HOW TO BOOST YOUR ENERGY NATURALLY
Many health experts say that energy levels are a combination of genetics, sleep, diet, exercise and stress. However, research shows that genetics only play a small role in affecting energy levels, with lifestyle factors having the greatest impact. Which is good news, because you control your lifestyle! So, if you’re feeling sluggish, tired or generally low on energy, you may need to make a few (or more) tweaks to your daily routine.
In this blog, you’ll find science-backed lifestyle changes that you can implement to boost your energy.
GET REGULAR EXERCISE
You might feel too tired to exercise but regular exercise will make you feel less tired in the long run and can boost energy. Exercise also positively impacts sleep which, in turn, helps boost energy levels. Just 30 minutes of walking every day can help boost your energy, mood and improve your overall health.
EAT OFTEN & EAT WELL
A balanced diet can improve your energy and focus throughout the day. A good way to keep up your energy through the day is to eat regular meals and healthy snacks every three to four hours, rather than a large meal less often.
Eating sensibly is also important, with the emphasis on foods which are nutritious and high in fibre. Try to avoid fatty and processed foods which are high in added sugar, salt, unhealthy fats, and chemical additives.
Carbohydrates and ultra-processed foods cause your blood sugar levels to spike and then crash. When your blood sugar dips too low or spikes too high, you will notice changes in your energy levels, among other symptoms like hunger, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.
Eating more complex carbohydrates, particularly from plant sources, can help control blood sugar levels (and therefore energy). This includes foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts, and legumes.
FEED YOUR GUT
There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that there is a link between gut health and energy levels. The gut is responsible for absorbing nutrients from the food we eat which are essential for producing energy.
A healthy gut with a well-balanced microbiota can effectively absorb and process these nutrients, ensuring that our body has the necessary fuel for energy production. Your gut microbiota refers to all of the microorganisms (e.g. bacteria) that live within your gut. An imbalance in gut microbiota, can lead to altered metabolism and gut inflammation as well as other conditions which can affect energy levels.
Taking pre- and probiotics can help keep your gut bacteria in balance. And, there is some evidence that suggests that the amino acids in collagen, particularly glycine, proline and glutamine may help support gut lining by providing building blocks for its repair and maintenance. It's also important to note a healthy gut relies on a combination of various factors, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, adequate hydration, stress management, and proper medical care when needed.
TAKE A SUPPLEMENT
Deficiencies in certain nutrients may cause you to feel exhausted every day, even if you’re getting more than 7 hours of sleep.
Deficiencies in the following nutrients have been linked to fatigue:
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin B9
It is quite common to have deficiencies in many of these nutrients, for example:
Iron deficiency anaemia affects 25% of the world population and is very common amongst vegetarians. Notably, vitamin C can enhance the absorption of iron.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is very common, especially in vegetarians, vegans, and older adults because the body’s ability to absorb B12 declines with age. Studies suggest that up to 20% of people in the United Kingdom aged 60 and over are deficient in vitamin B12.
Over half of the world’s population has inadequate vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is produced naturally in our skin when exposed to sunlight. Thus, people who live far from the equator are likely to be deficient unless their dietary intake is adequate, or they supplement with vitamin D. The NHS advise everyone in the UK should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms (400 IU) of vitamin D during the autumn and winter.
Because deficiencies in these nutrients are quite common (especially if you have a restrictive diet), it’s important to have your levels tested if you’re experiencing unexplained fatigue. Typically, fatigue related to a deficiency in one or more nutrients improves once you take a supplement and your nutrient levels normalize.
HIMMENSE SHIFT daily collagen protein drinks can help boost your energy as they are packed with nutrients including Vitamin C, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3 and Selenium. Plus, each 20ml ready to drink sachet also contains 500mg of the stress busting adaptogen Ashwgandha.
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Prolonged stress can cause chronic fatigue and disruptions in sleep, which may result in decreased energy levels. Furthermore, during periods of prolonged stress, our food choices may alter, causing increased consumption of sugar, ready meals and processed foods. Follow the tips here to manage help manage your stress and mental health.
MAKE SLEEP A PRIORITY
Lack of sleep is associated with many negative health effects, including increased risk of heart disease, depression, weight gain, and sickness. It can also affect your energy levels due to changes in appetite and cravings the next day. When people don’t sleep well, they are more likely to eat more sugary food, which can lead to blood sugar spikes, followed by crashes and lower energy levels.
So, stick to a schedule, and make sure you’re getting enough sleep (7-9 hours). Blue light from devices and screens can make it harder to fall asleep, so reduce blue light exposure from your phone or computer before bedtime.
And, you may find the article on sleeping well by the Royal College of Psychiatrists helpful.
REDUCE YOUR CAFFEINE CONSUMPTION
Whilst research has shown that coffee may have a wide range of health benefits, caffeine hangs around in your body for many hours after your last cup of coffee (or tea). Avoid consuming caffeine from mid-afternoon to prevent having trouble getting a good night’s sleep.
Researchers have linked drinking alcohol to poor energy levels, especially the day following consumption. Alcohol may also impair sleep quality, increase the stress hormone cortisol, and cause mood changes. Try switching to water or low/no alcohol substitutes.
Even mild dehydration can cause feelings of tiredness and changes in mood. Research has found that being as little as 2% dehydrated impacts attention and hand-eye coordination. The European Food Safety Authority recommends 2 litres for men as the adequate amount of water to drink daily for our bodies to run optimally, and to help vital vitamins and nutrients (like those listed above) reach your organs through proper blood flow.
We know you know there are plenty of reasons to quit smoking, but did you know smoking can make you feel low in energy? One study shows that smokers reported increased levels of fatigue, compared with non-smokers. The smokers also said that they lacked motivation to be more active. Your GP can help you stop smoking. Visit the NHS website for more information to help you stop smoking.
CHECK YOUR TESTOSTERONE LEVELS
Low T can cause fatigue and decreased energy. You may have low testosterone if you’re consistently tired despite getting plenty of sleep or if you find it harder to get motivated to exercise. A 2019 study found that when men received testosterone therapy, 52% said their energy levels improved.
You can have your testosterone levels checked by your GP. Discover how you can boost your testosterone levels naturally by incorporating the tips here, which includes taking an Ashwagandha supplement.
Several studies have shown that the stress busting adaptogen, Ashwagandha, helps increase testosterone levels and significantly boosts sperm quality and fertility in men. And the good news is that we’ve got you covered, as HIMMENSE daily collagen drinks also contain 500mg of Ashwagandha!.
In summary, how tired you feel and how much energy you have is a combination of your diet, how much you exercise, your sleep, and — to a lesser extent — your genes. You can enhance your energy levels by changing your lifestyle. Limit ultra-processed foods, reduce alcohol, and quit smoking. Furthermore, prioritize your sleep, water intake, and physical activity, and identify the best methods for you to cope with stress.
If you think you're suffering from fatigue, which is an overwhelming tiredness that isn't relieved by rest and sleep, or by lifestyle changes, you may have an underlying medical condition. Consult a GP for advice.
Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Consult a doctor or healthcare professional if you have any questions or are taking any other medications before you try any remedies or supplements.
Published 21 April 2023