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9 simple Tips to Increase Your Energy without Drugs or Stimulants

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In today's fast paced world it is important to be on top of tired-worker thumbyour game, and to do that you need to have energy. Increasing your energy through stimulants and drugs will eventually lead to a huge energy crash, or perhaps even worse, a health crisis. Here are a few simple tips to increase your energy naturally, without stimulants, sugar or drugs.

Don't skip meals. To keep from being fatigued you need a slow and steady release of energy. Smaller frequent meals do this and are also better to help increase metabolism and stay leaner too!. Eat 5 to 6 small meals evenly spaced throughout the day. This gives your body the nutrition it needs to last.

Keep your blood sugar balanced. To do this eat smaller meals and eat frequently. Also eat protein at every meal: One of the most important ways to keep your blood sugar balanced and energy levels high is to include protein at every meal, breakfast and snacks included. The best protein sources include fish, organic meat, chicken, eggs, yogurt, and whey protein powder. Insufficient protein is a common reason for fatigue. Pack some almonds and nuts for a quick and convenient protein snack.

Limit sugar and caffeine intake. Might sound bizarre but sugar and caffeine give you instant energy, but a few hours later, and in the long term, they will only make you more tired. Sugar, fructose corn syrup, and caffeine weaken your adrenal glands, which in turn are responsible for your energy levels. So, by consuming sugar and caffeine, you are weakening your body's natural energy system. You must wean yourself off of these! Try having one cup of green tea instead, and if you must sweeten your food or beverage, try using natural sweeteners.

Increase your water intake. Many people underestimate the importance of water to the body.There is a huge gap in knowledge regarding the understanding as to why proper hydration is important for health.The human brain is composed of 95% water; blood is 82% water; the lungs are nearly 90% water. As one can imagine water is also the single most critical nutrient for health, growth, and development. It is not only the most important nutrient in the body, but also the most abundant. Water is critical to the balance of all the body's systems, including the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys and muscles.  Water is the medium for various enzymatic & chemical reactions in the body. It moves nutrients, hormones, antibodies, & oxygen through the blood stream & lymphatic system.Many people with ailments might find that they can be improved or even cured with proper water hydration. One of the most common reasons for low energy is not drinking enough water.

Change your afternoon snack. By the time 3, or 4:00 rolls around, your lunch has probably worn off and you're ready for your afternoon snack. Instead of reaching for a Red Bull, a soda, or a candy bar, try replacing these with a complex carbohydrate snack or more protein. A snack low on the glycemic index (for more about the glycemic index, and to see a long list of the glycemic content of various foods, check out the nutrition section, and diet tools area at www.musclemagfitness.com). Sugary snacks produce an instant rush and increase in blood sugar, supplying you with more energy. However, this affect is short lived and as your blood sugar levels come back down, the result is a feeling of extreme tiredness. Try adding a protein shake or bar as your afternoon pick-me-up and stay away from known tiredness inducers.

Work up a sweat. One of the newest trends is walking for more activity and energy. Walking is also the number-one, most-used exercise routines for losing weight. Getting a sufficient "cardio" workout increases the body's ability to get oxygen to the cells efficiently; this lowers blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and decreases body fat. These are absolute necessities for increasing productivity and a staple in the lifestyle of almost every high-energy person. Take 30 minutes a day to walk in sunshine, such as during a lunch break, to boost your serotonin levels and increase your energy. Yoga is another exercise to add daily energy. To fight fatigue you should include exercise into your routine at least three times a week.

Consider taking nutritional supplements. Eating a "perfect" diet does not give us enough key nutrients, such as Carnitine, CoQ10, magnesium, B-complex, and Omega 3s, for optimal energy levels. Taking supplements is necessary to ensure adequate amounts in your system and to cover any deficiencies. On my site you can see in more detail what each nutrient provides.Make sure you do not have any medical conditions that can cause fatigue. These include low thyroid function, low iron, high iron (hemochromatosis), and a range of other ailments which can be determined by blood tests.

Improve your artificial light. Because we spend so much time indoors, open up your windows to let in as much sunshine as possible for more positive energy and better health. Change out your artificial lighting to mimic the sun's spectrum by going with the new lighting products from the new Philips' Natural line at Home Depot or with lighting products from Verilux (www.healthylight.com). Your environment will look and feel better, and your spirits will improve.

Limit stress. Every week, 95 million Americans suffer some kind of stress related symptom for which they take medication. The American Medical Association stated that stress was the cause of 80 to 85 percent of all human illnesses and diseases or at the very least has detrimental health effects. There is evidence to support that continuing stress can lead to diseases ranging from  cardiovascular disease, hypertension, headaches (including migraines), ulcers, anxiety, allergies, asthma, mental illness and cancer. Stress can lead to decreased energy, as well as reduced sleep quality, which can also affect our energy throughout the day.   There are several ways to effectively manage stress. The following is just a small partial list of tools:

  • Exercise. Several studies conducted by such respected organizations such as the American Medical Association and the American Heart Association have shown that physical activities can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, lower blood lipids, lowers blood glucose levels and may prevent mild cases of diabetes. Exercise ca also increase your energy (see above)
  • Learn Relaxation Techniques. Deep breathing is one of the simplest yet most effective stress management techniques that can be done anywhere, anytime. It can infuse the blood with extra oxygen burning up waste products (toxins) in the body, as well as recharging the body's batteries (the solar plexus). In fact, most of our energy requirements come not from food but from required oxygen. How you say? Oxygen is a critical component for the production of a chemical in the body called Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). Deep breathing also has the added benefit of stimulating the body to release tranquilizing endorphins increasing the feeling of well being. Other Relaxation Techniques may include: Yoga, Tai Chi, stretching, and meditation to lower blood pressure and reduce stress. Research shows that meditation also increases levels of melatonin, an important hormone that supports the immune system, promotes deep and restful sleep, slows cell damage and aging, improves energy and may even inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Studies have shown that these techniques can effectively reduce has also been shown to increase blood flow, elevate oxygen levels in the blood effectively reducing the negative effects of stress.
  • Treat Yourself. Consider treating yourself to a massage. Massage therapy can relax muscles, easy muscle spasm, increase blood flow to skin and muscles and relieve mental and emotional stress.
  • Nap. Consider a power nap. Studies show a 15 minute nap can recharge you and increase mental and physical performance.
  • Do Something Fun to Take the Edge Off. Consider an activity that makes you feel good. It could be a simple as a stroll in the park, a shower or just listening to some good music. Most people think they have to do big things, such as a vacation to relieve stress. This is a fallacy. Small activities that you enjoy can be very effective at relieving stress. 
  • Think Positive. Avoid focusing on the situations where you have no control on the outcome (such as whether a specific competitor may compete, the length of a line, etc). Worrying about things we can not change will not make any difference on the outcome. Instead focus on the things you can do something about (like your training, and diet). Own this. Use the positive energies to make gains in the area you can control. Take heed to the saying, Do not stress the small stuff", as well as "do not stress the things you can not change".

About the Author

Jeff Behar
Jeff Behar, MS, MBA

Jeff Behar, MS, MBA is well known in the Health, Fitness, and Nutrition Fields, as a published author, personal trainer and successful natural bodybuilder. 

With approximately 30 years of experience in the health, fitness, and nutrition field Jef'f's advice is routinely sought from people throughout the world.  

Jeff Behar has also been featured on several radio talk shows, TV, and featured in popular bodybuilding publications such as Flex and Ironman. Jeff Behar is a also a routine contributor to several popular on line health and fitness portals,and health, fitness and wellness magazines.  

Last modified on Sunday, 09 November 2014 15:30
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