Our society seems to be inundated with various types of energy drinks and there even seems to be a "coolness" factor in walking around with an energy drink. Many teenagers and college students rely on energy drinks to keep them going through the long days and nights. As a busy mother of three, I can certainly understand the need to have more energy during the day and can relate to the temptation of reaching for the energy drink.
While energy drinks do give you more energy, it comes at a price. The average energy drink can cost between $2-$4 per can and your cost for “energy” goes up pretty quickly. Energy drinks also have sugar, caffeine and sodium which give the body a rush of energy with a crash to follow. In addition, caffeine is a diuretic, which causes the body to increase the secretion of urine. The danger with caffeine drinks is that they can cause a person to become dehydrated. When the body is dehydrated, it does not function at its highest capacity and can cause headaches, cramping, loss of concentration, moodiness and fatigue. Then you are headed back for another energy drink and the cycle continues.
To break the cycle or need for energy drinks here are natural tips for boosting your energy.
- If you are feeling sluggish, go for a brisk walk around the block or use the bathroom on another floor. You don’t need to spend an hour on the treadmill; just get up and get your body moving.
- Eat a snack high in protein like almonds, a turkey wrap or apples dipped in peanut butter. Also, avoid snacking on foods that quickly turn into sugar (carbohydrates). These foods give you a rush of energy, but similar to caffeine, the crash follows.
- Eat small snacks throughout the day to keep your metabolism steady and your energy level steady.
- Take a look at your diet: A vitamin B deficiency can cause moodiness, fatigue and low energy levels. Consider taking a vitamin B supplement or a multivitamin.
- Hydration plays a big role in our energy level. If you are feeling tired, ask yourself this question, “When was the last time I had a drink of water?” If you can’t remember, it’s a sign you might be dehydrated.
- This many seem like a likely solution, but many people overlook the simple solution of getting to bed earlier. Having good sleep hygiene is vital to being able to function on a daily basis.
- Consider taking a “power nap” during the day, especially if you are experiencing a lot of mental or emotional stress throughout the day. Just a quick word a caution—too much sleep can cause a delay in your ability to fall asleep at night.
- Finally, reduce stress. I’m not saying stop taking care of your family or stop working, but find small ways to reduce the stress in your life. Find a friend to talk to, take a vacation or get a relaxing massage. Whatever relaxation means a lot to you, make it a priority so that your health is a priority.