Energy is your most valuable commodity. Nowadays, the shortage of time, the responsibilities, and the challenges of day-to-day life are endless.
If you don’t have the energy to look at your day and say, “I’ve got this,” you can find yourself in a constant mental state of feeling behind – the fatigue and exhaustion set in shortly after.
And you can only have so many cups of coffee.
Maybe you’re trying to cut back on caffeine and are searching for alternative ways to boost energy. Whatever your motives are, here are 10 healthy, research-backed, habits that will help you boost your energy.
Have fun kicking today in the butt!
Nursing is an exhausting profession – mentally and physically.
In a study recently published in the Frontiers of Human Neuroscience, a group of researchers tested the effects of 8-weeks of mindfulness based training on a group of 36 nurses. Throughout the course of the study, they measured the nurses’ ability to keep their attention focused and recorded brain activity during the task.
They found the energy required to maintain attention decreased as the nurses became more trained.
This study tells us meditation can boost energy by using less of it when we’re carrying out our day-to-day tasks.
2) Drink water
Not drinking enough water decreases energy.
Scientists from the University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Laboratory showed that mild dehydration alters a person’s mood, energy levels, and ability to think clearly – even at rest.
Stay on top of your water game by drinking at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of water each day. If you wait until your thirsty, it’s already too late.
Boost your energy by staying hydrated!
3) Have a meal replacement shake for breakfast
Meal replacement shakes are great because they act as a full meal replacement (shocking, I know). Compared to a protein shake, which contains protein but minimal amounts of carbohydrate and fat, meal replacement shakes are packed with protein, carbs, fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
When life is hectic, it’s easy to forego breakfast and rely on caffeine to get you through the morning. This inevitably leads to a late morning crash, however.
They’ll supply you with the energy you need to start the day. It gives you everything you need, and it’s one less decision to make in the morning as you head out the door.
4) Take a nap
Naps are not for the lazy and unmotivated. Some powerful, famous people have effectively used a little midday shut-eye to keep themselves alert and effective. People like Margaret Thatcher, Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill, and Albert Einstein.
If it’s good enough for these geniuses, it’s good enough for you, right?
Sleep experts suggest 10-20 minute power naps are optimal for a quick boost of alertness.
Reset the system and close your eyes for a bit.
5) Take a walk
Patrick O’Connor and Derek Randolph from the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Georgia found just 10-minutes of walking or climbing a flight of stairs is more effective for boosting energy than a 50mg tablet of caffeine.
They published their results in the journal: Physiology and Behavior.
This study suggests a more effective way to beat the mid-afternoon crash may be to get up and get moving, rather than reaching for another cup of coffee.
6) Get enough sleep
We are not a culture that values sleep. In the U.S. the average hours of sleep during the work week is 6 hours and 40 minutes.
Combine that with another stat saying only 10 percent of adults require less than 7 to 8 hours and it’s reasonable to conclude that much of the population is sleep-deprived.
Not getting enough restful sleep is detrimental to daytime energy. Combat this detriment by making sleep a priority.
Some healthy bedtime habits include maintaining a consistent bed time, cutting down on screen use in the few hours before bed, and cutting back on caffeine – especially in the afternoon.
7) Take a break
Want to do more? Do less. That is, take more breaks.
Research suggests we’re designed to work in cycles of energy expenditure and rest. We typically override signals to recover by slamming coffee, energy drinks, or sugar.
Just five minutes of recovery where you take the time to get up, walk around, or have a glass of water can do wonders for your energy levels and your productivity.
Some take this concept further by using the pomodoro technique. This technique involves setting a timer for 25-minutes of non-stop work, then allowing yourself 5-minutes of recovery before you put in another 25-minutes. And the cycle continues.
8) Exercise regularly
A counterintuitive way to combat fatigue and boost energy is to expend more energy.
The human body is incredibly adaptive. When you exercise, your body rises up to meet the energy challenge by making more energy available.
Low to moderate intensity exercise is the best for boosting energy levels.
9) Eat right
Food is fuel. So, it’s not surprising that high-quality food leads to high-quality fuel and energy.
Keeping energy levels high requires a balanced diet including unrefined carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Get your vegetables, whole grains, healthy oils, and take a daily multivitamin to ensure you get all the nutrients you need.
10) Get outside
Spending time outdoors is good for the body; it’s good for the soul.
In 2010, lead investigator Richard Ryan (Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry, and Education) of the University of Rochester published a study being outside in nature makes people feel more alive.
They also suggested that the boost in energy people experienced went beyond just what you would expect from physical activity and social interaction alone.
The daily challenges of life can be exhausting. Adopting a lifestyle that puts you in the optimal physical and mental state to meet those challenges can do wonders.
Experiment with one or a few of the habits I’ve listed here and let me know how they work for you!
If you liked the article, please leave it a like. If you’re interested in more content, follow the blog and find Healthy Wheys on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.