You hear your alarm going off for the third time this morning, but you can’t muster the energy to get out of bed. When you finally do get up, you find yourself shuffling through your day in a daze, struggling to keep your eyes open.
And no amount of coffee (or even Red Bull) seems to help.
If this sounds like a regular day for you, you’re not alone. Fatigue is a troublingly common problem, impacting approximately 15% of women and 10% of men. It can be caused by a number of factors, and it’s important to see your family doctor if you have unexplained fatigue. That said, lifestyle could also have a lot to do with why you feel tired all the time.
It certainly was in my case!
To that end, here are some healthy ways to boost your energy levels naturally and fight fatigue.
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this article which means that if you make a purchase after clicking on one, I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you.
1. Clean Up your Diet
Eating a balanced diet is one of the most crucial things you can do for your health. Not only will it help you maintain a healthy weight, but it will also lend you the stamina you need to get through the day. In particular, here are some ways to clean up your diet easily.
Avoid processed foods, refined carbs, and sugar
Arguably the best natural energy booster is avoiding processed foods and eating whole foods. These foods have a low glycemic index and are packed with nutrients that help support your body’s natural systems. Additionally, complex carbs and foods that are low in sugars take your body more time to break down, meaning you’ll have steadier energy levels throughout the day.
At the same time, you want to avoid sugar and refined carbs (think white bread, pasta, soft drinks, and prepackaged goods). These foods are digested very quickly, causing your blood sugar to spike – and then crash. Ever wonder why you feel like you’re about to go into a coma after that Big Mac you had for lunch?
Yeah. That’s why.
If you’re like me and struggle to cut back on sugar because of your sweet tooth, try healthy substitutions like dark chocolate or fresh berries.
Eat plenty of fruits and high-fiber vegetables
Speaking of berries, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is essential for health. They’re loaded with nutrients and antioxidants that naturally provide your body with energy. (They can also help make your skin look fantastic!) They’re also a great source of fiber, which helps keep you feeling full and satisfied after meals.
To get the most benefit from fruits and vegetables, aim to eat at least five servings every day. That may seem like a lot, but it’s actually easier than you think. For example, a serving of fruit could be a small apple or a large banana. A serving of vegetables could be a half-cup of cooked broccoli or a large carrot.
Include healthy fats in your diet
Fats help your body absorb vitamins, support cellular function and protect your organs. They also happen to be a great source of energy!
But not all fats are ideal; stick with healthy oils and fats, such as those found in olive oil, nuts, and avocados. Avoid trans fats and saturated fats. (In other words, cheeseburgers and bacon are off the menu!)
Eat enough lean protein
Protein is a crucial nutrient that helps your body repair tissue, build muscle, and produce enzymes and hormones. Some good examples include lean meats, chia seeds, and Greek yogurt.
The amount of protein you need depends on a number of factors, including your age, activity level, and muscle mass. However, the general rule of thumb is to consume 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
Watch your vitamin B intake
B vitamins play a significant role in your metabolism. In particular, Vitamin B-12 helps your body change food into energy, so it’s essential to ensure you are getting enough. Vit. B-12 is mainly found in meats, eggs, and dairy products. So, if you are vegetarian or vegan, you may need a vitamin B supplement.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
It should come as no surprise that water is essential for good health. It helps your body flush out toxins, transport nutrients, and maintain a healthy temperature. Furthermore, water can improve your energy levels by preventing the symptoms that arise from dehydration.
The amount of water you need depends on your weight, activity level, and the climate you live in. But a good rule of thumb is to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. If you’re having trouble getting enough H2O each day, here are some tips that can help.
Keep a reusable water bottle with you at all times
One of the best ways to make sure you’re drinking enough water is to keep a water bottle with you at all times. That way, whenever you’re thirsty, you can simply take a drink. And if you’re not thirsty, you can still sip on water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
It’s also a good idea to make sure that the water bottle you’re using is one that you like and that is easy to drink from. If you find it difficult or unpleasant to drink from your water bottle, you’re much less likely to actually do it. So invest in a quality, BPA-free water bottle that you can easily take with you wherever you go.
The HidrateSpark PRO is an excellent choice; it’s a “smart” water bottle that’s available in stainless steel and has a sensor that glows to remind you when it’s time to take a sip. You can even sync it with your phone to keep tabs on how much water you’re drinking each day!
Drink more water as your activity level increases
If you’re exercising or spending time in hot weather, you need more water to avoid dehydration. How much is enough? Aim for eight ounces of water for every 20 minutes of activity.
So, if you’re going on a 30-minute walk, make sure to drink 16 ounces of water beforehand. And if you’re going to be outside in the heat all day, be sure to bring a cooler with plenty of water.
Drink one glass of water as soon as you wake up
One way to make sure you’re getting enough water is to drink a glass as soon as you wake up in the morning. This will help jumpstart your body and rehydrate you after a long night’s sleep.
Not only will you feel more awake, but you’ll also be less likely to experience dehydration throughout the day. Plus, drinking water first thing in the morning can also help boost your metabolism and aid in weight loss.
Flavor your water with fruit or other supplements
If you find plain water boring, try flavoring it with fresh fruit. Just slice up your favorite fruits or fresh berries and add them to your water. Let the fruit sit in the water for a few hours, and it will transform into a rejuvenating and healthy drink containing essential nutrients. You can also add herbs or spices to mix it up and create a different flavor profile.
For instance, mint leaves can give your water a refreshing flavor, while cinnamon sticks can add a touch of warmth. With so many options, it’s easy to find a flavor that you love. You can also add supplements and electrolytes to give your water an added nutritional boost.
3. Exercise Regularly
Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health. It helps improve your heart health, strengthens your muscles, and – you guessed it – boosts energy levels. Not only that but physical activity has been shown to improve mental health and mood.
Making time for physical activity can be a challenge, but it’s essential to prioritize it. If you’re struggling to exercise regularly, here are some tips for getting started with an exercise routine.
Schedule your workouts in advance
One of the best ways to make sure you stick to your workout routine is to schedule your workouts in advance. This way, you can plan around other commitments and make sure you have enough time for a proper workout. When scheduling your workouts, it’s important to be realistic about how much time you can realistically commit to working out.
If you’re trying to squeeze in a workout between a busy work schedule and taking care of your family, you’re likely to skip workouts or not get a good quality workout. Instead, try to schedule your workouts at a time when you know you’ll have plenty of time and energy to devote to it.
Set realistic goals
When starting an exercise routine, it’s important to set realistic goals. If you’re not used to working out, don’t try to accomplish too much too soon. Start with an achievable goal and increase the intensity or duration of your workouts as you get more comfortable.
Remember, everybody is different; don’t compare your progress to somebody else’s. Just concentrate on making progress in your own time.
Choose an activity that you enjoy
If you’re not used to exercising, it can be tough to find the motivation to get started. One way to make it easier is to choose an activity that you actually enjoy. That way, working out won’t feel like a chore.
There are many kinds of exercise you can do, and there’s bound to be something that you enjoy. Whether running, lifting weights, or yoga, find an activity that you look forward to doing.
Remember that getting regular exercise doesn’t have to mean going to the gym. This site is a wealth of information for workouts you can do at home, including equipment-free activities you can do in your living room!
Get a workout buddy
One of the best ways to make sure you stay on track is to find an exercise buddy. Not only can they help hold you accountable, but working out with a friend can also be more fun than going it alone.
Plus, it’s easier to make excuses when you’re by yourself – if you have a workout buddy, you’re more likely to show up even when you don’t feel like it. So if you’re struggling to stick to your workout routine, look for someone who shares your fitness goals and get moving together!
4. Get Enough Sleep
As far as healthy ways to boost energy, I can’t stress enough how important it is to get enough quality sleep. It helps improve mood, cognitive function, and overall physical health. Furthermore, inadequate sleep has been linked to several chronic health conditions, including obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
Most people need around 7 or 8 hours of sleep per night. However, many people don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis. If you’re having a hard time getting enough shut-eye at night, try these tips.
Establish a bedtime routine
One of the best ways to make sure you get enough sleep is to establish a bedtime routine and stick to it as much as possible. This may mean going to bed earlier and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
A bedtime routine can act as a signal to your body that it should wind down and prepare for sleep. What that routine looks like is totally up to you; just make sure it is relaxing. Meditation, reading a book, or taking a bath are all good choices.
Create a sleep-friendly environment
Another way to promote better sleep is to create a sleep-friendly environment in your bedroom. This means making sure the room is dark, quiet, and cool.
If you have trouble sleeping in a completely dark room, try using an eye mask or blackout curtains to block out light. Likewise, use earplugs to drown out unwanted sounds. You can also try a white noise machine, which many people find to help them sleep better.
Limit electronics before bed
One of the best ways to get deep, restful sleep is to limit your exposure to electronics in the hours leading up to bedtime. The bright screens of phones, tablets, and laptops can stimulate the brain and make it difficult to fall asleep. In addition, the blue light emitted by electronic screens suppresses the production of melatonin, a hormone that aids the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
To get the most restful sleep possible, it’s important to disconnect from electronics at least an hour before bed to fall asleep faster. Instead, try reading a book or taking a relaxing bath. By disconnecting from technology, you’ll give your mind and body the chance to wind down and prepare for a restful night’s sleep.
Limit naps during the day
While a short nap can be a great way to boost energy levels, napping for too long or at the wrong time of day can actually make you feel more tired. That’s because napping for more than 30 minutes can disrupt the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle. To get the most out of your nap and avoid low energy levels afterward, keep it short and sweet; A 15-to-20-minute nap is usually all you need to refresh and rejuvenate.
5. Avoid Caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant and can seriously mess with your sleep. It’s found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, and chocolate. And while it can help to increase alertness and energy levels, it can also make it more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. In addition, too much java juice can also cause anxiety and jitters that further contribute to fatigue.
Trust me, I know coffee can be tough to give up, but these tips can help you cut back.
Cut caffeine gradually
If you’re trying to cut back on your daily java intake, it’s important to do it gradually. Do not go cold turkey! If you do, you will likely experience withdrawal symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and irritability.
So how can you wean yourself off caffeine safely? First, try reducing your intake by half. For example, if you usually drink two cups of coffee a day, switch to one cup.
Or, if you drink four cups of tea, switch to two. Doing this will help your body adjust to the lower level of caffeine gradually.
Limit caffeine intake to the morning
To get the most out of caffeine without experiencing negative side effects, it is best to consume it in the morning. The body metabolizes caffeine relatively slowly, so drinking coffee or tea early in the day will give you sustained energy throughout the day.
In contrast, consuming caffeine in the evening can interfere with sleep and leave you feeling tired the next morning. To limit your caffeine intake to the morning, avoid drinking coffee or tea after lunchtime, and switch to decaf or herbal tea in the evening.
Switch to decaf tea or herbal tea
If you find it difficult to give up caffeine entirely, try switching to decaf tea or herbal tea. Decaf teas still contain small amounts of caffeine, but they are significantly lower than regular tea. Meanwhile, herbal teas are completely caffeine-free. Chamomile and lavender tea are especially good for promoting relaxation and sleep.
6. Manage Stress
It probably comes as no shock that chronic stress can take a toll on your energy levels. When you’re stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol. In small doses, cortisol can help to improve mental and physical performance. But when cortisol levels are chronically high, it can lead to fatigue, anxiety, and depression.
That’s why it is so important to find healthy ways to control stress. Here are some stress-busting tactics you can use to feel calmer and restore your energy.
Identify Sources of Stress
The first step to addressing your stress is to identify the sources of stress in your life. Common sources of stress include work, relationships, finances, and health. Once you have identified the sources of stress, you can begin to develop a plan for managing it.
There are many effective stress management techniques, such as exercise, relaxation, and time management. By finding the right approach for you, you can minimize the impact of stress on your life.
For many people, meditation is an effective way to lower stress. By taking a few minutes each day to sit quietly and focus on your breath, you can help to clear your mind and reduce stress.
Meditation can also help to improve your sleep quality, which can further reduce stress. In addition, meditation can be used as a tool to help you cope with stressful situations when they arise. By taking a moment to meditate, you can help to center yourself and better manage your stress.
Take breaks throughout the day
Give your mind a rest now and then. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, stepping away from your work or taking a brief walk can help to refresh your mind and reduce stress.
In addition, taking regular breaks throughout the day can help to improve your energy levels. When you’re feeling tired, taking a few minutes to rest can help you to feel more alert and energetic.
Connect with Friends and Family
We all have busy lives, full of work and responsibility, and often our social lives suffer as a result. But one way to reduce stress is by connecting with friends and family. When we feel stressed, our instinct is often to withdraw from others and go into our own headspace. However, this can actually make stress worse. Connecting with loved ones helps to ground us and remind us of the support system that we have.
Talk to your friends and family about what’s going on in your life and how they can help you. Also, spending time with loved ones can help take your mind off of whatever is causing you stress.
Whether it’s going for a walk, cooking dinner together, or just watching a movie, quality time with the important people in your life makes a big difference in managing stress levels.
Say “no” more
Sometimes, you just have to say “no.” It can be difficult (especially if you’re a people-pleaser), but learning to set boundaries is an important part of managing stress.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your commitments, it’s okay to say no to new tasks. By saying “no” more often, you can help to reduce your stress levels and focus on the things you find most meaningful.
7. Limit Alcohol Consumption
I know, this one kind of stinks. I enjoy alcohol as much as the next gal, and I found this hard to give up. But although drinking alcohol can make you feel relaxed and sleepy, it can actually interfere with your sleep quality and leave you feeling tired the next day.
In addition, alcohol can dehydrate you, which can make you feel even more tired. And let’s face it, alcohol just doesn’t have any health benefits. If you’re dreading this step, here are a few ways to make cutting back on alcohol less painful.
Drink only on weekends
One strategy that can be effective is to drink only on the weekends. This approach can help you to avoid the temptation to drink during the week, when you may be more likely to drink excessively. Additionally, it can help you to save money and calories by limiting your alcohol intake.
Plus, you’ll enjoy those weekend drinks much more when they are reserved for the weekends; trust me!
If you know that you’re going to be in a situation where alcohol will be available, it can be helpful to plan ahead. Decide how much you’re going to drink before you go out, and stick to your limit.
If you’re drinking, it’s important to pace yourself. Slowly sipping your drink can help you to drink less and avoid becoming intoxicated. In addition, alternating alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic ones can help to slow down your drinking and prevent you from becoming too drunk.
Stick with low-alcohol drinks
If you’re trying to cut back on your alcohol intake, it’s best to stick with low-alcohol drinks. These include light beers, wine spritzers, and mixed drinks made with club soda or fruit juice.
In addition, be aware of the alcohol content of the drinks you’re consuming. For instance, some beers and wines are more potent than others. If you’re looking to drink less alcohol, it’s best to choose drinks with lower alcohol content.
If you’re in a situation where you feel like you need to drink alcohol but you’re trying not to, there are a few non-alcoholic alternatives that can help. These include Virgin Marys, Shirley Temples, and non-alcoholic wine.
These drinks make great “training wheels” as you’re weaning yourself off alcohol.
8. Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting involves switching between stretches of fasting and eating. There are a variety of different ways to do intermittent fasting, but the most common approach is to fast for 16 hours and eat for 8 hours.
Why does it work? Research suggests that fasting for short periods of time improves hormone function by stabilizing insulin levels and boosting HGH levels. These changes help improve your metabolic flexibility, which means your body can more easily shift from burning carbs to burning fats for energy. This translates into more stable energy levels.
It’s important to implement intermittent fasting correctly for it to benefit fo you. Here are some ways to ease into it.
Start with a shorter fasting window
If you’re new to intermittent fasting, it’s best to start with a shorter fasting window. For example, you could start by fasting for 12 hours and eating for 12 hours. Once you’re comfortable with that, you can gradually increase your fasting window to 16 hours.
Drink plenty of fluids during your fast
We’ve already talked about the importance of hydration, but when you’re fasting, it’s even more important. Water is the best option, but you can also drink unsweetened tea or coffee.
In addition, it’s important to avoid sugary drinks and alcoholic beverages while you’re fasting. These not only cause your blood sugar to spike and crash, but they also end your fast.
Final Thoughts on Healthy Ways to Boost Energy
We covered nine natural ways for boosting your energy levels naturally. We talked about the significance of cleaning up our diet, drinking plenty of water, getting enough physical activity, getting enough quality sleep, cutting back on caffeine and alcohol, managing stress, and implementing intermittent fasting.
If it seems like a lot, don’t worry; you don’t need to try implementing all these healthy tips at once! Start by making one small lifestyle change at a time.
The good news is that healthy living has a snowball effect: as your body starts to benefit from your health choices, you’ll start feeling refreshed and encouraged to make even more healthy choices.
Your energy levels will be soaring before you know it!