With summer and all the fun it brings comes longer daylight hours. Do you have the energy to get through the day and make the most of the longer days? If not, try out some of these tips we’ve found to help give you an energy boost and get more enjoyment and more done this summer.
- Energy Foods – Our energy levels and mental focus are influenced by the brain chemicals epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine. There are certain foods we can eat that allow these chemicals to be released thus giving us a mood and energy boost. Increasing serotonin levels can also add an energy boost as it is a natural antidepressant. When looking to increase energy levels, foods that keep your blood sugar level stable such as whole grains are a good choice. One body of research reported those who ate a fiber-rich cereal like bran daily had more energy than those who didn’t and that this was possibly due to the fiber helping to get rid of energy draining toxins in the body. Foods rich in iron are another good energy booster as the body needs iron to make hemoglobin in red blood cells. Foods such as oysters, red meat, egg yolks, spinach, liver and artichokes are good iron sources. And don’t forget the magnesium as this mineral is necessary to convert sugars into the form the body needs to use them for fuel and energy. Cashews and almonds are both good sources of magnesium as is halibut and bran cereal.
- Avoid the Afternoon Slump – Many of us start feeling tired after lunch. The bigger the lunch, the more this afternoon slump can affect us. This is because the body uses a lot of energy for the digestion process. Try eating a good, healthy breakfast to start the day off, then a lighter meal at lunch and dinner. You can also add digestive enzymes in supplement form to your meal to help your body in the digestion process so it doesn’t have to work as hard.
- Aromatherapy for Energy – If you start dragging and noticing an energy drain, smell some cinnamon or peppermint as this helps give many people an energy lift.
- Get Your Glycogen – Glycogen is the fuel found in our livers and converts to glucose when we need an energy boost. You can get glycogen from most meats or from AFA bluegreen algae since this form of algae has a cell wall made of glycogen your body can start using immediately. It also has the added benefit of giving you all the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, and phytonutrients you need to support the body every day and keep it working like a well-oiled, energy producing machine.
- Hydrate – Fatigue can be brought on by being dehydrated. Most people don’t drink the amount of water they need to stay properly hydrated especially in the hotter summer months. Keep a water bottle with you wherever you go this summer and drink throughout the day instead of waiting until you “feel” thirsty. There are many sources that will tell you the average amount of water you should drink for your size and activity level, but an easy way to know you are getting enough water it to gauge it by the color of your urine. If yours is a light yellow color rather than a darker yellow, then you are probably doing a good job staying hydrated.
I hope you have a fun and productive summer and that some of these tips help you keep your energy levels up so you can take advantage of the longer summer days.