When we set a goal for ourselves and then don’t follow through, we blame it on a lack of motivation. But I’d argue that most of the time, it isn’t a lack of motivation, but a lack of energy.
When we’re tired and burnt out, we have zero motivation. When we’re full of energy, we feel unstoppable.
I have much more energy now, at 37, than when I was 20.
I experimented with many different ways to increase my energy naturally. Some worked and others didn’t.
Today I’m going to share with you 6 ways to increase your energy.
Drink more water
A few years ago, I read a research paper that suggested drinking a gallon of water a day. I tried it for a week and it made a massive difference!
It turned out that I had been mildly dehydrated my entire life.
We use water to transport nutrients around our body.
If we eat a healthy diet but don’t have enough water to deliver those nutrients to their destination, we won’t get the energy we need.
Eat whole foods
Our digestive system needs energy to process food. The more energy we spend processing food, the less we have for everything else. This is why we’re so tired in the afternoon after eating too much for lunch.
But it’s not only about quantity. Some foods require more energy to process than others.
We can easily process plant-based foods, like vegetables, fruits, nuts or seeds. But it takes our bodies much more work to deal with fried foods, refined sugars and processed foods.
I eat a lot of “brain foods” to improve my mental clarity, focus and memory. Avocados, berries, salmon, eggs, coconut products, turmeric, broccoli, and green tea.
Every body is different, so it’s a good idea to keep a food journal for a couple of weeks and log how you feel after every meal. You’ll learn so much about the foods that raise your energy and the ones that drain it.
Supplement your diet
When I grew up, nutrition information was focused on macronutrients: protein, carbs and fat. Now we have a much better understanding of nutrition, and the focus is on micro-nutrients: vitamins and minerals.
The best way to get these micro-nutrients is through our diet, but sometimes our modern lifestyle can make eating the right things challenging.
This is why supplements are so appealing. We can have in a shake most of the micro-nutrients and superfoods we need to perform at our peak.
I’m a big fan of Green Vibrance from Vibrant Health and Raw Organic Meal from Garden of Life, but there are many other amazing superfood supplements out there.
Limit your coffee consumption
I have a love/hate relationship with coffee. I love having a cup in the morning, but sometimes one cup turns into two or three, and then I’m all jittery and crash hard later in the day.
My new rule is no coffee after 10am, so let’s see how it goes.
Coffee can be great when we do all the other things I mention in this video, but we shouldn’t use it as a crutch to compensate for poor health decisions.
Caffeine boosts our energy temporarily and then we crash, so it’s not a sustainable source of it.
Exercise in moderation
It seems counterintuitive that exercise can actually increase our energy, but it does.
The key here is moderation. I’m always exhausted after very intense rugby practices or lifting sessions, but I feel amazing after going for a hike or a light run.
When I’m tired in the middle of the day and don’t have time for a full workout, I bounce in my trampoline or do a few pushups. This gets my blood flowing and wakes me up instantly.
Improve your sleep quality
Studies show that our minds and bodies perform much better when we sleep 7 or 8 hours instead of 5 or 6.
But it’s not only about the number of hours. It’s about the quality of our sleep.
As you probably know, sleep happens in cycles. In each cycle, we go from light sleep to deep sleep, and back to light sleep.
The deeper we go, the more we restore our energy levels. So, how can we increase the amount of deep sleep we get?
There are a number of things we can do. Limiting the amount of screen time prior to sleep is crucial.
Not only does the blue light from our screens interfere with our sleep, but when we fill up our minds with social media and news before going to bed, it’s hard to quiet it down and rest well.
Stress is another obstacle that interferes with our sleep. Avoid stressful conversations or work projects before going to bed. Reading a fiction book is a great way to disconnect from the stressors in our life and transition into sleep.
I sleep much better in pitch dark rooms with temperatures between 60 and 65 degrees, and I think that’s true for most people.
And it’s important to note that exercise and a healthy diet improve our sleep quality as well.
But probably the most important factor when it comes to sleep is having a regular schedule. If you go to bed at different times every day, your body is always adjusting, and can’t relax as well as it needs to.
So there you go, 6 ways to naturally increase your energy. But I’m curious to hear what works for you. Do you have any tips to boost your energy? Please share them in the comments. I’m always looking to learn new ways to improve my life.