I can’t be the only one who feels like once winter hits, my energy levels start to slowly decline, am I?
Whatever it is, I’ve been looking for ways to increase energy naturally recently.
While I’m definitely a coffee drinker, I tend to stick to one cup in the morning, then switch to decaf if I’m craving one in the afternoon. I find that drinking too much caffeine triggers my anxiety, and actually makes it harder to get work done. Because of this, I’ve been looking for ways to get more energy naturally, and I think I’ve cracked the code.
I shared some of these tips in my weekly newsletter (if you’re not subscribed, what’re you waiting for?! You’ll get my free easy vegan sauces ebook, plus weekly nutrition tips, recipes, and updates!) and got amazing feedback, so I thought I’d share them here, too!
These are my favorite tips to keep me feeling energized, focused and productive throughout the day!
1. Get enough sleep
This one sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s often overlooked. Research shows that our bodies need 7-9 hours of sleep per night in order to help us feel refreshed, energized and ready to take on our day. There are also tons of important processes that happen while we’re sleeping, like hormone regulation, muscle regeneration, and natural detoxification in our body (by our liver…. not by the latest tea you’ve seen promoted by celebrities on Instagram).
2. Stick to one cup of coffee
It can be so, so tempting to reach for a cup of coffee when we’re feeling the effects of the holiday hustle. While overloading our body with caffeine may help us feel better temporarily, the crash is inevitably going to follow, leaving us feeling even worse than before. Plus, drinking too much caffeine from coffee has been shown to decrease the absorption of calcium and potentially leach it from our bones (read more about calcium here!). Drinking too much caffeine can also affect our sleep, which goes back to what we just talked about. My recommendation? Stick to less than 400 mg of caffeine per day, aka, 3-4 standards cups (not mugs) of coffee, and try out some of these other tips for an energy boost.
3. Go for a walk
Trust me, I get it. When you’re feeling tired and lethargic, the last thing you probably want to do is go for a walk. But moving our body may help to increase energy by increasing the amount of oxygen pumped throughout our body, and may even boost cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, the hormones associated with increasing energy. It may even boost your mood, which could create the illusion of more energy, too!
4. Take a mental break
Sometimes we may think we’re tired, but really we’re just bored. Working on the same thing for hours straight can sometimes feel dull, no matter how much you love your job. Shake things up a bit by taking a mental break for even 5-10 minutes. This could look like brewing yourself a cup of herbal tea, reading a book, or hey, going for a walk!
5. Set yourself up for success
Oftentimes it’s the sheer pressure of having too much to get done that can feel overwhelming, and thus leave us feeling unmotivated and unenergized. Instead of thinking of everything you need to get done, make a plan. Decide on 2-3 things that must get done that day (one larger task and two smaller tasks), and stick to it.
6. Don’t forget about the nutrient-dense foods
As a Registered Dietitian, I know that nutrition is important all the time, but especially when we’re feeling low on energy and want to increase energy. It can be tempting to rely on fast food and ultra-processed foods at this time. While these certainly can have a place in our eating pattern, relying on them daily can push out foods from our eating patterns that will bring us tons of energy! Make sure you’re including vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and plant-based proteins into your regular eating pattern, as well as taking a daily dose of vitamin D (most Canadians!) and vitamin B12 (if you’re 80%+ plant-based)! For tons of plant-based recipes, check out my Instagram, Youtube Channel, and Blog!
If these tips are helpful to you, let me know in the comments below! Or if you have any tips that I didn’t mention, feel free to share them!
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