We’ve seen those ads for pseudo-energy products. You know, those canned drinks that apparently force your body and mind to pump out the power. But the energy drop-off is terrible! Before you pop open another energy drink, just glance through online search results for the effects of energy drinks. While physical endurance is a reported pro, the list for cons is long — increased heart rate, high blood pressure, insomnia, dehydration, and more. Instead of canned energy …
Think Long Term for Long-Lasting Energy
First, we need to state what should be obvious, but it is easy to overlook. Having energy is a result of multiple factors. Some factors might be genetic influences or stage-of-life facts, which we have some influence over. Other factors are built around our choices, eroding or shoring up our energy.
Second, let’s identify our best options for increasing our energy.
You are what you … absorb?!
We’ve all heard that we are what we eat. It’s more like, what our whole system absorbs. From our food to beverages to our personal-hygiene products, our digestive system and our skin absorb what we put on and in bodies. Here are two examples:
- Imagine you’re using a laundry detergent that makes your skin itch. You wake up at night. You scratch, itch, and roll over again. Two hours later, you wake up again. By the end of the month, you’re feeling worn down.
- You know that mineral named magnesium? Our bodies do not produce magnesium but we use it for regulating sleep, processing other nutrients, and helping with “energy production, activating ATP, the energy molecule that fuels your body’s cells.” I recommend that my clients work with their doctors and naturopaths to evaluate their magnesium needs. It affects your energy levels.
You are (hopefully!) drinking water.
“Dehydration occurs when you use or lose more fluid than you take in, and your body doesn’t have enough water and other fluids to carry out its normal functions.” This quote from the Mayo Clinic connects the dots from lack of water to lack of function. It’s that simple. You don’t expect your car to run well without oil to lubricate its system; our bodies don’t run without water. We need water for proper “temperature regulation, cellular function, and waste removal.” When we’re dehydrated, you can expect to be tired.
You are fueled by your food.
If you eat poorly, you’ll feel poorly. Whole foods with a balance of protein, fiber, and nutrients will increase your ability to think and keep moving. Processed food and sugar create energy crashes and they always fail to fuel us.
You are fueled by how you eat.
Even if you’re eating well, but you’re inhaling meals or eating in front of the computer or TV, your body is not receiving the full benefit. When we rush or check out mentally, we’re not mindful of our meal; we tend to overeat, inhale air, choke, experience indigestion, etc. We’re staying in that fight-or-flight mode. Instead, think of mealtimes as a break where you’ll slow down your brain and body to recoup energy.
You are empowered by exercise.
Back to that car analogy, a vehicle that sits deteriorates. So why do we think that our bodies can operate smoothly with minimal movement? Every article and expert will say: move more to feel and have more energy today and long term. In 21 Ways to Beat the Afternoon Slump, the first tip is to take a break. Breathe in that oxygen, send blood to your brain, and have more energy for the afternoon. Make breaks and regular exercise part of your routine. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Start with a walk, go for a ride, or do some yoga. Be consistent and you’ll have more energy.
You are refreshed by sleep.
Sleep is the foundation of health. A consistent sleep schedule will deliver energy. Quoting from The Power of Sleep:
“In fact, when the lights go out, our brains start working–but in an altogether different way than when we’re awake. At night, a legion of neurons springs into action, and like any well-trained platoon, the cells work in perfect synchrony, pulsing with electrical signals that wash over the brain with a soothing, hypnotic flow. Meanwhile, data processors sort through the reams of information that flooded the brain all day at a pace too overwhelming to handle in real time. The brain also runs checks on itself to ensure that the exquisite balance of hormones, enzymes and proteins isn’t too far off-kilter. And all the while, cleaners follow in close pursuit to sweep out the toxic detritus that the brain doesn’t need and which can cause all kinds of problems if it builds up. ….
If every one of us slept as much as we’re supposed to, we’d all be lighter, less prone to developing Type 2 diabetes and most likely better equipped to battle depression and anxiety and give us more energy! We might even lower our risk of Alzheimer’s disease, osteoporosis and cancer.”
Who doesn’t want to pay our future selves with energy and health? Try some of the ideas listed above, and if you’re interested in learning more about this topic and others, I held a class on my FB page all about finding more energy. You can watch it there. And if you feel you need some assistance to gain back your health, give me a call!