Ginseng, Guarana, Chromium Picolinate… you see them advertised almost every day on energy drinks, gas station supplements, and late night infomercials. But did you know that there is little to no scientific research actually supporting therapeutic use of these “natural” product extracts?
Why not ditch these unproven substances and opt for a scientific route to increased energy levels instead? Here are five tips that can help you achieve the results you are striving for:
Minimize and Mitigate the Stress in your Life
Feeling lethargic, sleepy, and unmotivated? Advertisers are likely telling you to blame everything from your mattress you sleep on to the gluten in your lunch — but the most likely culprit is actually the stress in your life. Removing stress from your life by working fewer hours or improving your relationships is ideal. But for when stress cannot be reduced, learning effective stress mitigation strategies may be just as good.
Get More Exercise (Every Day)
Running on a treadmill, lifting heavy weights, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator could all help give you more energy. If that sounds counter intuitive to you, you’re not alone! However, studies have shown that regular daily exercise can improve metabolism while also improving the quality of nightly sleep. Which brings us to our next point…
Sleep More Hours…And Sleep Better
Sleep is crucial to good health. But unfortunately, most Americans don’t get enough! Limiting screen time in the final hour before bedtime is one of the most effective ways to improving sleeping habits. Avoiding or at least limiting alcohol, cigarettes, and caffeine use can also make a big difference. Last but not least, you should avoid spending time in bed when you are not sleeping. (Try reading and watching TV somewhere else, for instance; and avoid laying in bed when you just know you’re not actually going to fall asleep.)
Eat an Energy-Efficient Diet
Eating foods that are high in simple sugars tends to cause a quick energy rush followed by a big crash. Avoiding junk food is a great way of counteracting this effect — and opting for healthy, energy-packed snack foods such as nuts, yogurt, and fruit can help even more.
We’ll be the first to admit — the health benefits of water are sometimes exaggerated. That being said, if you are suffering from low energy on a regular basis, dehydration is a plausible explanation. Our bodies are comprised primarily of water, and all of our cells depend on having adequate hydration in order to function properly. If your busy schedule has you going long stretches of time without sipping on any H2O, then carrying around a water bottle could be an effective and efficient way of putting more pep in your step.