As a day wears on, many men and women find their energy levels steadily decreasing. Some resort to a cup of coffee, while others prefer a sugary snack to get more pep. Such solutions are not always healthy and rarely provide more than a temporary jolt of energy.
So what are men and women to do when the inevitable post-lunch doldrums rear their ugly heads? Oftentimes the best way to remedy a dip in energy levels is to prevent it in the first place. There are several simple and healthy ways to boost your energy levels so you don't find yourself falling flat in the afternoon.
* Drink water throughout the day. Water is a versatile beverage that serves many purposes, not the least of which is its ability to make a positive impact on your energy levels. When the body does not get enough water, it can send a variety of signals that are easily misread. The symptoms of thirst or dehydration can easily be confused for hunger, which may cause you to eat more during the day, and that food can make you feel sluggish as the day progresses. Even slight dehydration can make you feel fatigued. If drinking water isn't a part of your daily routine and you find yourself feeling fatigued on a regular basis, start drinking water and your energy levels will likely increase. Water is an especially good way to boost your energy levels thanks to its availability and affordability.
* Don't skip meals. Skipping meals is robbing your body of the fuel it needs to get through the day. Skipping breakfast is especially harmful, as you will be starting the day off essentially on a fast and your energy levels will suffer as a result. A healthy breakfast that includes whole grain cereals or breads as well as some fruit and lean protein is a great way to start the day off energized. And no matter how busy you are during the day, be sure to eat a healthy lunch, ideally one that includes some protein. Protein is important because it takes the body longer to break down protein than it does carbohydrates, giving you an energy source that lasts longer than a lunch without any protein.
* Exercise. Fatigue can be a byproduct of a body that's overworked but also a side effect of a body that isn't being worked enough. Daily exercise will increase your energy levels, even if the exercise is minimal. Research conducted at The California State University found that even a brisk 10-minute walk increased energy levels for as much as two hours. If your energy levels tend to start waning in the afternoon, consider a short, mid-afternoon jaunt. The dividends such a walk pays regarding your energy levels may just last until it's time to call it a day.
* Don't cut too many calories. Men and women fighting fatigue may feel as though their weight is the main culprit behind that lethargy. Though being overweight or obese can have a negative impact on energy levels, it's important men and women don't cut too many calories from their diets when attempting to lose weight. Doing so may slow your metabolism, which can cause feelings of fatigue. If you are overweight or obese, you may very well need to cut calories, but don't do so at the expense of your energy levels.
Many men and women find themselves battling fatigue come the mid- to late-afternoon. Though it's easy to pour yourself another cup of coffee or lean on an energy drink once the post-lunch listlessness rears its ugly head, there are several alternatives to such remedies that can be more effective at boosting your energy levels over the long haul.