As summer comes to a bittersweet end, students make the tiring transition into the new school year while parents and 9-5 workers re-adjust to the hustle. Needless to say, energy is something we all desperately need and can’t get enough of! How to naturally have more energy is a question that we all face. We buy sports drinks before sports practices, drink copious amounts of coffee to start the day, eat unhealthy portions of sugary snacks, we may even surround ourselves with energetic people hoping it will rub off! Truth is, there are a few key natural things we can do for an ENERGY BOOST!
First and foremost, sleep. You need to have a good amount of it, and in my opinion, you can't really get enough. Sleep deficiency has been linked to many health problems, including increased risk of heart disease, obesity, and lack of productivity! Okay, so lack of productivity isn’t a health problem, but it’s a big problem nonetheless that makes us reach for unhealthy amounts of caffeine and sugars. How many hours of sleep do I need, you ask? Check out the following chart for a general idea of how much sleep you need in order to wake up in top shape:
Age Recommended Amount of Sleep
Newborns 16–18 hours a day
Preschool-aged children 11–12 hours a day
School-aged children At least 10 hours a day
Teens 9–10 hours a day
Adults (including the elderly) 7–8 hours a day
So let’s say you’re getting enough sleep, but you’re completely lethargic. What may you be lacking? Proper nutrition. Nutrition is a powerful source of energy, and eating healthy foods consistently is one of the most important things you can do for your health. After waking up from a good night's sleep, make sure you eat a good breakfast! Eating a healthy breakfast has been shown to kickstart your metabolism for the rest of the day.
Nutrient packed food is what you should focus on to avoid suffering from sub-optimal cellular energy metabolism which makes us tired and lethargic. This includes vegetables, lean animal proteins, nuts, and fruits such as the Noni fruit. Researchers have found that native Polynesians enjoyed the energy inducing properties of Noni, having the knowledge that the fruit contained cell-strengthening properties. Similarly, antioxidants are just as important for your nutrition. Antioxidants prevent fatigue while simultaneously combating illness. For a healthy does of antioxidants, indulge in berries, such as the Acai and blueberry.
What destroys your energy? Alcohol consumption. Alcohol can act as either a depressant - lowering your energy levels - or as a stimulant that disrupts your sleep cycle. So keep your alcohol consumption at a minimum for a greater energy boost! The takeaway here is this: as long as you get good sleep, stick to nutritious foods, and stay away from alcohol, you will not have to rely on sugary sports drinks or double-shot espresso's. Spark up your spirit the natural way! :)
In summary: (Sleep + Nutrition) - Alcohol = ENERGY!