by Kristen Bagwell
You know how some days you're just not 100%? Whether it's lack of sleep, stress, or something else, it's hard to get everything done when you're dragging. Below are five ideas to help you get the energy you need to continue your day (or night).
According to the USGS Water Science School, up to 60% of the human body is water, the brain is composed of 70% water, and the lungs are nearly 90% water. Water is needed to regulate almost every function our body performs, and if there's not enough of it around, the body has to work harder. No wonder we get so tired! At minimum, take in 8 x 8-ounce glasses per day, and go for 12 if you really want great results. It sounds like a lot, but if you start your morning with 1-2 cups of water, you'll actually crave more water during the day. (Try this - I promise it works.) A good rule of thumb is two glasses when you wake up, two more before or during breakfast, and two more around each meal time of the day. Remember, if you exercise you need to replenish even more fluids, so drink water during and after your workouts.
You can also mix in a flavor if you are tired of plain water - Crystal Light has little drink packets called Pure with no artificial sweeteners. Plain lemon is great too, and is a diuretic (helps move excess water from your system to decrease bloated feeling.) One word of caution - if you feel stuffed full or bloated, reduce your intake.
4 - Get your vitamins
Did you know that B vitamins help you metabolize carbohydrates? When your body processes these carbohydrates that are lying around, they become energy. Many dieters are advised to increase B vitamin intake to help speed carbs through the system. Vitamins A and C are considered "general wellness" vitamins, and can help reduce fatigue by addressing other deficiencies. A daily multivitamin typically has as much of each vitamin as you'll need, but talk to your health practitioner if you want to take in more than just the daily amounts.
3 - Eat
Many of us are not getting the proper nutrients in our diet. In addition to vitamin B12, which helps the body create red blood cells, an iron deficiency can cause fatigue. Red meat, fish such as tuna and salmon, and green leafy veggies are all good sources of iron and/or B12. Yogurt, fortified breakfast cereals, and eggs are other options. Protein or meal-replacement shakes can also help, but nothing beats good, fresh food. Vary your intake of these choices for a balanced diet.
2 - Exercise
This one is the most counter-intuitive to me because when I'm tired, the last thing I want to do is exercise. However, science has proven that even a quick stretch or walk around the block will cause the brain to release feel-good endorphins, which in turn help us feel energized. Yoga is a good de-stressing exercise and may promote better sleep, which will help you feel more refreshed in the morning.
1 - Nap
A good 15-20 minute nap will help the body revive just enough to provide a bit more energy. Go beyond 20 minutes, and you get into your deep sleep cycle, which may leave you feeling groggier than you started. If you know you aren't getting enough rest (for example, new baby or big project), try to carve out some time in your schedule for a nap once or twice a week. Sleep is always helpful to the body, and may just get you back to right.
What are your go-to fixes when you need an energy boost?