In 30 seconds…
How can I increase my energy levels? Well, there are many aspects of your lifestyle and daily habits which can be organised to enhance your body’s natural energy-producing processes.
Ultimately, energy comes from the food you eat. However, the amount of useful energy you can extract from your food depends on a number of factors which relate to sleep, exercise, stress levels, and time management. This article will explain some of the surest methods of optimising your daily routine in the most effective and sustained way. You can start working on these things right away.
Whether working or studying, at home or online, the pressures of modern life are causing many of us to experience low energy and feelings of tiredness and fatigue. It’s such a commonly-reported experience that doctors have even named it – “TATT” (tired all the time) syndrome, and it is thought to affect one in three of us.
While this doesn’t immediately represent a serious health risk, it’s frustrating to feel unfocused at work, or like you just can’t get things done in the way that you want. Fortunately, there are lifestyle tweaks that you can start using today to enhance energy levels and feel more awake and alert.
1. Work Hard, Sleep Hard
It should come as no surprise that maintaining a healthy sleeping schedule is essential for increasing energy levels. The amount of sleep you require will vary depending on age and other factors. However, going to bed at roughly the same time every night, and getting up at the same time each morning, will improve the quality of your sleep by stabilising your circadian rhythm (your body’s internal clock).
On average, adults need between 6-9 hours of sleep per night in order to wake up feeling refreshed. Lack of sleep stimulates production of our body’s stress hormone, cortisol, which over time can reduce energy levels and negatively impact mood. If you’re waking up tired and irritable then it’s possible you’re not getting enough quality sleep. Establishing a healthy nightly routine should be a high priority.
Getting a good night’s sleep can be helped by cutting down your exposure to bright screens in the hour before bedtime. Drinking alcohol before bed, and eating large amounts of food – especially those high in sugar – should be avoided as it makes it more difficult for your body to enter deep sleep.
Natural sleep supplements are another option to improve sleep quality. They contain a mixture of natural ingredients to induce sleepiness, combined with a blend of active ingredients which enhance the quality of your sleep, as well as releasing vitamins which help you wake up feeling rested and refreshed. More on this later.
2. Get Moving
An overwhelming amount of evidence shows that regular exercise will increase your energy levels and reduce long-term fatigue. Even a moderate amount of exercise such as going for a walk or doing some stretching can have significant and long-lasting health benefits. When you increase your heart rate, your blood carries oxygen to the cells where it is used to create the energy that your body needs.
Exercising causes your brain to produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter which helps us to sustain focus and find enjoyment in your daily activities. Dopamine also plays a large role in how we experience pleasure, and so increasing dopamine levels through exercise is a great way to boost your mood.
In addition to stimulating your body and mind, exercising virtually guarantees that you’ll sleep more soundly, which as you read earlier, is a huge factor in improving energy levels – and important for your mental health and well-being. Get moving today. Even 5 minutes of activity will make a difference.
3. Moderate Your Caffeine Intake
Tea or coffee? Is caffeine a good way to stay awake and alert? Well, yes and no. It is true that tea or coffee can certainly improve concentration and cause our brains to be more receptive. It increases heart rate which may also give you more physical energy for a short while. However, these effects do not benefit habitual caffeine consumers.
Once your body builds a tolerance to caffeine, it can form a dependence which can have negative health effects like headaches, high blood pressure, and restlessness. The key is to moderate caffeine intake and to have that cup of coffee or tea at the optimal time of day. Studies have shown that cortisol levels are usually at their highest after breakfast, often between 9.30am and 11.30am. Drinking your morning coffee at this time will maximise the effect caffeine has on your body.
4. Be Aware of Alcohol
Just a nightcap? Alcohol interferes with your body’s energy production systems. Metabolising alcohol means that your liver doesn’t produce as much glucose, which leads to low blood sugar levels, and an increased feeling of fatigue. This makes it harder to perform even moderate levels of exercise, since the body needs sugar to create energy. Despite its sedative effect, alcohol can significantly disrupt sleeping patterns, and can negatively affect your health by making it harder to achieve deep REM sleep.
5. Stay Hydrated
We are mostly composed of water, and it is important that we remain that way. Water plays an essential role in cell communication, muscle function and metabolic regulation.
If your body is low on fluids, one of the earliest symptoms is a feeling of fatigue, and regular hydration will go a long way to preventing this. Hydration also has a large effect on brain function, so make sure you are drinking enough water daily to stay focused and alert.
6. You Are What You Eat
What Should I Eat?
When we feel tired, it is tempting to eat sugary comfort foods since our body is craving a quick burst of energy. We often reach for processed snacks as they’re calorific and convenient, but these are a source of what is known as “empty calories” which do not offer a sustained energy release.
Instead, eating foods with a low glycemic index, where sugars are absorbed more slowly, will help in avoiding the lag which follows eating quickly absorbed sugars and refined starches. Such foods include high-fibre fruit and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, yoghurt and healthy oils such as olive oil. Proteins and fats have glycemic indexes that are close to zero.
How Much Should I Eat?
Too few calories and our bodies have a lack of energy. Too many calories and we feel bloated and sluggish. In order to sustain a healthy diet and active lifestyle, it is important to balance your calorie intake. Guidelines for daily calorie intake for women lie in the range 1,600-2,400 per day, and 2,000-3,000 calories per day for men.
When Should I Eat?
There is no right or wrong answer to answer this. There are hundreds of different approaches, from grazing to fasting, but the important thing once again is consistency. Find an eating schedule which works within your daily routine and stick with it. Results will follow.
7. Consider Using Supplements
The energy which fuels us throughout the day is stored in the foods we eat. However, the processes which transform the carbohydrates, proteins, and fats from our food into usable energy requires a variety of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
These essential nutrients are needed by the enzymes to break down digested food into tiny particles, which are small enough to be absorbed by our cells, and converted into the energy which fuels your body as you power through the day. They also perform hundreds of other roles within the body such as helping to heal wounds, maintaining healthy bones and boosting your immune system.
If you aren’t getting enough essential nutrients, your body won’t be able to convert the foods you eat into energy as effectively and you may feel tired. Fortunately, there is a wide range of vitamin, mineral and botanical supplements available, which can dramatically improve the amount of energy you get from your diet. Clinical research has demonstrated that supplements can give you an energy boost which does not have the associated side effects or risk of dependency as caffeine or other stimulants.
About Energy Supplements
Supplements come in all types, shapes, and sizes. You can get powders, but energy tablets are also a great way to get your daily dose of energy conveniently.
Manual’s energy supplements are multivitamin tablets which contain a mixture of vitamins and natural nutrients designed for maximum mental and physical energy throughout the day. In combination with a healthy diet and a good night’s sleep, these will recharge your batteries and rapidly boost stamina and performance.
Help your body fight the good fight
Supplements are all-important when it comes to keeping your health at its best. All our health supplements are formulated by our medical team and packed with the best ingredients out there.
Key Takeaways: How to Improve Energy Levels
In summary, successfully balancing your daily routine to optimise energy levels will require a schedule as individual as you are. But the factors you take into account while doing this are myriad. Some of these factors, such as sleep scheduling and exercise regimes are method-based, and will depend more on your lifestyle and available time – while more physiological options such as hydration, diet and supplement usage are easier to integrate into your daily routine.
Manual has developed a range of products specifically designed to streamline your lifestyle patterns in a direction which benefits your health and wellness, and we recommend you explore what we offer to inspire the first step towards a more energy-oriented lifestyle.