If you’re feeling low on energy, you’re not alone.
Everyone deals with feeling tired at some point, but it can disrupt your life if it becomes a regular occurrence.
There are many potential causes of low energy. If you’re concerned about low energy levels and have visited your healthcare provider to rule out potential problems, then one or more of these natural energy boosters might help you feel more energized.
10 Natural Ways To Get More Energy
1. Don’t overdo it on the caffeine
Caffeine can help make you feel more alert, awake, and less fatigued, but there comes a point when it starts to have the opposite effect.
It takes about five hours for half of the amount of caffeine you consume to be cleared from your body. If you drink a lot of caffeine, especially later in the day, you might have a hard time falling asleep.
If you enjoy drinking a lot of coffee, try switching to decaf if you’re drinking it in the afternoon. And if you’re a tea drinker, be aware that green tea and black tea contain caffeine, whereas herbal teas are typically caffeine-free.
Be wary of caffeine supplements, which can be dangerous. Taking too much caffeine can overstimulate your heart and lead to an irregular heartbeat, anxiety, headaches, irritability, and more.
2. Include activity in your daily routine – but not too close to bedtime
It might seem counterintuitive to exercise when you’re feeling tired. Physical activity does require energy, but it seems to be an energy booster as well.
Scientists can’t explain the exact reason why physical activity helps fight fatigue. However, studies note a correlation between more physical activity and fewer feelings of fatigue compared to more sedentary people.
If you want to include regular physical activity in your lifestyle but feel overwhelmed at the thought of it, start small.
Going for a 10-minute walk during your lunch break, after dinner, or any other time of the day is a great start. If you go on three separate 10-minute walks in a day, then you’ll be meeting the American Heart Association’s recommendations.
3. Avoid screens before bed
One of the best natural energy boosters might be the most challenging for some of us – avoiding screens before bed. If you’re looking at a brightly-lit phone, tablet, or computer before bed, it can cut down on your total sleep time and may even reduce your sleep quality.
Melatonin is a hormone that helps promote sleep and is produced when you’re exposed to darkness. Melatonin helps regulate your circadian rhythm, which is your body’s natural internal clock that helps you feel wakeful during the day and sleepy at night. Screens emit blue light, which suppresses your body’s natural melatonin production.
If you choose to look at screens at bedtime, be sure to set a time limit so you don’t get carried away and eat away at valuable sleeping time. Turning down the brightness on your screens can help, too.
If you insist that watching shows helps you fall asleep yet you’re feeling tired often, consider listening with headphones on a low volume without looking at the screen.
4. Eat a healthy diet
Your diet is one of the best places to start to improve your energy level.
A diet rich in high fiber foods can help provide more sustained energy while preventing blood sugar spikes and crashes.
Fiber is found in foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Not only can high-fiber foods act as natural energy boosters, but they can help support your heart, digestive, and blood sugar health.
Eating healthy foods with omega-3 fatty acids can fight inflammation, which can manifest as chronic fatigue in some people.
Foods rich in antioxidants like berries, dark leafy green vegetables, and dark chocolate (to name a few) also help fight inflammation, which may help give you an energy boost if you have an inflammatory health condition like diabetes or heart disease.
Avoiding added sugars can help prevent a blood sugar spike, which often leads to a feeling of an energy “crash” afterward.
Complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes (also high in fiber) provide more sustained energy than refined carbs like enriched grains (white bread, white rice, etc.) and highly processed foods.
Eat protein with meals and snacks to help provide sustained energy. Protein takes longer to digest, which means it’s released more slowly to be used as energy by your body. Protein also helps prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes. Some protein-rich foods include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds, and soybeans.
5. Drink alcohol in moderation
Drinking alcohol can make you feel sleepy initially, but it can wreak havoc on your overall sleep quality if you drink large amounts. Drinking alcohol reduces sleep quality and can increase your risk of developing insomnia if you abuse alcohol, which can make you feel low on energy.
B vitamins help you obtain energy from food. Alcohol abuse can reduce your body’s ability to absorb vitamin B12, one of many vitamins that act as natural energy boosters. If you’re deficient in vitamin B12, you might develop anemia, with fatigue as one of the most common symptoms.
6. Practice deep breathing
If you’re tired, stressed, or a combination of the two, you might neglect proper breathing techniques. Deep breathing is one method to help combat stress, which can lead to feelings of fatigue if left unchecked.
- Sit or lie flat in a comfortable position.
- Put one hand on your belly just below your ribs and the other hand on your chest.
- Take a deep breath in through your nostrils while you let your belly push your hand out. Your chest shouldn’t move because that means you’re shallow breathing or “chest breathing.”
- Breathe out through pursed lips like you’re whistling. Feel the hand on your belly go in, and use it to push all the air out of your abdomen.
- Do this breathing three to ten times. Take your time with each breath, and don’t rush it.
7. Stay hydrated
For a natural energy boost, look no further than the simple act of drinking water. Most of your body is composed of water, and all of your organs and cells require water to keep you healthy.
One of the signs of dehydration is fatigue. Instead of drinking high-sugar drinks that can cause blood sugar spikes and then subsequent crashes, opt for drinking plain water.
Sparkling water and other unsweetened drinks are decent choices as well, but water will always take the number one spot for a healthy, natural energy boost.
8. Don’t smoke
One thing that will also help improve your health significantly is to avoid smoking. The nicotine in cigarettes is a stimulant, which means it can make you feel more alert and awake. If you smoke, studies show you’re more likely to suffer from insomnia and other sleep disturbances.
Not only can not smoking help you get better sleep, but it can reduce your risk of sleep apnea. Smokers are three times more likely to have sleep apnea compared to nonsmokers.
Sleep apnea is a condition where you stop breathing at times during the night, which rouses you from sleep even if you don’t remember waking up. The constant awakening from deep sleep means that you can feel tired even after a full night’s sleep.
9. Avoid energy drinks
Energy drinks might seem like a good option when you’re feeling tired but then can cause more harm to your energy levels in the long run. Energy drinks are high in caffeine and usually high in added sugar.
Drinking large amounts of added sugar causes your blood sugar level to spike. When your blood sugar level spikes, your body releases a large amount of insulin to help bring it back down. This can lead to a blood sugar crash, which can impact your energy level.
Be wary of sugar-free energy drinks which can still pack a lot of caffeine, potentially disrupting your sleep patterns at night.
10. Consider supplements
Taking supplements can help prevent certain nutrient deficiencies that can cause low energy levels. Iron and vitamin B12 are two essential nutrients that help prevent anemia.
Anemia is a condition where you have fewer red blood cells than is healthy, which prevents oxygen from being delivered to your organs and cells. The main complaint of people with anemia is a feeling of fatigue, as well as weakness, shortness of breath, and dizziness.
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There are several natural energy boosters you can try if you’re feeling low on energy. Eating a diet rich in fiber-rich foods, protein, and energy-boosting nutrients, being active, reducing stress, and not smoking are a few ways to naturally promote healthy energy levels.
If you suffer from low energy levels and fatigue despite practicing the tips mentioned in this article, then be sure to touch base with your healthcare provider to rule out other potential causes of your low energy.