ALWAYS TIRED? BIOHACK YOUR ENERGY LEVELS IN 12 STEPS
We lead such busy lives in the modern world. We must make time for 8 hour workdays, eat healthily, exercise, socialise, and take time to relax. On top of that, some of us have kids who need to eat, go to school, a lift to their piano lesson, help with their homework.
And when all is said and done, by the time the evening rolls around, our energy levels are completely depleted!
According to a survey of over 400 health practitioners led by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, extreme fatigue was the reason for one-fifth of all patient visits.
Wouldn’t it be great to have enough energy to wake up a little earlier in the morning, while everyone’s still asleep and get in a little me-time? Maybe drink a coffee with a good book. Or feel energised enough for a run in the afternoon, to play with the kids or go grab dinner with a friend.
If you’ve been feeling like you’ve been running on empty, then read on, this article is for you.
We’re about to introduce you to the concept of biohacking your energy!
Never heard of biohacking?
It’s the concept of making impactful changes in your life in order to maximise your health. Think of it as the “DIY” of health and wellness.
In this article, we’re going to show you how to biohack your energy levels so you can finally harness all the energy you need to live and love life.
What do you feed your body?
Let’s talk about what you put in your body. What you consume each day affects you in a huge way. We can’t emphasise just how much. After all, food is literally energy. It’s fuel to our bodies. Do you want to fill your body up on the right fuel or the wrong fuel?
Your nutrition can really support you on your health journey... or it can totally sabotage your efforts, depending on how you approach it.
So let’s dive in.
Are you a huge coffee drinker? Nothing wrong with that. We love coffee! But instead of drinking coffee in higher amounts, you can drink it in smarter ways.
Because drinking 9 cups of coffee might feel like it’s getting you through the day, but it’s guaranteed to backfire. Jitters, anyone? Heart rate through the roof sound familiar? Not to mention the effect it has on your sleep.
So how can you be smarter about your coffee habits?
First of all, be purposeful about the times you ingest caffeine. We probably don’t need to say anymore on this.
Secondly, try to resist the urge to chuck a coffee down your throat as soon as you open your eyes. Coffee actually interferes with your natural cortisol production (your body’s way of waking you up) which is highest early in the morning. So while you might think your AM beverage is helping you wake up, it’s actually doing the opposite. Wait an hour or so before you hit the kettle on.
And finally let us just say that not all coffee is created equal.
You can drink coffee… or you can drink supercoffee!
For instance, have you ever heard of the caffeine and L-Theanine combo? Research shows it’s a match made in heaven. This amino acid compound negates the downsides of caffeine without compromising the benefits.
It soothes you, reduces your heart rate and makes you feel more relaxed. It also boosts cognition and focus. What’s not to love?
Curious? Start your days with our Genius Coffee.
2. Energy Drinks
Look, we hate to tell you to dump your favourite energy drink, but they do tend to have some pretty nasty stuff added in. A few things to watch out for:
- Added sugar. Some energy drinks are loaded with them. Refined sugar is the worst thing you can do for your energy levels, as it’ll just send you crashing later in the day. Not to mention, terrible for your health and extremely addictive.
- Too much caffeine. There is such a thing as too much caffeine. After all, it elevates your heart rate and blood pressure. Some energy drinks contain way too much caffeine. And guess what? Manufacturers aren’t required to include the caffeine contents on the ingredients list.
- The strain on your body. Because they put you in fight or flight mode, energy drinks can take a toll on your organs when consumed regularly.
We get it. Sometimes it can feel like having a glass of wine at the end of the workday is the only thing that is going to relax you.
You have a few glasses of wine to help you wind down and find it helps you sleep.
But here's the deal.
While alcohol may help you get to sleep faster (it literally knocks you out), it stops you from entering the deeper levels of sleep (REM).
REM is that restorative part of your sleep that you really need in order to be rested.
So, while you might feel that an alcoholic beverage is helping you sleep, in the long run it’s actually sabotaging your energy levels
Hydration = Life.
Water is the answer to so many of life’s problems, and energy is definitely one of them.
Drink at least 2L of water per day. 3L is better.
5. Refined Sugar
When we’re low in energy, we can often get cravings for something sweet. This is the body’s way of telling us it needs energy.
The problem with refined sugar is that while it gives you a temporary boost, you’re sure to come crashing later on in the day. And you'll just need another hit to keep you going.
Instead, try to make sure you’re getting enough complex carbs in your diet, as these will slowly release energy throughout the day.
And if you really must satisfy your sweet tooth, grab a natural sweet such as fruit or honey.
6. Understanding Digestion
Know that your body uses stored energy for the digestion process. So, if you have a big meal at lunch, you’re almost guaranteed to get an afternoon slump.
Harvard Medical School researchers suggest eating smaller meals, more often throughout the day.
Smoothies are also a great option for a meal, as they’re easier to digest.
You could also try intermittent fasting. This is the concept of not eating during certain windows of time. For instance, you might go 16 hours between your last meal of the day and your first meal the following day. It’s been shown to increase energy levels, as it teaches your body to use fat as energy, which is a simpler process than using carbs.
It can be difficult to get all the nutrients we need in our diets, and nutrient-deficiency plays a big role in low energy levels.
You might consider supplementing.
Take a look at our guide to choosing the right supplement.
8. Mindful Practices
Ever heard the saying “Energy flows where attention goes”? Just by paying attention to certain parts of your body, you can redirect the energy there. Here are a few mindful practices you can implement to help energy flow throughout your body:
- Meditation. This mindful practice grounds you. It pulls your mind away from the noise of everyday life. The noise that causes mental exhaustion, which is not great for your energy levels.
- Breathing. Breath is life. Breath is energy. Yet we pay so little attention to our breathing. Probably because we do it subconsciously. But by breathing purposefully, you can encourage the energy flow in your body. Try this 5-minute practice.
- Yoga nidra. This yoga practise will feel more like meditation, and is a nifty little tool you can use at any time within your day whenever you need an energy boost. It’s deeply restorative and is kind of like a mini-nap. Lay down, pop your headphones on, and try this 20 minute practice.
Moving your body is very important, and crucial to maintaining high energy levels. Lack of physical exercise will just leave you feeling lethargic. And so yes, to have energy, you must spend energy.
Exercise regulates your hormones and gets your blood flowing.
It basically activates your body, and gives it that extra boost to do all the things it usually does.
On top of this, sweating also helps clear out heavy metals and toxins that build up in your body over time, draining your energy levels.
“Well duh!”, we hear you think! But hear us out. There’s a common misconception about sleep.
We focus so much on how much we should sleep. How many hours are optimal and between which times.
And yes, these are important.
But what matters even more than the quantity of sleep we’re getting, is the quality of sleep we’re getting.
It’s important to experience all four phases of sleep in order to have a restful night’s sleep. And whether or not you can achieve that is not so much dependent on how many hours you sleep, but how you set yourself up for sleep.
And for that, there are so many factors involved.
In fact, we wrote a whole e-book about it, which you can get for free when you order our Dream Onn capsules. They’re a heavenly concoction designed to help you fall asleep and have a restful night.
And remember, you can always take naps during the day if you need a little pick-me-up. But remember, no more than 30 minutes. You don’t want to enter REM, because waking up in the middle of deep sleep will just leave you feeling groggy.
The light we’re exposed to daily can really affect our energy levels.
First off, try to expose yourself to natural light every morning. This is the best way to boost your energy levels first thing. Go for a walk and face the sun (if it’s out!). Direct sunlight is often demonised but it’s so good for us in small doses.
Next, be aware of the artificial light you’re surrounded by. It’s not always within our control, since many of us have to look at a screen all day to do our jobs. But be aware that this really does affect our circadian rhythm, which affect our sleep and energy levels.
Consider a pair of Blue Light Blocking Glasses.
Listen, stress literally drains you!
And if it’s really bad, you might even develop adrenal fatigue.
Other mental health factors can impact your energy levels negatively, too. For instance, depression is a common cause of fatigue.
It’s important to do everything you can to negate stress in your life and to maintain your mental health. You could start by moving your body and using the mindful practices we discussed above.
Are you ready to take control of your energy levels?
There’s a lot of info here. You might not be able to implement it all in one go. But start somewhere. And come back to this list and keep adding in more practices to your daily routine over time.
Please note that there may be an underlying health condition causing you to have low energy levels. Chronic fatigue, thyroid problems, clinical depression, to name just a few. If you always feel too tired to do anything, and you suspect there might be something more to it, visit your health practitioner asap.