How would you like to add four more hours to your day? Do you wish you had more time in the day? No, that’s not a trick question and yes, I know we all have the same 24 hours in a day, so here’s my point.
If you have more energy and get more done you’ll feel like you have more time in your day. I experience this feeling often. And of course I’m suggesting increasing your energy naturally…..this is no Red Bull!
Here are five tips. Pay attention to them on a daily basis and watch the time in your day feel like it’s expanding with all you’re getting done. Keeping your energy levels high maximizes your time!
1. Include a healthy protein source into every one of your meals (this includes snacks as well).
If you’ve been reading these MMMM’s over the years, you’re probably not surprised to hear me saying this. Healthy sources of protein and good fat slow down the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose (sugar) in your blood stream, keeping your blood sugar stable throughout the day. Many times the “crash” people feel after lunch or breakfast is their blood sugar spiking high and then “crashing” really low because they ate a meal that was carbohydrate dense and not balanced with enough protein.
Adding in a healthy protein source like organic eggs, natural meats or poultry, wild fish, and raw nuts can ensure your blood sugar doesn’t go on a rollercoaster ride every time you eat. So instead of grabbing pretzels from the vending machine in the afternoon, go for some raw almonds and a piece of fruit and that will keep your energy levels sustained for the rest of the afternoon.
2. Stay hydrated all day.
Most people know they should be drinking water, but what they don’t know is that it directly affects their energy levels throughout the day. Consider this: your brain is approximately 80% water. Staying hydrated helps you maintain mental energy while avoiding fatigue and headaches. Water also plays a vital role in your body’s ability to flush toxins. Organs have to work harder when you don’t have enough water, causing fatigue.
3. Be cautious with caffeine intake.
I am not suggesting you completely eliminate your morning espresso or your breakfast tea. But many people take their cup of coffee and turn it into a pot of coffee! Yes, caffeine will give you a quick boost in energy, but will almost always send you crashing just a few hours later.
Caffeinated beverages will also dehydrate your body, and dehydration will cause you to feel fatigued (tip #2). Try to keep your caffeine beverages to a maximum of 1-2 per day. I would also suggest drinking those before 1pm as drinking caffeine any later than that can disrupt your ability to fall asleep at night.
4. Beware of “white” carbs.
“White Carbs” (breads, pastas, cereals, baked goods) break down quickly causing a fast spike in blood sugar. You’ll feel a quick rush of energy, but then a big drop, causing your energy and mood to drop along with it. Also, when too much sugar floods the system all at once, your body can’t use it all for energy and converts it to stored fat.
While it is correct that carbs give you energy, too many carbs at once will actually lead to fatigue and lethargy. I suggest keeping the “white carbs” to a minimum and eating healthier, fibrous carbs like oats, quinoa, sweet potatoes, and a variety of fruits and vegetables. And always be sure to eat those carbs alongside a healthy protein (tip #1).
5. Do a quick 5-minute mini-exercise circuit at any point during the day.
Yes, even a quick 5-minute exercise routine is enough to get your blood circulating, sending more oxygen to your muscles and brain and giving you a boost in energy. Quick bursts of exercise will also increase your metabolism, not only helping you keep the excess pounds off, but giving you a burst of energy as well.
If I start to feel the “afternoon energy crash”, I will go for a short walk or go up and down my stairs a few times. Any movement will help. Dance and sing, or skip rope……move around.
If you aren’t already using the 5 tips, give them a try. Having great sustained energy all day long is wonderful, no matter how you choose to use all that energy!