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Exhausted? Ten Ways to Boost Your Energy Levels

Thursday, 01 January 2015 00:00  by Charity B.

I think we’ve all had those days where we’ve dragged through the day tired and dependant upon coffee to wake us up. It doesn’t have to be this way though. Here are some natural ways to give yourself the pure, clean energy you need to start your day right, and to stay vibrant all throughout the day

  1. Vegetable Juice: Freshly juiced vegetables supply your body with an incredible array of enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients needed for cellular health, metabolic functions and energy production. Because juicing removes the fiber (normally seen as a bad thing), the nutrients are more quickly absorbed and utilized for energy. Additionally, drinking your veggies helps eliminate toxins from the body while also feeding your cells.
  2. Better Quality Sleep: Spending your nights tossing and turning can definitely make you feel exhausted the next day. Your body heals itself from damage accrued during the day. This is your body’s chance recuperate. Poor sleep quality can significantly interfere with our mental health. Lack of sleep leads to low energy levels, increased risk of depression and exacerbates symptoms of borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder. Additionally, adenosine, a by-product of cell activity, is believed to involved in humans’ perception of being tired. Adenosine builds up during the day but, during sleep, our bodies clear it from our systems, helping us feel alert. If you’re feeling tired try some of the following tips: 1) Keep a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same times each day, including weekends. This will help regulate your internal body clock. 2) Eliminate caffeine after 3 p.m. — the effects can last up to 12 hours. 3) Journal about what’s stressing you out before heading to bed - get it out on paper.
  3. Adaptogenic Herbs: Adaptogenic herbs can help when you’re feeling exhausted, fatigued or stressed. These healing plants balance and restore the body’s natural ability to handle stress by regulating the adrenal system, which is responsible for controlling the way hormones respond to stress. Adaptogens don’t target a specific body part; instead, they help your entire body gently cope with stress, anxiety, and, of course, fatigue. Some of the best adaptogen herbs to boost your energy include: ashwagandha, rhodiola, holy basil, licorice root and ginseng.
  4. Reduce Simple Carb Consumption: Carbohydrates may be your body’s main source of fuel, but too many or poor quality carbs can have the opposite effect—they can weigh you down. Avoid sugar and refined grains—these carbs will spike your blood sugar, resulting in a subsequent dip, leaving you more tired than before. Plus, these white, refined carbs damage your intestinal tract, leaving you sluggish with less nutrient absorption and more toxic sludge in your gut. Replace simple carbs, like those found in sugary drinks, cookies, and processed foods (think white bread and pasta), with complex, fiber-rich carbs like fruits, vegetables and whole, gluten-free grains like brown rice, quinoa and oats. These carbs will stick with you longer and give you a more lasting source of energy.
  5. Eat Chia Seeds: The ancient Mayans and Aztecs used to ingest Chia seeds to keep up energy and alertness among warriors during war. For us mere mortals, the essential fatty acids (omega-3s) found in Chia seeds help regulate glands, fight adrenal fatigue, and combat inflammation, which keeps your body feeling fresh. Combined with high levels of protein and fiber, which keep blood sugar stable, it’s no wonder chia seeds are boasted as a super food.
  6. Stay Hydrated with Water and Electrolytes: Did you know that one of the first signs of dehydration is feeling tired or exhausted? That’s right – not drinking enough water could be the reason your energy levels are lacking and you feel exhausted. Because our bodies are made up of mostly water, even small dips in H2O levels are enough to affect your metabolism. The Institute of Medicine suggests about 9 cups of fluids a day for women and 13 cups for men. However, you can also calculate your needs by taking your body weight and dividing it in half, then drink that many ounces per day, plus more if you workout, are really active, are pregnant, nursing, or are fighting an illness or disease. If that sounds like a lot, remember that many foods, like fruits and vegetables, contain water as well. If you have an intense workout, you might want to supplement water with a drink that helps replace the electrolytes your body is sweating out. Forget sports drinks loaded with high fructose corn syrup and additives. Opt for coconut water or water naturally flavored with lemon and honey instead.
  7. B Vitamins: B vitamins are needed for energy production, cellular function, metabolism, etc. Also known as the “energy vitamin,” B12 is one of the most complex of all vitamins. It supports thyroid function and keeps blood cells happy and healthy. Lower energy levels can be one of the first signs of vitamin B12 deficiency. Because B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, it is not stored by the body. This means you need to intake it daily through diet. Try salmon, lean beef, eggs, tuna, grass-fed milk, and cottage cheese to get your dose of B12. If you are Vegan, talk to your doctor or dietitian about B12 supplementation, as this vitamin is found in animal sources.
  8. Herbal Teas: Coffee isn’t the only option when you need a pick-me-up. Sipping on an herbal tea can provide an all-natural temporary boost in energy levels without the risk of scary stimulants or processed ingredients. Two wonderful options are green tea and rooibos tea. Green tea has many benefits to your body such as anti-aging and fighting free radicals. It is loaded with catechin, an antioxidant that helps fight damage to the body’s cells. Rooibos tea is another type of tea that’ll fight fatigue. Made from South Africa’s red bush plant, this refreshing red tea is packed with antioxidants including aspalathin, an antioxidant that regulates the adrenal hormones, helping to reduce stress and keep energy levels high.
  9. Peppermint Essential Oil: If you need an easy way to stimulate your mind and increase focus, peppermint oil might be what you’re looking for. Commonly used in aromatherapy, this refreshing essential oil can increase oxygen to the brain, which heightens focus and stimulates the mind. Try dabbing a few drops on your wrists when you find your energy lagging, add some to your shower to get an early morning energy boost, or add several drops to a steam diffuser to breathe in the benefits throughout the day.
  10. Daily Exercise: Exercise may be the last thing you feel like doing when you’re tired, however, incorporating regular exercise into your routine will actually boost energy levels. Torching calories and engaging in physical activity sends oxygen and nutrients to your body’s cells, helping your heart and lungs work more efficiently, boosting energy levels. Exercise also fights depression by increasing the brains production of serotonin. And remember, you don’t need to run a marathon to get the benefits — moderate levels of your favorite fitness activity will reap energy benefits, too. It might be hard the first time, but it gets easier, and the amazing feeling you get will help motivate you the next day to keep at it.

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