Eight Natural Ways To Boost Energy
Published by Dr. Venn-Watson
Dr. Eric Venn-Watson’s Highlights
As kids, we sprang out of bed early and hit the ground running. As adults, we struggle to make it to the coffee pot at 6:30 am and don’t feel fully awake until the second cup. It seems like a cruel trick that we’d have less energy when we need more of it as an adult.
Unless there’s a medical reason why we feel fatigued (i.e. thyroid problems, metabolic diseases, or other illnesses) many of us find ourselves searching for a solution other than caffeine.
Let’s take a look at how our bodies get their energy and how they use it. Then, let’s think outside the coffee pot for some other natural ways to boost our energy levels, like with a simple daily fatty acid supplement.
How Does the Body Make Energy?
Surprisingly, your body doesn’t get its energy from caffeine (although caffeine can increase your perceived energy levels). Confused? We’ll explain.
Your body makes energy from the food you eat. When you eat food, your body breaks it down into small, usable parts. Glucose from carbohydrates in your food is regulated by insulin, which helps get glucose to the cells for energy.
Excess glucose is stored in your liver as glycogen, which can be converted back to glucose when more energy is needed.
Caffeine has more to do with how we burn energy than how we make it.
How Does Caffeine Affect the Way Body Burns Energy?
Energy loss happens when we burn through calories. We eat calories, they are converted to energy (see above), and then the cells in our bodies use those little energy packets to carry out processes like breathing, digestion, creation of new cells, and hundreds of more processes. This is called metabolism.
Caffeine speeds up your metabolic processes for a short time, even when your body is at rest, which means you are burning more energy. Although caffeine can help you feel more alert, we’re all familiar with the caffeine crash, when the stimulant effect wears off.
Why Do We Get Tired With Age?
If our bodies are burning calories and making energy the same way they were when we were younger, why are we so much more tired as adults? The answer has to do with our cells.
Aging happens in the cells. As we get older, our cells simply wear out. The cell walls become less rigid and more susceptible to external stressors. Mitochondrial function begins to slow down. The result is tissues, organs, and entire bodily systems that are slower, sluggish, and tired.
Aging cells make every process more strenuous on the body. Muscle loss makes the simplest tasks more arduous. Red blood cells begin to become inefficient in delivering oxygen to our organs.
The results of aging cells are felt all over the body. However, you can fight back without using extreme amounts of caffeine. Here are eight ways to naturally boost your energy.
Eight Natural Energy Boosters
Before you reach for your third cup of coffee (or second sugary donut), try these healthful alternatives to naturally boost and balance your energy.
1. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Your body needs good, quality sleep for a myriad of reasons, and if you’re finding it difficult to get enough sleep, or get deep sleep, you’re going to experience fatigue and exhaustion.
Most people need at least eight hours of sleep, but you may need more if you are especially active. Inability to sleep, called insomnia, hurts your physical and mental health, leaving you groggy, tired, irritable, and even depressed or anxious.
Sleep is cumulative, and if you are consistently missing sleep you’ll end up with a sleep deficit. It can be hard to “make up” for lost sleep, and it isn’t as simple as getting a power nap. Only consistent, quality sleep will boost your energy levels to their highest potential.
2. Move Your Body
Exercise releases endorphins, makes you feel good, keeps you in shape, and improves your energy stores. Regular exercise reduces your risk of chronic, often age-related diseases like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, type II diabetes, and weight gain.
And although you might be afraid that a new workout will leave you feeling more exhausted, exercise has actually been shown to increase energy levels, while a sedentary lifestyle is shown to deplete your energy.
It doesn’t take countless hours in the gym — even a 10-minute walk on your lunch break gets you moving and helps eradicate low-energy levels.
3. Steer Away Stress
Stress releases the hormone cortisol, which instantly triggers a blood sugar spike. The spike in blood sugar sets off a chain reaction that causes your pancreas to produce insulin to help regulate the sugar.
This can lead to a crash similar to the feeling you get about half an hour after you eat a sugary snack. What’s more, this fluctuation in hormones can cause feelings of anxiety, which can leave you feeling exhausted.
Meditation, yoga, and therapy are all ways of coping with stress and leading a more energetic life.
4. Quit Smoking
If you’re a smoker, there’s no better way to care for your health than by stopping smoking. Smoking offers zero health benefits and negatively impacts every aspect of your health.
Smoking changes the way your red blood cells carry oxygen to all the parts of your body, and makes it harder for your lungs to properly oxygenate. This makes oxygenation more laborious, which can leave you feeling winded and tired.
Nicotine is an addictive substance, and you may find you need help to quit, which is absolutely normal and absolutely okay — the important part is that you’re trying!
5. Eat Healthfully
We can all do a little better with our diets, and if you’re constantly feeling depleted and tired, you could be self-sabotaging with your diet. Sugary snacks can cause significant spikes in your blood sugar levels that cause you to experience a “crash” after you eat them. Added sugar can add pounds to your waistline, too.
Instead, opt for getting essential nutrients and minerals from your diet, especially b vitamins, like vitamin B12, which are essential for keeping your energy levels balanced. Complex carbs (like whole grains, chia seeds, and oats), leafy green vegetables like spinach, legumes, fruits, and lean proteins all make up a balanced diet.
If you’re concerned about carbohydrate intake, opt for more complex carbohydrates and fruits.
6. Limit Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol has a sedative effect, which can tempt you to believe it will help you sleep better. The reality is, alcohol has a long half-life, which means it takes your body longer to metabolize it. This means if you drink a glass of wine at bedtime, you could be up in a few hours to use the bathroom or simply find yourself awake and unable to go back to sleep.
Alcohol can also intensify feelings of anxiety and depression, so if you are suffering from those feelings it’s best to avoid alcohol altogether.
7. Drink More Water. Now Drink Even More.
An alarming majority of us are walking around chronically dehydrated, which means there’s a good chance you could use a glass of water. Dehydration can make you feel tired, fatigued, and even disoriented if it worsens.
You don’t need to drink gallons of water to stay hydrated, about a half-ounce to one ounce per pound of body weight is plenty of water depending on your activity level.
8. Take a Supplement That Supports Cellular Health
Supplements can help make up for dietary gaps, and can also help support a healthy lifestyle. Supplements are abundant, and in terms of the best for boosting energy, we look for ones that start at the cellular level.
A supplement that supports cellular health can help naturally boost your energy levels and help your body function more like it did when you were younger.
Fatty15 is a once-a-day, vegan supplement that a growing body of research indicates is the first essential fatty acid to have been discovered since the omega-3 and omega-3 fatty acids were discovered over 90 years ago. The not-so-secret ingredient? Pentadecanoic acid.
Pentadecanoic acid (aka C15:0) is an odd-chain, saturated fatty acid that helps support your cells by strengthening cell membranes and bolstering mitochondrial function.* C15:0 gives your cells the lifeline they need as they get older, and gives them a fighting chance against aging.
Fight Fatigue With Fatty15
Getting older and experiencing periods of low energy? No big deal. Fatty15 gives you the ability to stay in the game, support healthy energy levels, and allows you to age on your own terms.*
Energy has never been more within reach with a simple once-a-day supplement you can take morning, midday, or at bedtime.
Reviewed by Dr. Eric Venn-Watson.
Keep Your Energy As You Age | Rush System
Insomnia and its impact on physical and mental health | Pubmed
Effects of chronic exercise on feelings of energy and fatigue: a quantitative synthesis | PubMed
Pulmonary Diseases - How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease | NCBI
How Long Does Alcohol Stay in Your System? | Cleveland Clinic.orgAdult Dehydration | StatPearls
Eric Venn-Watson M.D.
Senior Scientist, Co-Founder
Eric is a physician, U.S. Navy veteran, and Co-founder and COO of Seraphina Therapeutics. Eric served over 25 years as a Navy and Marine Corps physician, working with the special forces community to improve their health and fitness. Seraphina Therapeutics is a health and wellness company dedicated to advancing global health through the discovery of essential fatty acids and micronutrient therapeutics.
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