6 Ways to Boost Energy Naturally
Updated: Nov 22, 2022
Let’s talk about ways to boost energy naturally in a holistic manner. What does your energy level feel like throughout the day? Is the afternoon tiredness a familiar state for you? A whopping 33% of Americans suffer from persistent, debilitating stress. Now what does stress have anything to do with energy levels?
A study by the American Institute of Stress reports that about 77% of Americans feel the physical symptoms of too much stress, including fatigue. This is probably why so many people complain of chronic low energy levels. If you are someone who relies on stimulants like caffeine as an afternoon pick-me-up, keep reading.
Stress and energy
Healthy levels of stress are natural for the body to cope with. It can build resilience and boost your performance. On the other hand, too much stress which we are dealing with chronically in today’s world, causes the body to rebel with brain fog, weight gain, and fatigue.
Fatigue, brain fog, and low energy may not sound too serious, but over time, symptoms like these can affect everything from your job performance to your relationships and physical fitness. In addition to a high-stress lifestyle, so many other factors such as a compromised diet, sleep issues, and toxic overload can make you feel low energy.
Here are my 6 favorite ways that can boost energy naturally to help your body do its best each day:
1. Hydrate the Body and Do Not Rely on Caffeine.
You might not even be aware that dehydration causes a deterioration in your mental performance. If you are relying on caffeinated sources such as coffee, black and green tea, or energy drinks as a source of hydration, think twice!
Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning that it triggers more frequent urination. A cup of coffee may help keep your eyes open in the morning or in the afternoon but, it could also contribute to dehydration later in the day!
2.Choose Foods With High B Vitamins
Speaking of boosting energy levels, one of the best (and most overlooked) nutrients for battling fatigue and stress is the B vitamins family. They play a crucial role in your metabolism and help in energy production by converting the dietary energy you eat into something called ATP (adenosine triphosphate).
ATP is a form of energy the cells of our body use. Legumes, mushrooms, green leafy vegetables and whole grains as part of a well-balanced diet can ensure you have healthy levels of B vitamins for healthy skin, muscle tone, immune and nervous system function.
B12 is the most well-known nutrient for boosting energy levels and focus. It is found primarily in animal-based foods but if you follow a vegetarian-type diet you can adapt by looking to foods fortified with B12, adding nutritional yeast to meals, or taking a dietary supplement.
Here’s what each member of the B Vitamin family is needed for :
Thiamine (B1): To help convert nutrients into energy
Riboflavin (B2): A potent antioxidant and essential to the metabolic process
Niacinamide (B3): Helps your cells communicate and plays an important role in cell metabolism and DNA production
Pantothenic Acid (B5): Helps convert food into energy and supports hormone production
Pyridoxine (B6): Regulates hormone production and activity, blood glucose levels, and neurotransmitter production
Biotin (B7): Helps metabolize nutrients and helps control gene expression
Calcium Folinate (B9): Helps your body produce and maintain new cells, and also helps prevent changes to DNA that may lead to cancer
Hydroxocobalamin (B12): Needed for nerve tissue health, brain function, and the production of red blood cells
B vitamins are more than just a quick energy fix. They’re essential to lasting energy and overall health. Remember there is a trick to taking B vitamins. You have to get the entire spectrum of B vitamins if you want to see lasting change. And note that taking a B12 supplement alone can lead to nutrient imbalances and may not fully address all your symptoms.
3.Eat More High Magnesium Foods
Magnesium is a crucial element for all organs in your body. It contributes to over 600+ processes and is responsible for energy production. Therefore getting enough of this mineral is important for your body to fight against low energy and fatigue. Generally speaking, a healthy diet can provide sufficient amounts of magnesium when you include foods like legumes, whole grains, nuts, leafy green vegetables, meats, or even water with a high mineral content (“hard water”).
4.Minimize Exposure to Environmental Toxins
Many environmental factors are harmful toxins for your cells’ mitochondria. – Human energy production relies on mitochondria, referred to as the body’s “powerhouses”, which are tiny organelles inside all body’s cells.
These toxins cause damage in the body in the form of oxidative stress which increases risk of neurodegenerative conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Environmental toxins associated with this damage include insecticides, piscicides (poisonous to fish), pesticides and heavy metals (e.g., aluminum, lead, manganese, and methylmercury).
Minimize your exposure to pesticides by choosing organic foods as much as possible. You must wash produce thoroughly, and avoid the use of chemical pesticides in your garden. Depending on where you live, installing a water filter can help remove heavy metals commonly found in your tap water as well.
Quick Note: The Natural Resources Defense Council has developed a guide outlining seafood types with low, moderate, and high mercury levels that can be used to minimize consumption of mercury from seafood. Whenever you can, use the Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetics Database and Guide to Healthy Cleaning to identify personal care and household products that are safe for your health and the environment.
5.Consider High-Quality Dietary Supplements
Dietary supplements support energy production in various ways. For example, certain supplements may provide nutrients that reduce the damage caused by oxidation and inflammation. Some vitamins, and minerals can encourage the generation of new mitochondria, and repair damaged cell membranes.
Quick Note: When the cells membrane is damaged, toxins can easily pass and get inside the cell. This is while useful nutrients can easily leak out.
Several dietary supplements may be beneficial due to their roles in energy production, including:
Alpha lipoic acid (ALA), an antioxidant and helper of the cells for more energy production
B vitamins, required as cofactors for enzymes in energy production and your cells general functions
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), an antioxidant
L-carnitine, transports fatty acids into cell to be used as energy
Acetyl-l-carnitine (ALCAR), a form of l-carnitine, which may be better absorbed and cross the blood-brain barrier.
Vitamin C, an antioxidant, which improves mitochondrial function by providing hydrogen and supporting electron transport.
Vitamin E, another antioxidant, which protects cell membranes from damage and oxidation.
6.Regular Physical Activity
Exercise is a powerful tool in improving energy levels. However there is also a fine line between just right and overdoing. Studies have proven that working out can induce the production of new mitochondria (powerhouses) inside your cells.
Endurance exercises such as climbing stairs, biking, dancing, jogging, swimming, and walking can also provide long-term beneficial results. Specifically low-intensity workouts help with reduction of fatigue and improvement in energy levels. If your are new to a more active lifestyle it may be smart to start out with low-intensity exercise. Be sure to work your way up as you feel comfortable.