ENERGY. The magical unicorn that we all wish we had more of…me included. Hubby and I are 17 days into the 5am club and I’m noticing a major drop in my energy throughout the day, but ready for the kicker….ONLY when I don’t get enough hours of sleep. NOT because of waking up that early. And in fact, I think my body is already starting to adapt to waking up that early. I’m just not one to function on less than 6.5 hours of sleep.
I noticed this the other day (Sunday morning, to be exact) that when I go to sleep before 10pm AND have a solid sleep (aka minimal wake ups), I wake up feeling rested and can last the day. But when I start going to bed after 10 and even as late as 10:30pm, like the past few nights, I wake up and drag my feet all day long…unless I nap, of course.
Take for instance, tonight as I type this…I’m useless. Like completely and utterly useless. This is a combo of a late bedtime last night and not napping today. So the point here is that under those certain conditions, I really need boost ups, but I don’t want to rely solely on coffee all the time. PLUS, in my November health & wellness course, I had us ALL write out our goals and one of mine was to drink coffee 2-3x/week - so there needed to be an alternate solution.
Don’t get me wrong, I love me some coffee as my pick-up (hold the hot though, only iced for this lady ;), but it’s something I don’t want to drink everyday. This is just a personal choice as I find it doesn’t always do wonders for me (I actually went through a phase where it made me tired more than anything else - super weird, I know!). Plus, since coffee is a stimulant, sure you feel great then, but there’s always a repercussion to come later, in terms of a crash, so how often do you want to be doing that? (And no, the answer is not to simply drink more coffee!) So on the days I’m not drinking coffee, I needed alternatives, and here’s what I came up with...
1. YERBA MATE (AND GREEN TEA)
This is becoming a new favourite of mine. Although I’m a huge tea drinker, I only started drinking yerba mate about a month ago. I love it’s taste (somewhat earthy, and completely yummy without added sweetener) and what it can do for energy. (I grouped it and green tea together because they are similar to each other in nutritional respects.) Yerba mate is the healthiest form of stimulation and contains chlorophyll, antioxidants, and many trace minerals, plus is a good digestive aid. It can also help improve your productivity. BOOM! There you go. I only buy it organic and I suggest you do too.
I put about 1.25 tsp into a larger mug (than standard) and let steep for 5 minutes. But just like coffee, it is a stimulant, so make sure you take that into account when looking to use it to gain an energy boost!
Maca is seriously becoming a family favourite and something we use daily. It’s classified as a superfood because it has a lot to offer—including energy! It’s actually an adaptogenic, which means that it helps improve the overall adaptability of the whole body (to challenging situations and stress especially). It’s because of this function of the superfood that may help increase energy.
Check out my 2-min video I made on the benefits of maca to learn more about it:
3. STAYING HYDRATED
Staying hydrated is important for any day, but especially on days you’re tired because when you’re tired, you actually might feel like you’re hungry (even if you’re not) and overeat. And eating can make you sleepy! So why not curtail this by filling up on water to not fill yourself up with foods you might not necessarily need/aren't good for you/make you feel even more energy-deprived than you already are. Water has the amazing ability to help ward of those cravings and the bonus is you stay hydrated. Always have a glass of water with you at all times. (Please excuse me while I go and fill up my now empty glass ;) )
BONUS is to squeeze some fresh lemon juice in your water (especially when you first wake up) and even spice it up with a few herbs (think: rosemary or mint) to awaken the senses.
4. BURSTS OF EXERCISE
This doesn’t have to mean sprinting down the street, but even just getting up and doing something that you wouldn’t be doing if you were still seated. For example, when I wake up for the 5am club, the first thing I do is exercise. Now, this ranges for me; sometimes I do some PiYo or PopSugar Fitness video (usually yoga, abs, or something that’s in bare feet, so I can wake up and do it), or sometimes I foam roll (which is a torturous activity in and of itself and instantly wakes me up, haha!). Either way, exercise can boost your feel good hormones and then the obvious: increase your heart rate and get blood pumping throughout your body. Give it a shot, even if it is only for 5 minutes!
And then my final and favourite tip is...
5. DRINKING NUTRIENT PACKED/DENSE SMOOTHIES
This is often how I get my maca in (that or superfood coffee) along with other beneficial superfoods which naturally boost energy. For example, when I make a green smoothie, I often add spirulina to it (a blue-green algae powder) which is packed with B-vitamins; these are the vitamins we need to convert food (carbs/glucose) into usable energy so it’s no wonder that I feel fantastic after drinking one of those.
[Tweet "5 ways to boost your energy levels naturally!"]
I like to switch up my smoothies often, but let me let you in on what I’ve been sipping the past few times. I like to think of it as a very berry high antioxidant superfood smoothie. Mouthful much?
In goes (to make one smoothie):
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 frozen acai pack (I use Sambazon unsweetened variety)
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 3 tbsp hemp hearts
- 1.5 tsp blueberry powder*
- 1 tsp maca powder*
- 1/4 tsp amla powder
- 1/4 tsp camu camu powder*
- 1/2 tsp moringa powder
- optional add-in: 1 tsp spirulina powder*
- a few frozen strawberries
- 1/3(ish) cup frozen mango chunks
- another optional add-in: 1-2 tbsp goji berries*
Then blend on high until everything is mixed together. It really is a delicious smoothie and one I feel good for helping boost my energy.
(*Disclaimer: these are Giddy Yoyo products that I use in my smoothie, which I’m an ambassador for, but was a looooooooong time fan before I ever became an ambassador for them. You can’t keep me away from organic raw chocolate and superfoods. You just can’t!)
So obviously finding natural ways to boost your energy is really stellar, but my main goal is to STILL try and get to bed earlier (ideally before the clock hits the 10’s). Me + sleep = lovers.