10 Natural Ways to Get Your Energy Back
January 8, 2019 | Published by Adrenal Fatigue Team
Do you feel more blah than you should? Still tired after a full night’s sleep? Maybe your energy levels just aren’t what they used to be, or your tank runs empty halfway through the day? Regardless of your situation, here are ten natural and largely free ways to get that pep back in your step.
Reduce Your Stress Load
Chronic stress depletes our natural energy due to over-utilization of our fight or flight response. Looking at stress as a whole can be a daunting task, so try to focus on specific aspects of your life that may be adding extra stressors. If there are certain people around you that make things more difficult, try to work things out and find a solution. If your job is bringing you down, take the necessary actions to put yourself in a different job or career. The initial stress of making change will be nothing compared to the relief of being less stressed. For stress that is unavoidable, learn how to better manage it. Clearing your life of anxieties and worry is often what we need to feel livelier.
Check Your Diet
Having a relatively healthy diet and being aware of your eating habits are crucial for energy reproduction. Good quality protein available from meat, ﬁsh, fowl, eggs, dairy and various plant sources is essential to energy levels. Every day you should include 6-8 servings of a wide variety of vegetables in your meals, especially the ones that are naturally highly colored (bright green, red, orange, yellow, purple). Avoid MSG, refined sugars, hydrogenated oil, and deep-fried foods. These all wreak havoc on your digestive system which, in turn, can make you feel lethargic and sluggish.
Smoking constricts blood circulation, which makes physical activity such as walking and running much more difficult. Quitting smoking also boosts immune function as well as increases oxygen in the body, which generally helps reduce tiredness. In fact, dropping your smoking habit today can make you feel better in as soon as two weeks! Need help quitting? The American Lung Association has lots of resources available.
Watch Out for Caffeine
For many of us, caffeine is an essential part of our lives. From the morning cup of coffee to the soda we have with lunch, it can be difficult to think of life without it. The truth is, caffeine over-stimulates the adrenals, which leads to further fatigue once it wears off. Green tea is a better alternative for your adrenals than black tea or coffee. Even though it has a small amount of caffeine, it contains high amounts of antioxidants and other nutrients. It is pleasant tasting, refreshing, easy to make, and can be taken hot, cold, or at room temperature. Herbal teas and caffeine-free coffee substitutes are hot beverages you can enjoy without the subsequent crash, as well.
Limit Alcohol Intake
In addition to making you feel drowsy and lethargic if drank during the day, alcohol consumption in the evening can also affect overall energy levels. Alcohol can raise the body’s epinephrine levels during sleep, which can result in nighttime awakenings. Alcohol also relaxes the throat muscles, which can cause sleep-related breathing problems and even lead to sleep apnea. Getting a solid 7-9 hours of sleep is key for maintaining balanced energy, so be sure to cut back on alcohol consumption if you think you’re feeling its effects.
Get Your Thyroid Checked
The main function of the thyroid is to control the rate at which energy is produced in the individual cells of the body. Since around 80% of people that suffer from adrenal fatigue also have thyroid issues, it’s possible that your feeling of low energy can come from either one, or both. Like with your adrenal glands, testing thyroid function with a blood test can be tricky since marginally low thyroid function does not show up on these standard tests. Here are a few clinical indicators that may determine if your thyroid is low.
- Your basal body temperature, taken before rising in the morning, is below 98.2°F (oral) or 97.2°F (underarm).
- Your stamina or capacity does not improve with increased exercise. (Typically, as you exercise, your stamina and capacity increase with repeated exercise, even if you have adrenal fatigue).
- At 9:30 PM you hit a wall and are ready for bed but there is no 11:00 PM second wind (as is often seen in pure adrenal fatigue).
- Reaction time is slightly slower than you know it should be when you are driving a car, engaging in sports or operating equipment.
- You gain weight easily, especially around your hips and thighs, even when eating the right foods in normal portions.
- The outside of your eyebrows are much thinner than normal.
- You feel sluggish and not fully awake much of the day. (Those with pure adrenal fatigue usually feel awake by 10:00 AM, or if not by 10:0 0AM, after the noon meal.)
- Your energy does not noticeably improve after your evening meal or after 6:00 PM.
Take Care of Your Gut
While your gut is full of helpful, friendly bacteria, there are also many that can be harmful. These dangerous bacteria can lead to bloating, constipation, weight gain, additional stress, sleep loss, and can also rob you of energy. There are several ways treat your gut to limit unwanted microbes, including lowering stress, chewing your food more, taking time to relax and eat instead of eating on the go, staying hydrated, and using supplements such as probiotics and prebiotics.
Some people panic at even the thought of the word exercise, but the road to getting your energy back doesn’t necessarily mean hitting the gym hard every afternoon or completing a marathon. In a recent study, a low-intensity exercise group reported a 65 percent drop in feelings of fatigue compared to a 49 percent drop in the group doing more intense exercise. These workouts included low-intensity acts such as leisurely, easy walks. Start low, go slow, and build up to more activity.
Avoid Energy Robbers
You may notice there are people in your life that make you feel listless, helpless, frustrated, angry or fatigued when you are around them. It may be a casual acquaintance, a social friend, or even a relative, spouse or parent. People you feel drained by or feel worse after coming into contact with are energy robbers in some way. These people usually do not intentionally drain your energy. In fact, they are seldom aware that they are having that effect. Don’t be afraid to talk it out with your people, or limit your time with them if no resolution can be made. If it’s someone you live with, work on a solution, either together or through a mediator. People who love you should not make you feel worse, and your well-being is not worth the sacrifice!
Just Add Salt
Low energy can be a sign of adrenal fatigue, which often results in low blood pressure. Adding additional salt to your diet can help the aldosterone secreted by your adrenal glands reabsorb sodium which, in turn, balances hydration levels and blood pressure. If you’re feeling fatigued, dizzy or dehydrated, low sodium levels may be the cause. Since table salt is heavily processed with chemicals and contains mostly sodium and chloride, natural versions such as sea or Celtic salt are a much better choice for your adrenals.
Quit Smoking. NHS UK. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/quit-smoking/
Alcohol and Fatigue. Harvard Healthbeat. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/alcohol-and-fatigue
Why Healing Your Gut Can Change Your Life. MindBodyGreen Health. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/7-ways-your-gut-health-can-change-your-life
Categorised in: General Health