28 Ways to Boost Energy Instantly
28 Ways to Boost Energy Instantly
Put down that energy shot! There’s no need to chug crazy canned concoctions or buckets of coffee to get through the day. And better still, that doesn’t mean accepting 3 p.m. drowsiness as unavoidable. We found 28 quick and easy tips to up energy levels — no unpronounceable chemicals required.
1. Work out midday. When that mid-afternoon energy slump rolls around, hit the gym instead of the sack. Studies suggest working out can actually increase productivity enough to counteract that time away from the office.
2. Eat chocolate. Sure chocolate’s got caffeine, but that’s not the only reason it offers a quick pick-me-up. Flavonoids found in cocoa have been shown to boost cognitive skills and improve mood.
3. Power nap. Avoid the temptation to pull a Rip Van Winkle, and take a quick midday power nap instead. Studies show the optimal amount of sleep is 10 to 20 minutes to get through the day without throwing off the night’s sleep.
4. Drink some coffee. We can say from experience six back-to-back cups of coffee is a recipe for instant crash-mode. But one cup is usually just right. One study found that just a single cup of coffee was enough to keep sleepy drivers on a long haul more alert at the wheel.
5. Go outside. Head into the great outdoors — even if the woods aren’t nearby, a green park will do. Just 20 minutes outdoors is enough to feel more alive. How’s that for an energy boost?
6. Eat regularly. The body needs fuel (aka food) to function, and without it our energy and mood can spiral downward. But regular, healthy meals and snacks can improve cognitive function. But keep in mind not getting enough sleep can also cause us to eat when we’re not actually hungry, so check in with that tummy before munching down.
7. Go for complex carbs. Wondering what to eat to fuel up? Complex carbs (like whole grains) are a good bet. The dose of glucose they provide serves as food for the brain, and one study found a meal of complex carbs made subjects feel more energized. Studies have also found low-carb dieters to be moodier and more forgetful than those who do eat carbs.
8. Opt for sugar-free drinks. Studies suggest sugary energy drinks can leave us crashing as soon as one hour later. The shocker — the effects are the same even without the caffeine! That’s right, caffeine-free sugary beverages can cause a crash, too.
9. Laugh. Laughter’s a proven stress-buster, but studies suggest laughing can boost energy levels, too. (Feel free to use this as permission to go on YouTube for the next 30 minutes.)
11. Open your curtains. Environmental cues play a huge role in our body’s energy grooves (aka circadian rhythms), and sunlight can also help alleviate Seasonal Affective Disorder. But there’s no need to invest in a light therapy box if there’s a sunny window available.
12. Suck on something. Instead of nodding off during an endless meeting, eat a small piece of candy or chew on a piece of gum. One study found chewing gum can increase alertness and improve mood.
13. Think fast. It may not sound so easy when those eyelids are drooping, but making the brain work a little quicker may help the body follow suit! Thinking faster (i.e. reading at a quicker pace, brainstorming in a group, or learning a new concept) made one group of study subjects feel more energized.
14. Take a cold shower. It’s all about the polar bear swim. Researchers have even suggested a 3-minute long cold shower could be enough to counteract some of the effects of chronic fatigue.
15. Take a few deep breaths. Nope, it’s not just the key to resisting the urge to scream at that stupid driver. Deep, yoga breathing from the diaphragm gets blood pumping, which also boosts energy all day long.
16. Add a house plant. In a stuffy office, a houseplant can help filter out pollutants like volatile organic compounds (or VOCs for short) and ozone. And those chemicals can have both long and short-term effects, including energy-draining allergies and headaches. Add a plant, though, and those threats could diminish.
17. Drink water. Whether at the gym or just dealing with the daily grind, it can be hard to remember to drink enough water. But even mild dehydration can cause sleepiness, so try chugging a glass or two when fatigue strikes. Or, better yet, stay hydrated all day long!
18. Sing aloud. Even Dummies know singing requires breath control. Belt it for a full song and there’s plenty of extra oxygen pumping to feel energized, not to mention the adrenaline of taking it to the (karaoke) stage. Plus, one study showed singing significantly increased energy levels among college students (more than just listening quietly).
Leave Your Blinds Open
One article pointed out that “waking up with the sun also allows your body to wake up gradually, in a natural process, instead of being startled out of much-needed REM sleep — a.k.a. the deep sleep your brain needs to learn, store memories, and regulate your emotions — with a piercing, sudden alarm”  .
One of the reasons why you feel groggy and slow in the morning is because you haven’t had any sustenance during the eight hours you were asleep. A small snack before bed can help prevent this feeling.
I usually eat a low-carbohydrate and easy to digest snack, such as cottage cheese, yogurt, milk and/or peanut butter. Too much food or those that are difficult to digest may prevent you from sleeping, so it’s best to experiment to find the best quantity and types of food to eat before you sleep.
Go to Sleep and Wake up at the Same Time Each Day
Keeping a regular and consistent sleep schedule helps your body get in to a natural rhythm. By doing so, you will begin to naturally fall asleep and wake up at the same time each day as your circadian rhythm gets into a consistent pattern  . Waking up will feel more natural, and you will have more energy in the morning.
In addition, it will help you fall asleep earlier. Getting the right amount of sleep will help you feel more energized. Staying up too late when you have to be up early the next morning can be detrimental to energy levels.