Millions of Americans complain each and every day about a lack of both physical and mental energy. Even individuals who tend to get plenty of sleep each night can suffer from an afternoon energy slump, often due to issues with their exercise habits, dietary choices and other lifestyle factors.
While the body is efficient at converting food into energy, energy that is required to perform a variety of routine bodily functions, it is ultimately designed to replenish itself through sleep.
In addition, it is important to remember that the body requires whole foods that are nutritional healthy and contain a high number of vitamins and minerals. It is also important that the foods that are consumed contain an approximate ratio of 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 30% fat.
However, if you are currently looking for few easy, safe, affordable and effective ways to boost your overall energy level, both mentally and physically, try one, or feel free to implement all five of the following tips and techniques into your daily lifestyle.
Healthy and Safe Ways to Boost Your Energy Level
1. Eat Plenty of Fiber for Breakfast
A recent study at Cardiff University indicated that those who consume plenty of fiber during the day, such as through a bran-based breakfast cereal, have improved cognitive skills, lower rates of depression, 10% less fatigue and a better chance of staying alert throughout the workday. Scientists believe that these benefits result from the fact that eating fiber helps to slow down and steady your stomach’s absorption of nutrients, allowing your body to maintain more constant blood sugar levels as the day progresses.
Our Breakfast Recipes section includes several nutritious options that are high in fiber, such as Almond Pancakes, Berry Maple Granola and Fruity Bran Muffins.
2. Eat More Frequently
If you regularly eat three meals per day, you might be cheating yourself of some much-needed energy. Dietitians now believe that, instead of eating three moderate to large-sized meals each day, it’s better to eat smaller meals every 3 or 4 hours. There are several good reasons for this, chief of which is the fact that doing so allows your body to maintain more consistent blood sugar levels.
In addition, eating several tiny meals will prevent you from becoming so hungry that you overeat once dinner is finally on the table. Try to ensure that each meal you consume is well-balanced, including protein, unrefined carbohydrates and monounsaturated fat. A small salad with a lean meat topping and low-fat dressing should do the trick, for example.
3. Drink Water Throughout the Day
Hydration can become a vicious cycle. Too often, individuals feel too consumed by work or too focused on their lack of energy to actually treat the source of fatigue, which is commonly dehydration. A recent study conducted on athletes indicated that limiting water and foods with a high water content for 15 hours resulted in feelings of fatigue and weariness for over 90% of participants. The subjects also found it difficult to concentrate and had short-term memory lapses.
If you’re feeling thirsty, odds are good that you’re already dehydrated. Instead of waiting to feel thirsty before filling up a water glass, try to consume one glass of water every two hours at a bare minimum. More water is necessary during physical activity, of course.
4. Put on Some Music
Your mental health has an enormous impact on your effective energy levels. Listening to music that you enjoy (if you’re a music lover, that is) can make you feel happier and more energized while reducing stress. In fact, one recent study found that individuals who listened to music as they worked displayed 10% higher productivity levels than their toiling-in-silence peers.
As a courtesy to your coworkers, remember to wear headphones instead of using desk speakers. Depending on your listening habits, you may find instrumental music such as jazz or classical to be an ideal workday accompaniment.
5. Go for a Brief Stroll
If you feel like your energy has bottomed out, exercise might be the last thing on your mind. According to research conducted by the American Heart Association, this isn’t necessarily the correct line of thinking. The study found that those who briskly walked just 10 minutes each day (short enough to fit into a lunch break, depending on your schedule) experienced an 18% increase in energy levels after 6 months. The subjects were also able to climb stairs and lift weights more easily, experienced fewer aches and pains, and reported an increased ability to think clearly.
As is evident, there are several ways to minimize the effects associated with periods of fatigue that occur throughout the day. By ensuring that you stay hydrated and consume smaller meals on a more frequent basis, you will find that periods of fatigue occur less often.
In addition, consuming foods that are high in fiber and/or complex carbohydrates will ensure that you reduce the variation in your blood sugar level, hence reducing the probability of an energy lapse. Listening to your favorite music and taking a brief stroll during the day are other easy ways of improving your productivity and boosting your overall energy levels.