Energize Me: 5 Natural Ways to Get and Stay Energized
by Genevieve Nutting
It happens to the best of us. We wake up only to realize we’ve been hitting the snooze button for the last hour and now there’s basically no chance we’re getting to work on time. Our eyes are so heavy during the Monday morning meeting that we can’t even comprehend what the 5 point presentation is on for this month’s sales goals. Then the 4 o’clock slump hits and even that third cup of coffee can’t prevent us from feeling unmotivated and dragging, leaving us wanting to do nothing but go home and hold down the couch for the remainder of the evening instead of going out to dinner with clients or for drinks with friends.
So what can we do to get over these tiresome humps during our day?
Wake up to the first alarm. Yes, hitting the snooze button may feel like you’ll be better rested. But in reality your body isn’t finishing up a complete sleep cycle each time you hit the snooze button, leaving you even more tired. Aim to set your alarm for a time that allows the recommended 6.5 to 7.5 hours of sleep each night to aid in productiveness and alertness throughout the day.
Step away from the coffee! If you’re among 90% of Americans who have roughly 3.1 cups of coffee a day, this may sound like the death penalty. But by turning to natural forms of caffeine such as green tea or juices with only natural sugars from fruits and veggies, your body gets an energy boost without the crash and lack of ability to focus. If you must drink coffee, avoid drinking it any later than early afternoon to prevent insomnia.
Or turn to the most natural form of energy and replenishment of electrolytes, water! By drinking more water not only are you helping to flush out toxins and keep your energy levels high by staying hydrated, but you’ll need to get up more frequently for breaks which helps prevent the body from becoming stiff and sending your brain into overdrive.
Take a break! Stretch, take a walk around, or engage in a quick exercise on your lunch break as even a brisk walk releases the stress hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine which can leave you energized. Try a seated twist by sitting on the edge of your seat with your right hand on your left knee. Inhale as your lengthen your spine, then exhale as you twist to your left. Repeat on the other side.
Look at food as energy and fuel for your body. Foods with a high glycemic index like that pumpkin spice muffin that whispers “You know you want me” each time you walk by the baked goods display or the power smoothie you think is going to leave you feeling like superwoman and looking like Jane Fonda in no time are likely loaded with sugars that will leave you crashing after a quick energy spike. Instead, pack snacks with a low glycemic index that will give you a sustainable boost of energy since the natural sugars are absorbed more slowly by the body. Try celery and peanut butter or adding beans, nuts, or seeds to a salad at lunch as these foods have the energy producing vitamin B in them.
Want even more natural ways to boost your energy levels? Check out these posts:
10 Tips on How to Increase Energy & Beat the Afternoon Slump at the Office
Eat Like the Ancients: Aztec Energy Bar Recipe
Eat for Energy: 6 Easy-to-Eat Foods for Vigor & Vitality