Many of us turn to caffeine when we have a lack of energy. While caffeine can energize you for a certain amount of time, you often just need another coffee to keep going. Caffeine really isn't the healthiest option to help keep you energized - more than 500 milligrams (or four cups) of coffee a day may cause side effects including insomnia, nervousness, dehydration, palpitation and digestion problems.
Here are some simple healthy ways to stay more energized without consuming caffeine.
Low blood sugar can make you feel foggy and sleepy. Large meals can have the same effect because digestion also takes energy (ahem, food coma). Having small packs of healthy snacks can give you the right amount of energy. Some great options would be mixed nuts, kale chips, fruits, dark chocolate, avocado toast, frozen yogurt, or even just a glass of honey lemonade.
Foods like spinach, beans, and lentils are great sources of iron, and iron deficiency is often a source of fatigue. If you feel yourself with the lack of energy, snack something that contains iron to boost energy.
Many times when you feel tired, it's simply because you lack hydration. Dehydration can cause fatigue, confusion, heart palpitations and even fainting.
Drinking enough water throughout the day is one of the simple ways to have more energy. Up to 60% of the human body is water. Studies have shown that even levels of mild dehydration – a loss of 1-2% of the water in your body – was associated with fatigue and decreasing brain performance.
Carry a water bottle with you throughout the day or other hydrating beverages such as green tea, vegetable and fruit juice.
Let the sunshine in
Your body clock is attuned to the cycle of darkness and light. Environments with dim lighting aggravate fatigue. If you work in a dark environment all the time you may feel you are in a low-energy moody state. Open up the window shades and let the air and sunshine in, because the greater sunlight your exposure, the more alert you will feel!
Get moving in your seat
Most of us spend long hours at a desk and office chair. If you don’t have time to step outside for a short walk, get moving in your chair. You can swing your legs back and forth, lift your arms up above your head and stretch. A little bit of simple exercise like this can go a long way as it improves blood circulation. If your neck and shoulders are sour for example, rub them in circles and do some neck/shoulder exercises to take a break while increasing your alertness.
Give your ears a rub
Not many people consider their ears to be a particular stress reliever and energy booster, when it comes to massage therapy, but your ears are in fact home to some incredibly powerful acupressure points that can stimulate many benefits.
Auriculotherapy, a reflexology technique that involves the ears, has many benefits on the entire body while making us feel energetic:
- Nerve sensations that resonate through the whole body
- A feeling of happiness from transmitting positive endorphins
- Enhances immune system from stimulating the senses
- Helps to improve sleep patterns
You can energize yourself by stimulating the earlobes with the index and thumbs, massaging them in small circles for 3 – 5 minutes.
Sniff some rosemary or mint
Studies have found that people who sniff rosemary or peppermint feel more alert, refreshing and more relaxed. They may even perform better on tests of cognitive ability, compared to people who sniff lavender oil or don’t smell anything.
Keep a small glass of herbal oil, a room spray in your desk drawer, or have an essential oil roller in your bag. Sniff the scent or rub it on your temples and chest when you feel tired.
Watch cute animal videos online
When we are around animals we tend to be happy and feel good about ourselves. Interactions with animals result in a decreases in cortisol, a brain chemical linked to stress, and an increase in oxytocin, a neurotransmitter that heightens feelings of trust and emotion.
When you feel low, get some laughs by watching some cute animal videos online. Let the cute furry friends make your day.
Take a power nap
For some people, all it takes to become more energized is a power nap. A power nap during lunch break helps to restore your energy levels and get you geared-up for the afternoon. Napping can also boost your memory, creativity and cognitive skills.
The healthy nap time is usually around 15 – 30 minutes. Try not to nap for too long, as you will wake up feeling more tired if you enter a deeper stage of sleep.