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9 Natural Energy Boosters for Sustained Stamina

Healthwise, there is an emotional, psychological, and physical aspect to energy. People often look to natural energy boosters to offset temporary or chronic fatigue and weakness.

A note on terminology: In this article, natural energy refers to non-pharmaceutical solutions involving herbs, movement, stress management, and social support.  

Formal definitions1 describe energy as a balance between food intake and physical expenditure, based on an individual’s age, weight, and state of health. 

Although lifestyle influences energy levels, diet, and exercise aren’t necessarily a quick fix solution for people managing depression, chronic illness/pain, insomnia, or hypothyroidism. 

The most basic activities can feel especially draining for those living with conditions that cause fatigue. It’s also possible for people who would otherwise describe themselves as healthy to experience feelings of tiredness from work and personal responsibilities. 

Below, you’ll find a list of 13 ideas for natural energy. Remember, if you have a suspected or known medical condition that causes fatigue, stick to the treatment plan recommended by your doctor. 

This list teaches you how to increase energy using alternative and complementary therapies. Feel free to make each suggestion your own or pick certain days out of the week to experiment until you find what energizes you

1. Take a Daily Walk. 

Sedentary behavior is a known contributor2 to low energy levels. This includes activities that require little energy expenditure, such as watching TV and working on the computer. The study in Frontiers also pointed out that not moving for long periods contributes to overeating. 

Sedentary is not the same as physical inactivity, however. As the World Health Organization (WHO) explains, physical inactivity has to do with meeting the weekly recommendation of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous movement.  

A brisk walk is a natural energy booster and counteracts the negative effects of sedentary behavior and physical inactivity. On a sunny day, you also stand to benefit from a dose of vitamin D for increased energy. 

2. Stand Up Every Hour and Stretch. 

Students, drivers, and office or remote workers spend a lot of time sitting. Promising research from 20213 suggests a correlation between a sit-stand approach to work and increased productivity. 

Doing a few stretches when standing also offers benefits for circulation, flexibility, exercise performance4, and stress relief—all essential to high energy levels. Toe touches, lunges, and arm reaches are easy to do when you’re on break. If you get into a good work groove and need a reminder, set an alarm on your phone every hour.    

For an approachable after-hours stretch, try this beginner yoga routine.  

3. Practice Breathing Exercises. 

Intentional breathing isn’t always as easy. Although breathing is an unconscious process, training yourself to mindfully breathe takes practice. You may be wondering how this leads to natural energy. 

Think about it: When you take a deep inhale and exhale, stress, even momentarily, subsides5 due to reduced cortisol levels in the brain. Feeling emotionally and physically tired after a stressful event/task is a symptom of stress-induced fatigue. 

Mindfulness through breathing is yet another tool for natural energy. When you’re relaxed, the temporary break from stress and anxiety give your central nervous system a chance to return to a balanced state. 

15 minutes of deep breathing that engages the diaphragm has been shown to improve stress in a 2017 study published by Frontiers in Psychology6. 

4. Reduce or Cut Out Alcohol. 

Too much alcohol can cause residual energy-depleting effects (nausea and head-pounding hangovers) up to 24 hours after drinking.

Lowered inhibitions from alcohol are not the same thing as increased energy, despite what you may feel when you’re drunk. An occasional alcoholic beverage with dinner is also not an abuse of alcohol, but it does help to be mindful of how often and how much you drink. 

Besides the physical effects of energy depletion from alcohol, it can be emotionally draining to drink or be around someone who drinks7. If you’re in an alcohol misuse situation, know that resources are available to support you. 

5. Hydrate and Eat a Balanced Diet. 

Your body converts food to energy. It’s simple science. Rather than repeat the same information you’ve probably heard about a well-rounded diet, we invite you to try an exercise. 

For the next three meals, make a mental note of how you feel after you eat. Do you feel replenished, tired, excited, or angry? Carefully review your emotions for clues. If you feel more drained than nourished, these are signs your body is missing essential nutrients from vegetables, grains, and lean proteins.  

Additionally, dehydration is associated with low energy. Be sure to drink the recommended amount of two to three liters8 per day. Here are two other considerations to keep in mind:

  • Breakfast: Skipping the first meal of the day may contribute to anxiety and poor sleep quality9.
  • Sugar: Refined and processed sugars in desserts, snack foods, and carbohydrates lead to blood sugar spikes, followed by an eventual “crash.” 

When it comes to what you eat and drink, mindfulness and moderation are the key to sustained energy. 

6. Go Plant-Forward. 

Traditional medicine systems in China and India (Ayurveda) value herbs for their ability to help the body adapt to stressors and naturally replenish energy. 

A polyherbal supplement, like Purpose+, houses the combined power of multiple plants. 

If you’re new to plant medicine, ashwagandha, Schisandra berry, amla, and hemp CBD—all found in Purpose+—are good places to start, as they offer favorable effects for energy.

 7. Set Boundaries to Avoid Burnout. 

Learning to say “no” may be one of the most empowering lessons you learn. Burnout from overworking yourself is associated with loss of energy and fatigue10. Some people experience burnout in friendships or from household responsibilities. 

Consider taking a day off to recharge, if possible, by establishing a boundary between you, your employer, partner, and family. Do something fun, be in the present, and get creative. This can become a daily self-care ritual that makes you feel more energized. 

8. Get Enough Sleep. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep a day11. That number doesn’t factor in the reality of sleep schedules affected by young children, medical conditions, or shift work. 

Sleep hygiene is a collection of individualized habits, so while it would be inaccurate to suggest a one-size-fits-all approach here, you may feel more energized if you go to bed at the same time every day, reduce caffeine intake, and eliminate screen time before sleep. 

To avoid waking up in a drowsy, sluggish state, consider trying melatonin or CBD as natural alternatives to pharmacy sleep aids. 

Related Reading: Optimal Melatonin Dose for Every Age

9. Reach Out to a Support Network. 

Social support is an important and sometimes overlooked aspect of fatigue. Being around people who care about you offers many health benefits for your mood and possibly your physical health12.

When you’re tired, burned out, sad, or in pain, it helps to know you’re not alone. Family, friends, teachers, and support groups can be sources of natural energy, alongside healthy communication and boundaries.

Summary 

Natural energy boosters come in many different forms. How you treat your body, the food you eat, and the people you surround yourself with all impact your energy reserves. 

A healthcare professional works alongside you to make sure your vitals and systems are in good standing, but the work you do on yourself might be just as important. Help yourself by looking within, managing stress, and nourishing your mind and body for increased energy.

 

 

Sources:

1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK234938/
2 https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2018.00258/full
3 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34770116/
4 https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphys.2019.01468/full
5 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27995346/
6 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5455070/
7 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK436003/
8 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK555956/
9 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33427580/
10 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4911781/
11 https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/how_much_sleep.html
12 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2729718/