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July 27, 2018 | Written by Brad Russell

How To Step Up Your Energy Levels

Woman practicing yoga
If your energy levels are unusually low, there may be many explanations why. Work, family, and social obligations can all zap your energy and leave you exhausted at the end of the day, or even the beginning!

Sometimes, you might simply be running on too little sleep. Regardless of whether your low energy is temporary or it’s become a chronic issue, the good news is that there a number of ways you can naturally increase your energy levels. Some energy improvement methods require little more than putting on a pair of shoes and (literally) running out the door. If you want to improve your energy levels without relying on caffeine and other artificial stimulants, here are some suggestions.

Eat Three (Balanced) Meals Each Day

Food Can Affect Your MoodWhen you were younger, your mother probably told you to eat your breakfast. And although she may have not known the science behind it, she was right! Getting and staying properly fueled throughout the day goes a long way in combating fatigue.

It is true that your first meal of the day should be breakfast, and it should be balanced and healthful. A yogurt and berry smoothie, which is delicious and easy to make, is a popular choice for a nutritious and satisfying morning meal. Oatmeal, which can be topped with dried fruit, nuts, and even an egg, is another quick, easy, and tasty meal. At lunchtime, a bean and cheese burrito or a turkey and cheese sandwich (perhaps with a slice of heart-healthy avocado) are good choices. For dinner, a pasta dish with fresh herbs, roasted vegetables with salmon, or a rice bowl are scrumptious and healthy options.

Tip: why not try adding these superfoods to your favourite recipes.

Take Your Vitamins

Vitamin energySometimes, your low energy levels may be caused by a nutrient deficiency. One nutrient that can cause fatigue in low volumes is magnesium. If you feel sluggish throughout the day, a blood test can determine if low magnesium levels are to blame. Fortunately, even if that’s the case, it’s easy to add more magnesium to your diet. Just a handful of hazelnuts, cashews, or almonds eaten as a snack or sprinkled onto a salad can bring you up to your daily recommended magnesium levels, which is about 300 milligrams for women and 350 milligrams for men. You can also reach this daily goal by eating more whole grains and fish, especially magnesium-rich halibut.

The “B” vitamins are a group of vitamins that support healthy nerves and red blood cells. They also prevent anemia, and they facilitate digestion by helping your body metabolise food to create energy for Woman cooking vitaminsyour body to use. When Vitamin B levels are low, fatigue can set in. You might also find that you don’t have sustained energy levels if your body is lacking in Vitamin B. Luckily, insufficient levels of Vitamin B is an easy fix. You can replenish your body’s supplies by eating more eggs, poultry, and dairy products. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, you can still get Vitamin B through vitamin-fortified soy, almond, or rice milk.

Another vitamin that keeps you energised is iron. Iron creates a substance in red blood cells called hemoglobin. In muscle cells, it’s responsible for creating myoglobin. Together, these substances deliver oxygen throughout the body. Without adequate iron levels, they can’t do their job. Iron is an especially important vitamin for women, who may deplete their iron supplies through menstruation. Excessive fatigue and feeling lethargic are signs that you might not have enough iron. Dark leafy green vegetables, legumes, tofu, and chocolate are all excellent sources of iron.

Get Out And Exercise

Simply going for a walk – even if it’s just around the block – is a great way to wake up during the day, whether it’s in the morning or during an afternoon slump. Walking for even 10 minutes can increase your energy levels and boost your mood. Not to mention, getting regular exercise is also a good way to control your weight. In addition to walking, running, cycling, and yoga are a few other types of exercise you can do. Engaging in one or more forms of regular exercise will make your heart and lungs healthier and increase muscle mass, which in turn makes you less fatigued. Regular exercise also goes hand-in-hand with a good night’s sleep, which can also make you feel less tired throughout the day.

Girl excercise

Take A Power Nap

In some parts of the world, a power nap is not only encouraged, it’s part of life! Humans’ energy levels start to drop in the afternoon. Combined with stress that accumulates throughout the day, it’s no wonder so many people start to feel lethargic after lunchtime. Studies by the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) have found that in addition to restoring energy levels, hour-long daily naps are also beneficial to mental health as they help people retain information of recently-learned information. A nap is also a good way to decompress and ease the mind’s daily stresses.

Consume Less Alcohol And More Water

You might be surprised to learn that sometimes, all you need to do to perk up a bit during the day is drink more water. Dehydration can easily zap your energy levels. And it doesn’t take much – even being slightly dehydrated can make you feel tired and cranky. Replenishing your body’s water supplies throughout the day with a tall, fresh, cool glass of water can do wonders for your body. You should also drink more water after exercising, which is when fluid loss is most significant.

Girl drinking water
Along with drinking more water, limiting your alcohol intake, or consuming alcohol at different times of the day, can also regulate and improve your energy levels. Since alcohol zaps your energy, lunchtime isn’t the best time to have that glass of wine if you still have work to do or social obligations to attend. Similarly, if you want to have more energy in the evening, you might want to avoid or delay your five o’clock cocktail. Not drinking alcohol before bedtime will help you sleep better, which in turn boosts your energy levels. This is because alcohol contains cortisol, which is a stress hormone. That same hormone also interferes with your ability to fall into a deep sleep. You might find that you can fall asleep quickly after drinking alcohol in the few hours before bedtime, but you may then wake up and having trouble falling asleep again.

Get A Regular Checkup

Regular checkup with doctorLow energy levels can be caused by so many different things that it can be hard to tell what’s actually the root cause. In addition to stress and lifestyle factors, there may also be a medical explanation behind your low energy levels.

The only guaranteed way to tell if that’s the case is by visiting your doctor for a checkup and blood test. Your doctor can check for conditions that might cause a decline in energy, such as thyroid problems. A blood test an also determine if you have low iron levels, which can generally be restored by making dietary changes and perhaps adding supplements to your diet. If a complete blood count (CBC) and blood test reveal that you have a thyroid that functions at a lower level than normal, your doctor will probably prescribe medication to get you and your thyroid back to speed.

With a variety of energy-stimulating solutions to try, you’re bound to find that you can get through the day with more energy in no time. Some changes, like eating balanced meals on a regular basis, are fast and easy fixes. Other times, you may need to take medication to correct an underlying problem. Therefore, it’s important to find the cause to come up with the best solution.

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