22 Ways to Boost your Energy. (Stuff that actually works)
April 21, 2015
Time and energy.
The two hot commodities that we just can’t get enough of.
Unfortunately, while you can make better USE of your time, it doesn’t look like scientists have worked out how to make more of it yet.
But we CAN improve our energy levels.
There is however a LOT of nonsensical advice on how to improve energy on the interwebz. Whether it’s homeopathy or energy crystal mumbo jumbo, there’s a lot of rubbish to sift through. Ironically, wading through this will only waste time AND energy, because pretty much none of it works. I’ve decided to save you some time, I’ve done the hard work for you.
Here’s 22 little things that DO work.
You know what? I’m not going to waste my/your time by divulging too deeply into the reasons why you should implement this stuff. You’ve got nothing to lose. Just do what I say. Or don’t, that’s cool too.
1. Drink a ton of water. 1 litre per 20kg of bodyweight per day.
2. Eat a plentiful serving of protein at every meal. That means at least a palm sized serving of either dead animal flesh, eggs, dairy or protein powder. Mix it up for variety.
3. Go low GI. This is a big topic that far too many of us fuss over. It’s not half as important as people make out. Basically, eat less sugary foods that spike your energy leading to a big crash. Choose oats vs M&M’s. you get the idea.
4. Eat more fibre. Berries, beans, whole grains (such as oats/quinoa/bulgur wheat) and dark leafy green vegetables. These will regulate your blood sugar, mitigating any crashes. Combined with Tip No.3, this is a win-win.
5. Don’t skimp on fat. Eat it. The good stuff. In the form of olives, nuts, seeds, whole eggs, grass-fed meat and avocados. Fat is the best source of sustained energy in the human body. If you want to lose fat, you better teach your body to use it as fuel. Saturated fat and cholesterol isn’t the devil. You can learn more HERE.
6. Drink/take caffeine. Whether it’s in the form of tea (Green tea is awesome), black coffee or caffeine tablets. 200mg doses increases alertness, reduces feelings of fatigue and has a thermogenic (fat burning) effect. Two cups of black coffee will give you that fix. Just be sure to limit your intake after midday to avoid any negative effects on sleep.
7. Stop eating food that makes you feel like crap. Food sensitivities, intolerances and allergies suck. Yes, you can get some pretty comprehensive blood tests to conclusively determine which foods have a negative effect upon your body. These are great. BUT, if you know that say, drinking milk makes you feel groggy, then just stop drinking it. It’s not that hard. If you love chocolate but it makes you feel cranky, stop eating it. Decide what’s more important. I LOVE pasta, but it doesn’t make me feel good afterwards. Sometimes (once a month) I don’t care, I just want some spaghetti carbonara. But I’m willing to accept the consequences.
8. Get a multi-vitamin. There’s tons out there. Unless you have some highly original disease or you’re god-forbid, pregnant or something, just pick one up that hits most of the RDA (recommended daily amounts). No, they’re not necessary and they’re not magic pills. But they’re a nice insurance policy if you have cash to burn.
9. Make a greens drink. Whether it’s a greens powder product or just a few handfuls of vegetables thrown into a blender with water, it’s a great way to bump up your 5 (or 10) per day.
10. And throw in some Maca powder. Check out THIS article to find out why.
11. Get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Read my sleep article to find out why this matters and how you can make this easier.
12. Power naps should not be relied upon but they can help. Aim for just 10-30 minutes if that’s all you can get. I like to pop a caffeine pill prior to the nap to wake up with a huge kick in energy, alertness and mental clarity.
13. Don’t drink so much alcohol that you’re hungover the day after. I don’t really know why I threw this in, it’s common sense. An extra tip though, stick to paler alcohols such as vodka, gin and white wine. Darker drinks such as whiskey, red wine and beer are awesome for making you feel like death the morning after. Combine this with Tip No. 1.
14. Exercise in the morning. Strength training, yoga, walking, sky diving. It doesn’t matter, just do something for at least 20 minutes.
15. Meditate. This isn’t just for buddhist monks and Jedi’s. 10 minutes can do wonders. Check out my new favourite app called ‘Headspace’. Their 10-session trial is free and may just change your life. I’ll talk more about this in a later post. I promise.
16. Get 20 minutes of sunlight each day. I’m not exactly an expert of this which is why my skin complexion resembles a mixture of a vampire and Casper the Friendly Ghost. Orrr, you can take a Vitamin D supplement like I do. Aim for a product that gives you 5000iu per day. This is essential if you don’t live in a hot country.
17. Learn to breathe better. Chances are you suck at breathing. Sorry. Make sure you breathe deep into your belly. This is called diaphragmatic breathing. Essentially, you’re breathing using the whole of your lungs. Most of us don’t do this and it’s seriously impacting our vitality. When inhaling, your belly should expand, your chest should not be rising.
18. Practice Yoga. Apparently it’s good for you. I’ll be honest, I’ve never tried it. I had the opportunity to give it a try yesterday yet I figured I had more important things to do. I’ve been told I missed out and I’m sure I did. A poor decision on my part. I’ll be sure to give it a go soon and share my thoughts.
19. Get a massage. Sports, Swedish, Thai, any kind. Preferably from someone who knows what they’re doing. Or not, depends on how adventurous you’re feeling.
20. Get outside. Even for just 5 minutes. Yes, I mentioned sunlight above but let’s be honest, fresh air tastes great. Remember that when you’re feeling run down and go get some.
21. Stop multi-tasking. This alone will do WONDERS for your mental, physical and emotional energy. I should be more specific. Multi-tasking is doable. I don’t know about you but I’m pretty competent at simultaneously walking and talking.
But multi-FOCUSING is impossible to do well. Identify what’s truly important at hand and focus on just one thing at a time. You can’t maintain a real conversation with your significant over dinner and reschedule your clients at the same time. I’ve tried. It doesn’t work. Identify the ‘Vital Few’ and ignore the ‘Trivial Many’. Focus on the 20 percent that matters.
22. Eliminate toxins. Gotcha! No I’m not talking about the crap that pseudo-scientists preach about, especially their ridiculous detox diets. Those things are utter nonsense. Can anybody actually NAME one of these toxins? Anyway, that’s a another post (or book) down the line. I’m talking about toxic people.
The nay-sayers, the cynics, the insecure critics constantly trying to put down your attempts to live a healthy, successful life. Get rid of them. This is the toughest of all the tips to implement because often these people are those closest to us. You can read more about that HERE.
What works for you? Can you think of anything else? Let me know in the comments below!
Any questions? Tweet me.
Perhaps share it with some people you care about too.
Matt Cleary's musings on fitness, startups and tryin' to live the good life. You should follow him on Twitter