17 Science-Backed Ways to Boost Your Energy, Naturally
Feeling a little tired or worn out?
Well you aren’t alone!
Sometimes all you need is a tiny energy boost to get you through the rest of your day or your upcoming bone-strengthening workout. Discover the 17 all-natural and science-backed ways to boost your energy anytime!
1. Move it!
Guess how long you’ll feel energized after just a 10-minute walk? According to a study in Personality and Social Psychology…two hours!
2. Massage Those Ears
I’ll be surprised if you’ve heard of this energy boosting tip before! Dr. Teitelbaum, a physician with a special interest in chronic fatigue, says that, “massaging the ears unites all of the meridians (energy pathways), and gets the energy flowing.” He says, “simply pinch the rim of each ear between your thumb and pointer finger, and rub up and down for 10 to 30 seconds.”
Magnesium is a mineral that has been shown to positively impact energy, muscle function and bone quality (when taken with calcium and vitamin D). And studies show as many as 80% of us are deficient in this energy generating mineral! Magnesium in your body creates energy by activating adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the fundamental unit of energy within the body’s cells. Without proper levels of magnesium, the nutrients that you take in through food and supplements would not be metabolized into energy.
4. Take a Power Nap
It’s not just your body that needs the rest, in fact, it’s your brain! Research has shown that literally thinking too hard and being overloaded with information can zap your energy. The National Institutes of Mental Health have found that a 60-minute “power nap” can reverse the effects of information overload and can help you retain what you have learned.
5. Limit Your Refined Carbs
White bread, bagels, crackers…yes sometimes these are excellent foods to indulge in, but they can also cause a spike in your blood sugar, which can leave you feeling tired hours later. Instead, limit your refined carb consumption and try to stick to complex carbs such as vegetables, lentils, beans and peas as they give you a ‘slower release’ of energy over time.
6. Stay Hydrated
If you’re feeling tired or unable to focus, it may be that you’re dehydrated! A study in the Journal of Nutrition showed that dehydration causes symptoms such as loss of focus, a sense of fatigue and low mood both at rest and exercise. How can you tell if you’re dehydrated or not? If you’re urine is not entirely clear or close to it, you’re not drinking enough.
7. Jam Out!
Studies have shown that listening to your choice of upbeat music for about an hour can reduce fatigue and can increase dopamine – the feel good chemical. So when you’re feeling a dip in energy, grab your headphones and listen to your favorite playlist or artist.
8. Protein and Fiber
Soluble fiber rich foods have the ability to slow down sugar release into your blood which will prevent dramatic spikes and crashes in your blood sugar and energy! Combining fiber with protein will help make you feel fuller longer, which will in turn help maintain your high energy levels. Try blueberries and yogurt or eggs and avocado for breakfast or as a snack throughout the day.
According to the National Coffee Association, approximately 55% of American adults incorporate coffee as part of their daily routine. And now that we now that coffee is safe for bones and boasts other beneficial health benefits, you can enjoy your cup of java without worry. As a quick rule of thumb, about 8 ounces of brewed coffee = 135 mg of caffeine.
10. And Tea…
If you’re not a coffee drinker, tea is a good alternative for a smaller dose of caffeine. About 8 ounces of black tea = 50 mg of caffeine, which is much less than coffee, but can still give you a tiny jolt in the morning or mid day. Tea is the perfect combination of caffeine, nutrients and hydration.
11. Take a Whiff
Smells can have a powerful influence over how you think, feel and behave. Therapeutic uses of black pepper, cardamom, citrus, tea tree, jasmine, sage, clove and cinnamon essential oils have been shown to improve low energy. It’s important to choose essential oils that you are pure, therapeutic grade essential oils from plants and not synthetic fragrances or perfumes! (As these can actually be toxic and contain allergenic compounds)
12. Goji Berries
Goji berries have been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine to increase energy . A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine reported that after 14 days of goji berry juice consumption, participants reported increased energy levels, quality of sleep and mental calmness. You can use whole goji berries in cooking or baking, but goji juice is a much more concentrated and assimilates into the body better.
“Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging form panic attacks to digestive disorders.” For three breathing exercises by Dr. Weil click here.
14. Have Your Thyroid Checked
If you’re constantly feeling tired and run down it may be because you are not producing enough thyroid hormone. Ask your doctor to get tested. Symptoms can include dry skin, weight gain and feeling cold.
Bonus Energy Boosters
15. Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency may cause a lack of energy, including depression and chronic fatigue, according to the Vitamin D Council. The Tolerable Upper Intake Level for vitamin D in adults 19 and older is 2000 IU.
16. Steer Clear of Energy Vampires
One of the easiest ways to get the energy sucked out of you are modern day (energy) vampires! There’s someone in each of our lives that can just be a drag to be around and ultimately, suck the life out us! I have to admit, this one isn’t science-backed but I do swear by it.
17. Down an Energy Drink
I’m not talking about Monster or Red Bull, but an all-natural, homemade version. Chia seeds have been shown to provide an energy boost because they contain a significant amount of omega-3 fatty acids (nearly 5g in one ounce). Put a tablespoon in a glass of water with lemon or lime, mix it all up and let sit for 15 minutes. The result will be an all-natural energy drink – no sugar necessary.