Five Tips to Boost Your Energy
by Trudy Pieper
In the spirit of the Righteous Brothers and Valentine’s Day, here are some tips to put a spring back in your step through simple dietary and lifestyle changes, including a list of supplements to supply a burst of energy.
Tip #1: Choose the Right Foods to Provide Pep
Foods that give a boost tend to be those that are recommended for healthy eating:
- Green leafy veggies – Broccoli, spinach and mixed salad leaves.
- Salad items – Peppers, celery, carrots, radishes, tomatoes and avocado.
- Fresh fruits – Apples, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and grapes.
- Legumes – Lentils, kidney beans and soy.
- Others – Nuts, seeds, whole grains and olive oil.
Tip #2: Eliminate Energy Sappers from the Diet
Eating the wrong foods can result in feeling bloated, sluggish and fatigued. Avoid the following:
- Sugar – Excess sugar causes fluctuations in blood sugar, which can result in plummeting energy levels.
- Insufficient protein – Not enough protein causes fatigue (especially common in men with decreased testosterone, or “Low T”).
- Too much coffee – Although coffee initially raises stress hormones and gives a rush of energy, consuming several cups of coffee per day can promote burnout.
- Not enough water – One of the most common reasons for low energy is dehydration.
Tip #3: Take Time to Recharge the Batteries
Imagine that energy reserves are like a checkbook. If energy is only spent and never deposited, the checkbook will naturally wind up overdrawn. Be willing to change what is making you drained and depleted. Leave the briefcase at work this weekend and spend a day on the couch with a novel or a favorite show, go for a brisk walk in the woods, or have lunch with a friend. Engage in regular exercise to boost energy storage and production of muscle cells. Get out in the fresh air and natural daylight as much as possible.
Tip #4: Get Good Sleep
Most of us may be aware that eight hours of sleep per night is optimal. What many people do not know, however, is that what time we fall asleep is important as well. Sleeping from 1 a.m. to 9 a.m. is not as restorative as sleeping from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. The reason is that hormone secretion, body temperature, digestion and other important restorative processes follow a 24-hour cycle linked to natural light exposure. The later in the evening we fall asleep and the later in the morning we wake up, the more out-of-sync our cycle becomes.
Tip #5: Add Supplements to Put the Zing Back in Life
If energy levels are low, consider adding the following vitamins, minerals and supplements to the daily routine to guard against deficiencies which can zap energy.
- B-Complex – People who are under chronic stress require more B vitamins.
- Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) – This is essential for energy production in cells. One study involving middle-aged men found that taking oral supplements of CoQ10 increased exercise tolerance and vigor.
- Essential Fatty Acids – EFAs are shown to have significant beneficial effects in 80% of people with chronic fatigue.
- Magnesium – This element is needed for optimum function of over 300 enzymes. Magnesium is vital for every major metabolic reaction in the body, including metabolizing essential fatty acids and in the production of energy from glucose.
- Eleuthero Root (Siberian Ginseng) – This adaptogen helps the body flex and cope during times of stress. It is used extensively to improve stamina and strength, particularly when suffering from stress and fatigue.
Trudy Pieper is a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) at the Phoenix Wellness Center in Johnstown. For more information, visit PhoenixWellness4U.com.