Energy drinks are loaded with caffeine and unhealthy stimulants. Learn how to get more energy naturally.
Tired, stressed-out college students, athletes and workers have embraced energy drinks, which promise a quick, convenient boost. But the result is short-lived and can make you feel worse once the jolt of stimulants wears off.
If you feel sluggish and want to boost your energy, better to do it in an all-natural way. Energy drinks contain high amounts of caffeine and other stimulants than can be dangerous, especially to children and teens. You want to feel alert, not shaky, and you certainly don’t want to experience a racing heart, one of the negative side effects that can come with energy drinks.
Try these strategies on a regular basis to increase your energy naturally:
1. Eat several small meals throughout the day rather than three large ones.
This helps keep your blood sugar level steady. Favor whole grains and other complex carbohydrates instead of refined carbohydrates and the simple sugars that come in candy and other junk food snacks. Complex carbohydrates take longer than refined carbohydrates to digest, preventing fluctuations in your energy. Avoid large amounts of sugar and fat.
2. Stay hydrated.
Dehydration zaps energy and impairs physical performance. Wondering how to know if you’re drinking enough water? Your urine should be pale yellow or straw colored. If it’s darker than that, you need to drink more water.
3. Exercise regularly.
The last thing you may feel like doing when you’re tired is exercising. But many studies show that physical activity boosts energy levels. If you need a bit of motivation to get moving when you are tired, try thinking about how good you felt after your last exercise session. But you don’t need a strenuous workout to perk up. If time is limited, take a short walk, climb a flight of stairs or do some stretches to clear your head and get past a sleepy moment.
4. Do some deep breathing, which can improve your heart rate and boost relaxation.
Breathe in deeply through your nose and out through your mouth. You can do this anywhere — at your desk, in the car while at a red light or in line at the grocery store.
5. Take steps to manage stress.
Although we cannot eliminate stress from our lives there are things that can help us cope better. Listening to music, finding humor in frustrating situations, enjoying nature and taking quiet time can all help. Regular exercise is also helpful for blowing off tension.
6. Get enough sleep.
Start by getting to bed and getting up at the same time every day of the week, including weekends. It helps if your bedroom is conducive to sleep: dark, cool and quiet. Adults should get seven or eight hours of sleep a night.