Get Your Energy Back
Does the summer heat have you feeling sluggish? Use these tips to help you get your energy back!
- Eat small, frequent meals… but don’t overeat. If you’re having a hard time keeping your energy up, it’s better to eat small meals and snacks every few hours than three large meals a day. That’s because your brain needs a steady supply of nutrients. Some people can begin feeling tired, headachy or light-headed after just a few hours without food. But it doesn’t take much to feed your brain—a piece of fruit or a few nuts is enough.
- Avoid crash diets. Even if you are dieting or trying to lose weight, you shouldn’t be skipping essential nutrients or starving yourself. Calories give you energy, and poor nutrition and insufficient calorie intake can cause fatigue. Food provides your brain with a steady supply of glucose. If the brain’s glucose levels are running low, some people can feel hungry, fatigued, or both.
- Use caffeine to your advantage. Caffeine increases alertness for an hour or two after consumption, so having a cup of coffee before going to a meeting or starting on a project can help sharpen your mind. But it can also cause insomnia, especially when consumed in large amounts or after 2 p.m. (or even noon, if you’re caffeine-sensitive). Be mindful of how much coffee you have had the next time you reach for the coffee pot!
- Limit alcohol. Alcohol is a sedative, so you should be aware of its effects before you consume. The sedative effect is especially strong at midday, when you normally feel tired anyway, so one of the best ways to avoid the mid-afternoon slump is to stay away from alcohol at lunch. If you want to have energy in the evening to pursue a hobby, stay awake through a movie or finish that report for work the next day, the 5 o'clock cocktail may not be for you.
- Drink water. The only nutrient that has been shown to enhance performance for most activities isn’t an expensive electrolyte-filled beverage...it’s water! If your body is short on fluids, one of the first signs is a feeling of fatigue. Be sure that you keep a cup or bottle of water around you to take sips throughout the day.
Source: Harvard Health