Everyone at some point suffers from fatigue. Whether it be from lack of sleep, not eating right, or overworking, fatigue can set in and often feel like it’ll never go away. When feeling tired people often turn to quick fixes like caffeine and sugary energy drinks. This is not a healthy way to get over fatigue. Instead of reaching for that candy bar or Red Bull try these healthy natural ways to beat fatigue.
Fight off fatigue with these tips and tricks
Poor nutrition has a direct link to low energy. The vitamins and nutrients in fruits and vegetables give you energy, whereas processed foods like sugary treats, and refined carbohydrates makes your body work harder to digest. To help boost your energy throughout the day avoid sugary foods especially in the morning. Starting your day with these foods can cause a dip in blood sugar levels in the afternoon resulting in you “crashing.” The reason being when you eat processed carbohydrates your blood sugar levels rise, and this sends a signal to the pancreas to increase insulin levels to remove the sugar from the blood leading to a dip in energy.
Another important thing to do throughout the day is stay hydrated. The body can confuse hunger with thirst. Often when we hit that 3 p.m. slump we grab a cup of coffee. Instead keep a bottle of water close by and drink it throughout the day. Drinking the right amount of water (8 glasses a day) helps boost your energy levels.
Eating more vegetables can also help boost your energy and help you beat fatigue. Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale are some of the most nutrient rich foods on Earth. Instead of taking a burger or fried foods to work for lunch make a salad or incorporate steamed vegetables into your diet. These are rich in vitamins that help give your body’s cells energy.
Lastly, avoid caffeine as much as possible. Caffeine will give you an initial boost but over time it will deplete your energy resulting in you feeling tired. To minimize the effects of caffeine, try to stick to one caffeinated drink a day. Instead of coffee switch to green tea which stimulates your focus and helps you relax. While green tea still has caffeine it also contains other compounds that help prevent a crash while enhancing focus.
Snacking throughout the day is another great way to boost your energy levels. You must be snacking on the right foods though. Instead of grabbing a doughnut from the break room, reach for a piece of fruit like a banana or some strawberries. If you want something with more protein, try cashews, walnuts, or almonds. These foods are healthier for you and will provide you with vitamins and nutrients to help you get through the afternoon or midmorning slump.
Adding supplements to your diet can help offset any nutritional imbalances you may have. Taking a multivitamin with B-vitamins will help boost your energy throughout the day. Don’t take multivitamins late in the day as it can make it difficult to fall asleep at night. Before adding vitamins or supplements into your diet you must always consult your physician first.
Get more exercise
When you are feeling tired the last thing you probably want to do is go to the gym. However, exercise is a great way to boost energy levels. Getting enough exercise is critical for people’s overall well-being. You don’t have to spend hours in the gym or run a marathon to get the benefits of exercising. You can start by walking around your neighborhood for a few minutes a day and slowly increase the time you spend exercising.
Any type of movement will benefit you. Consider yoga, dancing, walking your dog, push-ups, or do lunges around the house. Any kind of movement will boost your energy levels. Exercise also supports immunity, helps you sleep, activates your lymphatic system, and improves metabolism. All of these will help boost your energy throughout the day.
Create a sleep routine
Obviously, getting enough sleep can help you beat fatigue. However, it is important that you are getting the right kind of sleep. Sleep is the time where your brain stores and processes the information you received throughout the day. When you lose sleep, you will feel lethargic, lose focus, be forgetful, lose concentration and be more irritable. These are all reasons to get more rest.
The best ways to get a good night’s sleep are avoiding caffeine after noon, do some deep breathing exercises before bed to help calm yourself, and put down electronics at least 2 hours before you go to bed. Certain herbal teas can help you drift off to sleep as well. Try drinking a cup of chamomile, holy basil, or passionflower tea before bed. All of these have natural sedative-like effects.
Through changes to your diet, adding supplements, exercising, and getting better sleep, your energy throughout the day will improve. Symptoms of fatigue are not always lifestyle related. Several medical concerns including nutrient deficiencies, like iron deficiency anemia, thyroid dysfunction, and adrenal fatigue play a crucial role in our energy. Always consult with your doctor if your fatigue is significant and does not improve with lifestyle changes alone.
Dr. Amber Reed is a licensed naturopathic doctor at Natural Kid Doc in Scottsdale, Arizona. Reed graduated from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine. She received her B.A. in Fitness and Wellness from Northern Arizona University and has a passion for helping inspire kids to lead healthy lifestyles.