Having a lack of energy at the end of the day is not surprising for most. With demands of career, family, everyday chores and if you lucky, a social life, it is easy to understand why there could be a need for an "energy booster."
The first reaction may be to go for a cup of coffee or for the pleasure of a sugary treat, but while caffeine and sugar may provide a quick burst of energy, they are sure to leave you just as tired, if not more so after the effects wear off, which is about 20 to 30 minutes. Not to mention the lingering effects caffeine can have, like potential sleep loss.
However there are a few ways to rejuvenate that are effective, long lasting and natural.
One common cause of low energy levels is dehydration. Even just a ½ cup less water than your body needs and your brain and body start to lag.
The old rule of drinking at least 8 glasses a day is important to remember and you should try to drink before you actually get that thirsty feeling. Being thirsty is a sign that dehydration has already begun.
Peppermint aroma may help in the release of tension and ease fatigue. A cup of peppermint tea can be a great pick me up or try peppermint oil as an aromatherapy.
Certainly there are some supplements that can increase your overall energy.
-Ginseng improves energy and calms the response to stress.
-Bee pollen helps increase physical strength and stamina.
-Ginkgo biloba improves blood flow to the brain for enhanced mental clarity.
-Co-Q10 provides an energy boost by increasing metabolic efficiency.
-Licorice root and Reishi mushrooms are helpful in enhancing energy.
Another great source for energy boosts is from a complex carbohydrate snack. Complex carbohydrates, because they contain fiber, take longer to digest, so the release of glucose into your bloodstream is gradual (rather than the quick burst that comes from a candy bar). Some good choices are raw vegetables, whole grains and beans.
Acupressure can also give an energy boosts and can be easily used in specific areas. Rub your ear lobes between your thumb and forefinger while applying slight pressure, or pull your second toe and then rub it vigorously. Exercise is one of the best ways to increase your energy level. Even just a ten-minute walk or stretching will get your blood flowing and help rejuvenate you. Deep breathing exercises will also increase the flow of oxygen to the brain and make you feel more awake.
If none of these seem to help, then the solution may be that you simply need to get some rest. In these busy times, relaxation is often considered more of a privilege than a need. But the body needs to get proper rest, a 20- minute nap may do it for the quick fix, but if you are faced with lagging energy often you may just need to listen to your body and give it the rest it needs.
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© Melt Magazine 2003