Low energy can make it difficult to accomplish even the simplest tasks. Luckily there are many things you can do to increase energy levels naturally. If you feel like you have tried all the things and you are still struggling with low energy levels it may be time to do some testing to uncover the root cause. Read on for my tips to increase energy levels to feel your best.
1. Do Not Restrict Food
Food fuels our bodies and we need it to support our basic everyday functions (basal metabolic rate), digestion, and physical activity. It's easy to think restricting calories = weight loss, but more goes into it. Restricting can lead to decreased metabolism, nutrient deficiencies, low immune function, fatigue, and even affect fertility. Eat nourishing, balanced meals to feel your best!
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2. Improve Sleep
We all know what it's like when we're running on fumes from little-to-no sleep. When we sleep our bodies go into clean up + repair mode. When we lack proper sleep our health can suffer, we reach for things to artificially boost energy, and get caught in a loop. There are many ways to improve your sleep so you can finally feel rested!
3. Balance Blood Sugar
Our blood sugar needs to stay in careful balance. When we spike our blood sugar with sugary or starchy foods, caffeine, or even stress it then drops and we feel the crash. When blood sugar gets too low, that's when hanger strikes. I always say to eat consistently throughout the day without skipping meals and include protein and healthy fat with each meal.
4. Stay Hydrated
Even if we're mildly dehydrated (not taking in enough water) our mood + energy can suffer. It's harder to think clearly + focus on important tasks. Keep a reusable water bottle with you at all times (especially when traveling) to make sure you're staying hydrated throughout the day. Aim for 3 L per day - finish 1 L before each meal to break it up throughout the day!
5. Include Energizing Adaptogens
Adaptogens are a category of healing plants that can help the body adapt to stress and assist in normalizing processes. Certain adaptogens exert different effect in the body. Energizing adaptogens include astragalus, cordyceps, + rhodiola. Try adding them to oatmeal, smoothies, matcha lattes, and elixirs + feel the effects.
6. Get Adequate B Vitamins
B vitamins play an important role in metabolism and can get depleted when stressed. You can think of vitamins as helpers that are needed to create energy. Getting enough B vitamins from foods + sometimes adding a multivitamin or B-complex can ensure you have all the helpers you need for adequate energy. Foods high in B vitamins include leafy greens, nuts, seeds, eggs, legumes, & fruit.
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7. Drink Vegetable Juice
Since we're on the topic of B vitamins - let's talk about vegetable juice. Green juices packed with leafy greens are high in the B vitamins that are needed to help in the process of converting food into energy. Stick to either all vegetable juices (with a squeeze of lemon or lime) or ones with minimal fruit to keep your blood sugar and energy stable.
8. Watch Caffeine Consumption
We go for our morning coffee to give us that jolt to wake up and get going in the morning. Too much caffeine actually can spike our cortisol (stress hormone) and then our blood sugar spikes and drops leaving us drained, depleted, and reaching for more. Try lower caffeine options like matcha or tea and look at why you may need that jolt in the morning (need more sleep? Stress?).
9. Use Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil helps with mental clarity and to raise energy levels. It's great to try if you're trying to cut back on caffeine. Diffuse this oil, inhale in the morning or before a workout for a quick boost, or mix a drop or two into some coconut oil to rub on your neck and shoulders. You can even add a drop to water to liven it up.
10. Reduce Alcohol
Waking up after a night of a few too many totally zaps the energy out of your day. Your body is in recovery mode trying to flush out the toxic overload and replete flushed out vitamins and minerals. Alcohol also affects our gut lining and can lead to inflammation. Our mood can also suffer. Keep your energy by watching your alcohol consumption.
11. Drink Herbal Tea
We often think of relaxation when we see herbal tea. There are actually herbal teas that help to naturally boost energy and offer additional health benefits. Try ginger, ginseng, licorice, ginko biloba, or rosehip to give your body a caffeine break. Supporting our bodies with healing herbs can help us find our natural balance.
12. Exercise Regularly
Exercise boosts our feel-good mood chemicals - our endorphins. It also revs up + produces more mitochondria in our cells (the powerhouses) to create more energy throughout the body. Added benefits include sharper focus, improved heart health, and improved sleep. Find balance by incorporating a mix of cardio, strength, and stretching and always listening to your body.
13. Get Labs Checked
If you feel exhausted or fatigued all the time it can be a good idea to take a look under the hood. Check your cortisol levels if you feel stressed and have trouble sleeping. Your thyroid could be out of balance if you feel exhausted and have trouble losing weight. Low iron or other vitamins and minerals can also lead to low energy levels.