Our energy levels fluctuate between different times of the day and periods of our lives. Sometimes we feel fine and are capable of undertaking our tasks but there are times that we just feel tired often for reasons we do not know.
The energy-boosting habit that has become part our culture is to have a cup of coffee or two in the morning, whenever you feel tired or need more energy during the day. This coffee habit has become quite a problem in society as we all know that coffee is addictive.
When taken every day in large amounts, it harms our health and general well-being. Quitting coffee is a big hassle of its own. Only those that have tried or been successful at it can understand what I am saying.
So today, we want to talk about healthy ways of improving our energy both temporarily and permanently. Let us begin:
Possible reasons for fatigue/weakness
- A poor diet that lacks the nutrients needed by the body
- Hormonal issues (imbalance, menopause, periods etc.)
- Lack of adequate body exercise
- Some medications etc.
- Nutrients deficiency etc.
We often have to balance school, work, parenting, marriage, relationships, businesses, and many other energy-consuming tasks every day of our lives. It should come as no surprise that sometimes we need an energy boost to keep going. We cannot stop the train called life just because we are feeling tired.
Before we discuss remedies, let us briefly touch on good sources of energy and bad sources of energy. This is because while some foods and routines can increase your energy levels, sometimes there is a downside to them after the initial energy boost.
Healthy energy Boosters
So what are healthy ways that we can improve in energy in our daily lives. They are:
This is very necessary for overall health and energy in the body. When we are stressed or tired during the day, take a quick nap to refresh yourself and give your body time to rest and reset.
Staying hydrated. Water is needed for most body functions and when we are not properly hydrated, our body starts to struggle with keeping up with us. Making us feel tired.
A healthy Balanced diet
Eat a healthy balanced diet that helps your body produce enough energy that you need for the day such as whole grains and legumes, fruits, vegetables, etc.
Exercise regularly. For many, the gym is the first thought when exercising is mentioned. However, what this actually meant is for a person to be in the habit of having regular moderate activity at different times of the day. You will then expended energy and your heartbeat rate increases thereby improving blood flow in the body.
This can be achieved with a 30 minutes walk, jogging, simple exercises like the ones we do in our elementary school during PE (e.g touching toes), vigorous dancing, playing some sports e.g. football, basketball, running around with your children and playing, etc.
Find comfortable ways of incorporating some good exercise routines in your life to help increase and improve your energy and general health.
unhealthy energy boosters
The “bad” sources of energy are referred to as such because after the initial energy boost you feel, it is followed by an “energy crash” where one feels more tired, irritable, and weaker than before.
To prevent this crash, you will need to avoid high sugar-containing drinks, energy drinks in the form of soda and other carbonated drinks, caffeine from coffee, over-processed foods, Nescafe, energy-boosting drugs, etc.
Coffee and most of these mentioned unfortunately common energy-boosters increase the production of stress hormones and lowers blood sugar.
This combination of reactions to unhealthy energy boosters by the body can lead to long-lasting fatigue and tiredness unless you improve your diet and lifestyle.
Skipping meals and substituting them with energy boosters (even if it is a healthy energy source) causes fluctuations in blood sugar levels which can also make you feel fatigued.
Just try to maintain a healthy and balanced diet and lifestyle and you will be able to keep your energy up through the day.
Energy-boosting herbs, supplements, and foods
Taking note of possible reasons for our fatigue, we should try and correct them for a more long-term and sustainable solution.
However, when we know we are mostly fine as much as we can tell. It’s just the occasional tiredness that happens every once in a while, here are some herbs, foods, and supplements to help you feel normal and energetic again.
Guava leaves extract
Guava leaves are almost tasteless and very safe for consumption. They are rich in antioxidants, anti-bacterial properties, anti-inflammatory properties, helpful tannins, fiber, numerous vitamins (calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, etc.), etc.
Guava is particularly known for having 4 times the amount of vitamin C in oranges and 10 times the vitamin A in Lemon. This wonderful medicinal plant has over 20+ uses and application in natural healing.
Its such a nutrient packed plant that is very good for vitality and banishing fatigue from the body.
How to use:
- Boil a handful of the guava leaves in enough water. About 1/2-1 liter
- Sieve it when cooled.
- Take the warm water twice a day after meals
- Use this herb for about 3-5 days
Alternatively, if you cannot get the leaves, just buy the guava leaf extract. It is available in health stores under the supplements section. Take the capsules as directed on the bottle
Ginseng is an Asian herb that is said to be effective not just for energy and vitality but also for aging, stimulates brain function, Improves focus, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.
There is a variety of ginseng herb species across Asia and the United States. Most of them are used for energy boosts among others. Ginseng is a very strong herb which is why it needs to be taken in moderation and not over a long period of time.
Unfortunately, the ginseng herb is one of the most expensive herbs in the world. This is why many ginseng products contain filler ingredients or an inadequate amount of ginseng in the product for it to be effective.
So, be careful of the concentration or percentage of the ginseng herb you are using on the product pack. It is available in tonic, powder, drinks, and beverages. Choose whichever has the highest concentration of the herb in it.
*Caution- for those taking medications for depression, heart disease, and diabetes, it is known to interact with the prescriptions so, you will need a doctor’s guidance before using this herb or you can simply choose another remedy from this list.
How to use:
You will most likely buy It in it as a packaged product so just use it according to the directions on the product package.
You have probably heard of this herb for its benefits to women’s hormones and fertility. Well, that is not all its benefits.
Maca also called Peruvian ginseng is another very old plant that is used as food, an energizer, mood stabiliser, and libido enhancer. It is a super-food with high protein content, more than 20 amino acids, and high vitamins and mineral content such as calcium (more than a cup of milk), magnesium, iron, potassium, vitamin C & B, etc.
Many of the minerals necessary for maintaining your energy are found in maca. More on that below.
Caution*: This herb is quite powerful and should not be used for long-term use. Doctors recommend not more than 3 mg in a day and should not be used continuously for more than 3 months.
Some disorders such as thyroid disease can be aggravated by the use of maca because it contains goitrogens. So it is important that you speak to your doctor before using not only maca but also other related herbs such as ashwagandha.
To maintain your energy after using supplements, you will need to get your diet and lifestyle right. This is the long-term and more sustainable solution to fatigue, tiredness or weakness.
Originating from India hence the difficult-to-pronounce name which means “the smell of a horse”. This wonderful root herb has been used for centuries by the local Indian community and has in the past few years, gained fame worldwide for its ability to improve memory, concentration, vitality, energy, and anxiety.
It is also known as the Indian ginseng because they are used for similar purposes though they are unrelated.
There are some reports that it interacts with some medications such as thyroid medication. It is also part of the nightshade family (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, etc.). If you are allergic to them, then it might be safer for your to choose other options from this post.
How to use:
You can take the herb in numerous forms such as powder added to smoothies and lattes, capsules (take according to instructions on the product pack), tea, etc.
Feel free to choose which ever option is best for you and enjoy all the benefits.
We often say cocoa most of the time but this time you will need to get the cacao powder. Their difference is that cacao powder is the wholesome powder from the cocoa bean which has minimal processing. The cocoa powder is the processed powder and a less nutritive form of cacao after the cocoa butter and other important components have been removed.
Cacao powder has naturally occurring mild caffeine which boosts energy and is very high in magnesium (among the highest in the world food ladder) whose deficiency can be the culprit of low energy In the body.
It also improves memory, concentration, is high in antioxidants etc. You can read more about cocoa here.
If we can remember, on the pack of these cocoa heavy products, one of the main benefits it touts is that it gives you the energy you need for the day by just having a cup of it. This energy-boosting property is from the cocoa bean.
Kola nuts also spelled as cola nut are well known to west Africans but not to many other populations of the world. There, it is used for health improvement and as a stimulant by the local population. This nut should be used in moderation too because it has very high naturally occurring caffeine which can be addicting.
It is used as a central nervous stimulant and a quick energy booster. This is something that I know of since I was a child.
In the United States and many parts of Europe, kolanut extract is more commonly available. It is used as a popular food flavoring and stimulant in many products for health (e.g weight loss), drinks (coca-cola), pharmaceutical drugs (over-the-counter stimulants), etc.
A single fresh kola nut contains more caffeine than 2 large cups of coffee. Remember that it stains the teeth so instead of chewing it, try blending it with some water and drink the extract.
In summary, this is a very safe (it is FDA Approved) natural stimulant that is known for its energy-boosting property. Just remember not to use it every day but only when you need an energy boost. You can read more about the kola nut on health line, PUBMED.
How to use (for the fresh nut):
- Chew about an inch or less of the kola nut when feeling tired or week
- You can do this in the morning and evening or at whatever time is convenient for you.
- Do not take more than 2 inches of the nut or half a nut in a day
Alternatively, I think most of us will be getting the cola nut extract which should be used according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Just like iron, magnesium is very important for body function and maintaining your energy throughout the day. It is needed by the body in converting food to energy, muscle movement, nervous system operation, and about 600 more body functions.
You can try getting magnesium supplements from the pharmacy or health stores in your area. Their dosage should be as directed on the pack.
Magnesium rich foods are Whole grains and legumes such as beans, wheat, fonio, green vegetables, nuts and seeds, etc. Generally, foods that are rich in fiber are also rich in magnesium.
Some of us know that hemoglobin from our biology class is a protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body. To do this efficiently and, sufficient, iron is needed in the body.
When there is an iron deficiency, it cannot carry oxygen to the body tissues efficiently. This results in iron deficiency anemia and as we know, one of the signs of anemia is fatigue and weakness.
Food sources of iron are fish, meat, beans, eggs, dark green vegetables, nuts, etc. Iron occurring naturally in foods is more sustainable. If you are unable to switch immediately to an iron-rich diet, then, try iron supplements. They will help you improve your energy levels.
Iron in large amounts introduced suddenly in the body can cause an adverse reaction so only take this supplement according to the direction on the bottle. But in the long-run, try and incorporate more iron-rich foods so that you can stop taking the iron supplements.
Vitamin B helps in converting food into the energy that our body cells can use to function. It also keeps our cells healthy and helps guard the body against fatigue and weakness.
When the body is unable to absorb it from the food we eat or when it is low in the body, there is a tendency that you will feel some weakness.
Sources of vitamin B include animal products such as meat, fish, dairy products, eggs, dark green vegetables, seafood etc.
You can also opt for a more efficient dose of vitamin B which is the pharmaceutical tablets of the vitamin B complex (a combination of different types of vitamin Bs needed in the body) which can be bought in health and pharmaceutical stores easily.
Vitamin D is also popularly known as the vitamin we get from being exposed to sunshine. This vitamin is necessary in preventing muscle fatigue.
There is a misconception that black people don’t need vitamin D which is not true. So if you are feeling tired, take yourself outside to sit under the morning or evening sun not the hot afternoon sun which can damage your skin.
Doing this can make you feel more alert and refreshed.
Meat, fish, cow liver, are all good alternative sources of vitamin D and You can also try vitamin D supplements for quick improvement and convenience.
We tend to go looking for an energy booster when we are overwhelmed with work or when we are feeling tell-all signs of being sick (even if we don’t know it yet).
Eating well, sleeping adequately, getting regular exercises, and staying hydrated is not always possible for us. If you are looking for an energy booster, you can use the remedies and herbs mentioned above. I am quite confident in their effectiveness.
Remember not to overuse the remedies (the herbs especially) because they are not safe to be consumed in large quantities or for an extended period. Feel comfortable using these recommended tips and remedies for the time being but remember to address the underlying problem for a more permanent solution.
Try and avoid the regular use of energy drinks for boosting energy because they can be dangerous for your health and many are addictive and make our body dependent due to their high sugar and caffeine.
Some countries e.g UK have considered banning the sale of energy drinks to those below the age of 18 due to the threat it poses to public health. So tread carefully on those drinks and use them sparingly.
I hope you got what you came looking for and please rate this article down below. If you have any questions or comments, I would love to talk to you in the comments below.
I hope you have a nice day. Bye for now!