Energy is one of the most important concerns these days.
Without good energy many issues develop inside the body. Things like slowed metabolism, depression, decreased memory, decreased focus and efficiency, lack of motivation, behavior issues, lowered immune function, & muscle weakness. It is of great importance to have good energy production inside the body. How does this happen?
The obvious is "nutrition" because without nutrients feeding the cells, no energy can be created. The other important ingredient for making energy is oxygen which helps the conversion of food to energy. It all sounds so simple however many things get in the way of energy production. Poor diet, stress, and illness are the most common issues.
Why stress gets so much attention is because of the damage it does to the body over time. Stress if very catabolic meaning it increases free radicals and breaks the body down. Stress uses up more of everything... More nutrients, more hormones, etc. There are some important nutrients that stress affects the most... Magnesium, b-complex, and all anti-oxidants. Stress is like sugar in the blood therefore energy fluctuations are normal under stress. Eating a high sugar diet, makes the energy fluctuations worse therefore eating less carbs and having protein and fat with your carbs is critical. This is the number one way to maximize energy levels. Most people live with extreme high's and lows all day long and this wreaks havoc over time. It creates many issues but the main one being type II diabetes. High blood sugars from stress and eating too much carbohydrate or eating carbs without fat and protein causes the pancreas to work too hard. It constantly releases insulin and over time it wears out and insulin receptor sites become numb. When this happens, blood sugars start to stay too high and because insulin is a carrier of all nutrient to the cells, cravings start to increase as well since the body is not getting the nutrients it needs. Cravings increase and energy decreases.
Eat Balanced - I have a lot of info on the website on what balance means so please do check out the articles and videos to learn more. This is a big part of maximizing energy.
Caffeine - Good for immediate energy but because it is a stimulant, it is short lived. Stimulating the body artificially is never the answer. Some coffee isn't bad, it is just not a healthy way to find energy. Many drink coffee or sugary drinks every morning in order to be able to function.
Sleep - Critical to get deep sleep for at least 7 hours a night. Many can function on a lot less sleep than others however often it is an imbalance that is not allowing someone to sleep well so they get used to functioning on less. There are many solutions to help sleep if you are one who just can't sleep well. Calm magnesium (powder form) every night in hot water or herbal tea (1-3 tsp), melatonin 30 minutes prior to bedtime, calming teas, 5-HTP if serotonin is low. I hesitate to recommend 5-htp until I have seen your whole assessment but it is an effective tool if this is your issue. If all else fails, get your hormones tested. Low progesterone in women can cause major sleep issues.
Exercise - Our bodies are meant to move. If you are too sedentary the balance inside your body can get messed up. You need a balance between mental and physical stimulation. You should move every day. You need some sort of structured exercise for 40 minutes at least 3 times per week. Walking, dancing, cleaning, gardening, golfing, playing any kind of sports are ways to move. We all tend to sit too much which so if you don't plan some form of exercise or movement daily your energy won't be as good.
Fruits, Vegetables and Fiber - If you can't get enough fruit and veggies in daily cheat, buy powdered greens and reds and have one scoop of each daily. Not getting enough anti-oxidants will lower energy since we create free radicals daily so if you don't consume antioxidants through food or supplements your body slowly breaks down and can't recover.
Hydration and Electrolytes - Critical for good energy. Drink 1/2 of your weight in ounces of water. Eat high potassium foods (melons, grapefruit, oranges, peaches, apricots, baked yams and baked potatoes, bananas, etc). Caffeine, alcohol, sweating and stress all deplete potassium and the rest of your electrolytes. Take an electrolyte packet if you drink caffeinated beverages daily, drink alcohol, sweat a lot, and don't eat enough high potassium food. I like stamina and ultima. You can google these to buy online if you can't find them in your stores.
Limit Alcohol - Too much alcohol flushes out B vitamins, vitamin C and electrolytes. It also dehydrates you so you can see alcohol can severely deplete energy levels. Limit yourself to one glass per day and always have it with food (protein and fat).
If stress if high practice a relaxation exercise daily. Yoga can really help too. Remember to breathe. You should breathe from your stomach and not your chest. Deep belly breathing makes a huge difference to the amount of oxygen that gets to our cells.