5 Healthy Ways to Get Energized
Feeling sluggish is a feeling most people probably know all too well. From getting up first thing on a Monday morning for work to staying up late with friends, everyone can feel like they need an energy boost at some point in their day.
While you may feel the urge to reach for an energy drink or cup of coffee when you feel this way, these are not the only ways to get an extra boost.
“Frequently using caffeine can cause your energy to crash, leaving you feeling more tired than you were before,” says Megan Ramaika, MA, RD, LDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist at Crozer-Keystone Health. “Continued fatigue can impact your immune system and put you at risk for disease and illness. Getting energy boosts in ways that don't involve caffeine can help you avoid that crash.”
Start Your Day Strong
You’ve probably heard this reminder — breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Studies show that eating breakfast as well as not skipping other meals throughout the day can help keep up your energy.
"Eating breakfast, especially one packed with protein, can put you in a better mood and provide more energy at the beginning of your day," says Ramaika. "Skipping meals or not eating enough during the day has been shown to cause a greater feeling of fatigue."
You may think that getting exercise may only cause you to be exhausted — it actually has the opposite effect. Whether it’s getting in a good workout or going for a walk, exercise can increase your energy.
“Physical activity can boost your heart rate and blood flow. Even going for a 10-minute walk has shown to increase in a person’s energy,” says Ramaika. “Going for walks on a consistent basis can also increase your energy and mood levels overall.”
Cut Out Sugar, Alcohol and Energy Drinks
Sugar and alcohol can both influence your energy levels throughout the day. While sugar can give your energy a temporary boost, it can also cause you to crash and be at risk for other health problems. Alcohol carries a sedative effect that can impact your daily energy and how well you sleep at night.
These are similar reasons as to why you should watch your energy drink intake. They have caffeine but also carry sugar and other unhealthy substances.
“Drinking energy drinks on a regular basis that contain sugar and caffeine-like substances can lead to problems like nervousness, increased blood pressure, irritability and insomnia,” says Ramaika. “It’s best to limit your consumption of energy drinks if you choose to drink them.”
While eating right is the foundation for overall well-being, doing so can also give you energy.
Eating a balanced diet focusing on plant-based nutrition, while portioning out our animal protein sources and dairy intake, can give your body the optimal nutrition requirements for energy. Focus on having half of your plate contain vegetables for maximum nutrients.
Eating a balanced diet can also make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals. One mineral we consume in a balanced diet is magnesium, which has a vital role in energy metabolism. Making sure you get enough magnesium throughout your day can help with feeling energized. Working in whole food forms of magnesium work best, such as nuts, whole grains and fish (specifically halibut) into your daily diet.
It really can be that simple – drink a glass of water. If you’re starting to feel tired, there is a chance your body is dehydrated and craving fluids. Almost every system in your body needs water to function so staying hydrated can keep your body from slowing down. Find interesting ways to make your glass of water flavorful, such as infusing fruits and herbs into your daily eight glasses.
Crozer-Keystone Medical Nutrition Therapy
Crozer-Keystone Health System offers credible nutrition information for patients and the community. Services are available for children and adults of all ages. Whether you have a health condition or you just want to learn how to eat healthy, Crozer-Keystone offers counseling to help you reach your goals. To learn more, visit crozerkeystone.org/Nutrition.