Healthy Energy Boosters and Fatigue Busters ~
The average North American drinks 599 cups of coffee per year.
Coffee, caffeinated soft drinks, and energy drinks, are multi-billion dollar industries because most everyone struggles with energy and reaches for a caffeinated pick-me-up.
As a society, we suffer from a lack of energy.
This is an issue for so many, no matter what their level of health is.
But if you have health issues and/or take prescription medications, they deplete you of vitamins and minerals, often causing crushing fatigue and severely reduced energy.
If you’re not a fan of supplementation, it is very possible to overcome energy issues with some smart food choices and a few other tricks!
If you have health issues and/or take medication, I highly recommend trying everything you can that’s suggested here, including the supplements. Those of us with health issues and medications need the extra nourishment from both food and supplements.
Let’s first talk about what’s causing your lack of energy and/or fatigue.
- Negative Emotions
Emotions such as anger, regret, resentment, and jealousy. Negative emotions make our minds and bodies tense. When we experience these negative emotions, we exert a lot of energy, which can be exhausting and draining. Negative people can drain energy as well.
- Heavy Meals and Junk Food
Large meals require our bodies to expend more energy breaking down all that food, which is why most people feel lethargic after a big meal. Junk food, usually in the form of empty calories, simple carbs, and chemicals, causes a quick spike in blood sugar, which makes us feel energized initially, followed by a rapid drop in blood sugar, a letdown, which makes us feel drained.
- Skipping Breakfast
- Serious/Chronic illness
- Staying up too late
Energy Drink Warning
Energy drinks can be risky. It is important that you understand what is actually in these products because their labels typically don’t tell you! Energy drinks are cited as a possible cause of thousands of emergency room visits each year, and there are reports of at least ten deaths among people who drank 5-Hour Energy. And five deaths have been associated with the use of Monster energy drinks.
An Ohio State University study compared the glycemic index of typical energy bars with other sources of carbohydrates. The power bars were no better than a candy bar at providing sustained energy.
And now for the good news! Most of these strategies are used by me and they work! I have chronic health issues and I have overcome the extreme fatigue and lack of energy associated with chronic illnesses.
Energy Boosters and Fatigue Busters
1. Stay Hydrated – Drink water and coconut water.
2. Sunshine – in moderation, the sun has health benefits, including increased energy, but an overdose has the opposite effect.
3. Negative ions – available in nature. Go outside, get your nature fix! Open the windows (previous blog topic). Authentic Himalayan Pink Salt Lamps increase negative ions in your home and workplace (buyer beware of fakes).
4. Aromatherapy – diffusing these oils helps combat fatigue and boost energy:
- black pepper
- tea tree
When you’re feeling angry or upset, try deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and positive imagery. Focus on the positive aspects rather than the negative aspects of a situation. In psychology, this is called reframing, which means changing negative feelings or thoughts into positive ones. It takes practice, but it makes a big difference in your level of energy if you do it.
6. Avoid Negative People
7. Use Caffeine to Your Advantage
“As a stimulant, caffeine can increase or decrease your energy level, depending on when and how much of it you consume. Caffeine does help increase alertness, so having a cup of coffee before going to a meeting or starting on a project can help sharpen your mind. But to get the energizing effects of caffeine, you have to use it judiciously. It can cause insomnia, especially when consumed in large amounts or after 2 p.m. (or noon if you’re caffeine sensitive).” – Harvard University
I’ve always said, “use caffeine medicinally!” and I’ve always advised to not consume too much and not after 2pm! I was pleasantly surprised and delighted to see my advice backed by Harvard!
8. Power Naps and Longer Naps
If you’re in good health, power naps during your lunch break are very beneficial, 10-20 minutes and you’re rejuvenated!
If you have health issues, you’re more than likely going to need longer naps and sometimes more than one. Your immune system and body heal when you sleep so take those naps.
During flares I need one-to-three long naps per day. During times my health issues are ‘quiet,’ I can get away with a power nap or no nap – providing I’m eating and supplementing right!
9. Exercise – move your body!
10. Go to bed earlier – at least try to.
11. Eat clean
Cut out junk food/drinks that drain you of energy because they lack nutrients and contain ingredients our bodies don’t recognize and can’t use – and our bodies use a great deal of our energy to try to dispose of. Eat your vegetables! And if you don’t like them, hide them in a smoothie with fruit and berries! Eat more plant based foods and high quality proteins and healthy fats, such as coconut oil and olive oil. Try to eat organic. Specific energy producing foods listed below.
12. Eat Breakfast – suggestions below.
13. Energy Boosting Foods:
- Lemon water. Adding lemon to water transforms regular H20 into a natural energy drink that is packed with electrolytes, which are critical for cells to produce energy. (Wash your lemons first).
- Fresh fruit and berries. The natural sugar in fruit provides a quick pick-me-up when you’re dragging and helps keep blood sugar levels steady because it’s packed with fiber. They help turn fat into energy. Plus many other health benefits.
- Nuts. Cashews, almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts, are high in magnesium, which plays a key role in converting sugar to energy. They’re also filled with fiber to keep your blood sugar levels balanced and protein to stave off hunger. They also contain healthy fats which increase energy. Keep a bag of mixed nuts or trail mix in your purse, backpack, car, or desk drawer to stay energetic all day. Bonus: they are anti-inflammatory!
- Chia Seeds. Chia seeds are nutrient dense and pack a punch of energy boosting power. Aztec warriors ate chia seeds for high energy and endurance. They claimed that just 1 spoonful of chia seeds would sustain them for 24 hours. Warriors would consume chia seeds as fuel for battle and running long distances. Chia seed benefits also include promoting healthy skin, heart and digestive system health, building stronger bones and muscles, and more. They have even recently been linked to healing diabetes. Add to smoothies, oatmeal, salads, soups, etc.
- Dark chocolate. A little dark chocolate is good for you. It contains the natural stimulant theobromine, similar to caffeine, which boosts your energy and your mood. Lots of other health benefits as well. Must be at least 70% dark chocolate.
- Breakfast. Organic oatmeal or Organic whole-grain toast or pancakes, eggs, etc, and fruit/berries/superfoods smoothie. Stay away from GMO grains! They cause health issues while organic grains improve health in most cases. Complex carbohydrates provide 60% of the energy that your body requires, and whole grains are packed with complex carbs (the good kind!), which are full of vitamins and minerals. Eating whole grains can prevent a surge in blood sugar after your next meal, according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, which means fewer energy crashes than when you eat refined carbohydrates in sugary or heavily processed snacks. Start your day with organic complex carbs and fruit. Snack on organic whole-grain crackers or granola bars, etc, and fruit for an afternoon boost.
- Cardamom. In Asia, this spice is valued for its ability to increase energy and promote blood flow by expanding small blood vessels. So enjoy some chai tea.
- Asparagus. This green veggie is high in B vitamins, which naturally support healthy energy levels by turning food into fuel, and it contains plenty of blood sugar-steadying fiber. When it’s in season, add asparagus to your salad at lunch to help get you through the afternoon.
- Broccoli, spinach, and other dark leafy greens. Like asparagus, boosts energy. Packed with nutrients that combat fatigue.
- Nutrient dense super food smoothies. They can taste purple but can be green or purple! I have recipes! Or just use the fruits and veggies listed above! Veggies can easily be hidden, undetectable in a berry/fruit smoothie, if you prefer. Great way to get kids to consume veggies!
- Yerba Maté. A tea-type beverage made from the nourishing leaves of the South American holly tree. Contains 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids, abundant antioxidants. The Pasteur Institute and the Paris Scientific Society in 1964 concluded “it is difficult to find a plant in any area of the world equal to Maté in nutritional value” and that yerba mate contains “practically all of the vitamins necessary to sustain life.” It has the strength of coffee, health benefits of tea, euphoria of chocolate. Boosts energy, busts fatigue and it’s good for keeping bones strong and other health benefits. Don’t drink after 2pm. It contains a mild caffeine that does not cause jitters. I prefer the unsweetened options.
- Super Easy Energy Protein Bites: Recipe here!
- Fermented Foods. Sauerkraut, kimchi, raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar, and other fermented foods, help boost and maintain energy levels. The fermentation creates probiotics, which helps you digest food more efficiently. Since the body has to work less to digest, you’re left with more energy.
Added benefits of fermented foods:
Gut Heath! Improved gut health equals improved overall health! Many diseases and health issues are linked to gut health so heal the gut with fermented foods!
Raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar improves gut health and ph balance, and so many other health benefits. 1-3 T day can really help overcome fatigue as well as many other health issues! No matter what your level of health is, it’s beneficial.
How to consume raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar, such as Bragg’s:
1-3 T/day, diluted in water, juice or Emergen-C. Add raw local honey if needed. I usually add 3 T to several ounces of water and sip throughout the day. But mixing with Emergen-C is the most palatable, IMHO, and it will give you quick energy without a letdown!
14. High Quality Energy-Producing Supplements (organic is best)
- High Potency B Complex Vitamins
- Vit B-12 in addition to B Complex
- Vit D-3
- Vit C
- Emergen-C: effervescent packed with vitamins, enters your system faster than pill form vitamins for a quicker response in energy. Used by athletes for pregame performance. Also great when fighting a cold! I first learned of it from a woman who had overcome chronic fatigue syndrome using only this supplement when medications failed!
- ZipFizz: much like Emergen-C but also contains caffeine.
Before taking any supplements, please use this online drug-supplement interaction checker. I use it all the time. Great resource:
I’ve added some links to some of my favorite energy boosters and fatigue busters below.
Here’s to less fatigue and more energy ♥️
Photo/Adventurer Credit: Justin Olsen
Harvard University, Ohio State University, Dr. Josh Axe, Dr. Joseph Mercola, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, Psychology Today, Readers Digest