4 ways you’re sabotaging your energy

By: Dr. Victor Marchione | General Health | Saturday, March 07, 2015 - 01:44 AM

sabotaging-your-energyAs you get older, it seems the amount of energy you used to have to get through your day starts to diminish. Sure you may attribute this to aging, but is that really the issue?
When it comes to feeling awake and refreshed, age may not be the culprit zapping your energy. In fact, it could be your daily habits that are leaving you groggy and drained. Recognizing those habits and making some changes can put you back on the right track to feeling energized again.
And who doesn’t like a bit more energy to get things done – and do more of what you love?
Take a look at some of these habits, and see if they sound familiar. They may be the reason that you’re lacking in the energy department.

1. You’re not staying hydrated

Drinking water and staying hydrated is important – the recommend at least eight glasses a day isn’t for nothing! Besides water being essential to the human body, it’s also vital when it comes to energy.
Experts at Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine suggest that even when your body is slightly hydrated – two percent loss in fluid – that’s enough for you to notice a decline in energy. When dehydration occurs, blood volume decreases causing the blood to become thicker. When this happens, your heart pumps less efficiently, meaning there’s a lack of oxygen and nutrients reaching your muscles.
Less oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, the slower you become.
Combatting this is easy. Ensure you’re drinking adequate amounts of water throughout the day. If you’re active, make sure you’re replenishing even more. Researchers suggest to calculate the proper amount of water you require, divide how much you weigh in pounds in half and drink that number in ounces. Handy!

2. You’re overly stressed

It’s natural to have some amount of stress in our lives. Maybe you have a tight deadline to meet, or plans you made fell through. Whatever is causing you stress, it’s depleting your energy.
The Stress Management Society in the United Kingdom defines stress as, “Not having enough energy to meet the demands of life.” Makes sense! By definition, stress is leaving you with little energy. As life demands more from us, the more energy we need. But when life starts to become too stressful, more energy is drained by stress, leaving you with very little energy left.
Stress can affect so many aspects of the body from migraines, to muscle cramps, to even blood pressure. It’s no surprise it can also affect your energy. If you’re continuously stressed, you may feel tired more often and for longer. Stress can also keep you awake at night leading to poor sleep, which only compounds the issue.
Reducing stress is a must, not only for ample energy but to ward off illness. What to do? Ways to lower your stress can be as easy as breathing techniques, exercise like taking a stroll, or removing yourself from a stressful situation to calm down. Whichever method you choose, stress management should be a priority, so you can stay energized (and calm, cool and collected!).

3. You skip breakfast

There truly is a reason why breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day. Breakfast is your kick-start to all-day energy, and if you’re not having it you’ll feel the effects later on.
Breakfast plays a key role in starting our metabolism. In fact, when we sleep, our bodies are still burning off the food we’ve eaten. So when we wake up, we’re left with depleted energy. The easiest way to replenish these nutrients and fuel our body is by eating. That means breakfast!
But not just any breakfast will do. If you want continued energy throughout your day, stick with whole grains and protein which can keep you not only feeling full, but energized as well. Therefore, you may want to skip the coffee and donut, and opt for oatmeal, eggs or peanut butter instead.

4. You drink alcohol before bed

Oh the evening night cap! What better way to bring your day to an end than with your favorite alcohol beverage. Sure it may relax you and make you feel drowsy, which in theory is ideal to help you sleep, but in truth, it doesn’t help at all.
In fact, drinking alcohol before going to bed can disrupt how you sleep, leaving you waking up more exhausted than ever. When alcohol enters the body, it does have a sedative effect, causing relaxation and drowsiness. But when the alcohol starts to break down overnight, it actually creates surges of energy causing you to wake up numerous times. That’s hardly restful.
When we sleep, our bodies go through stages called rapid eye movement (REM). During a typical well-rested sleep, we experience about six to seven REM stages. When we drink alcohol, our bodies only have about one or two REM stages, making for extra fatigue the following morning.
Instead of reaching for the bottle before bed, opt for a warm cup of decaffeinated or herbal tea. The aroma will soothe you more so than alcohol and with so many varieties, you can find a perfect tea for you.

Change your habits for improved energy

Energy is essential to day-to-day life. Without it, getting work done, enjoying company, and even just staying awake can be difficult. If boosting your energy naturally is important to you, take a look at some of your daily habits. You may actually be sabotaging your own energy supply.
With a few simple changes, and greater awareness, you can be back to feeling energized and enjoying yours days to the fullest.
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