Feeling a little sleepy?
Did you yawn while reading this sentence?
You’re not alone. Many can relate to the mid-afternoon slump, when you can’t concentrate on your work and just want to crawl back in bed for a nice nap.
However, a nap isn’t the only solution. You can naturally get more energy with these tips from nutrition experts.
How to Have More Energy
1. Get a full-night’s sleep
It seems like a no-brainer: sleep more, and you’ll get more energy when you wake up. But many don’t realize the true value of a full night of shut-eye.
Related: How to Sleep Better in 4 Steps
According to JJ Virgin, you should aim for at least seven hours of pure, interrupted sleep every night – anywhere from seven to nine is optimal.
2. Don’t ignore breakfast
Another important thing that many ignore: a healthy breakfast. When you wake up and you’re in a rush, breakfast falls to the bottom of the list, but it should be at the top if you want to be energized throughout the day.
And don’t just grab a donut, either – it should be a healthy, nutritious breakfast, without any of that processed junk. Include lean proteins for an extra boost.
3. Stop relying on caffeine
I’m certainly guilty of relying on caffeine in the morning, so I feel a little hypocritical here, but don’t rely on caffeine for energy! Coffee may help you get going in the morning, but ultimately, it will just make you crash a few hours later. Use it as a treat only – not as a way to magically have energy.
However, if the thought of giving up your beloved caffeine makes you tear up a little (trust me, I can relate), swap your coffee and energy drinks for green tea instead. As “rogue nutritionist” Jonny Bowden highlights, green tea is natural, healthy, and will make you more energized, without the crash or the jitters.
4. Cut out sugar
Drop the cookie! According to Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, the added sugar in many processed foods is often to blame for zapped energy. He’s careful to note that natural sugar in fruits is fine, but that the average American consumes approximately 150 pounds of added sugar a year – and that’s what’s making us crash.
Giving up added sugar, according to Teitelbaum, will help you boost your energy within several days, but if you have an intense sweet tooth, you can still indulge in healthy amounts of dark chocolate or use stevia as a sweetener.
5. Eat natural energy boosters
You can get more energy naturally from several different foods. Jonny Bowden also praises green tea and dark chocolate, and he adds tuna fish to the mix (not at the same time…ew). According to Bowden, tuna can trigger the release of dopamine, which is similar to adrenaline. Stock up on a few cans for lunch at work.
Get yourself outside and soak in those rays (safely). Not only can sunlight raise your serotonin levels, but it can give you more vitamin D, both of which can help get rid of fatigue. Grab those sunglasses and lounge outside this summer for a quick energy boost.
7. Get some exercise
You know what they say: you gotta spend money to make money. The same goes with energy; if you spend some at the gym, you’ll have more throughout the day. JJ Virgin recommends burst training for a quick way to get those endorphins going.
Just because you’re yawning now (did that sentence just make you yawn again? Got you twice!) doesn’t mean that a nap is the only solution. By following these tips, you can get more energy so that you can be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed all throughout the day.
Photo by MRCDS.potter