No matter how much you try to rest, sometimes it’s hard to get your energy back. Fatigue can take many forms, whether you feel it in your mind, body, or both. There are ways to get an energy boost when sleep doesn’t seem to be enough.
Change your diet
One of the easiest things to do to get your energy back is to change your eating habits.
Practice healthier eating
Introduce healthier foods into your diet — particularly foods that'll maintain your energy and give you a boost. This is effective because of how your body processes certain foods. For example, your body uses a lot of energy to digest animal products — especially red meat.
Your body absorbs foods like sugars and refined starches very quickly, which then leads to a lag in energy in a short time. Stick with whole grains, high fiber vegetables, nuts, and healthy oils that are absorbed more slowly to give a longer-lasting energy boost.
When you eat is as important as what you eat, so don’t skip meals — especially breakfast because it gives you more energy for the day. If you face that midday slump, eat a snack packed with an energy-inducing combination of protein, fat, and fiber like peanut butter and whole wheat crackers, yogurt, or nuts.
Enhance your regular diet with vitamins to help increase your energy. For example, Vitamin D is an excellent source of energy. The best effects of vitamin D come from the sun, but you might not be able to get enough that way, so your doctor may recommend a supplement if your levels are low. You can also get vitamin D from foods like fatty fish and fortified dairy products.
Reduce processed foods in your diet and eat more fresh food instead. Whole foods are an amazing source of vitamins and they replenish your energy levels.
Consider drinking a low-fat latte instead of coffee because the kick of protein in the milk supplies prolonged energy without the side effects.
Drinking less alcohol can also have energizing results. Alcohol is a sedative, so when you have a drink at lunch or happy hour, you risk a decrease in energy. The energy-zapping effect of alcohol is at its strongest at midday. Drink in moderation — only when you’re ready to wind down for the day.
Try replacing alcohol and caffeine with water. The body shows dehydration as fatigue, so you must keep your body well-hydrated. The effects of thirst also interrupt sleep, causing you to be sluggish in the daytime.
Besides water, you can hydrate with tea, juice, and liquid-heavy fruits and vegetables.
Include movement into your routine
Physical activity helps deliver oxygen and nutrients throughout your body and gives your cells more energy. Your heart rate rises when you exercise, and it strengthens your heart muscle, offsetting the natural weakening of your heart.
Having an exercise routine makes your muscles stronger, so they need less energy to function. The type of exercise is not as important as making sure you are consistent. A 20-minute aerobic activity a few times a week will help you be more energized, and a short walk can increase your energy for up to 2 hours.
Care for your mental health
Your body’s response to stress uses a lot of energy. It’s important to check in with yourself to find out what’s causing you the tension and eliminate it. Work and family responsibilities are notable causes of fatigue.
The best way to reduce stress is talking to someone you trust — or even a therapist. Other remedies are engaging in relaxing activities like meditation or yoga. Reduce stress by prioritizing your obligations. Decide what you must do and what you don’t have to do.
If these solutions — modifying your diet, moving your body, and reducing your stress — don’t get your energy back, see your doctor to find out why you are so tired.
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Harvard Health Publishing: "9 tips to boost your energy — naturally," "Tired? 4 simple ways to boost energy."
Hospital for Special Surgery: "Eating Well to Regain Your Strength after COVID-19."
Johns Hopkins Medicine: "Age-Defying Energy Levels."
Rush University Medical Center: "Keep Your Energy As You Age."