Energy Boosters

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    AJonathan Fialkow, MD, Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered on behalf of Baptist Health South Florida
    How Does the Body Get Energy from the Foods We Eat?
    The body gets energy from the foods we eat by converting fats and proteins into energy for muscles, while carbohydrates are converted into sugars. Learn more in my video.
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    AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    The fatigue you feel in the winter months isn’t in your head. Energy levels are naturally depleted during winter thanks to factors like lack of sunlight (which triggers vitamin D deficiency), light changes that affect sleep patterns, and winter diet and medicines. Even the clutter that naturally accumulates during the cold months can leave you feeling overwhelmed and fatigued.
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    AKirsi Paalanen, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered

    Exercise is one of the absolute best ways you can improve your energy levels, as well as helping you out in pretty much every other aspect of your health. Even moderate levels of exercise can have a profound effect on your energy levels. Over time, continued exercise increases your lung capacity, allowing for more oxygen to be delivered to your brain and blood stream, making you feel more awake and alert. Exercise also facilitates circulation, bringing more oxygen to your muscles and allowing for increased functioning throughout your body and heightened energy production.

     

    Another great lifestyle change you can make to have more energy is eating the right kinds of foods, at the right times. They’re not kidding when they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating a nutritious breakfast within an hour of waking up helps kick-start your metabolism and will keep you going several hours into the day. It’s good to incorporate protein and healthy fats into your breakfast, which will keep you full and focused for longer. Eating five small meals a day is also a good way to keep yourself going, rather than three larger ones. Choosing natural, nutritious foods rather than overly processed junk foods will also help improve energy. Feeding your body right, at the right times, is essential to maintaining healthy energy levels.

     

    Of course, getting enough sleep is perhaps the best way to have more energy. Aside from the obvious side effect of exhaustion, sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain, cognitive deficits, and a whole host of other health complications that you definitely do not want. The average adult requires between seven and nine hours of sleep a night, so make getting adequate sleep as high a priority (if not higher) than whatever you’re staying up late to do, and get some rest!

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    AFrances Largeman-Roth, RD, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    There are other means besides caffeine to feel energized. Here’s a short list:
    • Take a walk. A brisk, ten-minute walk outside can give you perkiness and can help clear the cobwebs.
    • Do some energizing stretches. Reach your arms out to your sides and up over your head while you breathe in deeply. Exhale as you slowly lower your arms. Deep inhalations through your nose, followed by slow exhalations out through your mouth, can help you feel more alert.
    • Hydrate. Drink a glass of sparkling water with a spritz of lemon juice. Dehydration can also make you feel tired.
    • Take a sniff. Naturopathic medicine and aromatherapy practitioners tout that scents can alter your mood. It may not work for you, but it’s worth a try. According to aromatherapy principles, a whiff of a citrus fruit or fresh mint can help you feel more alert, so make sure to inhale the next time you peel an orange, and try adding some fresh mint to your salad or a pitcher of water.
    • Eat a piece of fruit. The natural fruit sugars in fruits like bananas and apples can help lift energy levels.
    • Grab a handful of walnuts. They won’t give you a jolt of energy, but walnuts contain biotin, which helps you metabolize energy from the food you eat.
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    AMehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    The reality is that as long as you’re not experiencing any side effects from the caffeine (and you’re not adding a cookie-jar’s worth of sugar to it), there’s nothing wrong with enjoying your daily coffee. But there are all kinds of ways you can increase your energy -- and thereby improve your mood, up your productivity, better your health and boost your happiness.

    Here are a few energy-boosters:

    To Drink: Green tea. Along with tasting good, green tea also has lots of disease-fighting antioxidants that provide tons of health benefits. If you need a little sweetness added, try natural ingredients like agave nectar or stevia.

    To Eat: Nuts. The protein and healthy fat of nuts help keep you satiated and provide you with lots of energy through the day. Best of all, recent research suggests that humans don’t digest all the calories in nuts, so you actually get a bit of a caloric discount when you eat them.

    To Do: Yoga. Any kind of exercise or movement will power you up. So why not a five-minute walk around the block or office halls whenever you’re feeling a slump? Try starting the day with a few yoga moves, like the classic sun salutation, to wake up your muscles and your mind.

    To Schedule: Sleep. Sure, naps are great -- if you don’t have bosses, kids or other forces tugging you away from the bed, couch or recliner. But if a nap’s not possible (and even if it is), you should aggressively make the time to sleep for at least seven and a half to eight hours a night. The key to doing that is to make sure you practice tip-top sleep hygiene: Keep cool temps in the bedroom; dim the lights a half-hour before bed and keep your computers, TVs and cell phones out of the bedroom.
    This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com
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    Timing of our meals can help boost our energy throughout the day. About 3 to 4 hours after a meal or snack our blood sugar levels will begin to decline. Failing blood sugars make us feel tired, lose our concentration, feel hungry and become very irritable. Eating a well-balanced breakfast in that first hour we are up every morning and then including a meal or snack every few hours thereafter will provide a continuous flow of nutrients into our cells for energy.
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    The number one answer for having enough energy throughout the day is, of course, getting enough sleep throughout the night. Both quantity (seven to nine hours) and quality are important. If you are getting enough quality sleep and you still feel fatigued during the day, it's time to look at your diet. Eating a healthy breakfast with protein and complex carbohydrates is important, as foods high in simple sugars can give you a burst of energy that soon fades, leaving you tired. Protein and complex carbohydrates can last much longer, giving you steady energy throughout the day. Finally, an active lifestyle has been shown to combat fatigue. Taking a brisk walk during your lunch break can help energize you for the rest of your workday.
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    ARealAge answered

    Who wouldn't want to feel more energized and have a smile on their face all day? But short of popping some "happy pills," it seems there's no easy way -- until now. Enter yoga.

    Yep, some simple yoga-style stretches and poses could do the trick. People who did them for five weeks reported a lift in their moods and more spring in their steps.

    A type of yoga that focuses on mood-boosting poses seemed to be particularly helpful in raising spirits in a recent study. In fact, people's moods not only generally improved about halfway through five weeks of doing Iyengar yoga, but posers also felt a bit better after class, too. Talk about instant gratification.

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    II doesn't take much sleep loss to produce a lack of energy. Studies show for as little as half an hour of sleep missed you are less alert the next day. Most people need 7 to 8 hours of sleep or more per day to feel at their best. Getting yourself into bed an hour earlier could really make a difference in how fast you get yourself out of that bed in the morning.
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    Healthy snacks include nuts, vegetables (carrots, bell peppers) and fruits. Remember to eat everything in moderation, as nuts are high in calories. Fruits are also high in sugar content, so if you are diabetic you will need to talk to your doctor about how much fruit is appropriate for you.
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