Sure, we all get draggy from time to time. A sleepless night here and there, a stressful day at the office, but when you’re constantly feeling drained, it might be time to look at what’s bringing you down.
Check out these energy zappers and see how many apply to you.
Sugar provides quick energy, but after picking you up, it drops you hard and leaves you looking for more. One key to cutting back on sugar is having the right food with you so you don’t head to the nearest vending machine.
The best intentions go out the window when you’re not prepared. Make sure that you always have healthy snacks on hand, and that it contain at least 30g to 60g of protein to keep your blood sugar stable for several hours, combined with a complex carbohydrate to give you a quick boost of energy, like…
- Whole grain crackers and low-fat cheese
- Fresh fruit or a small box of raisins and low-fat cheese
- Half a chicken sandwich
- Plain, nonfat yogurt blended with fruit or all-fruit jam
- Small can of water-packed tuna or chicken with whole grain crackers
Caffeine can also leave us “tired and wired,” Silber says. “If we need sleep and we choose caffeine instead, we continue to throw off our natural sleep cycle. If you find that too much caffeine – whether it comes in the form of coffee, tea, cola, or even chocolate – is keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep, switch to decaffeinated varieties of your favorite beverage (and cut back on the chocolate)
Exercise (Too Little or Too Much)
When it comes to fitness, there are two ways to zap energy.
- The first is by not exercising. – Exercise energizes us physically, mentally, and emotionally. Without it, we’re naturally more sluggish. Exercise also enhances our mood by increasing the release of endorphins, a “feel good” chemical that increases energy levels.
- On the other hand, too much exercise also presents a problem. Overtraining depletes our energy reserves, breaks down muscle, and eventually makes us weaker, not stronger. Overdoing the workouts also suppresses the immune system, which in turn reduces our resistance to bacterial and viral invasion.
Most people don’t drink enough water. We need water to flush out toxins, keep our tissues hydrated, keep our energy up. Water is the perfect no-calorie beverage, and you can dress it up by adding citrus slices or a sprig of mint. But when you want another alternative,
- try 100% fruit juices (while not necessarily low in calories, they contain important nutrients).
- non-fat milk, which will give you a calcium boost.
- unsweetened tea (try herbal or decaffeinated).
- filtered water with a splash of juice or slice of fruit.
- homemade lemonade, with lemon, water, and a small amount of sugar or artificial sweetener.
- or coffee (again, choose decaffeinated if caffeine keeps you up) with skim milk and artificial sweetener.
- try it iced in hot weather.
Lack of Sleep
If you don’t get a good night’s sleep on a regular basis, chances are, one of these “sleep busters” is keeping you awake.
- Stress or anxiety
- Overcommitted schedule
- Stimulant medications (such as diet pills, cold and allergy remedies, asthma medications)
- Depression or anger
To get a better night’s sleep, you need to strengthen your natural sleep patterns, like…
- Regularize your sleep-wake patterns. Get up at the same time every day. If you wake up at 7 a.m. during the week, skip the temptation to sleep in on weekend mornings. Avoid naps, unless you take one regularly. Try to sleep the same amount of time every night. Some people need nine hours of sleep every night; some do fine with less. Find out what works for you and stick to it.
- Ritualize your cues for good sleep. Use the bedroom only for sleep and sex. Keep the room quiet, dark, and cool. Get in bed only when you’re sleepy.
- Start a worry notebook. Using a child’s school notebook, on the left side of the page, list the issues that have been running through your mind; on the right side, list actions you can take to resolve those issues.
- Resist temptation. That includes alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine, all of which can interfere with sleep.
A bad attitude will zap your energy, says motivational speaker Sam Glenn, author of A Kick in the Attitude. Change your attitude and your energy level, feelings, responses, outlook, and perspectives on your situation change along with it, he says. “This one simple choice can transform your life,” Glenn says. “In changing the nature of the way we think and act, we build an attitude force so strong that it will attract favor, opportunities, people, and dreams into our existence.”
Clutter and Disorganization
Being disorganized or having clutter in your home can make you feel lethargic and lacking in energy and optimism, says Candita Clayton, founder of Your Life Organized in Rumford, R.I.
Looking for lost or misplaced stuff is a huge physical drain. And trying to remember where things are and all you have to get done on your to-do list is a big mental drain, says professional organizer Jamie Novak, author of 1,000 Best Quick and Easy Organizing Secrets. To cope with clutter, Novak says:
- Give everything a storage place, and put it back when you are done.
- Make a short daily to-do list; when it’s on paper, it’s out of your head.
- Divide a big pile of “stuff” into smaller containers. A few small sorts are easier than one big one.
- Take action. Choose one area to get under control; set a timer for 20 minutes and dive in.
- See a project through. Do not put the mail down, for example; stand over the shredder and sort it right then.
- Love it or lose it! Keep only the items around you that you find beautiful and uplifting. Sort through the clutter, letting go of items you no longer love. This frees up space for all the items you want to have around.
Not Enough Food
Cutting back on calories helps you lose weight, but not eating enough can leave you feeling drained.
If you maintain a diet that severely restricts calories for long periods of time, your body will have the tendency to go into “starvation mode”. Your metabolism will slow down and your energy level will be low. During times of severe calorie restriction the body tends to store calories as fat and burn muscle as a way to conserve energy. Figure out your recommended caloric intake based on your age, weight, level of activity, and the rate at which you want to lose weight.
Waiting too long between meals can also sap your energy, they add. Increase your metabolism by eating enough calories at regular intervals during the day. Try to have something small to eat every 2 to 3 hours. Avoid large gaps of time without food where your hunger completely takes over. If you skip meals, your body starts conserving energy because it lacks nutrients.
Conflict and stress can quickly deplete your energy resources. Cope with anxiety and stress by meditating, taking a walk, or breathing deeply and slowly.
Keep a journal or diary by your bedside and write down the top issues that are stressing you out that day. By putting your thoughts on paper, you’re giving your brain the approval to let them go for the night.”
As mention above, there are quite a few things which can zap your energy. However, start to address the things in your life which you can manage without too much input. We suggest that you first have a look at your diet, exercise and sleep. Give your energy a push with a product like the Manna Energy Boost, which does not contain any sugar, but help to convert stored energy (fat) to useable energy.
Eliminating sugar and refined carbohydrates from your diet will also give your energy levels a boost, because your body doesn’t have to manage with poor nutrition.
Exercise is very important to get rid of toxin build up. You need to sweat – which can help to improve metabolism, get rid of toxins and improve your self-esteem and attitude.
Follow the Manna Diet and exercise. This will also help you to sleep better at night. Controlling your blood sugar levels is crucial to have constant energy. Take the Manna Blood Sugar Support with each meal, which will help to regulate sugar levels and provide you with constant energy.