7 Natural Energy Boosters
Feeling tired? If these final weeks of winter have you feeling sluggish, you’re not alone. But before you go reaching for another cup of coffee, I want to share some natural energy boosters with you.
Feeling tired and sluggish happens to the best of us, but it should be short lived and only happen if you’ve been burning the candle at both ends, not sleeping enough, or maybe experiencing some stress. If you are tired all the time, something else is at play, and it might be your adrenal glands. In the mean time, there are some superfoods and nutrients that are fantastic natural energy boosters.
Maca is actually a root vegetable that sort of resembles the radish. Here in Canada, Maca root is available in the form of powder and is rich in calcium, phosphorous, zinc, magnesium, iron, and vitamins B1, B2, B12, C and E.
From an energy perspective, maca has a hormone balancing effect and is incredibly nourishing to the adrenal glands (which regulate your cortisol and impact energy). I recommend adding 1/2-1 tsp into your morning smoothie, and not consuming maca too late in the day.
Raw Cacao Powder
If you’re a chocoholic, listen up! Raw cacao is the less processed sister of cocoa powder. I make this healthy hot chocolate recipe all the time in the winter months and it gives an awesome little energy boost. Raw cacao is rich in magnesium, a calming nutrient, and has small amounts of something called phenethylamine, a neurotransmitter that can help improve mood.
I’ve been drinking matcha a lot in 2017. In fact, I’ve cut out my coffee and replaced it with matcha. For me, it’s a much cleaner energy boost. I tend to crash after coffee, not sleep as well, and wake up feeling not as rested when I’m drinking coffee. I looooove TruMarine Organic Matcha and actually mix in some of their collagen in my matcha lattes too. Matcha does have caffeine in it, but less than coffee. It also contains something called L Theanine, a calming amino acid. So in addition to that boost, you get a nice calming feeling too.
It’s estimated that ~40% of Canadians are Vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D isn’t just important for energy - it has many other health benefits which you can read more about it here. As it relates to energy, researchers at Newcastle University found the mitochondrial function (a factor in energy) to significantly improve after treatment with vitamin D. The improvement in the mitochondria’s ability to generate energy correlated with the improvements in vitamin D levels. Source. I recommend getting tested (you will have to pay for this via your doctor as it’s no longer offered as a covered test) and then if you are deficient, supplementing with Vitamin D3/K2.
Along with Vitamin D, Vitamin C is critical for energy. Vitamin C is a key nutrient for your adrenal glands. Colourful fruit and vegetables tend to be high in Vitamin C, but particularly bell peppers, parsley, papaya, blueberries and Brussel’s sprouts are high in this energy nutrient.
If you’re taking a B vitamin, you might know that it turns your pee a bright yellow! The B vitamins work synergistically for energy production in the body. Many prescription medications can deplete B vitamins, but you can always get your B12 tested with your doctor. For sources of B vitamins, most animal proteins are a great source, as is nutritional yeast.
Let’s not forget how exercise is the world’s best energy booster. Contrary to what you might think though, it doesn’t need to be crazy intense exercise to see the energy benefits. Even a brisk 30 minute walk will have you feeling clearer headed and energized!