The 3:00 Crash
The Afternoon Slump
The Post-Lunch Plummet
Call it what you like, but why is it so hard to stay energized as the day goes on? There’s only so much coffee you can drink to keep you going. And that beloved caffeine we all adore so much may actually be one of the things that’s making us so tired.
As humans, we get our energy from food. Food is broken down by your digestive system and converted into energy, then passed through the bloodstream to the parts of your body that need it most. The funny thing is, food is also part of the problem…and also part of the remedy.
There are several ways you can fight fatigue — both the mental and physical varieties — and I’m going to show you how. Here are my top 10 ways of staying energized all day long, so you can be alert, focused, and always at the top of your game.
#1 Eat a balanced, nutritious diet
You are what you eat, right? And most of us know, when you eat well you feel well. The key is making sure your diet consists of a wide variety of nutritious foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean meats, protein, whole grains, as well as iron-rich and low-fat dairy products to your diet. Incorporating a daily supplement like SynBiotic 365™ into your diet can also help jumpstart your energy and help you avoid crashes, too. It contains a blend of probiotics and essential B vitamins that not only help improve your digestive system but also boosts your energy levels.
#2 Swap out processed grains
Few foods can drain your energy like processed foods. Processed grains are excellent examples, such as white rice, white pasta, and white bread. Processed grains are lower in fiber and B vitamins that help your body produce much-needed energy. So eating processed foods typically provides a quick spike in energy, followed by a crash. Whole-grain alternatives help keep you energized throughout the day.
#3 Stay hydrated
Drinking water helps maintain a steady flow of nutrients into your cells. This process keeps you energized throughout the day. When you’re dehydrated, your cells don’t get the nourishment they need. A reasonable goal is eight glasses of water per day. If that doesn’t sound too appealing, remember that beverages such as milk, fresh juice, and herbal teas are mostly water. So you can mix your fluid intake up and still stay hydrated.
#4 Start the day off right – with breakfast!
If you think skipping breakfast is a good idea, think again. Eating breakfast helps restore your glycogen levels in the morning, which keeps your metabolism up for the day. So before you head out, grab something to eat. Even just a banana, cereal, or a slice of toast is a great way to start your day.
#5 Go easy on the caffeine
Don’t worry. You can still have your morning coffee. Caffeine can be a valuable source of energy, but it’s important to be smart about caffeine consumption. Studies have shown that too much caffeine can lead to a high tolerance, which can render coffee’s stimulant effects less potent. If you’re drinking more than four cups of coffee per day, consider cutting back.
#6 Don’t overeat
Eating too much can harm your body in a variety of ways. You might gain weight, find your pants busting at the seams, or even be at an increased risk of disease. But the most immediate impact you’ll feel is often fatigue, drowsiness, or sluggishness. That’s a result of the discomfort caused by your stomach expanding and pushing up against organs that are working harder to help your body digest too much food. Here’s a pro tip to stop overeating: cut down on sugar and salt. It’s tempting to overeat sweet and salty foods, which are often processed and make you want to eat more.
#7 Eat more small meals vs. fewer big meals
We’ve been told for too long that our days should consist of three large meals: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. However, when it comes to energy levels, small meals and snacks every few hours is preferable to the traditional three-meal gameplan. Small meals and snacking can dramatically improve your brain’s relationship to fatigue. Your brain doesn’t have too many energy reserves of its own, so it needs a steady supply of nutrients. Many people feel sluggish after a few hours without food. Give your brain the fuel it needs with small meals and snacks, even just a piece of fruit or mixed nuts.
#8 Manage your stress and anxiety
Feeling stressed or anxious constantly? You’re far from alone. Over 70% of American adults experience stress and anxiety daily. Don’t worry. There’s good news. Activities like exercise and making more time for yourself can kickstart vast improvements. Research has shown that yoga can help enhance mood and reduce anxiety, while carving out time for yourself to do something you enjoy, such as listening to music, is also a great way to curb stress. If you’re looking for a quick, easy fix, try taking a dietary supplement like RevBiotics™. Clinical studies have shown that this probiotic blend can combat feelings of heavy stress, boost energy levels, and rev up your mood.
#9 Late night TV is a no-no
What you’re up to right before you hit the hay every night has a direct effect on your energy and productivity every morning. Nearly 20% of Americans who watch television on any given day tune in after 11pm. Reputable studies have shown that watching television right before bed can interfere with sleep cycles. The importance of sleep on your energy and productivity can’t be overstated. Removing the television from your bedroom or making a conscious effort not to watch too late is definitely a good idea.
#10 Get more sleep
There’s nothing quite as important as getting your beauty rest. Getting a good night’s sleep –– at least 8 hours –– is so important because that’s when your body really repairs itself and restores your energy for the next day. Being well rested also benefits your mood. Don’t take it from me. Listen to the Dalai Lama: “Sleep is the best meditation.”
Have any energizing advice of your own to add to this list? Let me know on Facebook!
As always, to your health and happiness…
Dr. Pedre & your NatureM.D. Wellness Team