I know as well as anyone what it feels like to be low on energy. It’s how I lived for most of my adult life.
Up until a few years ago I was constantly tired, relying on coffee to wake me up in the morning and often having a slump around 3pm where I could have easily just fallen asleep at my desk.
As an endurance runner I would train for hours at weekends, but need a couple of hours sleep in the afternoon to recover because I was so exhausted.
I eventually managed to make a change so I wanted to share with you some of the strategies I use to ensure my energy levels are more constant nowadays.
Tip 1 – Cut the Coffee
This was a huge one for me – I was totally addicted to coffee. I needed a double shot just to wake me up and clear the brain fog – often I had it while I was still in bed. Without it I would struggle to focus and had a withdrawal headache by mid morning.
Doing a 30 day coffee detox enabled me to get it out of my system once and for all. Yes it was hard at first but so worth it, and the headache only lasted a few days.
I also found that my anxiety levels reduced dramatically too. Funny, I thought coffee was helping me cope when it was actually adding to the issue.
Now I have a far healthier relationship with coffee, I drink it because I enjoy it, not because I need it to give me energy.
Tip 2 – Hydration
Did you know that dehydration can make you feel lethargic?
If you are not drinking enough water, or are relying on caffeinated energy drinks for fluid (yes I used to do this too) chances are you are dehydrated which can affect your energy levels.
Thirst signals can often be confused with hunger signals, so you may find that you are eating more than you need to also, when what your body really needs is more hydration.
Make sure you are drinking at least 2-3 litres water a day, more if you exercise regularly.
Tip 3 – Eat Breakfast
Back in the days when I used to count calories to lose weight, skipping breakfast just seemed like a smart thing to do.
I was never particularly hungry in the morning, and I liked that I could save calories for later on in the day. The longer I could go without eating the better I felt about myself.
Trouble is, as my blood sugar and energy levels dropped, when I did eventually eat I was usually so hungry that I didn’t make smart choices, which kind of defeated the object.
Of course nowadays I am far more sensible and I appreciate the value of having breakfast, and especially one that contains a good amount of protein to get my metabolism going.
I am still not a big fan of eating early on in the day, so I will generally make myself a protein smoothie – it’s filling and nutritious, and stops me from going for unhealthy snacks mid-morning.
Tip 4 – Exercise
As I mentioned before, I am an endurance runner. You don’t need to do anything quite so drastic!
It may seem counter intuitive, but getting outside and exercising will actually increase your energy levels and make you feel more alert.
Just a 30 minute walk on your lunch break can help wake you back up and avoid that mid-afternoon energy slump, and improve your overall mood.
I also find that when I have exercised I am more concious of eating healthily too.
Tip 5 – Power Nap
Whilst a two hour sleep in the afternoon isn’t advised, studies have shown that a power nap of up to 30 minutes has great benefits to re-energise you and make you more alert.
If you find it hard to sleep during the day, you could try a caffeine nap (yes it’s a thing). Apparently having caffeine straight before a nap means you will wake up feeling refreshed in 20-30 minutes, the length of time it takes to get into your system.
Personally I have never had an issue with falling asleep in the afternoons, but maybe I need to try this out to ensure I don’t go over 30 minutes…
Tip 6 – Detox
Our bodies take on impurities from the air, soil, water and processed foods that we eat and store them in fat cells to protect our organs.
This causes our bodies to be sluggish and can lead to inflammation and eventually disease.
We need a way of assisting the body to gently remove those toxins.
When I started nutritional cleansing, this had a major effect on my natural energy levels because it allowed my body to get rid of the impurities that were making me feel tired, whilst still nourishing my body with the nutrients that it needs to function.
Tip 7 – Daily Adaptogens
Stress is one thing that can really affect your energy levels.
Adaptogen herbs help to regulate stress in your body, so that you are better able to cope with life’s ups and downs.
I use an adaptogen herb tonic daily every morning which helps my body to wake up (doing what the coffee used to) and it’s also great at night before bed if you have trouble sleeping as it will help you wind down.
I also use a natural caffeine shot as an alternative to coffee before my training, which has caffeine from green tea, and yerba matte (another adaptogen)
Using adaptogens daily has really helped me to regulate my anxiety and stress levels so that they no longer affect my energy.
So there we go – 7 tips for helping you increase your energy levels naturally.
I hope you got value from my post – please share with others who you think may benefit, and I would love to hear from you how your energy levels have been affected by implementing some or all of my strategies. Comment below or contact me on the contact page 🙂