Horseman’s Health: Extra Energy for Summer Fun

Have you found yourself starting to drag this summer and without enough energy to keep going through the day? With the extra work of getting ready for vacations, kids home from school, grandkids visiting and all the extra sports and daylight hours that summer brings, it can be hard to keep your energy level high. And with all the extreme heat most of us around the country are experiencing there can be even more of an energy drain. Fortunately there are simple natural solutions we can use to boost energy levels and keep up with all the summer fun.

Energizing Foods
The key for maintaining energy through diet is to eat foods that will keep blood sugar levels balanced and that aid in releasing mood boosting brain chemicals such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin. Including carbohydrates in your diet with whole grains not only helps your brain create more serotonin, but also help stabilize blood sugar by being absorbed more slowly by the body than other types of foods. Wheat bread, brown rice, and whole grain cereals would be examples of types of food in this category. To back it up with science, one research study following participants that ate cereals rich in fiber, such as bran, each day, had more energy by being less tired in comparison to participants not eating fiber-rich cereals. Whole grains also contain magnesium that the body needs to convert sugars into the form the body needs to be able to use it for energy. Cashews, almonds, halibut, and seaweed are other good sources of magnesium.

To get a boost of dopamine and norepinephrine, add foods such as pork, chicken, beef, and turkey to your diet as they contain the amino acid tyrosine that helps boost those brain chemical levels. Dairy products, nuts, seeds, legumes, soybeans, tuna, and shellfish are also good additions to the diet to boost these energy boosting brain chemicals. Foods containing iron are another good category to add to the diet when wanting to increase energy levels. Since iron is necessary in making hemoglobin in red blood cells which deliver oxygen needed for good energy throughout the body. Types of foods with iron include red meat, egg yolks, liver, spinach, artichokes, and oysters.

Increase Energy By Changing How and When You Eat
In addition to what you eat, when and how you eat can also be an important component in increasing energy. One important step is to make sure you eat breakfast that includes whole grains, healthy fat, and lean protein. This helps start off the day with a boost to blood sugar levels that will follow you throughout the day. Another technique to try is eating several small meals throughout the day instead of the usual breakfast, lunch, dinner routine. Eating smaller meals throughout the day means less energy used at a time for digestion which requires a lot of your body’s energy. It also gives your body fuel for energy more often than the 3 meal a day plan and keeps blood sugar levels more stable.

Supplementing Your Summer Energy
There are various supplements you can also add to your diet to help you in boosting energy levels. AFA bluegreen algae is one of these in that it not only provides the body with a wide array of nutritional elements to use as fuel, but in particular for energy production, has glycogen and PEA. Our livers keep a store of glycogen to convert to glucose when the body needs a quick energy boost or when we are extra stressed. You can get glycogen by eating foods such as meat and liver, but AFA blue green algae from Klamath Lake also has glycogen in its cell wall. PEA is also found in AFA blue green algae and in cheddar cheese according to the Natural Research Council of Canada. PEA occurs naturally in the body and has been linked to energy, mood, and attention. Sometimes our bodies just don’t make enough to keep up with demand which is when getting extra from supplements or food can help out. In addition to AFA blue green algae, this supplement also has a combination of pure ubiquinol which is the bioavailable form of coenzyme Q10, reishi and oyster mushrooms and polyphenols from olives designed to activate cellular energy in support of a healthy cardiovascular system. One other supplement to consider is dehydro-epiandrosterone or DHEA which studies have shown play a role in energy production. Taking a supplement of just 100 mg daily, it has been concluded in these studies, can increase energy. Whereas the body does produce its own DHEA, the amount we make ourselves decreases as we get older which can leave us feeling less energetic.

The summer is only here for a bit longer, so hang in there and try to stay cool. In the meantime try out some of these tips for boosting energy to help you get through to the fall. Of course then we’ll be heading into the holiday season and will probably want to keep up those strategies we find give us more energy because we’ll certainly need that extra energy boost to enjoy all the holiday fun.


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About Madalyn Ward, DVM

This blog provides information based on my unique take on horse health and well being. The articles are based on experience of treating and working with horses for over 40 years. In most cases the articles are focused on an holistic approach to health and management. When conventional medicine offers good research or therapy, I share this information as well. Madalyn Ward, DVM