by Melissa Chichester
But what happens if you don’t have the energy to do all of those things? Without energy, it can feel like you’re missing out on life. However, there are many ways to create more energy no matter your age or ability.
Energy isn’t just one thing. There are several different types of energy.
Physical energy is created by oxygen and the nutrients you put into your body. You can create more oxygen by getting fresh air and exercising. Even a short, brisk walk can increase oxygen levels. Certain nutrients are also involved in delivering oxygen to your cells, which is one reason it is so important to eat fruits, vegetables, and protein.
Physical energy can further be broken down into thermal, mechanical and electrical energy. Thermal energy helps you maintain body temperature. Mechanical energy helps you move. Electrical energy sends signals throughout your body, which impacts how you think, feel, and move.
Emotional energy has to do with the quality of your emotional state. It’s energy that can be observed by others and felt by others. Stress, overthinking, and holding in your feelings can drain emotional energy. Practicing self-care, laughing, and exercising are a few ways you can improve emotional energy.
Mental energy has to do with your cognitive health and function. It’s your ability to think, solve problems, make decisions, and remember.
Spiritual energy involves your passion, your purpose, and your character. When you know what you want in life, your purpose can drive you forward. It plays a role in your mood and overall life outlook.
No matter how you feel right now, you can create energy little by little by making lifestyle changes.
Reduce stress. Stress is a huge drain on all types of energy. Stress creates confusion, it makes your body tired, and it can fog your emotions.
Exercise to increase oxygen levels, improve your mood, and strengthen your body.
Spend less time resting. Rest is important – but spending too much time sedentary or in bed before and after you fall asleep or wake up can actually make you more fatigued.
Avoid alcohol. It’s common for people to indulge in alcohol earlier in the day during the summer months. Alcohol is a sedative and reduces energy.
Stay hydrated. Water has a huge impact on all facets of your health and well-being, including energy.
Use caffeine responsibly. Caffeine helps boost mental energy and alertness and supports mental focus.* Caffeine works with your neural system and normal metabolic processes to provide its beneficial effects.*
Eat an energy-boosting diet. Foods with a low glycemic index (whose sugars absorb slower) can help you avoid an energy crash. Refined foods high in sugar and low in fiber usually zap energy faster. Whole grains, high fiber foods, nuts, and other healthy fats are all low on the glycemic index.
Watch your digestion. When your digestion isn’t running smoothly and regularly, it can drain your energy and cause stomach discomfort. Drink plenty of water and eat a diet high in fiber to support digestive health. Digestive health supplements may also help during times of occasional constipation or disruptions.*
Supplements can also support cellular energy in the body.*
Vitamin B-12 is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a role in energy metabolism. It is found in foods such as beef, chicken, eggs, salmon, and other animal meats.* Foods such as cereal, bread, and other grains are commonly fortified with Vitamin B-12. Vitamin B-12 is also essential for the normal formation of blood cells, contributes to the health of the nervous system, and helps maintain circulatory health.*
Glycine is a non-essential amino acid found in protein-based foods, such as meats and dairy products. Glycine helps with morning fatigue by working with your body’s natural metabolic processes to help reduce drowsiness and grogginess.* For those sensitive to caffeine, glycine may be an option to get going in the morning.*
Ubiquinol is the most common form of Co Q-10 found in the body and the active form of Co Q-10 that helps fight free radicals.* It acts as a key component in our mitochondria, which supports cellular energy production.* It’s also needed for the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is the energy our body cells use every single day.* Sardines, pork, beef, and poultry are all sources of ubiquinol. If these foods are not part of your diet regularly, supplements may help you get more of the ubiquinol you need.*
L-arginine is an amino acid that is a source of cellular energy involved in various pathways throughout the body.* It plays a role in stimulating nitric oxide (NOS) production and in the formation of creatine.* Creatine is involved in the cellular energy transfer between skeletal muscles.* There are many food sources of l-arginine, including lamb, soybeans, cashews, eggs, milk, shrimp, walnuts, raisins, chicken, and corn.
Acai are small berries from the rainforests of Brazil. They contain natural flavonoids and antioxidants and also support vitality.*
There are also multivitamins specifically designed to support cellular energy and vitality.* Some of these supplements include:
It’s important to remember that energy isn’t only about feeling alert, happy, and energetic at all times. Rest and relaxation are just as important in order to stay balanced physically and mentally. When you work on improving all types of energy, you’ll have the getup and go do what you love in the summer months and all year long!