Even with our fast-paced lifestyles, many people frequently complain of a lack of energy and vitality.
Related symptoms include lethargy, poor concentration, moodiness, fatigue, and exhaustion.
Three major factors that contribute to depleted energy reserves include (1) dehydration, (2) oxygen deprivation, and (3) malnutrition.
Water is the main source of energy in the body, and it produces electrical energy within every cell. In fact, every cell in our body is like a miniature hydroelectric generator.
Thus, the best way to get more energy is to drink more water.
Drinking enough water is also necessary for digesting food since water is the body’s main solvent. It also energizes the food we eat and increases nutrient assimilation.
One of the key reasons we experience fatigue is because of toxin accumulation in the body.
Water is the main vehicle of transportation in the body and an abundance of water is essential for removing toxins from the blood as well as through the liver, kidneys, bowels, bladder, skin and lungs.
Hormone balance, for both men and women, is also essential for energy and vitality.
Water regulates the production of hormones in your body, and can help support the adrenal system and the body’s ability to deal with stress, which can be a major energy drain.
Even mild levels of dehydration can affect our nerves and emotions in subtle ways.
Drinking enough water daily can help provide better sleep and provide numerous mood-enhancing benefits, which affects energy levels.
A key way the body produces energy is when carbohydrate foods react with oxygen from the air we breathe.
Thus, oxygen is one of the most vital nutrients and energy boosters!
The problem is that many people are shallow breathers. Thus a great way to start your day is to practice deep breathing. Deep breathing will not only energize your body, it will clear your mind.
A simple exercise you can do as you are getting up is to exhale completely and allow your breath to fill your belly, your diaphragm and then chest. Do this for several breaths.
Another key way to oxygenate your cells and get more energy is to drink more water!
Water brings oxygen to the cells and removes toxins and metabolic waste.
This is the main reason I believe drinking 12 to 16 ounces of clean, filtered water first thing in the morning (before breakfast) is an essential daily health habit.
Physical activity and exercise plays a vital role in optimizing energy and increasing oxygenation.
An ideal exercise program includes activities that build stamina (e.g., walking, running, or bicycling), strength (isometric exercises or weights), and suppleness (stretching).
However, if nothing else, try to at least get in a 15-minute daily walk. Even this small amount of activity can help flush the lymph system, improve immunity, and increase oxygenation.
The nutrients in the food we eat are equally important because our bodies use them to repair, build, and heal tissue.
The most energy-promoting nutrients are found primarily in whole, fresh plant-based foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouts, legumes and whole grains.
The abundance of minerals and trace elements found in sea vegetables make them particularly valuable.
Many people have fatigue issues related to a thyroid problem, which is often linked to iodine deficiency.
Sea vegetables such as dulse, kelp, arame, nori, wakame, kombu, or hiziki are good sources of iodine and numerous other trace elements. Dulse and kelp are available in powder form and make an excellent seasoning.
Animal-based foods lack fiber and require a considerable amount of bodily energy to digest, thus depleting energy reserves.
I am not suggesting that the optimal diet for everyone is a completely plant-based diet, but it’s the quality and quantity of foods that matters, as well as each person’s metabolic type.
To get more energy from food, think fresh and colorful.
Avoid all processed foods, which usually deplete energy reserves because they provide low nutritional value and require high metabolic expenditure.
Before breakfast: Practice a few minutes of deep breathing while walking or sitting. Drink 12 to 16 ounces of filtered drinking water. (Continue drinking water throughout the day, at least 8 to 12 ounces before meals.)
Sample breakfast: A bowl of gluten-free hot cereal with a handful of almonds, a protein shake, or a couple of eggs with a piece of toasted sprouted grain bread.
Mid-morning snack: Eat a handful of almonds, walnuts or seeds; hummus or guacamole with high-fiber crackers; a protein shake.
Sample lunch: A large raw vegetable salad with some type of protein (nuts or nut butters, fish, turkey, chicken, hard-boiled egg) and healthy fats (nuts or nut butters, olives, avocadoes).
Mid-afternoon snack: An organic apple or half a cup of berries
Before dinner: Drink 8 to 12 ounces of water. Minimum 15-minute daily walk. Ideally, include at least 10 minutes of cardio exercise, 10 minutes of strength exercises, followed by 5 to 10 minutes of stretching.
Sample dinner: A large serving of raw or lightly-cooked fresh vegetables along with beans, legumes, fish, or lean meat.
Further reading . . .