By: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA
There are a multitude of vitamins, herbs, and other supplements that promise to give you a “boost of energy”. However, there is little or no scientific evidence that energy boosters like ginseng, guarana, and chromium picolinate actually work. Thankfully, there are things you can do to enhance your own natural energy levels.
Here are six tips:
1. Eat for energy: Consume small meals and snacks every few hours rather than three large meals a day. This approach will help keep blood sugar steady and can reduce your perception of fatigue because your brain needs a steady supply of nutrients.
Eating wholesome foods that are minimally processed may help you avoid the lag in energy that typically occurs after eating quickly absorbed sugars or refined starches. Think whole grains, high-fiber vegetables, fruit, and healthy fats such as avocado, olive oil and nuts.
2. Drink water: If your body is short of fluids, one of the first signs is a feeling of fatigue.
3. Control stress: We all understand how stress can weigh us down. Talking with a friend or relative, joining a support group, or seeing a psychotherapist can all help diffuse stress. Relaxation therapies like meditation, self-hypnosis, yoga, and tai chi are also effective tools for reducing stress.
4. Lighten your load: Don’t be afraid to ask for help or to say “no” when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Try to streamline your list of “must-do” activities. Set your priorities in terms of the most important tasks. Pare down those that are less important.
5. Exercise: Daily Exercise can contribute to improved sleep quality. It also gives your cells more energy to burn and circulates oxygen. And exercising causes your body to release epinephrine and norepinephrine, stress hormones that in modest amounts can make you feel energized. Even a brisk walk is a good start.
6. Restrict your sleep: If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, try getting less sleep. This advice may sound odd but determining how much sleep you actually need can reduce the time you spend in bed not sleeping. This process makes it easier to fall asleep and promotes more restful sleep in the long run. Here’s how to do it:
- Avoid napping during the day.
- The first night, go to bed later than normal and get just four hours of sleep.
- If you feel that you slept well during that four-hour period, add another 15–30 minutes of sleep the next night.
- As long as you’re sleeping soundly the entire time you’re in bed, slowly keep adding sleep on successive nights.
High Protein Oatmeal Cookie Overnight Oats
- 2/3cup plain 2-percent-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup rolled oats
- 1/3cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/4teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4teaspoon cinnamon
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl or sealable container.
- Refrigerate overnight. Enjoy!