If you’re like most people, you rely on caffeine to get through the day. Whether it’s coffee in the morning or an energy drink to keep you going, caffeine is a mainstay of many people’s daily routines. But what if there were other ways to keep your energy levels up? In this post, we explore some sustainable ways to boost your energy without caffeine. So whether you’re looking for an alternative to coffee or just want some new ideas for staying energetic, stick around and I’ll show you how it’s done!
Let’s chat a little bit about energy and the truth about energy drinks and really how they work. You might be thinking: “Oh, I need energy. I might swing by the grocery store or the gas station and pick up an energy drink or a coffee or candy bar, especially in an afternoon time slot.” The truth is, they really act like caffeine. Caffeine is a drug that we are relying on to give us energy. It’s robbing your body of appropriate energy from your adrenals. What we’re demanding is for this little organ in our body called the adrenals to pump out nutrients and neurotransmitters to ramp up our body.
Think about the time that you were pulled over by a cop. You saw the flashing in your rearview window and the police officer pulls around. Imagine what happens next. Your heart starts beating and you start getting a little bit more anxious. Those same neurotransmitters are being produced in your body. We’re relying on those to be pumped out when we all of a sudden pour out a whole lot of caffeine or an energy drink.
High Protein, High Fat
The best food to eat for sustained energy throughout the day is something with high protein and high fat. Sugar is not the story to go with. If you’re getting even a combined coffee with added sugar, think about what that’s going to do and how you’re going to crash a few hours later! Reach for the protein snacks instead. You can have beef jerky or a hard-boiled egg to help with the protein and the fat stores to give you the energy that lasts long.
I have a patient who came to me, having blood sugar issues. She needed to have her snack six times a day. She had to have some type of meal, six times a day. She even put on her intake form: “I suffer from hypoglycemia.” Her blood sugar dips and goes up all the time. It’s like being on a rollercoaster ride with our blood sugar.
She started her day every day with instant oatmeal as her go-to breakfast item. Then, she switched to steel-cut oatmeal and added an egg to that morning’s breakfast. Her mom was a diabetic and was informing her on what to properly do to maintain blood sugar.
Now, as she was coming to me on her new journey, she was only needing to eat three meals a day. That is when she acquired the knowledge about protein and fats are needed to start the energy in the day.
Exercises that help sustain energy levels
Maybe you’re working from home or you’re back at the office. Perhaps, you are just staying at home and being an awesome stay-at-home mom or dad. There are five exercise techniques that you could start implementing.
Intentional breathing is going to help you feel more energetic. Get the oxygenation to your body. The tip with breathing is when you exhale, make sure you’re exhaling a little bit extra. By that I mean, make it just a little bit more forceful. Make sure it gets out all the way so you have more room to bring in that good clean oxygenated air in there.
It brings blood to the tissue. It stretches those different tissues that need to be stretched. It’s calming and energizing. Think about adding in some yoga which you can find anywhere. Check out how on YouTube and maybe look at a book where you write something down. You can bring in a few yoga moves every day.
Though it’s often thought of as a form of exercise, stretching doesn’t necessarily have to be an organized activity. There are many benefits to simply taking a few minutes out of your day to stretch your muscles. For one, it can help to improve your range of motion and flexibility. Additionally, stretching can help to reduce muscle soreness and tension. And finally, regular stretching can help to sustain energy levels throughout the day. So next time you’re feeling sluggish, instead of reaching for another cup of coffee, try stretching your arms and legs for a quick pick-me-up. You may be surprised at how invigorating a simple stretch can be.
Walking is a great way to get some exercise. It’s something you can do even if you don’t have a lot of time. Just a few minutes of walking can make a big difference in how you feel. If you want to kick things up a notch, you can always add a little stretching afterwards.
5. Pick any kind of exercise that you can do.
Exercises that help sustain energy levels are important, especially as we age. We all know that getting older can be a challenge when it comes to energy levels. I’m not saying that you have to become a gym rat, but adding some form of exercise into your routine can help. It doesn’t have to be something super intense either. Just pick any kind of exercise that you can do. Whether it’s weightlifting, whether it’s training for some type of different events that you want to do, maybe it’s hopping on that bike and dusting off the bike or the treadmill in the basement that you haven’t used in a while. Just find something that works for you and that you can stick with. You’ll be glad and thankful for all the nutrients that are going to your brain to give you clarity.
A little bit of energy hack for you
1. Grab some salt.
I didn’t say coffee. I didn’t say candy. You read it correctly. Get some salt. The best way to do that is to take a few granules of salt, put them in the palm of your hand, and put it into your mouth. Suck on them a little bit like how you do with candy. You’re going to get those nutrients into your body by doing that. Then bring in the water and drink up. Salt and water can help re-energize your body.
2. Electrolytes are okay if that’s something that you prefer.
A lot of people think that electrolytes are only for athletes or people who work out a lot, but that’s not true! If you’re feeling tired or run down, it might be because you’re not getting enough electrolytes. A little bit of energy hack for you: try adding some electrolytes to your water. You’ll feel more awake and more focused in no time. And, if you’re someone who prefers not to have any additives in your water, there are plenty of natural sources of electrolytes, like coconuts and bananas. Next time you’re feeling sluggish, reach for an electrolyte-rich drink and see how it makes you feel. You might just be surprised at the difference it makes.
3. Wait 15 more minutes before you grab that snack.
We’ve all been there before- it’s 3 pm, we’re starting to drag, and all of a sudden we get a craving for something salty/sweet/fried/etc. Before you give in and go for that snack, try this energy hack: wait 15 more minutes. If after those 15 minutes the craving is still there, then go for it! But oftentimes, cravings are more about boredom or anxiety than actual hunger. By waiting a few minutes, you can sometimes trick your brain into realizing that you’re not hungry. Even if you are still hungry after those 15 minutes, at least you’ll have made a mindful decision about whether or not to indulge instead of just mindlessly snacking.
What if you changed the way you eat and you’re still low on energy? Or maybe you’re already eating more protein-rich fat-rich foods and you’re hydrating properly, but still feeling run down? What can you do next?
This is where functional medicine comes into play. We need to do tests to know where to look and investigate. There’s probably some anemias that you’re struggling with. There are seven types of anemias. Do you know which one you’re more likely to have? This is something I look into with regular blood work. I explain your blood work to you.
Maybe we need to look at your macros and see how much protein, fat, and carbs you really are eating and getting a second opinion on that. Or there might be a need to screen you for inflammatory foods to see if some of that inflammation is causing some of that fatigue that you’re struggling with.
Let me give you a too that could help you with getting your energy back. We got to make sure we’re starting off our day. I have my own special meal planner that I’ve created for myself and my patients that I’m going to give to you for free. You can find the meal planner link below. You just put in your information and then I will email it to you.
While caffeine may be the go-to for most people when they need a quick boost of energy, there are actually quite a few sustainable ways to get your energy up without relying on coffee or other stimulants. In this blog post, we’ve listed some of our favorite tips for boosting your energy naturally. Our top pick for sustained energy throughout the day? A food with high protein and high fat. If you’re looking to add more exercise into your routine to sustain your energy, know that in functional medicine we often look at how exercise can help address fatigue as well. We also recommend scheduling a free discovery call so that we can take a closer look at what might be causing your fatigue and help you.
Download my free meal planner worksheet: https://enlightenstl.com/meal-planner-2
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If you’re looking for a more natural way to manage your health, please contact us [INSERT LINK TO SCHEDULE] for a discovery call to see if our approach would be appropriate for your situation.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this email is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content is for general informational purposes only and does not replace a consultation with your own doctor/health professional