I’m a mom of four. So it goes without saying that I’m exhausted. ALL. THE. TIME. Who’s with me?
Okay, even if you don’t have a whole parade of tiny humans following you everywhere you go (more like me chasing after them) you still might feel like you can’t get enough rest to keep up with your output of energy. You may be looking for a cure for your exhaustion or at least a little boost.
Hopefully, by now, it is common knowledge that energy drinks, soda, and certain medications/prescriptions are only short-term energy boosts that can actually wreck your health if used in the long run.
Here are natural energy boosters to help keep you going all day long, in no particular order.
Caffeine seems to be the first thing people reach for when they start to feel tired. While caffeine has a bad reputation and too much of it can be a bad thing you can still reach for it as long as you go with a healthy option. Sipping black coffee or green tea can give you a nice supply of caffeine without spiking your blood sugar. Sipping it throughout the morning is better than chugging it when you first wake up. (Check out all our coffee recipes)
Another way to get your caffeine is by eating dark chocolate, which contains a small amount of caffeine. Um, yes, please!
#2 Stay Hydrated
Being dehydrated can make you feel fatigued. Make sure you are drinking enough water. There is no one formula that works for everyone on how much water you should drink every day. If you work out, are pregnant, or breastfeeding you will need to drink more water. If you’re worried you are dehydrated try measuring out your water so you know how much you are drinking and then go from there.
A clever way to keep track of how much you are drinking is by getting a water bottle that comes with colored bands. Whenever you refill your water bottle you move a band. The goal is to have all the bands moved by the end of the day.
Another way to help your body stay hydrated is by eating hydrating food such as cucumbers, watermelon, celery, and tomatoes.
#3 Eat Healthy
In conjunction with staying hydrated eating healthy can help you feel more energetic. While this initially seems vague and obvious let me give you some practical tips to help you be successful in this area:
- Eat a high-protein breakfast such as eggs and sausage. If you eat a high-carb and sugary breakfast you can pretty much bet that you will have a sugar crash and feel exhausted before you even hit lunchtime. Even worse: skipping breakfast altogether.
- Avoid sugar.
- If you do eat carbs make sure they are complex carbs which means they are high in fiber, such as oatmeal, beans, and multi-grain bread/pasta.
- Eat food high in iron (see tip #4)
- Avoid eating large heavy meals which can make you feel sleepy (think Thanksgiving dinner).
- Eat small healthy snacks throughout the day, such as nuts, apples, kiwi, Greek yogurt, and peanut butter. (Check out this high-protein Peanut Butter Dip)
- Eat foods high in vitamin C, such as kiwi, citrus fruits, and Brussel sprouts.
- Healthy fat, such as coconut oil. (Check out My 5 Favorite Uses for Coconut Oil)
During the day I was feeling so exhausted that I could hardly function. Then at night, I couldn’t sleep. It was so frustrating! I thought I was developing insomnia and was at a complete loss as to what to do. I started taking an iron supplement (be sure to talk to your doctor first) and after just a few days I was sleeping much better and not feeling near as exhausted during the day.
Try including more foods that are high in iron in your diet:
- Spinach (Sneaky Ways to Add to Spinach into Your Family’s Diet)
- Seafood and fish
- Poultry (What to Do With a Whole Raw Chicken)
- Dried fruits
- Red meat
#5 Take a Walk
Sometimes it’s really hard not to doze off. You desperately want to take a nap but that’s not always an option. The solution–take a short walk! Get up and stretch. Walk around the block, up and down flight stairs, or simply jog in place. If you have a fitness tracker it can help you prevent fatigue by letting you know when you’ve been sedentary too long. I LOVE my Garmin vívofit (it’s waterproof and the batteries last over a year without charging!).
The poor sun sure gets a bad rap! Getting small doses of sunshine is actually quite healthy and beneficial as long as you don’t overdo it and get a sunburn! Get 10-20 minutes of sunshine a day to help your body produce essential vitamins. Sunshine can help improve your mood, fight against depression, and help you feel energetic!
I talk more about this in my post on Avoiding the Winter Blues.
Exercising on a regular basis will help you feel more energetic every day. Exercise is also highly underused to help with stress and depression.
Don’t let exercise intimidate you. You don’t have to turn into a bodybuilder–it’s not all or nothing. Even if you don’t have the time to go to a gym doing 20 minutes of yoga in your living room can help. Yoga is particularly good for energy boosting because it makes you focus on your breathing and take deep breaths which is another way to help you feel more energetic.
Magnesium helps turn glucose into energy. When you are even a little bit low on magnesium your body has to work harder to do physical tasks which can make you feel exhausted. Women need around 300 milligrams and men need around 350 milligrams of magnesium every day (source). To restore your body’s magnesium levels you can eat foods that are high in magnesium, such as whole grains, fish, flax seeds, and nuts. You can also talk to your doctor about taking a magnesium supplement.
What areas do you need to work on to increase your energy?
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