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February 6, 2023

6 Tips to Boost Your Energy For 2023

Maintaining adequate energy levels is key to thriving, not just surviving. Having enough energy to get through the whole day often comes down to small (yet significant) daily habits. Natural remedies, as opposed to artificial sources of energy (like energy drinks), may provide a “crash”-free form of energy to power your day. 

Keep reading for expert-approved tips for boosting energy in 2023

1.Mindfully Manage Stress

Stress, especially chronic stress, can be a major drain on energy. Both physical and emotional energy can become scarce when stress is involved, meaning it’s important to have effective stress management strategies. 

Common stress management techniques include the following methods: 

  • Biofeedback 
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • Relaxation techniques (i.e. progressive muscle relaxation)
  • Yoga  

Don’t know where to start? Meeting with a psychologist can help you make sense of how your mind works and can help you find the type of therapies and techniques that could work for you. 

2.Engage in Exercise 

It may seem counterintuitive, but exercise can improve energy levels. Especially as you age, lack of physical activity contributes to mobility issues, hospitalizations, and increased medicine use for illness. 

On the other hand, exercising daily can help you stay independent and energized. As a form of stress management, exercise can also improve mood and reduce the risk of anxiety and depression. 

Endurance activities, in particular, have the power to increase your breathing and circulation. This means that your body becomes energized at the cellular level, since increased activity requires your cells to convert more of your food and oxygen into fuel the body can use. 

Regular movement and exercise enables you to take on the tasks of the day easily. In other words, physical activity conditions your body to better keep up with your busy schedule. Implementing exercise in your day can support both your body and your mind, instead of leaving you feeling drained at the end of the day. 

3.Limit Alcohol

Did you know that alcohol has a unique calorie amount? Carbohydrates and protein both offer 4 calories per gram, and each gram of fat provides 9 calories. Alcohol, on the other hand, has 7 calories per gram. 

From first glance, 7 calories per gram seems great!  After all, calories indicate the amount of energy in a food or drink, right? Unfortunately, calories from alcohol have little to no nutritional value, which is why they are often considered “empty calories”.

In fact, research on alcohol drinkers indicates a higher energy intake with macronutrients (carbs, protein, and fat) providing less of that energy. This means that the body is consuming a higher level of calories without actually being truly nourished. 

So, what does this mean for energy levels? Alcohol consumption has known associations to many conditions, such as obesity, which put considerable strain on the body. The more energy the body exerts fighting disease means less leftover for other activities. Plus, alcohol can exacerbate chronic diseases, ultimately affecting energy metabolism (the way in which your body supplies you with energy). 

Learning to limit alcohol consumption is an important step in optimizing your energy. Avoiding alcohol altogether is an option, although many people prefer to reserve drinking for special occasions and celebrations (i.e. a wedding). When moderating your intake of alcohol intake to 1 drink (or less) a day for women or 2 drinks (or less) a day for men. One “drink” is equivalent to: 

  • Beer – 12 fl oz (5% alcohol by volume [ABV])
  • Wine– 5 fl oz (12% ABV) 
  • 80-proof distilled spirits– 1.5 fl oz (40% ABV)   

4.Avoid Smoking 

Delivery of oxygen to different parts of the body is a key component of feeling energized. With smoking, blood oxygen levels decrease, causing two of the body’s vital organs (the heart and the lungs) to labor. This can lead to an overwhelming feeling of fatigue

Smoking also interferes with the way nutrients are absorbed and used throughout the body. As mentioned above, nutrients (both macro- and micro-) are necessary to optimize the body’s functions and supply sufficient energy each day. Research also suggests that smokers have a lower intake of key nutrients than nonsmokers.

Smoking can get in the way of using the body’s energy effectively, as the body will be focused on reversing the damage smoking is causing rather than using its energy for other activities. In a way, smoking puts your body in “survival mode” instead of allowing it to thrive. 

Fortunately, avoiding or quitting smoking altogether can improve energy levels. Just two weeks after a person quits smoking, breathing feels easier and circulation can improve. Since breathing and circulation are often considered vital signs (which indicate how well the body is performing essential functions), it’s easy to see how crucial quitting smoking can be to increasing your energy levels.     

5.Consider Herbs & Supplements 

Herbs and plants have been used since ancient times as medicine for all kinds of ailments. For example, rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) has a history of being used to support increased levels of energy. It’s thought to reduce fatigue, stress, and weakness while improving the following factors: 

  • Endurance
  • Tolerance of stressors 
  • Work or athletic performance  

Ginseng (Panax ginseng) is another herb used anciently to help balance the body and support increased levels of energy. Today, herbs like rhodiola and ginseng are available in supplement form. Working with a holistic health practitioner or dietitian can help you make sense of these herbs and add energy-promoting supplements to your daily vitamin regimen.  

6.Find Natural Sources of Energy  

Every once in a while, you’ll (understandably) need an extra boost of energy to get through the day’s tasks. Instead of reaching for an energy drink, which will provide energy but can cause a significant “crash” and other undesirable side effects, try choosing a more natural form of energy

Luckily, there are a few forms of “natural” energy available. Liquids and beverages are popular due to their convenience, both for nourishment on-the-go and ease of digestion in the body. 

Coffee seems to be an obvious choice, but many steer clear due to higher levels of caffeine, added sugars, and mid-morning jitters. Other options that offer a more subtle energy boost include green tea (or drinks with green tea extract) or yerba maté. Ensuring you’re hydrated by drinking enough water each day can also do wonders for your energy levels. 

Botanically sourced substances, such as kratom, can also be used as stimulants to potentially improve stamina. As with any stimulant, it is recommended that you work with a holistic healthcare practitioner to find the optimal serving size for you as an individual. Some adjustments in amounts may need to be made until you find the right serving size for you (one that provides energy without a “crash” afterwards). 

The Bottom Line On Boosting Energy 

Engaging in effective, healthy habits each day can help you improve your energy intake. Removing energy drains (like smoking or excessive drinking) can leave you with more energy to engage in healthy habits (such as exercise, eating well, and better managing stress). Additionally, herbs and supplements may help act as an energy boost on days where you need a natural nudge to keep going. 

References

Amidor T. Ask the Expert: What Constitutes One Drink of Alcohol? Todaysdietitian.com. Accessed 2023. 

Brenes JC, Gómez G, Quesada D, Kovalskys I, Rigotti A, et al. Alcohol Contribution to Total Energy Intake and Its Association with Nutritional Status and Diet Quality in Eight Latina American Countries. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18(24):13130. 

Breslow RA, Mukamal KJ. Measuring the Burden—Current and Future Research Trends: Results From the NIAAA Expert Panel on Alcohol and Chronic Disease Epidemiology. Alcohol Res Health. 2013;35(2).   

Golen T, Ricciotti H. Does exercise really boost energy levels. Health.harvard.edu. Published July 2021. 

Hellicar L. Does smoking make you tired? Medicalnewstoday.com. Published November 2022. 

Johnson J. What are the best foods to eat for energy? Medicalnewstoday.com. Published December 2018. 

Martin T. How Smoking Depletes Your Body of Vitamins. Verywellmind.com. Published April 2022. 

Martin T. What Happens When You Quit Smoking? Verywellmind.com. Published March 2022. 

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Rhodiola. Nccih.nih.gov. Published October 2020.  

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Stress. Nccih.nih.gov. Published April 2022. 

National Institute on Aging. Real-Life Benefits of Exercise and Physical Activity. Nia.nih.gov. Published April 2020.  

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. What are the U.S. guidelines for drinking? Rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov. Accessed 2023.  

Raatz SK, Jahns L, Johnson LK, Scheett A, Carriquiry A, et al. Smokers report lower intake of key nutrients than nonsmokers yet both fall short of meeting recommended intakes. Nutr Res. 2017;45:30-37.  

Retelny VS. Botanicals/Herbs: Adaptogens. Todaysdietitian.com. Published August/September 2020. 

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Annika Weeks (“Anni”) is a registered nutrition and dietetic technician (NDTR). With expertise as a health professional and experience as a patient in the healthcare system, she hopes to bridge gaps by creating more credible nutrition, health, and wellness information online.

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