How To Get Energy Naturally with Easy Lifestyle Changes

Jun 10, 2022 , Energy

How To Get Energy Naturally with Easy Lifestyle Changes

Quick Health Scoop

  • Instead of relying on coffee, energy drinks, or soda to feel energized, you can make healthy lifestyle choices to improve your energy level.
  • Start by changing your morning routine to include exposure to natural light, gentle movement, lemon water, and a protein-rich breakfast.
  • Aim to eat healthy meals or snacks every three to four hours that include proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats.
  • Practice a healthy lifestyle that includes exercising during the day, getting adequate sleep, drinking plenty of water, managing stress, and eating a nutritious diet.

If you chug coffee or soda to keep you going all day or wonder why you feel sluggish much of the time, you might be wondering how you can perk up your energy level naturally. Instead of relying on energy drinks to combat your low energy, you can make healthy lifestyle changes and choices to help reduce fatigue and feel energized. Bonus: Many of these healthy habits contribute to your overall health and well-being!

Wondering how to get energy naturally? Your lifestyle habits play a leading role in how to get energy naturally. Read on to learn about easy habits you can implement to get more long-lasting energy.

How To Get Energy in the Morning

Ready to super-charge your day? Try making a few changes to your morning routine.

Expose yourself to daylight within a few minutes of waking up, as the sun’s light/dark cycle affects your circadian clock, sleep, and alertness. Your body responds to light as a signal to stay awake, so increasing the amount of light you’re exposed to during the day helps you stay more alert. [1]

Move your body, whether that’s with simple stretches, walking the dog, practicing yoga or other exercise that you enjoy. Because your muscles are literally paralyzed during REM sleep, reactivating them with stretching and gentle movement release energy-stimulating endorphins. [2]

Instead of reaching for that coffee, drink a glass of water infused with the juice of half a lemon and perhaps one to slices of fresh lemon. This simple habit helps aid in digestion, keeps you hydrated, delivers powerful antioxidant benefits, and provides about 15% of the daily value for Vitamin C. [3] Remember, fatigue is a common symptom of dehydration, so drink plenty of water throughout the day—not just at breakfast.

Jumpstart your day with a well-balanced, healthy breakfast. Studies show that a protein-rich breakfast helps reduce afternoon cravings. [4] Need some breakfast ideas? Try a vegetable omelet, whole grain high-fiber cereal with low-fat milk, Greek yogurt fruit smoothie, or home-made oatmeal with a bit of nut butter added.

What Are Some Foods That Boost Energy?

Poor eating habits can play a big role in your energy level. Fuel your body throughout the day with portion-appropriate meals and snacks to maintain a steady energy level. Strive to eat every three to four hours and include proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats. [4] Eat a variety of nutrient-dense foods from multiple food groups (i.e., whole grains, lean protein, fruits and vegetables, and fat-free or low-fat dairy) for balanced meals, adding a small amount of healthy fat for sustained energy (such as avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil). [5] For snacks, include lean protein and fiber-rich carbs for lasting energy. [5]

What should you eat for energy? Consume foods with a low glycemic index, such as whole grains, high-fiber vegetables, and nuts. [6] Focus on complex carbohydrates (found in whole grains, beans, and some starchy vegetables) rather than simple carbs (like white bread, pasta, and cookies). Why? Complex carbs provide a steady energy supply and help stabilize the blood sugar. [4] This avoids the high blood sugar spikes and low blood sugar crashes throughout the day, which commonly occurs when eating simple carbs. In general, high-carb processed foods have the highest glycemic indexes, while proteins and fats have among the lowest. [6]

Also, know that certain nutrients play important but different roles in your energy level. For instance, Vitamin B (especially Vitamin B12 vitamins) helps with “energy metabolism” by breaking down the food you eat into energy your body can use all day long. Magnesium helps convert carbohydrates and fats into energy your body can use, while iron is needed for energy production. Finally, if you don’t get enough Vitamin D, this can lead to feeling excessively fatigued or tired. [7] Because so many nutrients can affect whether or not you have low energy, it’s important to eat a wide variety of healthy foods.

Try these healthy food pairings for either snacks or light meals: [4,5]

  • Avocado toast made with whole-grain bread
  • Apple and a handful of unsalted nuts
  • Carrots and string cheese
  • Low-fat Greek yogurt with fresh berries and chia seeds 
  • Hummus with cut-up fresh vegetables (think broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, peppers, or sugar snap peas)
  • Whole wheat pita stuffed with chicken, tuna fish, or falafel
  • Banana chunks dipped in nut butter

What Should I Do To Feel Less Tired?

For starters, know the signs of stress so you can manage stress more effectively. Stress-induced emotions can be exhausting, as they expend large amounts of energy. [6] Practice healthy ways to cope with stress, ranging from relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises and yoga and connecting with others. Coping with stress effectively helps you avoid feeling stressed and limits the impact it has on your mental and physical health, including your energy level.

Exercise during the day. Engaging in physical activity can decrease daytime sleepiness, providing the energy you need throughout the day. It also helps pave the way for helping fall asleep once you climb into bed at night. 

Get better sleep. Making sure you get adequate, quality sleep on a consistent basis goes a long way in providing the energy you need from morning until night. While age and lifestyle play a role in how much sleep you need, experts at the National Sleep Foundation recommend that most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep each night. [8]

Don’t smoke. While you know that smoking causes cancer, you might not know that this unhealthy habit can drain your energy by causing insomnia. [6] As a stimulant, the nicotine in tobacco increases heart rate, elevates blood pressure, and stimulates brain-wave activity associated with wakefulness, making it more difficult to fall asleep. [6]

Limit or avoid alcohol. With its sedative effect, alcohol can deplete your energy. If you imbibe at lunch, you’ll experience a low energy level in the afternoon, and if you enjoy a happy hour cocktail, the drop energy will hit in the evening but might also negatively affect the quality of your sleep. [6]

 

Bottom Line

If you regularly feel fatigued, you might automatically turn to coffee, energy drinks, or soda to get through the day. You might be wondering how to get energy naturally. It all starts with making healthy lifestyle choices to improve your energy level. Make simple changes to your morning routine such as getting exposed to natural light upon waking, stretching, and eating a protein-rich breakfast. Eat healthy meals or snacks every three to four hours, making sure to include proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats. Make healthy lifestyle changes to ensure you’re eating a nutritious diet, exercising during the day, getting consistent, quality sleep, staying hydrated, and managing stress.

 

Continue to check back on the Nature Made blog for the latest science-backed articles to help you take ownership of your health.

This information is only for educational purposes and is not medical advice or intended as a recommendation of any specific products. Consult your health care provider for more information.

 

References 

  1. Centers for Disease Control. “Effects of Light on Circadian Rhythms.” April 1, 2020. Accessed on: May 20, 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/emres/longhourstraining/light.html
  2. University of Toronto. “How muscles are paralyzed during sleep: Finding may suggest new treatments for sleep disorders.” July 17, 2012. Accessed: June 10, 2022. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120711131030.htm
  3. Cleveland Clinic. “7 Reasons to Start Your Day With Lemon Water.” January 17, 2020. Accessed on: May 20, 2022. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/7-reasons-to-start-your-day-with-lemon-water-infographic/
  4. Hospital for Special Surgery. “The Do’s and Don’ts of Eating for Energy.” June 28, 2021. Accessed on: May 20, 2022. https://www.hss.edu/article_eating-for-energy.asp
  5. American Academy of Dietetics. “Eating to Boost Energy.” April 2021. Accessed on: May 20, 2022. https://www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/healthy-eating/eating-to-boost-energy
  6. Harvard Health Publishing. “9 tips to boost your energy — naturally.” August 30, 2020. Accessed on: May 20, 2022.  https://www.health.harvard.edu/energy-and-fatigue/9-tips-to-boost-your-energy-naturally
  7. Cleveland Clinic. “Vitamin D” October 16, 2019. Accessed on: September 6, 2021. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/15050-vitamin-d--vitamin-d-deficiency
  8. National Sleep “How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?” October 1, 2020. Accessed on: May 20, 2022. https://www.thensf.org/how-many-hours-of-sleep-do-you-really-need/

Authors

Lisa Beach

NatureMade Contributor

Lisa Beach is a seasoned journalist whose work has been published in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, Eating Well, Parents, AARP’s Disrupt Aging, Optimum Wellness, and dozens more. She also writes for a variety of health/wellness-focused brands. Check out her writer’s website at www.LisaBeachWrites.com.

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Melissa Dorval Pine, RD

Science and Health Educator

Melissa is a registered dietitian (RD) and works in our Medical and Scientific Communications department as a Science and Health Educator. She has worked for Pharmavite for over 20 years educating consumers, healthcare practitioners, retailers and employees about nutrition, dietary supplements and overall wellness. Prior to joining the Medical and Scientific Communications team, Melissa launched and managed Pharmavite’s Consumer Relations department. Melissa received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Science, from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, and completed her dietetic internship at Veterans Affairs Medical Center in East Orange New Jersey.

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