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15 Natural Ways to Raise Energy

Happy energetic women
Image © Shutterstock/Monkey Business Images

Supercharge your energy with these fatigue fighting tips.

I

t’s 2pm and you can barely stifle a yawn. You’ve got stacks on the to-do list, but your focus is flailing, and you feel so sluggish and slow that you’re convinced there’s sloth in your DNA. Sound familiar? Before you start scanning your family tree for signs of tree-dwelling ancestors, it’s completely normal to feel occasional low energy which is often just a typical response to overexertion, a bad night’s sleep, a stodgy meal or even boredom.

Rather than relying on temporary pick-me-ups such as sugar and caffeine to help us get through the day, we suggest an energy reboot with these fatigue fighting tips.

1. Don’t skip breakfast

Always start your day with a healthy, high-fibre breakfast to boost energy levels, restore glycogen levels and kickstart your metabolism. Oatmeal, Greek yoghurt, eggs. almond butter, chia seeds and green tea are all nutritious sources of energy.

2. Switch your coffee for cacao

Packed with essential zinc, plus iron, magnesium and potassium, minerals that help to support stable blood sugar, a hot cacao is not only delicious, but enhances cognitive performance and energy without the rollercoaster peaks and dips associated with coffee. 

3. Laugh it off

Research has shown that laughter is a proven stress killer and can help everything from your heart to your immune response. But did you know that laughter also increases the body’s oxygen intake and releases endorphins that can provide a refreshing boost of energy. 

4. Snack smart

Nibble on some nutrient dense fruit, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Not only are they nutritious, they’re packed with protein, have a low glycemic index value, and are excellent sources of long-lasting energy.

5. Take a breather

Improper breathing can lead to fatigue and reduce productivity. Practicing deep yoga breathing exercises can help regulate oxygen flow in our blood, which helps boost energy levels and leads to clearer thinking and better focus.

6. Drink more water

Fatigue and lethargy can be one of the first signs of dehydration. The caffeine and sugary soft drinks we turn to for our instant energy boosts exacerbate dehydration, so swap the cola for at least two litres of H20 a day. 

7. Take the stairs

A recent study showed that a brief bout of low-to-moderate intensity stair walking can provide a more effective energy boost than a hit of coffee, so take a brisk stroll or hit the stairs to help charge up your energy fast, particularly after periods of sedentary activity.

8. Weather check

Lower temperatures can cause a drop in body temperature which can in turn trigger drowsiness. On the flipside weather that’s too hot and humid can cause dehydration which leads to sleepiness and fatigue. Try to find the sweet spot in between to maximise energy.

9. Lighten your load at lunch

Your glycemic load that is! Eat smaller amounts of food regularly and ditch high GI staples like white rice, bread, pasta and potatoes with brown rice, Rye Bread, legumes and sweet potatoes, to keep you fuller for longer and keep your energy levels on an even keel throughout the day.  

10. Nab a nap

If you’re having trouble focusing or find yourself in a post lunch slump, get a little sleep. Taking a 10 to 20-minute power nap can help boost your cognitive skills, alertness and energy. Just don’t snooze too long as more than half an hour can actually leave you feeling sluggish.

11. Iron it out

Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of iron deficiency, but most people can get all the iron they need by eating a varied and balanced diet high in red meat, leafy greens, legumes and whole grains. If you still have concerns about your iron levels, speak to your doctor before purchasing an iron supplement as too much iron can lead to liver disease, heart problems and diabetes.

12. Let there be lights

A little sunshine can pack a whole lot of powerful Vitamin D, an essential ingredient for healthy body function. Studies show that Vitamin D can also have a big impact on energy levels. A lack of sunlight leads to the body producing more melatonin, the sleep hormone, making us more tired.

13. Stretch yourself

Exercise is one of the fastest and most effective ways to boost your energy. You don’t need to run a marathon; a little light yoga should do the trick. It turns out that as well as working wonders for stress, getting your downward dog on can also help fight fatigue.

14. Herbal helpers

Adaptogenic herbs like Rhodiola, Astragalus, Schisandra berry, Ashwagandha, Cordyceps and Ginseng can also help the body to recalibrate its energy. Adding peppermint, sage and rosemary to your diet can also help boost alertness and energy levels.

15. Practise gratitude

High-intensity negative emotions can create unnecessary stress on our systems and zap mental energy, leaving us tired and lethargic. Rather than focusing on negative thoughts, think about all the positive things in your life. Practising gratitude lowers levels of stress hormones, increases personal happiness and boosts energy.

This article provides general information only, and does not constitute health or medical advice. If you have any concerns regarding your health, seek immediate medical attention.

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