How To Boost Energy Levels: 6 Simple Tips
It can sometimes feel like we are tired and lacking energy all of the time — particularly as we get older. This can impact our day-to-day life, and stop us from doing the things we would like to do.
Luckily, there are many ways you can increase your energy levels to help you live a healthy, more active lifestyle.
This article looks at six steps you can follow to give your energy levels a boost.
Causes of low energy
We all feel tired and low in energy sometimes. Life can be busy, and often involves lots of juggling — and it doesn’t get any easier as you get older!
But if you’re struggling with consistently low energy levels, then you might want to find out why.
There can be a few different causes of low energy:
- You aren’t getting enough of the nutrients you need from your diet
- You need more sleep
- You aren’t drinking enough water
- You’re ill or recovering from an illness
- You’re stressed or anxious
Although it can be stressful if you feel tired or have low energy, the good news is that most of these causes can be addressed.
How to increase energy levels
Increasing your energy levels doesn’t have to be hard. Here are six tips on how to boost energy levels:
- Eat the right food
- Eat regularly throughout the day
- Get the right amount of sleep
- Stay hydrated
- Consider nutritional supplements
Eat the right food: best foods for energy
What you eat can make a big difference to how you feel — including your energy levels.
When you’re feeling drained, it can be tempting to reach for a bar of chocolate or something sugary for an instant energy boost. However, these types of food cause sudden spikes in blood glucose levels followed by big dips — making energy levels drop and causing your body to ‘crash’.
If you want to know how to boost energy levels, a quick way is to avoid foods that do this, such as processed grains (like white bread, potatoes and medium grain rice) and foods with added sugar (like certain breakfast cereals, cakes, muffins and pastries).
Instead, opt for food that gives you a slow release of energy without causing blood glucose levels to spike dramatically. These are known as ‘low GI foods’ — carbohydrates that have low scores on the glycemic index (GI), meaning they release glucose into the bloodstream gradually. This steady release of blood glucose (sugar) keeps our energy levels stable and sustained throughout the day.
Foods with a low GI include long-grain rice, durum wheat pasta, beans and legumes, most fruits and starchy vegetables such as apples, pears and sweet potato. These are some of the best foods for providing a steady source of energy without causing any sudden blood glucose spikes.
Eat regularly throughout the day
You don’t have to follow any particular high-energy diet to get the energy-boosting benefits from food. You can boost your energy levels simply by eating regularly.
Eating at regular intervals helps keep your energy levels more consistent. Eating erratically can cause your energy to dip and rise dramatically throughout the day, making you feel fatigued. Aim for three decent-sized meals each day, as well as snacks between meals if you need them.
It’s especially important not to skip breakfast. It’s something many of us are guilty of, but it can cause us to feel tired, low in energy, and impact our concentration. Starting your day with a healthy breakfast packed with nutrients, fibre and protein can help to boost your energy and kickstart your metabolism for the day too.
Try porridge topped with chopped banana, nuts, yoghurt and honey for a steady release of energy that will keep you going until lunchtime.
For more information about the importance of breakfast, please read our article on how to Improve energy levels through breakfast and good nutrition.
Get the right amount of sleep
Sleep is incredibly important. Each night when we fall asleep, our body takes this opportunity to recharge, recover from the day’s activities, repair any damaged cells and boost our immune function.
Without enough sleep, we can wake up feeling tired and lacking energy. Poor sleep can also be detrimental to our mental health.
Getting your recommended eight hours each night will help you to feel recharged and boost your energy levels during the day. If you struggle with sleeping, try these tips:
- Wind down before bedtime with a book rather than the TV or your laptop
- Drink a soothing herbal tea like chamomile to relax you
- Run a warm bath before bedtime
Beware though — sleep can work the other way too. Too much sleep can leave you feeling lethargic and sluggish. Avoid going over your eight hours or taking too many naps in the day.
Get moving: good exercise for energy
Regular exercise helps keep your body as healthy as possible and reduces your risk of developing chronic health conditions like heart disease and obesity.
Physical activity can also help with increasing your energy levels. If you live a sedentary lifestyle and you find yourself feeling sluggish and tired a lot of the time, chances are it’s because you don’t exercise as much as you should.
Adding some low-intensity physical activities into your exercise regime is enough to increase your energy levels.
You don’t need to run a marathon or take part in a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) class to feel the energy-boosting benefits of exercise. Activities like swimming, low-intensity cycling and brisk walking can all help to get your heart rate up and increase your energy levels. Even walking to the shops or to meet your friends instead of driving or taking the bus can help towards getting your energy up.
Drink plenty of water
How hydrated we are can have an enormous effect on our energy levels and how we feel. Dehydration can cause low energy, poor concentration and negatively impact mood.
Drink 8 to 10 cups of water a day to stay hydrated and keep those energy levels topped up.
Other drinks such as cordial, juice, milk and herbal teas also count towards your fluid intake, so don’t worry if you’re getting bored of water!
Supplement your diet: the best vitamins and nutrients to look out for
Most of the time we should be able to get the energy and nutrition we need by following a healthy, balanced diet. But sometimes we need a bit of help — especially during times of illness or recovery, or if we’re a bit older.
There are a number of vitamins and other nutrients to look out for if you want to increase your energy levels:
- B6 (pyridoxine) – required for healthy immune function and helps reduce feelings of fatigue
- B12 – essential for blood formation and energy metabolism
- Iron – your red blood cells use iron to carry oxygen around the body
- Magnesium – helps to improve energy levels and stops muscle fatigue
Eating a balanced diet, consisting of all the main food groups (including protein, carbohydrates, fats, fruits and vegetables) should enable you to meet your nutritional requirements.
If you are not able to include all these food groups in your diet every day, consider a nutritional supplement containing vitamins, minerals and protein. SUSTAGEN Hospital Formula is specially formulated to be high in protein, contain 24 vitamins and minerals and can be easily included in your daily routine. Find out more about our SUSTAGEN Hospital Formula range here.
SUSTAGEN Hospital Formula is a formulated meal replacement and cannot be used as a total diet replacement. Consume as part of a varied and balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.