10 Energy Hacks to Help Fight Fatigue (PHOTOS)

mom greeted by kids on couchYou know the feeling. Seemingly without fail, you come up against a major wall of lethargy. Blame your caffeine fix for fizzling out. Blame lack of quality ZZZs. But no matter the culprit, it's not uncommon for us to find ourselves scrambling for anything to boost our energy at some point during the day.

Thankfully, there are easy, amazing energy-boosting hacks you can employ to better fire on all cylinders throughout your day. And no, they don't entail glugging down more caffeine!

green tea energy boosting

Click below to see them, then tell us: Which of these energy hacks has worked best for you?

 

Images via © iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages & © iStock.com/IngridHS

  • Sip Green Tea

    1

    Green tea has had a long-standing reputation for serving as a substitute for coffee, thanks to its caffeine. But turns out it's good for more than just a quick jolt.

    Research published earlier this year in the journal Psychopharmacology found that green tea extract increases the brain's effective connectivity (the causal influence that one brain area exerts over another), which, in turn, improves cognitive performance. In fact, in their study, subjects tested significantly better for working memory tasks after the admission of green tea extract.

  • Eat a Kiwi

    2

    "Any long-distance runner knows that you need carbohydrates when you hit the wall," explains Samantha Cassetty, Director of Nutrition for food brand LUVO. "Carbs work for daily slumps, too. Fruits like kiwi provide the energy your cells need to go the distance, whether that’s powering through a yoga class or an afternoon with a cranky toddler. And a recent study found that kiwis provide another perk: Their vitamin C levels seem to give an added boost." 

    If you're not a fan of the little green fruit, Cassetty recommends oranges, mangoes, or strawberries, which are also packed with C.

  • Consider This Supportive Supplement

    3

    When it comes to chronic energy crashes, J.J. Virgin, author of The Sugar Impact Diet, likes rhodiola rosea, an adaptogenic herb, to reduce stress-related fatigue. Research published in Phytomedicine found that the supplement improved subjects' fatigue in just two weeks. 

  • Exercise

    4

    "It sounds counterintuitive, but the next time you feel tired, take a walk," advises Cassetty. "Scientific evidence suggests that regular activity can fight fatigue and bolster well-being. As little as a 20-minute walk three times a week will fit the bill for boosting energy."

    More from The Stir: 12 Metabolism Hacks to Help You Lose Weight Faster (PHOTOS)

  • Drink Water

    5

    You can head off that yawn-fest by making sure you stay hydrated. "Even mild dehydration can impact energy levels, but the trouble is, by the time you’re thirsty, your energy has already taken a dip," explains Cassetty. "Keep H2O nearby and sip frequently."

    Plus, if you add a squeeze of lemon, you'll get an even greater benefit, thanks to the energizing oomph of citrus.

  • Sniff Seasonal Scents

    6

    Peppermint mochas and cinnamon teas may be comfy, cozy, and even filled with caffeine, but the spices in those beverages work to amp up energy, too. Researchers at West Virginia's Wheeling Jesuit University found that sniffing peppermint and cinnamon boosted drivers’ alertness, so it might be wise to try this one during your commute home!

  • Chew Gum

    7

    "Chewing regular gum increases heart rate and can thus increase blood flow to the brain," explains Deborah Orlick Levy, M.S., R.D., a consultant with health food brand Carrington Farms.

    And science proves it: A study published in Nutritional Neuroscience in 2010 found that chewing gum boosted alertness and reaction times, and also improved selective and sustained attention.

  • Turn Up the Heat

    8

    Next time you're feeling sluggish, consider splashing some hot sauce on your snack. "Capsaicin is a phytochemical found in spicy foods, like hot peppers, and has been shown to help boost metabolism by creating a bump in heat generation, which helps burn more calories immediately after a meal," explains Levy. "Subsequently, it is this bump in heat generation that will help to give you more energy. Additionally, spices contain antioxidants, which help to boost energy levels, normalize blood sugar levels, and promote good circulation." Hot!

  • Drink Licorice Tea

    9

    If you're suffering a crash caused by a feeling of burnout, you may do well to reach for this sweet, aromatic, caffeine-free tea. It's particularly helpful for addressing overtaxed adrenal glands, which produce the stress hormone cortisol, and can lead to symptoms like fatigue or brain fog.

  • Pick Protein

    10

    "Ditch the high-glycemic carbs -- which crash your energy and leave you feeling lousy -- for protein-rich foods," recommends Virgin. "Optimal choices include wild-caught fish and grass-fed beef." Not only will quality sources of protein boost your energy, but they'll keep you satiated, too.

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