Tired of being tired? Fatigue and an overall lack of energy is a common complaint that we hear about time and time again in clinic. If you’re someone who is constantly reaching for another coffee, nodding off at your desk or just feeling like you’re on autopilot most of the day because you just don’t have the energy for much more, then this post is for you. Here are my top seven ways to naturally boost energy levels to find that skip in your step again!
1. Reduce your sugar intake to help stabilise your blood sugar levels
A diet high in refined sugar and carbohydrates can greatly affect your energy levels. Having a meal or a snack high in sugar causes a spike in your blood glucose levels shortly after eating. This will give you that “buzz” or “sugar high,” that fills you with that highly sought-after surge of energy. Unfortunately, this energy is usually short lived.
Once that buzz is over, your energy levels crash and you find yourself searching for another hit of sugar to get that buzz again. It’s a vicious cycle and one that over time can cause health problems like excessive weight gain, insulin resistance and in more serious cases, even Type II Diabetes.
Reduce your sugar intake; and swap your simple carbohydrates like white rice/bread/potatoes for more slow release complex carbohydrates like oats, brown rice/bread and sweet potato, and pair these with some nourishing proteins and fats. This will ensure that the energy you are getting from your meals is released in a slow, more steady and sustained way throughout your day!
2. Put some bounce back into your step with some B’s
B Vitamins play various key functions within the body, from DNA synthesis to cell and tissue repair. They also play a major role in energy production, in particular Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12. We don’t produce B Vitamins in our body, so it’s essential we get it through our diets!
Foods that are rich in B Vitamins include: animal products like dairy, eggs, meat and poultry (always go for good quality organic, grassfed and pasture raised animals), seafood, dark leafy greens and nutritional yeast.
3. Improve your quality of sleep to feel more energised
You can’t expect a car to run without regular servicing, your body is the same! Sleep is a time for your body to both rest and repair itself. Without quality sleep, it’s not going to be functioning optimally the next day. You’ll be tired and sluggish, both physically and mentally and spend the day struggling to keep up with tasks.
Some great tips to improve your sleep are:
- Limit your coffee intake and don’t have any after 12pm, have herbal teas or water instead to reduce that stimulation on your nervous system
- Take yourself away from technology at least an hour before bed – that includes computers, smart phones and TV. The light used in these screens can really mess around with your circadian rhythm (which is your natural sleep and wake cycle).
- Encourage a relaxing surrounding in your home at night with less artificial light and use vaporisers or diffusers filled with calming essential oils like lavender will relax your nervous system for a restful night in bed.
4. Start your day with movement to energise you
Starting your day with some movement, whether that be lifting weights, a yoga class or even just a short walk, will help to wake your body up, get endorphins flowing through you and energise you naturally. It’s a great way to stimulate both your mind and body and get you focused and ready for your day.
5. Hydration is key to a well-functioning mind and body
Hydration is often overlooked, but it’s such a simple thing you can do to help improve your energy levels. Every single cell in your body requires water, everything from your brain to your digestive system need it to function optimally.
Did you know that dehydration is one of the most common causes of constipation? When you’re not consuming enough water, your large intestine starts to absorb water from your food. This causes your stools to dry out, slowing down bowel motility and ultimately slowing YOU down too because a sluggish digestive system equals a sluggish body overall. Toxicity from the Colon really limits your energy stores as your body is working overtime to try to filter through the toxins. Colonic Hydrotherapy can help reduce this toxic load and works to systemically hydrate the body allowing for a gentle and effective detox.
6. Nutritional supplements can help boost your energy
There are many nutrients out there that can help with energy production in your body. Magnesium, CoQ10, Vitamin B12 and Acetyl L Carnitine are just a few that can help you when your body is depleted and needing an extra boost. It is always suggested that you get advice from a health professional on which supplements are best for you and at what dosage. We are all so unique, and your requirements will be different to another person.
7. Manage your stress levels to improve your energy levels
Stress in a small amount is fine for the body to handle. However, continuous stress over a long period of time will deplete you physically and emotionally. It takes a toll on the body, zapping you of your energy and vitality. Making sure that you are trying to manage your stress will help you with your overall health, but also give you that “bounce” back in your step.
Set aside time in your week for just you. Then spend this time looking after yourself – go to a yin yoga class, take yourself out for a nice meal somewhere, go for a walk and get some sunshine on your face or book yourself in for a relaxing Massage or Infrared Sauna session. Whatever it may be, as long as it helps you to unwind and feel “human” again.
By Laura Phongsavath
Holistic Nutritionist / pH Clinic Manager
Adv Dip. Nutritional Medicine
Holistic Nutritional Medicine is more than just what food to eat and when. We also look at your body as a whole, and also lifestyle aspects like sleep, stress and emotional issues and dig deep to find out the core reasons why your health isn’t where you’d like it to be. Laura is our Nutritionist here at pH Clinic, and she can help you find your health and vitality again.