With the daily stressors of life that result in so many of us not being able to get a proper night’s sleep, feelings of exhaustion and fatigue present themselves as a daily obstacle. Sometimes, all the coffee in the world couldn’t make us feel alert, and other times we feel alert for a few hours only to end up right back where we started. Ditch the caffeine—okay, maybe not—and give these 10 quick, easy energy boosters a go.
Mint gum, to be precise. The act of chewing increases both heart rate and blood flow to the brain, and refreshing minty flavors stimulate the nervous system. Chewing warms up the brain and has been shown to increase productivity.
Take a walk.
Stepping away from your desk and taking a quick stroll switches up your mental state, thereby improving your ability to think creatively. Any exercise, even a leisurely walk, boosts brain chemicals like dopamine and serotonin, which are responsible for positive emotion and increased energy.
Increase your magnesium intake.
A deficiency of the mineral magnesium is directly related to low energy levels, and also makes exercise more difficult. When you don’t have enough magnesium, your body requires more oxygen for exercise and often results in a higher heart rate. Incorporate more magnesium into your diet naturally by adding more nuts, whole grains and fish.
Drink more water.
Staying hydrated is absolutely essential for keeping your entire body functioning optimally, which is why even just being a little bit dehydrated can lead to fatigue. The recommended amount of water for the average adult is eight to nine cups per day. If you’re struggling with getting enough water, try adding citrus fruits to your water bottle for a DIY infusion.
Massage your ears.
Strange but true: Massaging the acupunctural meridians in your ears helps to calm the nervous system and boost energy immediately. Simply rubbing your ears won’t do—do some research on proper massage techniques and get on your way to a major rise in endorphins.
Wear orange lens glasses.
The blue light that emanates from the electronic devices we’re all so attached to slows the production of melatonin, which is the fastest route to losing sleep. Experts recommend tuning out from the TV and iPhone at least two hours before we hit the sack, but that usually doesn’t happen. Wearing orange or amber-tinted glasses while you use electronics before bed allows you to block out blue light and get a better night’s rest.
Just stand up.
Sitting for long periods of time—like, say, at your desk—is terrible for your health, increasing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, depression, and more, and putting in a few extra hours at the gym doesn’t counteract the effects. The only solution is to take standing breaks throughout the day. If you find yourself seated more often than recommended, consider investing in a standing or walking desk. Working upright is a great way to boost your energy levels and avoid afternoon fatigue.
Eat a kiwi.
Kiwi is packed with vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and antioxidants. In a study of the most commonly consumed fruits, it was concluded that kiwi is the most nutrient-rich of the top 27. Kiwi increases your body’s ability to stabilize blood sugar and satisfies daily vitamin needs, and studies have shown that adding two of the fuzzy fruits to your day will result in significantly less fatigue.
Vitamin B in its various forms is essential for energy production. Try a vitamin B complex supplement that contains all eight types to cover all the basics.
Smell some cinnamon.
Certain scents have been proven to reduce fatigue and increase your sense of alertness. Citrus makes you less anxious, rosemary oil will beef up your memory, and cinnamon and peppermint will motivate and energize you. If only everything in life could be that easy.