No matter how hard we try, we all feel a bit sluggish from time to time most especially in the afternoon. As our energy levels decrease because of our overly stressful lifestyles, many of us look for a quick fix to combat fatigue. We often reach for buckets of coffee just to boost our energies. Relying on caffeine and energy drinks makes us feel worse in the long run by causing our systems to crash. Energy drinks mask symptoms of fatigue and dehydrate body. Majority of energy drinks contain excess sugar, high levels of caffeine and stimulants.
It’s the modern cliché: you’re either up late working on your computer, watching TV or out for drinks; so you don’t get enough sleep and wake up feeling drained the next day. How do we recharge our batteries effectively?
Ways to get your energy up with no chemicals required.
1. Don’t Skip Breakfast
Have a small breakfast to improve your metabolism. “Breakfast kicks off your day and makes you feel better,” says Denise Austin, author of Get Energy! Empower Your Body, Love Your Life, who suggests including a mix of protein and quality carbohydrates in your morning meal. Eat at regular interval to keep your blood sugar balanced and keep your energy high.
2. Have Some Coffee
Research from Harvard Medical School finds that frequent low doses of caffeine are more effective than a few larger doses when it comes to making people alert. Too much coffee can lead to stress.
3. Eat a Piece of Chocolate
Flavanoids found in cocoa have been shown to boost cognitive skills and improve mood. To help limit your intake, keep some individually wrapped chocolate on hand.
4. Listen to Music and Sing
Singing requires breath control; a study showed that singing, more than quietly listening significantly increased the energy levels of college students. It’s no surprise our brain centers light up when we hear music.
5. Protein, Calcium and Carbohydrates
Even something as simple as cheese, apple, roasted nuts, a can of salmon or tuna with whole grain crackers or toast and butter will help you stay energized because of the dose of glucose they provide that serves as food for the brain.
6. Take a Nap
Take a quick midday power nap. A mere ten minute rest will boost your energy throughout the day.
7. Cold Shower
Researchers have suggested a three minute cold shower could be enough to counteract some of the effects of chronic fatigue. If you want a midday alternative, splash some cold water on your face.
A cluttered desk can cause stress. The trick to staying focus is to unclutter your desk while standing.
9. Sit Up Straight
Slouching over the computer or while driving could cause fatigue earlier during the day. Sit up straight, keep your shoulders back and deep breathe. This will help open up your chest, allowing you to fill your lungs with more oxygen. You’re not just boosting your energy; you might as well improve your confidence!
10. Drink a Glass of Water
Note that even mild dehydration contributes to fatigue. “Drink a glass of cold water as fast as you can,” says Marjorie Nolan, RD, CPT, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. “The temperature drop will shock you awake and the hydration benefit will keep you feeling perky,” she says.