Increase Your Energy, Naturally
Natural Supplements and Vitamins to Help Increase Your Energy
Low energy is a big problem for a lot of people these days. Sometimes you wake up feeling even more exhausted than you were at bed time. People expect you to be on 24/7, it seems like you never have any me time, and every challenge drains you of what little energy you might have left.
It might seem like there’s no release in sight, that you’ll never get your mojo back. But that’s not the case. This article will show you some of the ways you can reclaim your energy. These herbal and all-natural energy solutions will help you reclaim the vitality you sometimes feel you’ll never have again. Sometimes all it takes is a few simple lifestyle tweaks. Or vitamins. Sometimes it’s the simplest changes that help people get their energy back. And in ways they never thought possible.
Is Your Low Energy a Symptom of Another Problem?
If low energy is a chronic concern for you, it’s important to realize that this can sometimes be an indicator for a bigger issue. Feeling drained of energy is a valid symptom of many medical conditions. These include—but are not limited to—anemia, arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Addison’s disease and thyroid issues.
Before deciding how you’re going to boost your energy, it’s important to know why you need to boost it. A proper medical screening will make sure your low energy problem isn’t a sign of something worse.
Another factor to consider is whether certain aspects of your lifestyle are doing more harm than good when it comes to your energy. Are you getting enough sleep? How about your diet? And is the little energy you have dependent on addictive stimulants like caffeine?
Sleep is the most important thing when it comes to reclaiming your energy. It’s while you sleep that the body repairs itself and gets ready for the next day. Avoid late nights, whether for work or play. And if you do have to stay up late on occasion, don’t make a habit of it.
To make the most of your time asleep, make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible to stimulate the production of melatonin. This hormone regulates your sleep cycle and is a major factor in how rested you feel.
To the same end, try limiting your screen time before bed. As much as we love technology, the blue light coming out of laptop, tablet and smartphone screens also throws melatonin production out of whack. It’s a good idea to give yourself at least an hour of screen-free time before turning in for the night.
As far as diet goes, how often do you cook for yourself? The sad truth is that if you’re not making your own food from raw ingredients, you’re never sure what you’re eating. Nutrition is a vital component of any healthy lifestyle. It’s always a good idea to avoid over-processed foods, especially ones leaden with high doses of salt, sugar and fats your body can do without.
And taking the time to cook gives your mind a much-needed break at the end of the day. Take a few minutes to stop worrying about work and focus on refueling your body. If you don’t cook, consider taking a class. It might seem intimidating at first, but in the end, you’ll be glad you did it.
As far as chemical stimulants go, maybe you should think twice before having that third cup of coffee. Although it may give you a pleasant boost in the short term, it will ultimately leave you longing for more. It’s a chemical dependency that perpetuates itself by making you feel exhausted most of the time.
The same goes for using alcohol or recreational drugs to unwind before bed. Even if this helps you sleep, it may not be the sleep you need. Many drugs interfere with your body’s natural restorative functions, so it’s best to be chemical-free when you turn in.
So What’s on the Menu?
Once you’ve taken control of your diet, what do you eat to maximize your energy? Let’s look at some simple changes you can make to give yourself a boost.
First, consider changing your cooking oil to coconut oil. Unlike other oils, coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid. It has only a 3-step digestive process to go through to be converted into energy your cells can use. Other oils, like canola or olive oil, require a 26-step process, leaving them more likely to be stored as fat in your body.
Another thing to consider is boosting your intake of green, leafy vegetables. This includes things like spinach, kale and collard greens. Leafy greens are packed with chlorophyll, the stuff that helps plants convert sunlight into energy. But in humans, chlorophyll gives a natural boost to your energy level. Leafy greens also have lots of magnesium. That’s an electrolyte mineral that helps improve cellular function and promotes muscle growth.
Lastly, let’s think about fruit. The natural sugar in fruit, fructose, can be a great source of quick energy. It breaks down cleanly and efficiently, giving you a great boost when you’re worn down. But it’s important not to get carried away with fruit. Consume it moderately, perhaps one-to-two servings a day. Otherwise, all that fructose will end up getting converted into fat, ultimately slowing you down.
When picking what fruit to eat, look for good sources of potassium. Potassium’s another electrolyte mineral. It’s great for helping you stay hydrated, and it promotes cellular health as well. Fruits abundant in potassium include bananas, mangos, papayas and blueberries.
Okay, so you’ve got your lifestyle and diet all worked out. You don’t stay up late, you cook most of your own food, and it’s a balanced source of nutrition. You’re even less addicted to your screens. But you’re still feeling blah and unenergized. Now what?
Sadly, even healthy people who’re doing everything right can still feel drained. For example, studies have shown that even when following a recommended diet up to 40% of people can still have a vitamin B12 deficiency. And B12 is essential for maintaining energy.
Fortunately, when lifestyle and diet still leave our bodies wanting more, we can supplement with vitamins. These organic compounds provide essential nutrients your body needs to function well.
Chief among these vitamins is B12, also known as cobalamin. It’s vital for proper brain and nervous system function. It also helps several other essential processes within the body such as the formation of red blood cells. But if you don’t eat a lot of shellfish, red meat or eggs, it’s difficult for your body to get enough of it.
To make matters worse, B12 is water soluble. That means it’s easily absorbed by water and eliminated from the body via urination. Your body can’t hold onto it for later, so you need to supplement regularly.
B12 is available either as a pill or an injection. It’s also available in mixes of other B vitamins, usually under the name B Complex. This is because B vitamins help each other out. For instance, B12 boosts B9’s ability to help your system properly metabolize and utilize iron. This multiplier effect makes B Complex a safe, natural remedy for boosting your energy.
Other Vitamins for Energy
Other than B vitamins, you might want to consider taking potassium, magnesium, iodine or glycine. We discussed magnesium and potassium above when we looked at leafy greens and fruit.
Iodine is great for the thyroid gland and it also helps cognitive function. But, irony of ironies, eating your leafy greens can actually make it harder for your body to absorb it. People who are deficient in iodine can have problems losing weight, have persistently cold hands and feet, experience depression, suffer from constipation, and have low energy.
You can boost your iodine naturally by eating saltwater fish and seaweed, like nori, but it’s much simpler to take it in tablet form.
Another common vitamin for raising your energy levels is glycine. This non-essential amino acid regulates your blood sugar, distributing potential energy throughout the body. It enhances your metabolic function while also fighting hypoglycemia and regulating your mood. In short, it makes you less hungry. That can’t be a bad thing.
Other Supplements for Boosting Energy
Besides vitamins, you may also want to consider taking supplements such as green superfood powders and adaptogenic herbs.
Greens powders are made of algae, like chlorella and spirulina, and other good things like wheatgrass, barley and alfalfa all concentrated in a water-soluble powder. Being in powder form makes it a perfect way to add a super-serving of fruit and veg to an otherwise less-healthy meal. Mix it into a low-cal smoothie to start your day with a bang.
Packed with antioxidants, vitamins, fiber and minerals, greens powders provide a convenient way to get your energy levels back up while also reducing your risk of cancer, type-II diabetes and heart disease. The only problem is finding the right powder for you. The market is flooded with products, but some make claims they don’t deliver on. But if you think this is a good fit for you, this article will help take some of the guesswork out of finding a greens powder that makes good on its promises.
But if greens powders aren’t to your liking, there’s also adaptogenic herbs to consider. Adaptogens are non-toxic substances that help normalize your body’s internal physiology. In doing so, they promote homeostasis and help you cope with stress.
The most popular adaptogenics for helping you reclaim your energy include ashwagandha, ginseng, holy basil and rhodiola. Mostly used in ancient schools of medicine, they provide a completely natural remedy for a laundry list of problems including low energy.
Ashwagandha comes to us from the Ayurvedic tradition. It helps lower your cortisol levels and balances your thyroid hormones. It also helps you cope with stress and depression and might even help you build muscle tone. It’s Sanskrit name literally translates to “the smell of a horse,” implying that you can tap into equine vigor and vitality by taking it.
Ginseng is an ancient Chinese herb used to boost energy, lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and reduce stress. It promotes relaxation and has also been recommended to help with erectile dysfunction.
Holy basil is a close relative to the basil you use in the kitchen and is sometimes called tulsi tea. Medicinally, it’s a natural remedy for anxiety, hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue.
Another adaptogen to consider is rhodiola. Also known as golden root or arctic root, rhodiola has many benefits. It helps burn fat, it enhances your energy, and it also boosts your brain power.
Adaptogenics come in many forms, including capsules, powders and teas. Finding the right adaptogenic product for you will likely take a bit of trial and error, but when you get it right, your body will thank you.
Figuring out how to put the tiger back in your tank can seem overwhelming, especially if you’re already tired and frustrated. But hopefully this article has helped you on your way to getting your energy back.
There are many paths available for you to explore—lifestyle, diet, vitamins, supplements—and some are likely more appealing to you than others. The great thing is there’s no one way to do it. And there’s always room to take a more holistic approach embracing the wisdom of naturopathic medicine. All that really matters is finding the right way for you and taking full advantage of it.