If you find yourself nodding off during the day, it’s oh-so-tempting to brew another cup of coffee or reach for that energy drink with ingredients you can’t pronounce. But what if there were other ways to put some pep back in your step?
Enter these wellness hacks. They’ve come straight from the experts in an effort to help you boost your day — no energy drink or emergency chocolate bar required. Even better, they're so easy to do! Scroll on to get the scoop.
1. STRETCH PROACTIVELY
If you feel more energized after a good stretch, there’s a reason for that: “Stretching and foam rolling will release tight adhesions with your soft tissue and in turn create more blood flow and nutrient flow to the rest of your body,” says celebrity trainer, Joey Thurman.
His tip to maximize your stretching? “Try hitting the muscles that are prone to tightness like the glutes, hip flexors, chest and back.”
2. SNACK ON CARBS WITH PROTEIN
A magical thing happens when you pair carbs and protein together.
“When we pair a carb-rich snack such as an apple, with a protein such as peanut butter, our body takes a bit longer to digest it, therefore giving it more staying-power for lasting energy,” says Katie Hake, a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified personal trainer.
If you're looking for snack inspo, Yogland Fit Frozen Dessert is packed with both Protein and Carbs!
3. TAKE POWER NAPS
Missed naps as a kid? You’ll be happy to know that it’s perfectly fine — and even encouraged! — to grab a few winks as an adult.
“This has been a game-changer for me. It’s hard for me to wind down enough to make it happen, but if I put my phone down, put on my sleep mask and commit to shutting my eyes, it works! I always feel energized!” says wellness expert Holly Rilinger.
4. TRY A COFFEE AND PROTEIN SMOOTHIE
This is a great way to knock out two birds with one stone, says Rilinger. “I like to have a little bit of coffee in my post-workout protein recovery shake!”
5. SCHEDULE RECESS INTO YOUR DAY
Don’t deny it: recess sounds way more fun than taking a break. (It’s also something that will keep your energy levels super-charged throughout the day.)
The goal is to schedule recess throughout your day, about every 90 minutes or so: It could be vegging out on a YouTube comedian, reading a book, meditating, swinging on the monkey bars, whatever sounds fun to you and isn't associated with your work.
This will also do wonders for productivity levels since you’re more likely to power through work when you know there’s an adorable cat video waiting on the other side for you.
6. PRACTICE BREATHING TECHNIQUES
As if day-to-day tensions weren't tough enough, it can also make you lose energy throughout the day.
“When we are chronically accentuated or in a hard situation, we can feel drained once we come off of that tension ‘high,’” explains Thurman. “Our bodies are literally in a sympathetic nervous system mode (fight or flight) and we need to bring it back to a state of calm or parasympathetic.”
When this happens, Thurman recommends utilizing breathing tactics. His favorite one to get more energy comes from Dr. Andrew Huberman of Stanford University: “In times [like these] take one deep inhalation through the nose, then take another one immediately, now exhale slowly through the mouth. Do a few rounds of these and gain calm in your newfound energy.”
7. GET MOVING
This is a tactic many people use without even realizing it. Just consider this: “Ever get to the gym feeling tired and once you started working out you gained more energy?”
If you nodded your head yes, then you’ll understand firsthand the power of moving your body. You just got your central nervous system firing and immediately gave yourself more energy!
If you can’t squeeze in a gym sesh, focus on the little things that you can do, like jumping. Whenever you’re feeling tired throughout the day, just stand-up and do 10-20 explosive pogo jumps.
8. ADD THESE FOODS TO YOUR DIET
That mid-afternoon chocolate bar may be delicious, but the spike of energy it gives you is short-lived (and the crash isn’t fun, either). For energy that lasts, nosh on legumes instead, says kuudose founding registered dietitian Aja Gyimah.
This includes chickpeas, beans and lentils. “These are packed with tons of energy and nutrients to help give you energy throughout the day. I use them in curry, salads and eat them on their own,” she says.
9. DRINK ENOUGH WATER
Let’s be real: most of us don’t drink as much water as we should. This takes a toll on your energy, as Lisa Richards, a nutritionist and author of The Candida Diet, says that dehydration can result in fatigue and sluggish feelings. Translation: you not feeling your best: “If you suspect this may be the cause of your chronic tiredness try taking in half your body weight of water in ounces. If you weigh 140 pounds you should be drinking 70 ounces of water a day.”
Since drinking pain water isn’t always fun, we recommend adding some frozen berries or cucumber and lemon.