One of the most obvious ways to increase your energy levels is by improving your NUTRITION. In terms of the foods which provide the body with the most energy- boosting nutrients, foods with a low-glycemic level are ultimately the best options.
Foods like beans, bran cereal, brown rice, whole wheat bread, and nuts have less impact on your blood sugar than foods with a high glycemic load (like white rice, spaghetti, potatoes, corn flakes, and sugary juices and drinks.) Even though we’ve been taught to associate these starchy foods with energy-providing principles, , the long-term effects of consuming this kind of food has negative impacts on your energy levels.
The main issue with these foods is that the carbohydrates they provide are refined carbs which can play havoc on blood sugar levels. While they’ll boost your energy short-term, they are definitely not a good long-term solution.
BOOST YOUR METABOLISM
As metabolism is the force which converts the nutrients in our food to energy, it follows that foods good for your metabolism will also provide you with a higher level of energy. Aiming to increase your metabolism is a great way to shift the focus from consuming ‘high-energy’ foods which can so soften be misleading in their nutritional worth.
Optimal metabolism requires an abundance of vitamins and minerals which provide our cells with the proper fuel required to release energy. When the nutrients in our food aren’t enough, the cells are low in energy-releasing activity which results in tiredness and fatigue.
Eating predominantly nutrient-dense foods like superfoods has been proven (see the link below) to increase energy levels and provide more nutritional value than foods which may contain less nutrients than it may initially appear.
Increasing physical movement and exercise is also a necessary factor in order to increase metabolism, and the combined effect of both nutrient-dense foods and exercise is an increase and abundance of health and energy.
Increasing fitness levels is another KEY way to encourage overall energy levels, and although it seems counter-intuitive, the endorphins from an intense workout and shot of energy received after a period of activity function as a way to increase overall energy.
It’s important, however, to engage in the right kind and intensity of fitness activity to encourage energy levels.
As Colette Bouchez describes activities which encourage ‘calm energy’ are more effective at sustaining energy release throughout the day and avoid the danger of burnout or slipping into fatigue. These are things like yoga, tai chi, pilates, and certain strength training.
Increasing fitness levels also encourages deeper, more regulated sleep patterns, better heart health, and sharper focus.
The irony surrounding the fact that stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol, and ‘energy- boosting’ drinks is that they are actually more damaging to our health than helpful.
There are a number of useful natural stimulants that have similar energy-boosting effects to the likes of caffeine but with none of the guilt.
By increasing blood-oxygen levels, reducing blood sugars, cognitive function, and encouraging metabolism, these natural stimulants provide a wide variety of benefits that results in an overall increase in energy levels.
It’s a relatively simple recommendation, and yet so many of us neglect to fuel our bodies correctly to optimise the oxygen production in cells which is where energy is created.
DRINK MORE WATER!!
We can become drained and fatigued if our bodies haven’t consumed enough water.
Besides providing an energy boost and fighting off fatigue, drinking water also produces many other benefits such as warding off headaches, increasing metabolism, helping with weight loss, and aiding in clearer skin. In this way, many physical symptoms of low energy levels are all intertwined, and so increasing water intake can often be the most basic first step towards increasing energy.
Dehydration is a massive issue which causes low levels of energy and general fatigue. With less water in your system, your blood volume decreases (meaning your heart has to work harder to pump it around!). Your blood vessels also constrict, so don’t be surprised when dehydration headaches strike. All of this extra energy loss can be avoided simply by increasing the amount of water we drink!
SET AN ALARM
Getting up earlier has been proven to get us that extra boost of energy and positivity we need to get the most out of the day.
By getting our bodies moving and engaging in light to moderate exercise in the early hours, we are kickstarting your metabolism, productivity, and energy levels to ensure a more sustained release of the energy gained during the night.
Waking up earlier means: – More time to exercise
– A Better diet
– Increased productivity -Reduced levels of stress
The time spent on these activities in the morning is a crucial time for self-reflection and giving ourselves the opportunity to tune in with how we’re feeling before starting into the day’s work.
REDUCING SCREEN TIME
Its notable change comes over us when we reduce the amount of time we spend ‘plugged in’ to our devices. Not only do we become more ‘present’, but we become more alert which can also contribute to improved fitness levels.
Although it may initially seem that removing ourselves from technology literally gives us more energy, when you break it down it really just means that all the energy that would previously have gone on mental analytics and online scrolling is now free to be used elsewhere.
Understanding your energy usage can be likened to understanding exactly where your electricity energy is going – there are many outlets, most of which we have minimal awareness of. Screen time is one of these.
Too much screen time has also been proven to lower the levels of cortisol in the brain which helps the body to balance out stressful situations. When we lack cortisol, we lack the ability to process experiences and problems as well as we normally could.
SPENDING TIME IN THE SUN
brighter, and more energised when the sun is out, and as Vitamin D is quite a rare nutrient to find in foods, the sun is the most important source of vitamin D that we can get naturally.
Vitamin D has a direct relationship with our energy levels. When we are lacking in vitamin D, we are more likely to experience fatigue and low levels of energy. As the sun is the most important and potent source of this vitamin, it’s easy to see how spending time in the sun is a more effective way of boosting our energy than trying to increase supplements or intake of it.
As I mentioned earlier great way to boost mental energy levels and translate this into more physical energy is by cultivating a daily meditation practice.
It can be difficult for someone who has no previous experience with meditation to feel the benefits straight away, so I’d recommend you start small – trying even 10 minutes a day every morning will help you familiarise yourself with the practice and provide you a good foundation on which you can build and longer and more regular practice.
By building up the stress response of both the mind and body, meditation helps us to save energy where before it would have been lost on worry and unnecessary problem-solving.
ENERGY & MENTAL HEALTH
Your mental health has a direct effect on your energy levels – just as the physical health does. When we consider the mental energy that’s expended during periods of intense anxiety or depression, or even just a day of being very worried, this becomes evident and so it’s important to maintain awareness of this as we aim to increase overall energy.
Becoming aware of where our energy is going is key to mastering it and cultivating more, and this is where things such as meditation and yoga are very helpful.
Meditation helps us learn how to direct our energy where we need it to go. It may seem simple, but being able to recognize where and how our thoughts affect our physical energy is SO important if we’re going to learn how to let it go into cultivating more positive relationships and connections around us.
Increasing your magnesium and vitamin D intake can also boost both mood and energy levels, and so consuming foods such as bananas, cashews, almonds, dark chocolate, leafy greens and seeds is recommended!
HOW TO INCORPORATE THIS INTO YOUR BUSY SCHEDULE
If all of this information is seeming like a lot to take in, it can help sometimes to break it down into small, manageable daily tasks. You can take these tips one by one to incorporate them into your life. The natural supplements can all be taken simply with hot water, tea, or any meals, making them an easy way to encourage your energy levels.
Physical Activity: By increasing levels of physical activity in small ways (such as walking to work or somewhere you would normally drive), you will experience an elevated level of energy and motivation.
Simply becoming more aware of our energy levels at various points during the day can help us implement strategies to combat times of low energy. For instance, some people notice energy lags in the morning, while others experience it moreseo in the evening.
When do you find your energy lacks the most?
How has all of this made you feel?
Overwhelmed? Excited to increase your energy levels?
Finding something to be excited about is a great way to increase energy and overall enthusiasm to improve your lifestyle.
Using the force of this excitement to drive you forwards and continue increasing the level and strength of your energy will help you achieve goals and become accustomed to functioning in this higher energetic state.