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MoonDragon's Health & Wellness
Nutrition Basics

Supplements
ENERGY BOOST

Dietary & Lifestyle Tips For Increasing Energy


For Informational Use Only
For more detailed information contact your health care provider
about options that may be available for your specific situation.





  • Energy Boost Description
  • Energy Boost Supplement Products




  • ENERGY BOOST DESCRIPTION

    Everyone is familiar with all-out energy drain when we feel like our body's batteries have been completely exhausted. That day or night when no matter how enticing that new movie, fabulous shoe sale, or friendly barbecue, we just cannot psych ourselves up to go. Simply put, fatigue sucks. You feel yourself stumbling around throughout the day, brain slowed to snail's pace, body aches, feeling tired, groggy and everything feels crappy. A low-grade energy drain can be harder to recognize. In this case, you may not necessarily feel the classic signs of exhaustion (muscle aches or feeling tired). You do experience is an increasing lack of get-up-and-go for many of the activities you used to love. Concentration on tasks becomes harder and your patience grows shorter. Your frustration level increases, even when confronting simple challenges.

    While the morning latte or black coffee does have health benefits, these beverages do absolutely nothing for improving energy overall. They are quick fixes, Caffeine stimulates, but it also stresses the adrenal glands and endocrine system. Energy drinks rely heavily on sugar and other short-term stimulants, like caffeine. Similarly to the effects of sugar in candy, cereal, and other nutritionally-deficient snacks, chronic caffeine consumption results in energy crashes and dependence. Constant energy relies on three key factors: sleep, exercise, and eating natural, organic food.

    Fatigue is not just tiredness. It is a generalized lack of energy and motivation that can sometimes be a symptom of serious issues like depression, anemia, or thyroid problems (which is why chronic, pervasive fatigue definitely warrants a visit to your healthcare provider). In some cases, however, fatigue is simply the result of poor, but remedied habits.

    After you have ruled out any medical issues and developed positive habits but are still struggling with fatigue, it may be time to turn to dietary supplementation. Here is a list (in alphabetical order) of suggested supplements and lifestyle tips that may help to remedy fatigue and boost your energy.




    ACETYL L-CARNITINE (ALCAR)

    Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) is a type of L-carnitine, an amino acid that is great at preventing fatigue during intense exercise. This is because carnitine is can enhance the rate at which oxygen is delivered to muscles and help prevent the build-up of lactic acid, which may cause muscle soreness. Acetyl L-carnitine is a biochemical necessary for energy metabolism, L-carnitine transports fatty acids into the mitochondria for conversion into energy. Acetyl groups also play an integral role in mitochondrial energy creation. While the body naturally creates acetyl L-carnitine, also called ALCAR, the body will use this biochemical to support and protect the brain. Supplementing with ALCAR ensures the body has enough acetyl groups for energy metabolism and neural health. Supplementing with Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR) can also provide a cognitive boost, helping users think more clearly by increasing energy availability in the brain. A recommended daily dose is 1,000 milligrams.




    BRANCHED CHAIN AMINO ACIDS (BCAAs)

    Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) are a group of amino acids that includes Valine, Leucine and Isoleucine. BCAAs are great at preventing fatigue during intense, exhaustive exercise. One of the factors that leads to fatigue during exercise is extra serotonin in the brain, which is caused by an increase in L-Tryptophan, another amino acid. BCAAs compete with L-tryptophan and prevent its uptake into the blood, thereby preventing the fatiguing effects of serotonin. Like Creatine, they have the added benefit of increasing muscle size and strength. A typical daily dose of BCAAs varies depending on bodyweight, but is around 20 grams of the three amino acids combined, taken 1 to 3 times throughout the day.




    COCOA & CHOCOLATE

    The cacao bean is packed with nutrients and vitamins and packs its own low-level caffeine punch when you are looking for more variety in your energizing morning drink routine. The key to reaping the health benefits of cocoa is to find a pure cocoa powder without any added sugars or flavors. Make your own morning or afternoon hot chocolate with almond milk, honey and a touch of vanilla essence. If you are going for a sliver of chocolate, make sure it is as dark as possible with less sugar.




    COCONUT

    Coconut is packed with healthy fats and oils that are good for your brain. When you get through the early afternoon but find your energy falling in those final hours of your workday, add it as an afternoon snack.




    COENZYME Q-10

    Coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant, plays a vital role in the process of cellular energy creation. Every cell in the body contains CoQ10, although organs like the heart, kidneys, and liver have higher concentrations. Still, a deficiency can result. As an electron transfer molecule in cellular metabolism, it neutralizes free radicals, reducing its availability to assist with energy creation. Fatigue is one of the top symptoms of CoQ10 deficiency, although high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, and blood sugar imbalance may also appear. Supplements may provide the best materials necessary for increasing CoQ10 levels.




    CREATINE

    Creatine is a dietary supplement that is well known for its ability to increase muscle size, but it is also effective at reducing fatigue and promoting effective energy usage. It works primarily by creating a large store of creatine phosphate in the body, which replenishes ATP. ATP is a molecule that stores and provides energy to the body. By promoting the usage of creatine phosphate, the body's cells can better preserve glucose for later use, essentially staving off fatigue. While creatine's safety has been the subject of some controversy, for the most part it is deemed safe for long-term use by those without pre-existing health conditions.




    GINKGO BILOBA

    Ginkgo has long-been known for its powerful antioxidant activity and for improving blood flow. A review by the Neurobiology Laboratory for Brain Aging and Mental Health in Switzerland suggests it also improves mitochondrial respiration and ATP (cellular energy) production in brain cells. This normalizes metabolic activity at the cellular level, protecting the cells and promoting health and longevity. When looking for supplements, look for those with the fewest fillers or purchase the herb and encapsulate it yourself.




    GINSENG

    Ginseng is a well-known herb that acts as an adaptogen, supporting the body's natural response to stress, anxiety, and physical exertion. A recent double-blind, placebo-controlled study tested the effect of Panax ginseng with patients suffering from idiopathic chronic fatigue. The researchers found patients taking the ginseng experienced significantly greater improvement in cognitive function and had lower levels of toxins and free radicals in their blood. Overall, the patients experienced increased energy. Look for Panax ginseng supplements from reputable suppliers to ensure the highest-quality product for the best results.




    GLUCOSE (SUGAR) Glucose (commonly known as Sugar, dextrose, fructose, sucrose, and others) is on the other end of the stimulant spectrum. Glucose is the body’s primary energy source. Whip up a simple solution of water (it does not matter how much) and 20 to 40 grams of glucose and sip it during your 45-minute (or longer) workout to keep a small stream of glucose in the blood and enjoy a subtle (but still noticeable) increase in performance. As a bonus, it may increase muscle synthesis over the long term (and if you really want bigger muscles, try spiking your glucose drink with some BCAAs).




    GLYCINE

    Glycine is an amino acid that may improve cognitive performance the next day. It is necessary for central nervous system function, and is essential for the synthesis of nucleic acids, bile acids, and other nonessential amino acids in the body. This amino acid slows the degeneration of muscles by supplying creatine, which is found in muscle tissue, and is used in the construction of DNA and RNA. Glycine also improves glycogen storage, which works to free up glucose for energy needs. While the compound can be found in most foods, a particularly good source is collagen, a protein that forms connective tissue in animals. Natural food sources of Glycine include high protein foods such as fish, meat, beans, and dairy products. Vegetarians may need to supplement their diets with Glycine supplements. The recommended dosage is 3 grams.




    GREEN TEA

    Green Tea has a perfect blend of caffeine, nutrients, flavor, antioxidants and hydration to give you a small caffeine kick when you are trying to cut back on your coffee drinking. This nutrient-packed drink will help get you going in the morning and support your body in the stresses of the day ahead. Green Tea is the best source of Theanine, an amino acid that exerts beneficial effects on brain metabolism and can help with sleep. Theanine is not sedative; rather, it improves sleep quality and should help you feel more rested in the morning. Theanine does not make you drowsy or groggy. This amino acid increases alpha-brain waves, electrical brain activity commonly present when you are very relaxed, which literally puts you in a better mood.




    HORMONE BALANCERS

    Hormone imbalances lead to fatigue and exhaustion. In today’s world of environmental toxins and poor dietary options, balancing hormones is becoming more or less a juggling act. Herbs such as Tribulus Terrestris, Ashwagandha, Tongkat Ali, and Muira Puama support endocrine organs such as the ovaries, testes, thyroid, pancreas, and adrenal glands. Each of these herbs can be found as individual supplements; however, the complementary effect each has makes herbal blends such an ideal supplement choice.




    IODINE

    Iodine is related to thyroid function. The thyroid is a gland found in the neck that regulates many endocrine system functions. Hormones regulate metabolism and initiate the release of the many biochemicals associated with energy creation. The thyroid uses iodine to form triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), the two hormones which regulate all other hormones. The best dietary sources of iodine include seafood, sea vegetables (dulse seaweed, arame, kombu, and wakame), and dark leafy greens. Iodine supplements can also be taken. The best and most bioavailable supplements are colloidal or nascent iodine.




    KIWI FRUIT

    Kiwi fruit is an energy kick for when you are feeling tired and burned out all day. Kiwi has a refreshingly tart taste will perk up your taste buds from the very first bite. It is naturally occurring sugars satisfy that need for something sweet, and the high fiber content helps keep your blood sugar stable longer, giving you lasting energy. In fact, with a glycemic index (GI) of about 47, kiwi is considered a low GI fruit, a key indicator of a food's ability to keep your blood sugar stable longer. It is also a good source of folic acid, a key nutrient involved in red blood cell production, and another key component of your body’s energy pathways. Then there are the other health benefits stemming from that luscious emerald color: Kiwi is packed with antioxidants that help protect your cells from DNA damage, including lutein, an antioxidant that research suggests helps reduce the risk of macular degeneration. Not only does it have twice the potassium of a banana and twice the vitamin C of an orange, a kiwi also has 2.5 grams of fiber, which keeps you full and prevents energy lows when you are hungry. The simple sugars will quickly give you a rush of energy, and the fiber will keep you satiated. Eat two kiwi fruits a day, which is adds up to about 100 calories and provides your diet with an energy and nutritional boost.

    KIWI SERVING SUGGESTIONS

  • The simplest thing to do is to slice a kiwi in half and scoop it out with a spoon for a tart and tasty treat, but you can add it to any meal.
  • Add sliced kiwi to your favorite whole grain cereal instead of berries to wake your taste buds.
  • To savor an energizing snack, pair a kiwi with a high protein partner, such as a handful of almonds or a half-cup of lowfat organic cottage cheese, for the ultimate energy boost that will power you through until your next meal.
  • Use kiwi as a salad topping. The vitamin C will enhance your body's ability to absorb the iron in those dark leafy greens, which is great because iron plays a key role in your body's energy pathways.
  • Freshen up dinner with a kiwi salsa. Mix kiwi with a delicious mix of ginger-mint-cantaloupe, or pineapple-cilantro-red onion and place it on top of grilled fish or chicken.
  • Enjoy kiwi frozen pops. Simply puree 4 to 5 ripe kiwis in a food processor. If they are ripe, you will not need to add sweetener. Place 1 slice of whole kiwi at the bottom of the popsicle mold first, then fill with kiwi purée and freeze. Perfect for a satisfying snack or after dinner treat.





  • LOW FAT LATTE

    Have a low-fat latte instead of a cup of coffee. This pairs a quick caffeine hit with the sustaining power of protein. Milk turns a coffee into a protein drink, which provides not only extra energy, but extra calcium, which is good for your bones. Combine your low-fat latte with it with an ounce of almonds and the healthy fat will tide you over while making you feel a little spoiled. For an extra flavorful option, add a spoonful or two of cocoa with your latte, making it a low-fat mocha latte.




    MAGNESIUM

    Increase your magnesium intake. Magnesium benefits include a healthy heart, an active brain, and proper muscle and nerve function. Magnesium is also needed to activate ATP and maintain mitochondrial health. This mineral is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including breaking down glucose into energy. When magnesium levels are even a little low, energy can drop. A study of 10 postmenopausal women observed low magnesium levels directly correlated with low energy and an increased struggle to complete basic physical tasks. In a study done at the Department of Agriculture's Human Nutrition Research Center in Grand Forks, N.D., women with magnesium deficiencies had higher heart rates and required more oxygen to do physical tasks than they did after their magnesium levels were restored. In essence, their bodies were working harder which, over time can leave you feeling depleted. Eating a balanced diet can help ensure your vitamin and mineral needs are met. But if you still find yourself too wiped out, you could have a slight magnesium deficiency. The recommended daily intake of magnesium is around 300 milligrams for women and 350 milligrams for men. To make sure you're getting enough try adding a handful of almonds, hazelnuts or cashews to your daily diet. Increase your intake of whole grains, particularly bran cereal. Eat more fish, especially halibut.

    IRON & MAGNESIUM WHOLE FOODS

    The right foods can go a long way toward managing fatigue. If you are always low on energy, try increasing the amount of Iron and Magnesium in your diet. These two minerals do not just help with energy levels; they will also help you maintain healthy blood pressure, keep the blood well oxygenated, and ensure the muscles function properly. The highest dietary sources of magnesium include leafy green vegetables such as raw or cooked Spinach ), Pumpkin Seeds, Almonds, Sesame Seeds, Beans, Avocados, and Quinoa. Supplementation can also help raise magnesium levels.

    Most people should shoot for 8 to 18 milligrams of iron and 310 to 420 milligrams of magnesium per day. Before shopping for supplements, head to the grocery store: There is plenty of iron to be found in Beans, Oatmeal, Blackstrap Molasses and Meat, to name a few. Keep in mind, vegetarian sources of iron are not absorbed very well unless they are accompanied by a source of Vitamin C. This is another reason to add fruits or vegetables to all your meals.




    MELATONIN

    Melatonin is the hormone released from the pineal gland and directly influences energy metabolism. Individuals with inadequate melatonin levels suffer from fatigue and accelerated brain aging. Research also indicates melatonin levels impact gene activation and the effects of genes on health. Fortunately, the pineal gland produces melatonin in response to the onset of nighttime darkness. Research indicates sleeping with lights on disrupts melatonin production. If sleep is inconsistent, a melatonin imbalance may occur which can disrupt energy levels, blood sugar, and even weight.

    LIGHT & MELATONIN PRODUCTION

    Too much light in the bedroom can make the body unwilling to sleep or unable to sleep very well. This is thanks to melatonin, a hormone responsible for sending us off to sleep, which is very sensitive to light. In general, the darker the room, the more melatonin our bodies produce, and the better we sleep . This explains why it is important to minimize exposure to bright light during the half hour before bedtime. To improve melatonin production, keep the lights low and avoid fluorescent sources like TV screens. If you absolutely have to use your computer, try to add a red tint to the screen. A red light is more friendly to melatonin synthesis, possibly because of its similarity to the setting sun. You can also check out F.lux, a program that can make your computer screen adapt its luminescence to the time of day. Melatonin is also available in supplement form. Start with a low dose of 500 micrograms (0.5 mg), then slowly increase your dosage until you find your minimum effective dose. Melatonin is relatively inexpensive.




    MULTIVITAMIN & MULTIMINERAL

    Ideally, our diets would be full of nutrient-dense foods which would supply our bodies with all the essential vitamins, mineral, and biochemicals needed for maximum health and energy creation. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Over-farming and poor land management has led to mineral deficiencies in much of the food supply. Foods lacking proper nutrients contribute to our own mineral deficiencies. Two-time Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling has said that every disease is directly linked to a mineral deficiency. While taking a multivitamin may help a little, many of the minerals supplied do not have the necessary phytonutrients to facilitate digestion. The most bioavailable mineral supplements will have digestible mineral forms in combination with plant biochemicals. Choose a whole food complex supplement like that provides an all-in-one vegetarian formula with organic trace minerals, phytochemicals, and superfoods. Read labels and choose a supplement appropriate for your specific dietary requirements.




    NO BAKE ENERGY BARS

    Energy Bars are easy to make and are a powerhouse combination of protein, fiber and antioxidants. An energy pickup after lunch when you are exhausted and cannot focus on work and need a pick-me-up energy boost to fight off the midday slump. These bars have none of the caffeine of sugar of a diet soda or other energy beverage. Make a week's worth of portable bars in just 15 minutes.


    oat grain fruit bars


    NO-BAKE ENERGY BARS

    No-bake Energy Bars are designed to help you fight off the midday slump. The combination of protein, fiber and antioxidants will stabilize your blood sugar and rev up your energy for hours.

    Ingredients:
    • 1 cup quick-cook oats
    • 1/3 cup dried tart cherries
    • 1/2 cup all-natural peanut butter
    • 3 tablespoons honey
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla

    Instructions: Mix ingredients together in a bowl. Spread mixture in a pan and refrigerate for 2 hours. Slice and enjoy. Return uneaten bars to fridge for storage.




    MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Cookies Recipes Index





    OAT STRAW

    Oat Straw Extract is an all-natural energy booster with no sugar or caffeine, which means no midday crash. The extract has a subtle taste and will not be tasted when added to your coffee or juice in the morning. Oat straw means the whole plant, including the leaves and stems and for hundreds of years, herbalists have used the Oat plant to treat nervous exhaustion, insomnia, and "weakness of the nerves". Researchers have found oat straw may expand the arteries in your brain so more blood pumps through it, revving brain function. Oats were used in baths to help reduce insomnia and anxiety, and to treat a variety of skin conditions, including burns and eczema. Try two teaspoons in your coffee or juice in the morning.




    ORNITHINE

    L-Ornithine is an amino acid that can help alleviate the fatigue ammonia causes. Chronic stress can result in too much ammonia in the blood, which can cause fatigue and foggy thinking. Some studies have shown that it can help reduce the severity of a hangover. The trouble is that it is hard to know if fatigue is being caused by high ammonia levels without first getting a blood test, so there is no guarantee that L-ornithine will help the issue. But if you have tried everything (or if you would like a backup hangover cure), two to six grams of L-ornithine hydrochloride is the standard dose.




    PINEAPPLE ICED TEA

    Iced Pineapple Tea carries the perfect amount of caffeine, and pineapple juice adds just the right amount of sweetness. To get you through the afternoon, replace your sugar-laden afternoon iced coffee with this sweetened tea by adding pineapple juice to your favorite Green Tea or Black Tea.




    POWER SNACK

    Power snacking is more than just eating between meals. Eat a snack that combines protein, a little fat and some fiber.
    • Peanut butter on a whole wheat cracker.
    • Yogurt with a handful of nuts.
    • Cheese and whole grain crackers.
    • Deviled eggs with whole grain crackers.
    The carbs offer a quick pick-me-up, the protein keeps your energy up, and the fat makes the energy last.




    PROTEIN & FIBER

    Protein and Fiber are two key components to setting yourself up for success throughout the day. Fiber slows the digestion of your food, allowing your body to slowly extract sugars and nutrients over the course of the morning rather than being flooded all at once. Combined with fiber, protein helps to make your meal more satisfying. You feel full sooner and longer, which means you will eat less while maintaining high energy levels throughout the morning. Eat a Protein and Fiber Breakfast if your usual breakfast is not filling and you find yourself hungry again by mid-morning. Try a side of an egg with your oatmeal and add some blueberries to your morning bowl of yogurt.




    RHODIOLA

    Rhodiola is one of nature's best energy builders. It helps multiply your energy molecules, giving you a boost throughout the day when you are hitting your nap-attack slumps and want to take a nap under your desk at 11 am. Rhodiola rosea is an adaptogen, something that can help desensitize someone to a stressful event before it happens. An herb that grows in the chillier parts of Northern Europe, Rhodiola is safe and effective in treating metabolic burnout. There is some evidence that it is effective in combating mild depression and improving cognition. Although research does not know exactly how the herb works, it is known that it helps maintain proper seratonin levels in the brain, which can affect our moods and hormones. Rhodiola is considered to be safe and effective, and can be taken once a day without any decrease in effectiveness. A single dose of between 288 to 680 milligrams is effective. For daily use, start with 100 to 150 mg every day to keep your energy up. Make sure the supplements are one percent salidroside and 3 persent rosavins, as this is the formula that has shown the most benefits in research studies. If you are still in a slump, try 200 mg a day. The supplement is available in most health-food stores.




    THEANINE

    Theanine is another amino acid that can help with sleep. It is not sedative; rather, it improves sleep quality and should help you feel more rested in the morning. Theanine does not make you drowsy or groggy. This amino acid increases alpha-brain waves, electrical brain activity commonly present when you are very relaxed, which literally puts you in a better mood. It may improve learning ability and sensations of pleasure by affecting dopaine and serotonin neurotransmitters in the brain. Theanine exerts protective effects on the brain by antagonizing Glutamate-toxicity. The best source of theanine is Green Tea that exerts beneficial effects on brain metabolism. However, since most teas also contain caffeine, a steaming cup probably will not improve sleep quality for some individuals. White tea tends to have less caffeine than green or black tea, so if you are a coffee drinker with a high caffeine tolerance, white tea could be a relaxing way to get some theanine before bed. Decaf teas are also available. Another way to take theanine is in pill form. The optimal dosage for improving sleep is between 150 to 200 milligrams, taken 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime.




    TYROSINE

    L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that can counteract stress before it happens. When taken before an event that is anticipated to be stressful, such as an exam, a presentation at work, or a visit from your inlaws, it can help head off stress hormones at the start. Helpful for when you are waking up in the morning feeling unrefreshed by your sleep. When we are stressed, the body secretes a lot of the neurotransmitters adrenaline and dopamine, which help keep the typical symptoms of stress at bay. However, we have only a finite amount of those two chemicals available to us, so when we run out of them, that is when we experience symptoms of stress like fatigue, sweatiness, and a serious decrease in motivation and attention. To help prevent depletion, it can be helpful to make sure there is plenty of L-Tyrosine in the blood, since it helps the body produce adrenaline and dopamine and thereby protects us from the effects of stress. This amino acid is found in eggs, cottage cheese and smoked salmon. It may help some people feel more alert and may help with physical and mental energy. Add some smoked salmon to your morning toast with a side of eggs and cottage cheese. As an ideal dosage, take 500 to 2,000 milligrams of L-tyrosine an hour before the stressful event is supposed to occur, although some studies have shown that more (up to 10 grams over the course of a few hours, in divided doses) can be taken without any issues.




    VITAMIN B-12

    Vitamin B-12 is required by every cell in the human body for energy metabolism. The entire cellular energy creation, known as the Citric Acid cycle or Kreb’s cycle, depends on it. Unfortunately, the human body cannot create Vitamin B-12 on its own, requiring it from dietary sources. Clams, mussels, red meat, and dairy are the best natural sources of Vitamin B-12. Supplementing with Vitamin B-12 is safe as no side effects or upper dietary limit exists. The best supplement forms are methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin.




    WATER

    Water is the ultimate energy boost and a remedy for dehydration. Dehydration can make you feel sluggish and lethargic before you have a chance to start your day. It is essential to staying hydrated and keeping you energy levels high. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially with those mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. As little as 2-percent dehydration can leave you feeling crankier, less able to concentrate, and sluggish. Keep a reusable water bottle available at work and keep it visible as a powerful reminder to drink throughout the day.

    HOT WATER WITH LEMON

    Having a cup of warm lemon water in the morning infuses your body with needed liquid after hours without water. Adding lemon boosts the benefits by infusing the drink with vitamins and flavor.

    DRINK MORE WATER & LESS ALCOHOL

    You may already know that it is easy to confuse signals of hunger with thirst (we think we need food when we really need water). Thirst can also masquerade as fatigue. Sometimes, even slight dehydration can leave you feeling tired and lethargic. A tall, cool glass of water can be the solution. This is particularly important to boost energy after exercise, when your body is likely to be craving fluids. If you find yourself frequently fatigued even after a good night's sleep, try cutting back on alcohol consumption during the evening hours. While alcohol initially helps you fall asleep, it also interferes with deep sleep, so you are not getting the rest you think you are, even if you sleep a full eight hours. Alcohol is also very dehydrating to the body and brain. Dehydration also contributes to fatigue. By cutting down on alcohol before bedtime and drinking plenty of water along with your alcoholic beverages, you will get a better quality night's rest, which is bound to result in more energy the next day.

    HYDRATING FOODS

    Fortunately, drinking glasses of water is not the only way to get your hydration. Water-filled foods like cucumber, celery, radishes, tomatoes and peppers can help give you a dose of much needed hydration. Add these delicious vegetables to your lunch salad.




    WHOLE GRAINS & LESS SUGAR

    Eating more whole grains and less sugar is the key to keeping blood sugar balanced so energy is constant. When you eat a sweet food, you get a spike in blood sugar, which gives you an initial burst of energy, but that is followed by a rapid drop in blood sugar, which in turn can leave you feeling very wiped out. If you do that enough times a day, you will feel exhaused by evening. Eating several servings of whole grains throughout the day provide a slow and steady release of fuel, your energy will be consistent and balanced so by the end of the day, you will feel less tired. Whole grains are an excellent source of B-Vitamins and Proteins. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating more whole grains helped increase the body's sensitivity to insulin, allowing for that slow and steady release.




    YERBA MATE

    Yerba Mate is a traditional South American tea high in nutrients and ranks higher in caffeine than most of the teas currently consumed in the U.S. An excellent replacement for your morning cup of coffee, the caffeine comes in just under coffee’s levels and above most sodas. While most coffee lovers will not feel the kick of a warm green tea, yerba mate will pack enough of a caffeine punch that it could replace coffee. Have one cup every day or every other day to get the benefit of its energy.




    OTHER SUGGESTIONS FOR BOOSTING YOUR ENERGY




    BREAKFAST - THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY

    Do not skip breakfast or any other meal during the day. Studies show that folks who eat breakfast report being in a better mood, and have more energy throughout the day. Breaking your night-time fast soon after rising supplies your body with a jolt of fuel that sets the tone for the whole day. Studies published in the journal Nutritional Health found that missing any meal during the day led to an overall greater feeling of fatigue by day's end. No-food fasting allows the blood sugar to drop making you feel exhausted, which also tends to reduce brain function and cognitive ability.




    DEEP BREATHING

    Breathing deeply helps stress reduction. If your day has been stressful and you are about to go into another meeting, but you are feeling drained and low on energy, take a few moments to stop and slowly breathe in deeply several times. Stress makes breathing more rapid, which can decrease the oxygen supply to the brain. Deep breathing brings in oxygen, replenishing your oxygen supply to the brain and other cells of your body. Whenever you feel a dip in your energy, put the tip of your tongue behind your upper teeth. Inhale through your nose for four counts. Hold the breath for seven counts, then exhale for eight counts. Repeat as needed until you are feeling better.




    ORANGE-LENS GLASSES

    Orange-Lens Glasses may help you if you have a hard time sleeping at night and an even harder time tearing yourself away from the computer. If you reach for your smartphone or sleep with the TV on, the blue light these devices emit may be suppressing your body’s ability to secrete Melatonin, a sleep hormone. Glasses with orange lenses block the melatonin-robbing light coming from your devices so you can sleep better at night and feel more energized in the morning. Wear them two hours before bedtime while you are on the computer or watching TV.

    Amazon: Amber-Orange Lens Eyewear Products




    OVERWORKING DURING EXERCISE WORKOUTS

    Overworking does not include the well-earned muscle fatigue that sets in after a few sets of an exercise. This refers to the reduction in workout intensity and motivation that can set in after 45 minutes of heavy lifting, running, or competitive sports. While it may be tempting to turn to pre-workout stimulants, many of them are a double-edged sword. While some can reliably increase energy and performance, habitual use can lead to reliance and some (like 1,3-DMAA) can lead to high blood pressure. Use safer and non-stimulatory alternatives for keeping up with longer (45 minutes or more) workouts.




    POWER NAPPING

    Take a power nap. Research has shown that both information overload and pushing our brains too hard can zap energy. But studies by the National Institutes of Mental Health found that a 60-minute "power nap" can not only reverse the mind-numbing effects of information overload, it may also help us to better retain what we have learned.




    STRESS REDUCTION

    Reducing stress and dealing with anger issues is important in controlling energy drain. One of the biggest energy zappers is stress. Metabolic burnout is a form of fatigue which builds up over a long period of time as a result of chronic stress. Stress is not good for our physical, mental and emotional health. Stress is the result of anxiety, and anxiety uses up a whole lot of our energy. Like worry or fear, stress can leave you mentally and physically exhausted even if you have spent the day in bed. More commonly, low but chronic levels of stress erode energy levels, so over time you find yourself doing less and feeling it more. In much the same way, unexpressed anger can give a one-two punch to your energy level. The reason for this is that we are expending all our energy trying to contain our angry feelings, and that can be exhausting. It is like wrestling a tiger trying to get out of his cage. It will eventually knock you down and escape, usually at the most inappropriate moment, creating all new stresses from resulting problems (like going to jail and dealing with the legal system). We can counter these energy killers by programming more relaxaton activities into our day. Many people find increasing exercise burns off the chemical effects of stress and anger, others find relief in quiet pursuits: listening to music, reading a steamy romance novel, or even just talking on the phone. Some find using art therapy, meditation, visualization, and focused breathing helpful. Yoga and Tai Chi are often positive low-impact exercise programs utilized for stress reduction. Whatever is relaxing for you will reduce tension and that will help increase energy.




    THYROID FUNCTION & ANEMIA

    Check your thyroid function and complete blood cell count if you are chronically low on energy, especially if you feel sluggish even after a good night's rest. Discuss with your health care provider about having a blood test for thyroid dysfunction as well as anemia. Thyroid dysfunction can be a particular problem for women. It often develops after childbirth and frequently during the perimenopause. A simple blood test can verify if this is your problem. If you are diagnosed with low thyroid function, thyroid hormone replacement medication can bring your body back up to speed with a daily dose. Your thyroid levels will be checked occasionally to check dosage levels. In anemia, a reduction in red blood cells can mean your body is not getting the level of oxygen necessary to sustain energy. So, you tire easily. Anemia can sometimes occur during a woman's reproductive years, particularly if she has a very heavy menstrual cycle.




    WALKING ACTIVITY

    Walking around the block can help increase depleted energy. While it may seem as if moving about when you feel exhausted is the quickest route to feeling more exhausted, the opposite is true. Experts say that increasing physical activity, particularly walking, increases energy. Walking is accessible to most people, easy to do, does not need training or equipment, and you can do it almost anywhere and any time of the day (depending on your neighborhood). According to experiments, a brisk 10-minute walk not only increased energy, but the effects lasted up to two hours. When the daily 10-minute walks continued for three weeks, overall energy levels and mood were lifted.




    SUMMARY

    Occasional low energy is normal. Eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep will help to restore and rejuvenate. If the feeling of low energy or fatigue is constant, the source of the problem may be more than simply not getting enough sleep. Mineral deficiencies from an inadequate food supply or hormonal imbalances from something as simple as stress may have created a metabolic imbalance leaving you feeling sluggish and zapped of energy. Depending on your situation, one or several of the supplements listed above may be all that is needed to restore, balance, and renew.

    If you feel like your life is being hampered by fatigue, supplements should not be the first step. It is most important to analyze your stress management skills, nutrition, and sleeping habits with the help of a medical professional, if necessary. Then make the appropriate lifestyle and dietary hanges. But if you have eliminated unhealthy habits, ruled out underlying disorders, and are still struggling with fatigue, then consider dietary supplementation as a possible effective means used in helping you get back up and keep going.

    Note: The contents of this article are not intended to serve as medical advice. If you have questions about incorporating supplements into your life, it's always smart to consult a medical professional.





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    AROMATHERAPY: ESSENTIAL OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES


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