In a land of coffee shops on every corner and energy drinks on every desk it's a wonder that so many of us are still so tired. Energy is an interesting thing and some of the solutions to improve energy are counter-intuitive, and usually aren't answered with a can.
The best way to improve your energy is to get to the root cause. Do you have a nutrient deficiency or adrenal fatigue? Is your diet the culprit or is too much stress draining? If you're struggling with a lack of energy, take some time to reflect on what the cause could be. And read on for some simple solutions to improve your energy.
1. Cut sugar & simple carbs
Are you surprised? It breaks my heart that the average breakfast consists of loads of sugar and simple carbohydrates. This is going to throw your blood sugar levels out of whack for the rest of the day. Which results in a roller coaster ride for your energy. And you better believe you won't be full for very long.
2. Essential oils
Our goal is to improve our energy levels in a natural way, and essential oils are one of the best natural and safe solutions. Inhale peppermint and wild orange in the afternoon for a little pick me up. Citrus oils like lemon and grapefruit have an invigorating effect. You can diffuse any of these oils to enhance the effect in the room, inhale from the bottle or your palms, or rub a drop or two on the back of your neck.
3. Protein Breakfast
Quality protein sources help keep blood sugar levels stable allowing you to avoid the energy spikes and plummets.
Eggs, nut butter, or protein powders (without added sugars) are all excellent sources for simple and healthy breakfasts.
If you're not sleeping enough your body is not going to be functioning optimally throughout the day. 7-8 hours of sleep is essential for the average person. And quality of sleep is important as well. Create a bedtime routine to help your mind wind down and prepare for rest. Get the technology out of your room, replace the TV with reading, spend some time journaling or meditating, do some deep breathing exercises, and spritz some lavender essential oil on your pillow or a dab on your wrists to support relaxation.
5. Cut back on caffeine
Contrary to popular belief, caffeine may give you an instant rush of energy. But often it is not the energy that we're looking for. It's the jittery, shaky kind that can cause energy swings, instead of a natural consistent energy effect. Excess amounts of caffeine can also wear out your adrenals causing adrenal fatigue.
Your blood sugar levels are also effected by caffeine intake, causing highs and lows which have a direct effect on your energy.
6. drink Water
Drink more of it! Half your body weight in ounces is a good rule of thumb. A great way to get enough water is to carry a water bottle with you wherever you go. Makes it that much easier.
"If you want energy, make energy", that's the motto my mom used growing up. Yes, mom, you were right. Studies show your energy increases the more you move. Try scheduling in 10 minutes throughout the day to get up and move around. Go for a walk outside (fresh air is a bonus), do some jumping jacks, throw some good tunes on and dance around. Whatever it takes to get your heart rate up. Try any of these strategies when you feel your eyes get droopy at your desk, it'll be an instant booster. And, bonus it will help you concentrate better when you get back to work!
8. Eat more veggies
I have this theory that eating more veggies solves everything. And the average person doesn't get nearly enough. When you eat plenty of vegetables, you're providing your body with the nutrients it needs for optimal functioning. And the more raw veggies the better, cooking can minimize the nutrient content or absorption ability. We often go for what's convenient so cut them ahead of time so you can grab a handful on the go. Skip the pretzels and snack on some carrots, bell peppers, or snap peas. Dip them in some hummus and you've got yourself some good protein and healthy fats. Winning.
We are often worked and over stressed and this has a huge effect on your energy levels. Take a few minutes throughout the day to stop and breathe. This will help balance your stress levels (cortisol) and improve oxygenation! Win, win. Keep it simple when you're starting out. Take a deep breath in, hold for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, and exhale for 4 seconds. Added benefit if you can close your eyes!
10. Have morning sex
This unconventional piece of advice can have a huge impact on your energy levels and your overall health, who knew? Sex improves oxygenation and brain function, decreases stress and depression, boosts the immune system, and well if done right can burn calories! Done in the morning will have the best effect on the rest of your day. Of course keep it safe and don't make it a chore.
Experiment with the different tips and find what works best for you and has the most impact. Remember finding out the root cause of your energy deficiency is the best way to find the solution. Pay attention to your body and notice any shifts when you change your lifestyle!