One of the best ways to measure your overall health is by looking at your energy levels. Do you hop out of bed, ready for action? Are you alert and focused throughout the day? Is it easy for you to slip into a peaceful slumber come bedtime?
If not, you’re not alone. Having low energy is one of the most common symptoms people report to their doctors and other healthcare providers.
But with a few simple and strategic habits, you can stop this all-too-common brain drain and feel energized naturally.
But First, What’s Really Draining Your Energy?
It’s normal to feel a little tired once in a while. But when you feel like you’re constantly slogging through the day, there could be something deeper going on. The first step to reclaiming your energy is understanding why you’re tired in the first place. Here are some of the most common drains on your energy and vitality:
Lack of sleep
This may seem obvious, but when you don’t get enough sleep (or quality deep rest sleep) you’ll probably find yourself feeling lethargic and lacking the energy needed to tackle your day. Insufficient rest disrupts your body's natural circadian rhythm, which regulates various physiological processes – including how well you produce energy.
Stress is a natural response to the challenges in life. But when you're constantly under pressure, it will quickly drain your energy. Your body releases stress hormones like cortisol that deplete your energy reserves and prevent you from getting the restorative rest you need to recover.
You might not realize it, but even mild dehydration can take a toll on your energy levels and leave you feeling fatigued and sluggish. How? Dehydration leads to a drop in blood pressure and reduced blood flow to the brain, resulting in feelings of sleepiness. It also decreases blood fluid volume, making your heart work harder to deliver nutrients, oxygen, and fluid to cells, contributing to fatigue.
Lack of exercise
When you’re feeling low energy, the last thing you may want to do is exercise. But the sneaky truth is that being too sedentary can actually make you feel more tired. Regular movement and exercise increase the feel-good endorphins that make you feel alive and invigorated. Plus, exercise gets your blood pumping, delivering much-needed oxygen and nutrients to your cells, and giving your energy levels a welcome boost.
When your body doesn't get enough essential nutrients, it takes more energy to function properly. What are the most common nutrient deficiencies linked to low energy? B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and vitamin D.
- B vitamins are responsible for converting food into energy and supporting overall vitality. They're found in a variety of foods, including whole grains, leafy greens, legumes, and lean meats. Those who don’t eat a varied diet, or who follow vegetarian or vegan diets, are more at risk of a vitamin B deficiency. You can boost your B’s easily with Dr. Danielle’s Organic B Complex Spray.
- Iron plays a vital role in the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body. Without enough iron, you may experience anemia, which can leave you feeling weak and fatigued. Boost your iron levels by enjoying foods like red meat, spinach, and fortified cereals.
- From managing your metabolism to keeping your muscles and nerves functioning properly to promoting good quality sleep, magnesium is essential. To ensure you're getting enough magnesium, enjoy more nuts, seeds, whole grains, and leafy greens, or supplement with Dr. Danielle’s Zen Bliss with magnesium.
- Vitamin D is not just important for bone health; it also plays a role in various bodily processes, including maintaining your energy levels. So, soak up some sun (don't forget your sunscreen!) and savor foods like fatty fish, fortified dairy products, and egg yolks to get your vitamin D fix.
5 Tips to Feel Naturally Energized
Ready to fight your fatigue? While reaching for energy drinks or caffeine might provide temporary relief, there are more sustainable and natural ways to recharge your batteries. Follow these simple strategies to regain and maintain your energy levels naturally.
#1 - Reclaim your rest.
If you want more energy, there’s no denying the power of rest. You can combine two effective strategies to make the most of your downtime: prioritize quality sleep and incorporate power naps into your routine.
First, make sleep a non-negotiable part of your life by aiming for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted, restful sleep each night. Establish a consistent sleep schedule, create a relaxing bedtime routine, and ensure a comfortable sleep environment. Limit exposure to electronic devices before bed, or try these other methods to sleep like a baby.
Then, use power naps to recharge whenever you feel an energy slump during the day. Power naps are short – around 20-30 minutes – and quickly recharge your batteries and improve alertness, without interfering with nighttime sleep. Find a quiet spot, set an alarm, and keep your nap earlier in the day to avoid disrupting your nighttime rest.
#2 - Eat for energy.
You are what you eat, right? When you switch out processed foods with little nutritional value for energy-packed nutrient-dense foods, your energy levels rise effortlessly. Incorporate whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats into your meals. These foods provide the essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants your body needs to feel energized. Need a quick “pick-me-up” snack? These smart energy bars do the trick!
#3 - Step into the sun.
When you need a quick energy and mood boost, the sun is your secret weapon. Spending time outdoors in natural light helps regulate your circadian rhythm (reminding your brain that it’s time to be active) and enhances your mood. Not to mention, you’ll also get a small dose of brain-boosting vitamin D. Soak up some sunlight and fresh air regularly, even if it's just a short walk during your lunch break.
#4 - Take regular sip and stretch breaks.
Staying hydrated and being active are two ways to keep your energy levels high. Accomplish both with one easy habit: regular “sip and stretch” breaks during your day. Schedule a sip and stretch break once every hour or two. When it’s time, step away from whatever you’re doing to drink some water and do a few stretches to get your blood flowing. After just 5 minutes, your brain will feel revived and ready to take on the next few hours.
#5 - Boost with B Vitamins
B vitamins are essential for staying energized because they play a crucial role in converting the food we eat into energy. These vitamins, including B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folate), and B12 (cobalamin), are crucial for several different metabolic processes that help our bodies make energy and our brains stay alert.
For example, B vitamins act as coenzymes that help turn carbohydrates, proteins, and fats into usable energy. They convert glucose from carbohydrates into ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is the energy currency of our cells. Without sufficient B vitamins, this energy conversion process may be slow or impaired, which leads to lower energy levels.
The good news is that you can quickly and effectively increase your B vitamin levels (and therefore boost your energy) with the help of a powerful B vitamin supplement. Dr. Danielle’s Vegan and Organic B Complex Tincture contains B3, B6, B7, B9, and B12 (as Methylcobalamin) to help restore your energy levels naturally and easily – simply add a dose of the tincture to a glass of water and enjoy!
Stop the Energy Drain – Revive Your Body and Mind Naturally
Beyond our never-ending to-do lists and hectic lifestyles, there are some underlying reasons we feel tired all the time – and smart habits and natural remedies can help. By combining the practices above and supplementing with energy-boosting B vitamins, you'll optimize your rest, replenish your energy stores, and feel ready to take on the day, every day.