Do you find yourself suffering from fatigue and out of ideas on how to boost your energy? If so, you’re not alone since a third of primary care patients in the United States list fatigue as a complaint and seek medical help to the tune of seven million doctor visits each year. While it may be a good idea to seek help from your healthcare provider to see if there is an underlying medical condition causing your fatigue, there are also natural solutions you can use to boost your energy level. Here’s some ideas from experts on what can cause energy drains and ways to beat fatigue that you might not have thought of.
- According to Kathleen Vohs, PhD, having to choose from several alternatives can zap energy. The Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Germany advises going with gut instinct to make choices. That helps you avoid the stress, the going back and forth measuring pros and cons and all the other mind drains involved in decision making.
- According to Thomas Lauda, Ph.D., an L.A. management coach, spending time with uplifting people will give you a boost too. And if you typically drag in the afternoon, schedule your daily activities in a way that the most demanding tasks are done in the morning. Leave the afternoon for tasks that are ones that will keep your attention and stimulate you.
- Holding on to regrets is also an energy drain according to Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, PhD, chair of the department of psychology at Yale University. Regret and remorse raise blood pressure which can translate to fatigue. One study from 2011 reported findings in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin that showed putting those regrets in a context of comparing your situation to that of others who have things harder helps lift fatigue.
- Pay attention to the colors you surround yourself with. Certain colors like red, yellow, and orange can boost energy by attracting the attention which gears up the brain. Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, says the best color to help boost adrenaline is orange. Find orange colored items to wear and surround yourself with. Avoid dark colors as they trigger the release of melatonin which is a calming and sleep inducing chemical. White colors can create a boost in serotonin, the chemical that makes us feel good and red can increase the body’s blood flow and stimulate adrenal glands.
- Doing yoga for 90 minutes twice a week for as little as 3 months can reduce your tiredness by 57%. A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology reports that even if you stop yoga after the 3 months the energy boost continues. Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, PhD reports that the meditation involved in yoga reduces stress which helps keep fatigue away.
- Glycogen is the fuel that is stored in our livers and converted to glucose when we need a quick burst of energy. Our bodies need glycogen any time we are under stress or need a quick energy fix. The best sources of glycogen are most cuts of meat and liver. For you vegetarians, another alternative is properly processed blue-green algae from Klamath Lake. This algae’s cell wall is made up of glycogen that your body can use right away to boost energy.
- According to Dr. Oz, eating eggs and cantaloupe together is a way to get a protein and complex carb snack that is low in calories. You get the sugar boost from the cantaloupe which is slowed down by the egg’s protein for sustained energy.
- Jump. That’s right, just jump up and down. This simple move raises the heart rate, gets oxygen moving in the body and gives a mental boost. According to Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD, author of A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness, says even bouncing on the bed can release endorphins and increase your energy level.
- Feed your body on a cellular level to give your body extra energy. This supplement combines pure ubiquinol, reishi and oyster mushrooms, polyphenols from olives, and AFA bluegreen algae, designed to activate cellular energy to support a healthy cardiovascular system which can improve energy levels. Reishi mushrooms are high in beta glucans, polysaccharides and triterpenoid compounds as well as being rich in proteins, enzymes, and minerals. Oyster mushrooms are not only rich in protein, but high in B vitamins and lovastatin which helps balance blood cholesterol levels. Ubiquinol is an active antioxidant form of coenzyme Q10 which is important for stress relief and improved daily energy.
- Pamela Dalton, PhD, MPH, a senior research scientist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia suggests smelling mint for an energy boost. It can increase stamina and help you produce faster and more accurate work.
- The pancreas produces digestive enzymes and secretions that contribute to the digestive process, once food enters the small intestine. As part of the endocrine system, it produces insulin that regulates how much sugar enters the blood. When we eat foods with lots of sugars and carbohydrates, our blood sugar levels increase and the pancreas has to produce more insulin. This causes a rise in tryptophan in the brain and the bloodstream. Tryptophan helps regulate serotonin and melatonin levels, which are neurotransmitters that affect mood by causing us to relax. Eating healthier alkalizing foods such as fruits and vegetables can reduce the workload on the pancreas and lower the amount of tryptophan being produced which can leave us more energy. Also, adding a high quality digestive enzyme supplement to your diet with meals can relieve the stress put on the pancreas, liver and spleen and help the body absorb the nutrients it needs from the foods you eat. If you find you are still dragging, take extra enzymes in between meals.
- Avoid fatigue by making sure your gut health is in optimal condition to produce stress fighting and energy producing B vitamins. Probiotic supplements such as acidophilus and bifidus can help keep a healthy supply of friendly bacteria in the gut. Even better, get the nourishment of AFA bluegreen algae, enzymes and your probiotics all put together in convenient daily packets.
- Eating several small meals or snacks throughout the day instead of three heavier meals can also help keep fatigue away. This can help keep blood sugar levels stable which in turn helps keep energy levels stable so you don’t experience the mid-afternoon slump. Foods to include in these snacks are fruits, veggies, complex carbs and lean protein. When I don’t have time for a meal, I find these snack bars with AFA bluegreen algae, sprouts, and greens give me a healthy balance of protein, fats, carbohydrates, fiber, and micronutrients from whole-food sources, with no chemical additives for sustained energy. Fruits, especially those with vitamin C, can reduce stress hormones leaving you with more energy. Studies show that 80% of us in this country don’t get the recommended amounts of fruits in our diets though. Many experts, like Joan Salge Blake, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, believe that is because people tend to eat the same fruits over and over and get burned out on them. Women typically eat apples, bananas, oranges and watermelon. They could get the same nutrition as from these fruits by expanding their choices to include papaya, quince, kiwi, plantains, guava, star fruit, kumquats, and Asian pears.
- You may already turn to coffee or other caffeinated drinks for a quick energy boost, but this could be causing your fatigue. When you drink too many of these beverages, your metabolism gets out of whack going up and down. Caffeine can also drain energy by being dehydrating. It’s OK to drink some caffeine, but overdoing and not drinking water at the same time is a set up for fatigue throughout the day.
- The prickly pear or Nopal cactus, according to Dr. Oz, has properties to help beat fatigue. You can get it fresh, dried, in jams and jellies or supplements all of which provide the antioxidants to help detox the liver and reduce fatigue caused by inflammation.
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