It’s normal to have the occasional bout of low energy — especially when your schedule is hectic, or you’re dealing with a heavy workload. But, when you regularly depend on an extra cup of coffee to push through the mid-day slump, it’s time to rethink your energy demands.
Many factors can drag energy down. If your low energy becomes overwhelming or impact your ability to function normally, it’s important to speak to a physician to rule out underlying health problems.
In addition to getting the recommended 7–9 hours of sleep per night, exercising regularly, and taking time to de-stress, there are many foods and supplements that contribute to healthy, more sustainable energy. One of these natural-energy boosters may be just what you need to bring your back up.
Snacks aren’t just for kids! If you regularly feel sleepy or weak between meals, eating small nourishing snacks can help keep your energy more balanced. Foods that are low on the glycemic index (GI) and high in protein and fibre are especially helpful.
Low-GI foods are absorbed more slowly than high-GI foods, allowing them to release energy gradually and help keep blood sugar levels steady. The amount and type of carbohydrates (complex versus simple), as well as the protein and fat content of food, all affect its GI rating. Delicious low-GI snacks could include:
A glass of soy milk
Cucumbers dipped in hummus
Small handfuls of almonds or walnuts
Blueberries on plain yogurt
Protein is needed to build muscle (including heart tissue), hemoglobin, immune system cells, hormones, and much more. Including a quality source of protein, such as legumes, nuts, and low-fat dairy in your snacks will contribute to your feelings of satisfaction and energy.
Protein shakes are an especially fun and delicious way to boost your protein intake on the go! Active Nutrition All-in-One Vegan Shakes from Webber Naturals contain 23 g of plant-based protein per serving and come in delicious vanilla cream and rich chocolate flavours.
Low energy may be a sign that your diet is not supplying enough of the B vitamins, iron, or other essential micronutrients that you need to maintain healthy energy levels. Including a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins in your daily meals and snacks will provide most of the micronutrients that you need, while taking a daily vitamin and/or mineral supplement can help fill nutrient gaps.
Speaking with a dietician or physician can help you identify which nutrients you may be lacking and which supplements best suit your needs. Supplements that are commonly taken for improving energy and vitality include:
These coenzymes have important roles in the body’s conversion of carbohydrates, protein, and fat into energy, as well as red blood cell formation, immune function, and much more. There are eight different B vitamins, each with its own unique contribution to energy and overall health. Taking a vitamin B complex, such as Timed Release B100 Complex, can help ensure that you’re getting an optimal ratio of all the essential B vitamins. This timed-release formula also offers a steady release of B vitamins for energy support throughout the day.
Maintaining healthy iron levels is crucial for keeping your energy up and mind sharp. Your red blood cells rely on iron to help transport oxygen to the brain, organs, muscles, and other tissues. It’s also involved in nerve function and making hormones. If you suspect you’re not getting enough iron through your diet, speak to your physician about supplementation with an individual iron formula or a multivitamin and mineral supplement that contains iron.
A daily multivitamin and mineral supplement is a useful way to support well-rounded nutrition and address deficiencies that may be holding your energy back. Betex Support Multi Vitamin is custom-formulated with essential ingredients for healthy blood sugar balance and metabolism. It helps replenish key nutrients that you may be lacking and is enriched with antioxidants from green tea, turmeric, ginger, and spirulina to help counteract the effects of oxidative stress.
Natural herbs and plant extracts have been used for centuries to improve mental and physical energy. Look for the following ingredients when choosing a natural health product to support energy:
Panax ginseng is a well-recognized adaptogenic herb used to increase physical stamina and strengthen mental capacity. Its key active compounds are called ginsenosides.
Maca has been used by Peruvians for thousands of years as a highly nourishing food and an energizing herb to strengthen stamina and combat fatigue. Maca with Ginseng 500/200 mg combines the benefits of maca and Panax ginseng to help combat the fatigue and stress of everyday living.
Rhodiola rosea is used to temporarily relieve mental fatigue and sensations of weakness related to stress. It works by enhancing mental focus and stamina, while also strengthening your body’s resistance to various forms of stress in your surroundings.
Ashwagandha is traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine as a rejuvenative tonic. It has also become a popular exercise supplement used for athletic support.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an enzyme and antioxidant present in every one of our cells, where it contributes to the production of energy in the mitochondria’s electron transport chain. Although CoQ10 is produced internally, our levels decline naturally as we age and can be depleted by the use of statin drugs, as well as with increased exposure to oxidative stress. Ultimately, declining CoQ10 levels means less energy is available for the body’s systems to function.
Supplementation is a helpful way to replenish CoQ10 levels and compensate for further depletion. Choosing the best CoQ10 formula for your needs will depend on your state of health, age, and lifestyle factors. CoQ10 supplements line from Webber Naturals includes low daily doses that range from 30–60 mg per day and higher strengths that range from 100–400 mg per day. If you use blood-thinning medications or other drugs, consult your physician prior to taking CoQ10.
Even a small boost in energy can do wonders for your productivity and focus. Taking steps to support healthy energy levels includes fueling up with healthy snacks, filling micronutrient gaps, and choosing energizing supplements. And when your day is over, you can crawl into bed feeling satisfied that you put your best, and most energized, foot forward.
Patience Lister, BSc
Patience Lister is a professional writer who helps to inspire healthier and more sustainable food and supplement choices.