Why are we so tired to begin with? For most of us the reasons are: long work hours, lack of sleep, poor nutrition or too much stress. So what can we do about it? The following are 6 suggestions for natural energy boosts. Try to incorporate some of these into your daily regimen and lighten up on the caffeine.

Eat breakfast. Most people report better energy and mood throughout the day after eating a balanced breakfast. Combine protein and complex carbohydrates. Examples are: eggs with whole grain toast, oatmeal cooked in milk or a fruit smoothie with added yogurt or protein powder.

Eat frequent and balanced meals. Aim for meals every 3 – 4 hours with a snack in between if you have a long gap. Balance protein, carbohydrates and fat. Lean meats (protein) contain an amino acid which can boost brain chemicals that help you feel more alert and focused. Complex carbohydrates (whole grains, brown rice, beans, vegetables and whole fruits) fuel your brain, are the body’s quickest fuel source and raise serotonin levels – the “feel good” chemicals. Healthy fats such as seeds, nuts and avocado help prolong the emptying time of your stomach and keep you feeling full longer. Eating timely, balanced meals throughout the day will keep your blood sugars and energy stable.

Exercise. Even a 15 minute walk can boost your mood and energize you. Get moving outside when possible. The fresh air and sunshine will give you an extra kick. Increase your water consumption before and during a workout for added energy.

Drink more water. Mild dehydration can slow metabolism and sap your energy. Aim for half your body weight in ounces of water. Clear urine is also a good indication of adequate water intake. Due to their high water content fruits and vegetables are another way to increase daily water intake.

Avoid sweets. Sugar causes your blood sugar to spike and plummet, which can make you feel tired and moody.

Get adequate sleep. Your body repairs while you sleep. Adults should aim for 7 – 8 hours nightly. If you can’t achieve this then try to stay on a regular sleep schedule. Alcohol and sugar can interfere with sleep patterns. Electronic devices such as phones, computers and TVs stimulate the brain and make it difficult to wind down before bed. Turn off all devices at least 30 minutes before you go to sleep.


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