Photo Credit: Dave Holland
Do you get tired throughout the day? Maybe you depend on coffee to get that energy boost in the morning, only to experience afternoon fatigue once it’s worn off. Or maybe you wake up groggy and exhausted, slamming the snooze button until the last possible moment.
If you’re like many people, maintaining your energy is a challenge. Fortunately, there are some easy lifestyle tweaks you can make to help boost your energy levels throughout the day.
Below, we will explain how to increase energy and motivation naturally.
Also see our blogs on:
Why Are My Energy Levels So Low?
To solve any problem, you must identify the root cause. When it comes to low energy, there may be many factors at play, such as:
- A sedentary lifestyle
- An inadequate diet
- Poor sleep quality
- Excessive stress
In addition to these factors, an underlying medical condition could be causing your chronic fatigue. To rule this out, make sure to consult with your healthcare team.
If you’re otherwise healthy, one of the ways how to increase energy naturally is to optimize your energy level by making some small lifestyle adjustments.
How to Increase Energy Levels
To maintain healthy energy levels throughout the day, consider implementing these 10 tips:
1. Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is an integral part of healthy living. The phrase “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” is touted by many people who pride themselves on their productivity. However, by putting quality sleep on the back burner, you wreak havoc on your energy levels, forcing your body to rely on caffeine.
Roughly one out of four people experience poor sleep1. If you’re one of them, you may be living in a constant state of sleep deprivation. To start getting adequate sleep, practice these healthy habits:
- Respect your circadian rhythm – Your body has an internal clock that determines your energy levels over a 24-hour cycle. It’s better to work with this circadian rhythm than against it. To do so, get in the routine of going to sleep around the same time every night and waking up at the same time in the morning.
- Create a wind-down routine before bed – It’s easier to drift off to sleep at night if you spend an hour or two winding down. Before bed, get in the healthy habit of putting down your brightly-lit screens and picking up a book instead. Take a warm bath and enjoy some herbal tea. Relaxing habits like these will prepare your body for a night of deep, restful sleep.
- Prevent sleep disruptions – If you wake up during the night, your sleep quality plummets. To prevent this, try to keep your bedroom cool and dark.
Getting enough sleep can help you feel rejuvenated and ready for the day.
2. Get Regular Exercise
It may sound counterintuitive, but physical activity increases your overall energy levels2. Not only can exercise help you sleep more soundly during the night, but getting your body moving can help with blood flow and also give you a much-needed energy boost.
A quick 20-minute walk on your lunch break can circulate your blood and perk you up. In other words, you don’t need to live in the gym to get notable energy-boosting benefits.
On the flip side, a sedentary lifestyle can compound feelings of lethargy and reduce your sleep quality.
Here are some simple exercises you can try out:
3. Support Gut Health With Daily Probiotics
A natural way to boost energy levels is to support your gut health. Even if you eat a healthy diet or food that is a natural energy booster, you won’t be able to absorb the nutrients properly if your gut health is out of balance. In turn, you may still feel tired, even though you're consuming a variety of foods an abundance of foods that boost energy.
Furthermore, gut health is closely related to mood, since many neurotransmitters are produced by gut bacteria3. An imbalanced gut is often linked to depression and tiredness. In contrast, when your gut is healthy, and you’re in a good mood, you may have more energy and motivation to take on the day. Probiotics are one way to help support your gut health.
Did you know there are several benefits of fermented foods for gut health? You can get natural probiotics from different fermented foods as well as through drinkable probiotics and probiotics in capsules. Make sure to consult with your healthcare team before taking probiotics.
4. Be Mindful of Balancing Your Blood Sugar Level
Food is fuel, so it’s no surprise that it’s high on this list. However, not all foods support optimal energy.
A major cause of fatigue during the day is a crash in the blood sugar level. This happens when you consume foods high in sugar. These foods provide a quick burst of energy and spike in blood pressure but cause you to crash shortly after, leaving you more exhausted than you were to start with.
Which Foods Increase Energy Levels?
To avoid blood sugar spike and crashes, construct your diet around healthy vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and plant-based protein sources. Be sure to reduce processed food -- stick to foods that are high in nutrients like:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- B vitamins like Vitamin B12
- Omega 3 fatty acids
Whole foods are just foods that have minimal processing and are as close as possible to the foods you can find in nature. Most will contain complex carbohydrates that are absorbed by your body slowly, so you enjoy a steady release and long lasting energy. Some examples of foods with complex carbs to include in your diet:
- Whole grains
- High-fiber vegetables
- Fresh Fruit
5. Eat at Regular Intervals
Another eating habit that contributes to a low energy level is skipping meals. Many people miss out on breakfast or work their way through lunch.
While it’s easy to fall into these habits, they take a toll on your energy levels. Give your body the fuel it needs to thrive by eating meals on time and bringing healthy snacks for when you need a natural energy boost.
6. Reduce Stress
If you lead a busy life, you may feel stressed out more often than not. While short bursts of stress can aid productivity, chronic stress is disastrous for your health and energy levels.
For reduced stress and increased energy, try out these strategies:
- Simplify your schedule
- Say no to tasks that you don’t have time for
- Establish a self care routine
- Ask friends and family for help when you need support
- Consider speaking with a therapist about stress management
- Take up meditation or yoga
- Go for a walk each day
By reducing your stress levels, your energy reserves will be available for other tasks. Not to mention, you’ll enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
7. Stay Hydrated
The human body is made up of around 75% water4. Each cell in your body, whether it's located in your brain, muscles, or digestive tract can perform better when properly hydrated. Thus, it’s no surprise that being dehydrated can cause a slump in energy.
Even being slightly dehydrated can result in lethargy and tiredness5.
Fortunately, staying hydrated is easy and free! Just keep a glass of water nearby at all times. If you don’t enjoy drinking water, add a slice of lemon or lime to make it more appealing. In turn, you’re likely to drink it throughout the day and keep hydrated.
8. Cut Back on Alcohol
Speaking of beverages, if you want to optimize your energy levels, examine your alcohol consumption.
Alcohol is a go-to tool for many people looking to unwind after a long day. However, having a nightcap may cause more harm than good. Here’s why:
- It’s a diuretic – Alcohol dehydrates you due to its diuretic effect, this may impact your energy levels.
- It’s a sedative – Alcohol also has a sedative effect, so if you drink it midday, it can make you feel drowsy. That’s a good reason to avoid a lunchtime beer or glass of wine.
- It harms your sleep quality – Even though alcohol can help you get to sleep faster, as soon as it wears off, it disrupts your sleep quality6. As a result, you may notice that you wake up throughout the night, leaving you exhausted by the time your alarm goes off in the morning.
If you want to enjoy alcohol with the least harm to your energy levels, drink it in moderation and avoid consuming it right before bed.
9. Use Caffeine Strategically
Caffeine is many people’s go-to source for a pick-me-up. It helps you wake up, focus, and stay alert. Caffeine is found in the following products:
- Black and green tea
- Energy drinks
While caffeine provides short bursts of energy, using it improperly will have the opposite effect long term.
Drinking caffeine within 8 hours of your bedtime can harm your sleep. You may find yourself unable to relax, tossing and turning for hours on end. After a poor night’s sleep, you’ll be in even more dire need of that cup of joe, exacerbating the cycle. To avoid this spiraling effect, limit your caffeine consumption to the morning hours and use other natural energy-boosting techniques in the afternoon.
10. Take a Power Nap
Naps can go one of two ways. You either wake up refreshed and energized or groggy and disoriented.
The key to maximizing the energy-boosting effects of a nap is to time it correctly. This keeps your body from entering deeper sleep states that are harder to recuperate from. Simply set the alarm to ensure you wake up on time.
In addition, avoid napping too late in the day or you’ll have trouble going to bed later on.
How Can I Increase Energy Levels in My Body?
By using a combination of these strategies, you’ll finally enjoy sustained energy throughout the day.
If you’re interested in a simple, healthy way to make a big difference, consider adding Bio-K+® probiotics to your daily routine.
Talk with your healthcare team and learn more about our probiotics today!
- Fernandez-Mendoza, Julio. “Insomnia and Its Impact on Physical and Mental Health.” PubMed, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24189774. Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.
- “7 Simple Steps to Boosting Energy.” Mayo Clinic, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/7-simple-steps-to-boosting-energy/art-20305553.
- “Mood and Microbes: Gut to Brain Communication in Depression.” PubMed, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31383278. Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.
- “Water, Hydration and Health.” PubMed Central (PMC), www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908954.
- Ganio, Matthew. “Mild Dehydration Impairs Cognitive Performance and Mood of Men.” PubMed, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21736786. Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.
- Pietilä, Julia et al. “Acute Effect of Alcohol Intake on Cardiovascular Autonomic Regulation During the First Hours of Sleep in a Large Real-World Sample of Finnish Employees: Observational Study.” JMIR mental health vol. 5,1 e23. 16 Mar. 2018, doi:10.2196/mental.9519