Tips to Boost Your Energy

en·er·gy (noun):  the strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity.  We rely on energy to get through the day, the week, the year.  We know that losing out on sleep can leave you drained, but sleep deprivation is only one of a long list of possible reasons behind feeling exhausted.

The following are some of the typical pitfalls which will cause chronic fatigue:

  • You don’t drink enough water. Even slight dehydration will cause a drop in energy level.  This may be surprising, but dehydration actually makes your blood thicker. This makes it harder for your heart to pump oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and organs, ultimately slowing you down.
  • You skip breakfast. Dubbed the most important meal of the day, skipping breakfast can often lead to feeling lifeless the rest of the day. We rely on breakfast to kickstart our metabolism after a goodnights sleep.  The body continues to burn through food and nutrients even as we sleep, leaving our stores depleted by morning.  A meal shortly after waking up is important to replenish these depleted energy stores and energize the body.
  • You have a drink to unwind. Many adults enjoy an alcoholic beverage after a long day of work, to help them unwind before bed.  However alcohol can actually interrupt your sleep at night.  Initially, the alcohol will depress the nervous system and produce a tranquilizing effect helping you to fall asleep.  However as it is broken down as you sleep, it gives the body a surge of energy, likely to wake you up at night.
  • You stay up late on weekends. Altering your sleep cycle on the weekends can leave you feeling tired by the time Monday rolls around.  It is unrealistic to expect people to stay in on the weekends to avoid a case of the “Mondays”, but trying to stay close to your regular bed times or at least wake times is essential for your body.  Keeping your sleep patterns regular will keep you feeling fresh throughout the day.
  • You check your phone in bed. The light given off by your most prized electronics – our phones, TVs and tablets) can actually throw off your sleep cycles.  Your body typically follows the rule of if it’s bright it’s time to get up, if it’s dark it’s time for sleep.  The glow from the modern tech devices that surround us can keep us awake for longer and make it difficult for our bodies to wind down.

So you know what you are doing wrong, but what can you do to boost your energy levels throughout the day? The best way to keep energy up is to eat well. The general rule of thumb for high energy foods are those high in fiber but low in glycemic index.  Glycemic index measures the variation in blood sugar levels according to foods consumed. Foods with carbohydrates that break down more slowly, releasing glucose more gradually into the bloodstream, tend to have a low GI.  Consuming foods with high GI will cause a spike in blood sugar and energy, translating to a jolt of energy followed by a crash.  This constant up and down will leave you exhausted.  For this reason we look to foods with low GI to create a sustained level of energy.  Below is a list of some energy boosting foods:

  • tomatoes
  • blueberries
  • black beans
  • walnuts
  • oats

It is important to remember that energy not only refers to physical strength and alertness but mental as well.  Whether the issue is committing yourself to too many social obligations, or feeling obligated to always say yes to a new project at work (even during your time off), it is important to take time for yourself.  It is easy to overlook stress and anxiety as a cause of prolonged fatigue, but this can be both physically and emotionally taxing.  Getting outdoors, meditating, and regular exercise boosts strength, endurance, and energy.  This movement not only delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues, but provides an influx of endorphins, boosting both your energy and mood!

David Samadi, MD - Medical Contributor

View posts by David Samadi, MD - Medical Contributor
Dr. Samadi is a board-certified urologic oncologist trained in open and traditional and laparoscopic surgery and is an expert in robotic prostate surgery. He is chairman of urology, chief of robotic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital and professor of urology at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. He is a medical correspondent for the Fox News Channel's Medical A-Team. Learn more at Visit Dr. Samadi's blog at Follow Dr. Samadi on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.
Scroll to top