Whether you are training for an event, or just juggling a busy schedule it’s hard to get from point A to point B when you are running out of steam halfway through the day. Try these six tips to boost your energy instead of your stress.
Work in a workout. It may seem counter-intuitive, 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 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. And of course, it will also help to relieve some stress and burn off any extra calories that you may be taking in this week. I add in an energy boosting and muscle-building workout support formula, such as my Clear Power, which increases energy and repair after exercise while also eliminating water retention – it will keep you agile and on your toes all day!
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 glass of water. 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.
Add in an adaptogen: Adaptogenic herbs, like rhodiola can increase vitality – especially if the cause of your fatigue is a result of stress (a likely scenario if you are in training season). In one Swedish study rhodiola significantly reduced symptoms of fatigue and improved attention after four weeks of repeated administration. Rhodiola is my favourite choice for reducing cortisol and increasing serotonin and dopamine. Take 200 to 400 mg per day in the morning, away from food, for at least 6 weeks.
Cup of Java early in the day: For those of you who may be surprised at this suggestion, coffee can not only give you a morning boost – it actually has anti-diabetic properties . One study found that women who drank four cups of coffee each day were 56 percent less likely to develop diabetes than were non-drinkers. A rule of thumb – it’s not a replacement for water (see above suggestion) and if it’s keeping you up and night and/or boosting anxiety, you should reduce your intake. Opt for an organic, fair-trade coffee and be sure to brew it with non-chlorinated filters.
Reduce anxiety not energy: L-theanine is a calming amino acid naturally found in green tea that’s known to support relaxation without causing drowsiness. Theanine works by increasing the production of GABA in the brain. Similar to the effects of meditation, it also stimulates alpha brainwaves naturally associated with deep states of relaxation and enhanced mental clarity. A recent study reports that L-theanine enhances attention, relaxation and reaction time. Researchers found that supplementation with L-theanine resulted in reduced heart rate and enhanced relaxation among anxious participants. In addition, the supplement enhanced performance on visual attention tasks and reaction time in the subjects with increased propensity towards unease and frustration. Take 50mg to 200 mg without food. In very high-stress situations, 100mg to a maximum of 600mg can be taken every 6 hours.