some supplements can help – I’ll go over those as well. Read on to learn 9 effective, natural ways to improve your daily energy.
1. Work Less
The first lifestyle change sounds like a no-brainer even though for some of us, it may be impossible. But the pressures of a modern work schedule are a huge contributor to reduced energy levels. Refocus your priorities on the work that you must complete and leave yourself time for breaks, recreation, and family time. Don’t be afraid to lighten your load for the sake of your energy (if you can).
Whether or not you can lighten your workload, adding exercise to your routine can easily help you regulate energy. Exercise increases brain activity, improves mood, circulates blood and oxygen, and even contributes to some of the other benefits listed below.
Exercise is known as a natural painkiller due to the endorphin release you get from it. That applies to energy levels as well.
3. Eat Right
Most of us try to eat well. But those of us who suffer from low energy need to eat right for our specific issue. Refined carbs and starches, for instance, are made of sugars that our bodies absorb quickly, which is what makes them worse for regulating blood sugar and sponges when it comes to our reserves of energy.
A diet that includes protein, whole grains, fibrous vegetables, and olive oil can do wonders for your energy.
4. Cut Back on Drinking …
If you find your days feeling longer, a lunch-time cocktail may be to blame. Alcohol sedates you (we all know it!) and during the day, this can really eat into your energy levels. Drink less and time it right so that your energy only takes a hit when you want it to.
5. … But Remember to Drink Water
Athletes know that water improves performance. For anyone, water is nature’s answer to mid-day fatigue, when your body tells you that you need to hydrate to keep your cells plump and active. Remember to calculate the amount of water you need (approximately half your weight in ounces) to maintain optimum energy.
Stress is a huge culprit of low energy since it demands so much of your body. Elevated heart rate and blood pressure mean more energy requirements, which can leave you feeling fatigued. Use your favorite de-stress techniques like yoga, therapy, time with friends, or even exercise to help your body achieve the balance it needs to use energy efficiently.
Speaking of stress relief, ashwagandha is a supplement that actually works for improving your energy levels, unlike those awful drinks. It’s an ayurvedic herb, which means that it increases your body’s ability to resist mental and physical fatigue.
Cortisol, the “stress hormone,” can be controlled more easily using ashwagandha supplements. Remember to look for one with a lot of the key ingredient and black pepper added for absorption.
8. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is a natural essential vitamin that we get from meat and fish. Most of us get what we need from a balanced diet, but for some of us, low energy can result from not getting enough B12.
That’s because B12 helps us process food and absorb nutrients. As we age, we naturally have more trouble absorbing B12, which makes food less able to improve our energy levels. Supplementing with B12 can restore healthy levels and boost energy as a result.
9. Sleep Right
Your sleep pattern could be causing your energy drain. If you feel you’re getting enough sleep, you may be selling yourself short with evening naps or late-night work sessions. Set aside time at night for sleep and don’t compromise it by messing with your schedule.
Energy helps us perform well at work, take care of the kids, and get through the busy week easily. As we age, maintaining consistent energy levels becomes even more difficult. Eating right, exercising, and using the right supplements can go a long way to keeping your energy high, and your mood higher as a result.