By Dr. Natasha Turner ND
No need for a nap: These four fast pick-me-ups will keep you going all day long
1. Work in a workout.
It’s counterintuitive, but a quick workout can actually boost your energy levels rather than deplete them. The body is a complicated system of give-and-take, and when you move around, it rises to the challenge, giving you the energy you need. In a recent study published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, researchers had sedentary, healthy adults do just 20 minutes of low-to-moderate-impact aerobic exercise three days a week. They found it put a large dose of extra pep in their step: Participants reported a 20 percent increase in energy levels and also felt 65 percent less fatigue.
2. Beware of snacks that spike (or zap) energy.
Some foods boost your short-term energy levels, but they’ll leave you feeling foggy and lethargic a few hours later. The biggest offenders are sugar, alcohol and caffeine. If you want more energy, I recommend spending two weeks without eating foods that many people are sensitive to (sugar, dairy, yeast, peanuts, corn, red meats, citrus and grains that contain gluten, like spelt, wheat, rye and kamut). Then reincorporate one food at a time to test your reaction to it. If you’re feeling down (or bloated) shortly thereafter, you’ve likely found the culprit.
3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, then hydrate some more.
If you’re dragging yourself through the day, check your H2O intake. Fatigue is, after all, one of the first signs of dehydration. A study from Tufts University found that mild dehydration — equal to losing just 1 to 2 percent of your body weight — impaired cognition, mood and energy. It may also make you confuse thirst for hunger, so you’ll reach for a high-calorie snack instead of a thirst-quenching beverage. How much water
should you drink? Try this formula: Your weight multiplied by 0.55 equals the number of ounces of water you need a day. Then divide that number by eight to calculate the number of cups. For an extra kick, jazz it up with a pinch of cayenne pepper and fresh lemon juice.
4. Add a supplement.
Rhodiola, an herb proven to help your body adapt to stress, can also increase vitality, especially if fatigue is caused by overwork. In one Swedish study, rhodiola significantly reduced symptoms of fatigue and improved attention after a month. I suggest 200 to 400 mg per day first thing in the morning. It works best when taken
on an empty stomach for at least six weeks.