How many times have you found yourself thinking “If I wasn’t so tired” or “I just feel so drained”? Then in hopes for a boost, or even just enough energy to get through the day, you turn to sugar or caffeine. This cycle of fatigue breaks us down both physically and emotionally. It can make you stuck in a cycle of sugar cravings and lose motivation to do the things that really do energize you, such as exercise or spend time with friends. Luckily there are some simple things you can do today to get out of that slump and boost your energy!
One of the first signs of dehydration is a drop in energy. Sometimes this can be physical fatigue and other times it can show up brain fog. As we age, this is even more dramatic because we have a natural decrease in thirst but not much of a decrease in need for water. As a rule of thumb, we should each be getting ½ of our body weight in ounces of water each day. If this sounds like a ton, start slowly and start earlier in the day! Add an additional 8oz. of water when you first wake up. When you get used to that, add another 8 oz. when you first get into the office or at your first errand of the day. Overtime you’ll be surprised how quickly these 8 oz. add up.
Try mixing 1 cup of diced watermelon, 4 mint leaves, a splash of lime juice and 1 quart of water for a refreshing and delicious water alternative.
Further reading: 5 Tips to Trick Yourself into Drinking More Water
Eat breakfast before coffee
Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you give up your cup of Joe altogether! However, caffeine suppresses your appetite and kicks up your stress hormones. You may find yourself anxious and crashing late morning. Instead make sure to have breakfast first. It will be a natural energy boost and lessen the impact of the caffeine.
Try oatmeal with 1 tbsp. of almond butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon or a smoothie with added hemp hearts or protein powder.
Further reading: 5 Breakfasts in 5 Minutes or Less
Have protein every time you eat
Although we crave sugar when we are run down, it is actually protein that keeps us energized for a longer period of time. Make sure to include some source of protein at all of your meals and snacks.
Try a lunch bowl with ½ cup quinoa, ½ avocado, 1 roasted red pepper and 6 ounces of ground turkey or spiced lentils.
Further reading: The Truth About Cravings
Wake up all your senses
I want you to think of the last time you smelled a fresh cut lemon, or bit into a chilled juicy orange. Did you feel invigorated? Fruit and herbs with refreshing scents can help your brain produce serotonin. Serotonin can help increase your mood and the natural sugars from the fruit can give you a boost of energy. Other scents and flavors that can wake up your senses are peppermint, rosemary and eucalyptus.
Try fresh lemon water or an orange and roasted cashews for an afternoon snack.
Further reading: 9 Fruit Infused Water Recipes