Better living through nature
It’s easy to get run down. We spend too much time working or running errands and not enough time sleeping, getting adequate exercise and nutrition or giving proper attention to our emotional and mental needs. Most people feel tired on a day-to-day basis, and when they do they reach for a can of soda or cup of coffee. While caffeine does provide a temporary boost of energy, it doesn’t address the underlying problems and can leave you feeling more tired than before.
If you’re feeling fatigued, restore your energy supply with one of these natural energy boosters. From herbs and supplements to aromatherapy, these natural remedies will energize your mind and body, leaving you more alert and energized to meet your day.
Citrus scents: Feeling down? The smell of citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges and grapefruits will lift your spirits and clear your mind. Citrus scents boost production of serotonin, a hormone that makes us feel happy, while reducing levels of norepinephrine, a stress hormone. Start your day with naturally scented citrus shampoos and body washes. If you need a pick-me-up at work, add a drop of lemon essential oil to a cotton ball or handkerchief.
Peppermint: The smell of peppermint stimulates the mind, making you feel more alert and focused. Drink a cup of peppermint tea or sniff a product that uses peppermint essential oil when you need to think clearly.
Feeling like you could use an extra boost of energy? Give yourself a pick-me-up with these natural energy boosters. Photo By Baptiste Pons/Courtesy Flickr.
Exercise and Natural Light
Seek out light: Light stimulates us to wake up. If you work in a windowless office, make an effort to get outside for a 10 or 15 minute walk during the workday. At home seek out a naturally lit room to read or work in. The sunshine will lift your spirits and wake you up.
Get up and move: Movement stimulates blood flow, which can make you feel more awake. Take a walk around the block or go to the gym during lunch. Researchers at Leeds Metropolitan University found that exercising around lunchtime leads to a more productive workday.
Food and Supplements
Eat smart: Avoid that after-lunch food coma by watching what you eat. Pack a lunch that’s heavy on protein, non-starchy vegetables and fat. Avoid empty carbohydrates and sugars, which will cause you to crash in the afternoon.
Get enough CoQ10: Our cells naturally produce Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) to help convert food into energy and fuel our bodies. As we age, our bodies produce less CoQ10, which may make us feel fatigued. Take a 100 milligram CoQ10 supplement two or three times daily. Keep in mind that it may take up to two months to see the effects of this supplement.
B Vitamins: This group of essential vitamins is easily found in most diets, but B vitamins are also water-soluble, meaning our bodies flush them out with water waste such as urine. B vitamins are essential for breaking down carbohydrates into energy, so a B vitamin deficiency is likely to leave you tired. Supplement your diet with 50 milligrams of B Vitamins twice a day.
Ayurvedic medicine uses ashwagandha as a natural remedy to combat fatigue. Photo By oceandestoiles/Courtesy Flickr.
Ashwagandha: This herb, often called Indian ginseng, has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries for a variety of ailments, including as a tonic for exhaustion and anxiety. Take 300 to 500 milligrams of an ashwagandha extract daily. Because it is a mild herb, you may not see effects for three to four weeks.
Astragalus: The root of this plant was traditionally used in ancient Chinese medicine to treat physical exhaustion. Astragalus is still used today to treat fatigue, especially in conjunction with Korean ginseng. Take 500 milligrams of this herb two or three times daily.
Ginseng: This herb naturally stimulates you, providing more energy and increasing your focus. Take 100 milligrams of a standardized ginseng extract daily. (Avoid this herb if you have high blood pressure.)
Licorice: This sweet herb stimulates the body’s adrenal glands, which regulate metabolism, and gives you a kick of energy. Take 1 to 2 grams of licorice root three times daily for up to six weeks. (Licorice can raise blood pressure, so people with heart disease, liver disease and hypertension should avoid licorice.)