The best strategies for increasing energy are to lose weight, decrease stress, and increase exercise.
The following article may add some additional useful advice.
Energy Optimizers By Laurel Kallenbach
Feeling drained? It’s a sign you need to take care of your health by eating right, exercising and sleeping well. In addition, natural products can help boost those energy levels.
Skip sugar and caffeine – your worst energy enemies. Siberian ginseng and licorice root nourish and support the adrenal glands, which synthesize hormones that give you stamina. B vitamins keep you alert and energetic. Super supplements such as NADH, bee pollen, royal jelly and spirulina can recharge energy. Iodine-rich kelp can help jumpstart an under-active thyroid.
More high-energy ideas? Read full article below.
We’ve all had those days. First, you wake at 2 a.m. and can’t fall back asleep until 3:30 a.m. Then you’re late to work because you keep hitting the alarm clock’s snooze button. Breakfast consists of a donut and a cup of coffee, then you almost nod off during the budget meeting. Six cups of coffee and eight hours later, you snap at the kids for racing around the house while you phone for pizza delivery. Later, it takes all the oomph you can muster to flop on the couch and watch TV.
Where has all your energy gone? This is the question millions of Americans ask themselves daily as they try to keep pace in a hectic, multitask world. In their rush, many people skimp on commonsense basics that fuel the mind and body: a balanced diet, adequate sleep, regular exercise and time for mental rest. No wonder chronic tiredness and lack of energy are among the most common ailments natural health doctors treat.
“Fatigue could be caused by a million things, and the causes are varied,” says naturopathic physician Deborah Frances, N.D., R.N., who practices in Grant’s Pass, Ore. “If you feel chronically tired, it’s important to know why. Many people know they’re tired from not taking care of themselves; they just don’t know how to start.” However, chronic fatigue is another story. Culprits range from adrenal exhaustion, anemia, hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue syndrome, autoimmune disease, liver disease or chronic infection. Go to a doctor if the fatigue is chronic and you’re not handling it with simple measures like diet and exercise — “commonsense types of things,” she advises.
“It’s important to see the whole picture, not just treat the symptoms of fatigue,” Frances notes. She says the first step to regaining your former vitality is to examine your lifestyle and make positive changes — and stick to them. Along the way, taking herbs and supplements can make the process easier, though they won’t compensate for a bad diet and other exhaustive habits. Here are some tips on how to perk up and get your energy back.
1. Beat the sugar and caffeine blues. Though soda and cookies may feel like energy boosters, they’re in fact doing more harm than good. “Sure, sugar and caffeine initially boost you,” says Frances, “But afterwards, they trigger a drop in energy, and in the long run they deplete you.” Sugar spikes your blood sugar and over time can exhaust the endocrine system, which is responsible for adrenal function and ultimately your energy levels. Sugar also depletes the immune system by decreasing white blood cell activity, which could leave you both sick and tired. Also, caffeine is hard on the adrenal glands and depletes the B vitamins, which help adrenal and liver function. If you’re feeling low on energy, steer clear of these two substances, substituting fruits and vegetables, herbal tea and purified water. Don’t rely too heavily on fruit juice. It contains concentrated natural sugar that will act like processed sugar in your bloodstream.
2. Pack on the protein. Fatigue and lowered immune response can often be attributed to protein deficiency, so adequate, good-quality protein is very important. If you don’t eat meat, you must pay special attention to your protein to maintain muscle mass and energy levels, especially if you’re a menstruating, pregnant or lactating woman or an active man, says Frances. Ideally, you should eat adequate protein balanced with a moderate amount of whole grains and lots of fruits and vegetables. 3. Get fresh air and sunshine. Most people don’t get outside enough, especially in the winter. Besides the fact that sunlight is needed for your body to synthesize vitamin D, light and fresh air help invigorate the body, clear your mind and combat seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a syndrome that usually manifests as depression and low energy during winter months when daylight hours are short. “Don’t underestimate sunshine’s power,” Frances says. “If you just dress right for the weather and get outside, it’s so good for you, and you’ll end up needing less St. John’s wort [for depression].”
4. Boost your Bs. A good B-complex vitamin with added minerals is another remedy for flagging energy. B2 (riboflavin) is essential for function of the mitochondria, the body’s cellular powerhouses. B5 (pantothetic acid) is needed for making adrenal hormones, B6 (pyridoxine) builds red blood cells and regulates blood glucose levels, and B12 (cobalamin) and B8 (folic acid) are important to energy levels. Since the B vitamins work together synergistically, they’re best taken in a complex form.
5. Extend your stamina with super foods. Three high-energy foods are touted for jacking up energy levels. Bee pollen is a rich source of amino acids — the building blocks of protein needed for energy — and B vitamins. Royal jelly, a secretion that worker bees make to feed the queen bee, also contains large amounts of B vitamins. [Note: If you’re sensitive to bee stings, avoid bee products altogether.] Spirulina, a chlorophyll-containing algae, is a good source of protein, amino acids, fiber and vitamin B12.
6. Detoxify your life. Environmental toxins, prescription drugs and even polluted air can indirectly contribute to exhaustion. To feel more energetic, minimize chemicals. Taking antioxidants, such as vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E, and coenzyme Q10 can help.
7. Supplement with NADH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide). NADH assists the work of enzymes in the body in producing energy.