In my last post I introduced you to six natural ways to boost your energy through healthy eating behaviors. As a quick reminder those were:
1. Eat protein with each meal.
2. Eat a diet balanced with protein, fat, and carbohydrate.
3. Don’t fear fat.
4. Reduce your sugar intake.
5. Eat breakfast.
6. Don’t skip meals.
Now, here are six more, to give you a healthy dozen ideas.
Get more sleep. Well this one may be rather obvious, but guess the number one reason people are tired and lack energy. They don’t get enough sleep! In fact 50 million of us suffer from chronic, long term sleep disorders while another 20 million experience occasional sleep problems. Why do we need sleep? It allows our body to recover from the stress and activity of the day and to prepare for the next day. How much sleep do we need? For most people it is about eight hours. Not getting enough sleep creates havoc for our endocrine, immune, and metabolic systems. As a result we can become tired and gain weight. Some helpful hints – go to bed earlier (perhaps even one hour), exercise in the morning (evening exercise revs you up), and do not drink for several hours before going to bed (water, and particularly alcohol). An interesting note on alcohol – while it may help you fall asleep, after several hours it may actually enliven you!
Snack on nuts. Nuts make a great snack. They have fiber, protein, healthy fat and minerals. They are a great energy food. The protein and fat fills you up and stabilizes blood sugar. The minerals fuel your enzymes and metabolism. A couple of side notes. They are a snack, not a meal, so limit yourself to a handful at a time. And, most important – raw nuts are best. Avoid highly salted roasted nuts due to the salt content and also because the fragile unsaturated fats oxidize during the roasting process.
Drink green tea. Studies have shown a variety of health benefits from drinking green tea including reducing the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, infection, and rheumatoid arthritis while also lowering cholesterol. It also helps in weight loss – human studies have shown green tea to increase the rate of calorie and fat burn over a 24 hour period. Yes, there is caffeine, but one-third as much in coffee.
Drink water, not soda. Our bodies are approximately 60% water. It is needed for optimal health – for our bodies to function most efficiently and effectively. It is essential for flushing waste and toxins from our system, preventing constipation, and optimizing kidney and liver function. A clogged up body will contribute to fatigue and low energy. A simple formula is to divide your weight by two and drink that many ounces of pure water a day. As an added bonus, water has no calories. Why not soda? Well, the sugary sodas are loaded with empty calories and the diet sodas are full of chemical sweeteners which disrupt your body. Neither is filling. In fact, they put you on the sugar roller coaster and make you hungry.
CoQ10 for Cellular Energy. The “Co” stands for coenzyme – a substance that enhances the action of an enzyme. Why is this important? We need enzymes to fuel the metabolic processes taking place continuously in our body. CoQ10 is particularly important because it works in the mitochondria of the cell – the place where cellular energy is produced. So here’s the link – the more energy in the cell, the more energy in the body. There’s a lot more to CoQ10, so I’d definitely encourage you to do some additional research about this all important nutrient. Hint – it is good for the heart!
For more detail and many more ideas I refer you to best-selling nutrition author Jonny Bowden’s The 150 Most Effective Ways to Boost Your Energy: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth about Using Nutrition, Exercise, Supplements, Stress Relief, and Personal Empowerment to Stay Energized All Day.
Bernard Rosen, PhD is a Nutrition Consultant and Educator. He works with individuals, groups, and at corporations to create individualized nutrition and wellness programs. His office is in Thiensville. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, call (262) 389-9907 or go to www.brwellness.com.