Are you tired right now? Are you always tired? Believe it or not, you do NOT have to be tired all the time! In fact, you shouldn’t be tired all the time.
There are plenty of things you can do to boost your energy. We put together a list of 14 ways you can feel more energized at work, home or on the go.
#1 Get a Caffeine Boost
A quick and effective way to boost energy quickly is to get a little spurt of caffeine.
Now, we’re not talking about chugging a 24oz coffee or taking caffeine pills! Caffeine is dehydrating and can cause jitteriness, inability to sleep, heart palpitations and anxiety (1)
Instead, have a small amount of caffeine in the following ways:
- Small cup of coffee
- Small cup of tea
- A few sips caffeinated soda (learn more in Tip #9)
- Chocolate (more on this in Tip #7)
For someone who consumes a serving of caffeine, I recommend they also have a glass of water with it!
#2 Eat Enough Carbs
Low carb diets got you down? Carbs are the body’s preferred energy source. So, if you have been cutting back on carbs, your body has to use other nutrients to stay energized (and these processes aren’t very efficient).
There is not enough research to confirm that low carb diets yield better results than other diets. So, you can (and should) still include healthy carbs regularly. In fact, make your diet about 50% of these healthy carb foods:
- Whole grains (whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, ancient grains)
- Healthy starches (potatoes, corn, peas)
- Fruits (fresh and frozen, plain fruit)
- Vegetables (fresh and frozen, plain vegetables)
- Low fat milk, yogurt and cheese
- Beans and legumes
If you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight, make sure you control the portion sizes of these healthy foods!
#3 Stay Hydrated
One sign of dehydration is lack of energy or sleepiness. So, anytime you feel tired, drink a glass of water and reassess your fatigue in 30 minutes. You may find that you perked up with some fluid!
Stay on track with your water goals by using this handy water bottle!
#4 Don’t Skip Meals
Skipping meals will only make you tired, crabby and hungry!
Food provides energy for your body. So, if you aren’t eating enough calories or not eating consistently, your energy levels will fluctuate up and down.
#5 Burn Energy to Get Energy
One of the best ways to get more energy is to use some energy!
Exercise and physical activity get your blood flowing, your cells oxygenated and can really pump you up. Plus, those who exercise often sleep better at night (2).
Try to get at least 150 minutes of exercise each week.
#6 Keep Healthy Snacks to Focus
Whenever I hit that mid-afternoon slump, I reach for a healthy, energy-boosting snack
- Fresh fruit (like an apple with peanut butter)
- Dried fruit and nuts
- Snack bar
- String cheese
- Raw veggies with hummus
I like to pre-portion out my snacks so I don’t overeat.
#7 Get Some Dark Chocolate
Need another reason to eat dark chocolate? Dark chocolate contains some caffeine, especially when you go up the dark chocolate scale.
Dark chocolate that is 70% cocoa solids has about 50-60mg of caffeine. A cup of coffee can have 100-200mg caffeine (3). I love Lily’s dark chocolate selection.
#8 Take Active Work Breaks
Sitting around all day (whether at work or home) can be draining. Give your body a boost with some active work breaks:
- Take a walk around the room every hour
- Do some stretches
- Use a standing desk
- Convert to an exercise ball chair to engage your muscles, posture and blood flow
#9 Avoid Energy Busters
Foods that are high in sugar can boost your energy quickly but then make you crash even lower than before.
If you struggle with energy throughout the day, try eliminating or avoiding these energy-sucker foods:
- Juice drinks
- Processed foods
- Fried foods
- Cakes, cookies, pies
- Sports drinks
- Sweetened tea and coffee drinks
#10 Eat a Banana
Bananas are full of potassium, vitamins, fiber and healthy carbohydrates. Think of them like an energy-boosting torpedo! Plus, you can keep them right at your desk and they stay fresh for several days!
#11 Eat Plain Popcorn
Plain popcorn is a really good snack, especially if you’re also trying to maintain or lose weight. Why is plain popcorn so good?
- High in fiber to keep you full and focused
- Only 30 calories per 1 cup popped
- Contains healthy carbs for energy
- Light and fluffy so you don’t feel weighed down
#12 Consider Food Intolerances
One common symptom of food intolerances is unexplained fatigue. While there is still some controversy in the nutrition world about food intolerances, there may simply be foods that don’t sit with you well.
Talk to a Registered Dietitian to see if food intolerances can be tested and ruled out.
#13 Treat Nutrient Deficiencies
Unexplained fatigue is also very common in nutrient deficiencies. Nutrient deficiencies can occur for a variety of reasons:
- Poor eating habits
- Not eating enough
- Medical conditions
- Intense medical treatments
- Increased needs in pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Disordered eating patterns
- Veganism and vegetarianism
Nutrient deficiencies must be confirmed by a medical professional (often with a blood test). So, don’t self diagnose and definitely don’t self medicate!
#14 Get Better Sleep
It may be obvious that better sleep helps you stay focused during the daytime. But, many people suffer from sleep disruptions. So, just recommending “more sleep” may be very hard for some people.
For more information about how to get better sleep (and how to fall asleep when you’re not tired), click here.
Fatigue Can be Fixed
Busy, stressful, work-intense living is often encouraged in American culture. If you’re not “working ‘til you drop,” you may think you’re not working hard enough!
But, you can choose to balance your life for more energy, peace and happiness! Take these simple steps to restore your energy and become a better version of yourself!