Many of us have a love-hate relationship with caffeine because we love the energy it gives us to start our day, but we hate the exhaustion it makes us feel at night. Although we have intimately familiarized ourselves with the stimulant drug during our mornings, mid-afternoon slumps, and in between errands, it masks the symptoms of fatigue and dehydrates the body. To avoid the highs and lows in this caffeine energy rollercoaster, here are six daily habits that will naturally boost your energy all day long.
1. Drink H2O
Replace your juice, caffeinated beverage, or energy drink with some H2O. Drinking a glass or two of water as a quick pick-me-up can give you an energy boost, clearer skin, and better digestion as it flushes toxins from the body. Not drinking enough water can result in dehydration and cause several systems in the body to slow down, and therefore, make you feel tired and irritable. Harvard Health Publications says water is the only nutrient that has been shown to enhance performance for even the most demanding endurance activities. It’s time to drink up!
Tip: To add some flavor to your water, add a lemon to transform water into a natural energy drink with electrolytes that help the cells produce energy.
2. Eat Healthy Fats
Do not eliminate all fats from your diet. Healthy fats are essential for the body to absorb antioxidants and provide you with more energy. A 2012 study found people absorbed fewer antioxidants from veggies when they ate fat-free dressing compared to those who had low-fat and full-fat dressing. Some antioxidants need fat in order to be absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract into the blood where they can take effect. Moreover, they help fight free radicals and give you better focus and clarity.
Tip: Fats from avocado, olive oil, coconut, and fish are best to maximize the amount of energy in your body.
3. Take a Brisk Walk
Going on a brisk walk every day is a good start to increasing your level of physical activity while increasing your energy. Exercising causes the body to release epinephrine and norepinephrine, which are stress hormones that can make you feel energized. In a 2006 study, a team of researchers reviewed 12 large-scale studies on the association between exercise and fatigue. Each study measured the amount of physical activity that participants were doing and how much energy or fatigue the participants experienced. Overall, all of the studies found there was a direct link between a reduced risk of fatigue for those physically active compared to their inactive counterparts.
Tip: Perform aerobic exercises for 30 to 60 minutes, three to five days a week to increase your energy, and promote good heart health.
4. Listen to Your Favorite Song
To get a quick burst of energy, put on your favorite song, and start dancing. The sound of music can elevate your mood and energy level as it invigorates the body by activating several areas of the brain simultaneously leading to new nerve connections, according to a study published in the European Journal of Neuroscience. It’s time to put on your favorite song, sing out loud, and dance for an energy boost.
Tip: Discover the optimal workout music playlist designed by scientists here.
5. Massage Your Ears
Although this may seem unusual at first glance, massaging your ears increases blood circulation, and therefore increases energy instantly. Dr. Art Karno, a chiropractor in California, says the ear maps the entire body and contains acupressure points that can stimulate every area, organ, or system in the body. He suggests vigorously rubbing your ears from top to bottom, including the lobes, and take three breaths as you do this. Inhale, exhale, and a panting breath for every repetition.
Tip: Start at the lobe and massage up to the top of each ear.
6. Take a Cold Shower
While hot showers can make you feel relaxed, and at ease, cold showers stimulate your body and speed up circulation, which makes you feel more alert. Tim Ferris, author of The 4-hour Body, says freezing cold showers can increase your metabolism, boost your energy levels, bolster your immune system, kick your sex drive into high gear, and even lead to healthier skin and hair. Cold showers are typically 50 degrees and can offer your body a refreshing burst.
Tip: Take a regular shower, and cool it down for the last five minutes or so to ease your body into these cold showers.