5 Secrets For Increasing Your Energy
If you went online and googled "how to increase energy levels" you will find a 1001 articles all saying the same old things you have heard before. In this blog post I thought I would put together a few tips that you are much less likely to come across. So let’s cut to the chase, here they are:
1. Turn Off Your Mobile Phone When You Sleep
You are probably wondering what this has to do with your energy. Well this comes down to the quality of your sleep. There is an obvious connection between the amount and quality of your sleep and your energy levels so naturally anything that can affect your sleep will inevitably impact your energy levels.
Mobile phones emit electromagnetic fields (EMFs) which are shown to affect human health. When it comes to sleep EMFs have been shown impact brainwave patterns and the release of certain hormones. Both brainwave patterns and hormones dictate the quality and length of your sleep. EMFs at certain levels (they don’t need to be high) have been scientifically proven to affect the pineal gland reducing its production of your bodies main sleep hormone, melatonin. Research has also shown that EMFs produced by mobile phones can dampen delta brainwave patterns. Delta waves are the low frequency patterns our brains go into when we reach deeper states of sleep. Turning off your phone when you go to bed at night will allow your body and mind to go through deeper levels of psychological and physiological repair thereby helping to replenish your energy levels.
2. Avoid The Foods You React To
Many people experience negative reactions to food. These reactions can take place in response to so called “healthy” foods as much as “unhealthy” ones. Whenever you experience a reaction to a food most commonly seen as pain, discomfort, bloating, headaches or tiredness, your body is going through a level of trauma that will inflict stress and damage to your body. Most people are unaware of the internal damage caused by these reactions and continue to consume the offending foods.
This damage is caused as a result of your immune system fighting the perceived invader (food). As a result of this immune reaction both toxins and inflammation will be formed leading to a host of other processes that will rob your body of vital energy and resources. The inflammation will trigger the release of your bodies main anti-inflammatory, cortisol, which is also happens to be your body’s main stress hormone. The problem with this is that the chronic release of stress hormones is a major cause of fatigue and affects a large percentage of people, especially those working in the city. So the added stress of food reactions will produce greater levels of fatigue.
Further, when the immune system reacts to a food immune complexes are formed, these complexes are toxins that need to be eliminated by the body through the liver and other detoxification organs. Unfortunately due to the insane levels of toxicity our bodies are subjected to every day through modern living, especially city living, this merely adds to the toll placed on your liver impacting its ability to keep up with the other 500 roles it has. What is one of the areas your liver plays a big role in?
....You guessed it…ENERGY. Namely through the regulation of your blood sugar levels (glucose metabolism), lipid (fat) metabolism and the regulation of your hormones, all of which influence your energy levels.
The most common triggers of negative food reactions are food sensitivities (sometimes referred to as food intolerances). Some of the most common food sensitivities are to wheat, dairy, gluten, nuts, soy and eggs.
So if you are eating foods you know your body doesn’t agree with them and you want more energy then start cutting them out.
3. Eat An Ugly Frog To Start Your Day
An ugly frog is a challenging, scary or confronting task that you would rather avoid. That phone call you don’t want to make, that email you keep putting off, or even going to the gym or exercising. By eating one of these ugly frogs at the start of your day you will feel great about yourself. You will walk around with a sense of pride and liberation with a spring in your step, leaving you with a sense of high energy. Putting these tasks off until later in the day will only drain your psychological energy. It creates a form of resistance, a bit like riding a bike with your brakes on.
So create more energy out of thin air by doing something you rather wouldn’t at the start of your day.
4. Ground Yourself
The opposite to energy is stress. Stress is your worst enemy when it comes to feeling energised. By stress I am not just talking about the usual stressors we experience as a result of difficult circumstances whether that’s in your relationships, work or home life. Those things are valid forms of stress but by stress I am also referring to anything that takes your body or mind out of balance. Some potential stressors could come about from your exercise routine, posture, nutrition, sleep habits, environment, lifestyle or and many other things. One of the main sources of stress to our body are positive ions which are shown to cause oxidative stress (free radical damage) to our body. Positive ions will come from the air we breathe; particularly from pollution and chemical toxins and electrical equipment (such as hair dryers, microwaves, computers, fluorescent lighting and mobile phones). So as you can imagine many of us are constantly exposed to high levels of positive ions.
Aside from minimising the causes; one of the best ways to combat positive ions is with negative ions which counter the positive ions. A simple means of bringing negative ions into your body is through “grounding” (also called earthing) yourself to the earth. This happens naturally when walking in nature, particularly when you walk bare foot and are in contact with the ground. This is why we are naturally drawn to the countryside, parks and waterfalls (all places that provide an abundance of negative ions). They de-stress our body and allow our body to heal and re-energise itself. Fresh air (especially after a thunderstorm) and sunlight are also good sources.
So get outside and into nature, even if its just a park on a regular basis, better yet make habit of visiting the countryside when you can. Your body will thank you for it.
5. Eat Protein, Fat And Carbohydrates In Every Meal Or Snack
Perhaps the tip you are more likely to be familiar with, although one that few people really apply. In a nutshell if you want constant energy then you need stable blood sugar levels. But this is not possible if you eat either protein, fat or carbohydrate based foods on their own
Eating carbohydrates on their own will trigger a significant elevation in blood sugar levels leading to high levels of insulin that is produced to lower them. However when insulin is released the body typically overcompensates and the blood sugar levels will drop below ideal levels, sparking hunger and the desire for a quick fix (i.e. sugary snacks and caffeine).
In contrast the consumption of fat/protein rich foods on their own will lead your blood sugar levels to crash. This leads to the release of a number of hormones including cortisol (stress hormones) and glucagon. These hormones help to elevate your blood sugar levels. But once again you will find that the body usually overcompensates and your blood sugar levels will reach above ideal levels leading to the release of insulin and eventually low blood sugar levels.
The effect of either meals or snacks that are either heavy in carbohydrates or fat/protein is the dysregulation of your blood sugar levels. Your energy levels will match these peaks and troughs in sugar levels. Often you will feel jittery and shaky when your sugar levels are too high or tired and drowsy when they drop too low.
To avoid this you must eat a balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat in each meal and snack. What the correct ratio or balance between each is right for you will vary between individuals and is something I work on with my clients using a few methods to identify the ideal fuel balance for optimal energy.