6. Get adequate sleep
Getting enough sleep, as well as having a good-quality sleep is critical to energy levels, according to experts. Interestingly, there is some research to support that inadequate sleep can increase insulin resistance. While the mechanism requires more research, the result of not getting enough sleep can affect glucose metabolism and decrease energy throughout the day, causing us to eat more to help keep energy levels up, according to Ansari.
While adequate sleep is typically considered seven to nine hours for the average person, competitive athletes including adolescent athletes taking part in heavy training and those who are highly active may need an additional two hours of sleep to support recovery, according to Ansari.
7. Avoid caffeine for energy
Caffeine can help boost short-term mental performance and provide an energy spike, but it can decrease energy afterward. “Aim for a moderate amount of 200 to 300 milligrams of caffeine per day, which is the amount in about two cups of brewed coffee,” Ansari said.
“There is nothing wrong with starting the day with some caffeine as a ‘pick me up,’ but if you find you rely on multiple cups of coffee spaced out during the day to maintain your energy level, you may want to take a look at how you are spacing out your food intake as well as your hydration level,” DeRobertis added.
8. Increase your exercise
Increasing exercise can actually boost your energy level, according to DeRobertis. The increase in energy takes place for a number of reasons: For one, you produce more feel-good hormones, known as endorphins; plus, you also increase your heart’s pumping volume, which strengthens circulation. “Your cells become more sensitive to your insulin, so your blood glucose becomes more stable,” DeRobertis said.
9. Stress less
Too much stress can drain you of energy. It can also contribute to poor sleep quality, which can make you tired and irritable, and worsen stress. Aiming for at least seven to nine hours of sleep each night can help to decrease cortisol and stress levels.
Finding a hobby you enjoy and listening to music can also help to reduce stress levels. There are many other ways to de-stress — the key is finding which strategy works best for you.
10. Engage in self-care
Energy comes from two sources: physical energy and emotional or psychological energy. Before turning towards the afternoon cookie, identify whether you need a physical boost, or an emotional lift.
“If you just finished up a hard meeting or grounding the kids, food won’t provide the energy boost you need, but self-care might,” Majumdar said.
“Choosing an activity that resets the negative energy can help balance those energy needs. Think a quick walk outside for fresh air, some deep breathing exercises, or a quick dance session.”