6 Tips to Boost Your Energy

by Elizabeth Vennefron, RDN, LD

Last Updated: November 17, 2020

As winter approaches and we continue to function in the world of COVID-19, you may have lower energy levels than normal. Waking up in the morning can be a struggle if you didn’t sleep well or are drained from the day before. Before reaching the dead of winter, try some of these tips to boost your day-to-day energy.
  1. Exercise.
    Physical activity gets the heart pumping. An increase in heart rate improves blood flow throughout the body. Better circulation is important, as circulation carries key nutrients and oxygen to all the tissues in the body. Regular physical activity over time can boost your endurance and enhance muscle strength. To get more energy, you must expend it. Expending too much energy right away can leave you feeling exhausted and sore. Start slow and increase over time. Simply start your morning or end your evening with a 15-minute walk and build from there.
  2. Drink Water.
    Believe it or not, water is a major component of our bodies, being stored to some extent in nearly every tissue and organ. If you don’t drink enough, you can suffer major side effects, with dehydration being one of them. Being dehydrated can not only lower physical performance but also make you feel tired and sluggish. Water serves several essential functions to keep you going throughout the day. Knowing how much water you need to consume in a day and knowing how to hit that goal is equally important. The amount varies based on age, gender, and activity level, but in general, men should consume ~3 liters (~100 fluid ounces) and women ~2.2 liters (74 fluid ounces) each day. This may sound like a lot if you don’t start drinking water until the second half of your day or don’t drink any currently. Try keeping a water bottle with you to help you remember or change the temperature to make it more enjoyable.
  3. Limit Alcohol.
    Enjoying a beer at dinner or ending the day with a nightcap may sound like a good idea at the time and get you to sleep earlier, but may not keep you asleep. Studies show us that alcohol interferes with REM sleep and therefore influences how we feel in the morning. So unlike exercise or water, alcohol can decrease energy levels. To cut down, try alternating between alcohol and water and consume in moderation.
  4. Tune-In to Your Talent.
    When you spend time doing what you’re good at, not only do you work harder, you become happier. If you find yourself hardly motivated and have the mentality of “just get me to Friday,” it’s likely because you’re not doing things you enjoy. Engaging in meaningful activities can restore a sense of purpose and energy. Get out that unfinished project you put in your closet for a rainy day or designate 30 minutes to work on a crossword puzzle. Whether it’s working with your hands or challenging your mind, find your way back to the activities you enjoy and do it.
  5. Celebrate Small Wins.
    Having goals in life is important as they give you something to strive for. Getting from point A to B can be a long process and require a lot of energy, so it’s best to recognize the progress you’ve made. If you focus on the setbacks or bad weeks, it can not only reduce energy but make reaching your goal that much harder. If you’re trying to work out more and consistently go to the gym 5 days per week, keep perspective and celebrate showing up 3 times if you are new to exercise. Be sure to set up small rewards in the short term as well to help keep you motivated.
  6. Eat Better, Not the Best.
    Your nutrition, and what you eat every day can have a major effect on your energy levels. Eating high calorie, high fat, and processed foods can make you feel fatigued and sleepy. Instead of sucking the remaining energy out of you by following the latest fad diet, try making small changes to your diet. Small changes are proven to boost energy. Some examples include consuming balanced meals with at least three food groups, avoiding foods with added sugars, and regularly eating throughout the day to fuel a healthy metabolism. For more information on eating better to boost energy levels, schedule a virtual telenutrition appointment with a Kroger Dietitian. They will work with you on creating realistic goals, show you personalized products, and share recipes that align with your schedule.

Living during a pandemic can be energy-zapping, and, with the weather getting colder, it can be easy to throw in the towel after a long day of work or school in these unprecedented times. Get a little extra pep in your step by incorporating some of these energy-boosting tips. Whether it’s trying to drink more water or hit the gym more, don’t forget to celebrate the small wins.

Disclaimer: This information is educational only and not providing healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.

Elizabeth Vennefron, RDN, LD

Elizabeth Vennefron, RDN, LD

Elizabeth loves being a dietitian because it connects her two passions- helping people, and healthy living. She’s a walking encyclopedia of better for you foods, meals, and culinary hacks to ensure her patients are enjoying the flavors they love while eating and staying well.