How to Get Energized

Three Parts:Eating Your Way to EnergyCreating Energizing MomentsTaking Energizing Action

In today's chaotic world, it's easy to feel totally zapped. And it seems to be when you're feeling this way that a deadline is looming, the boss is beckoning, or someone needs your attention. If you're lacking energy, there a number of things you can do to snap out of it. What's more, these are tips and tricks you can use to last you a lifetime.

Part 1
Eating Your Way to Energy

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    Eat some peppermint. Recent studies have shown that both workers and athletes speed up their performance when around the scent of peppermint.[1] So if you're feeling drained, pop a peppermint or some peppermint gum to help get you energized.
    • Or you could assault your nose with some strong scents, peppermint included. If you have some essential oils handy, one big whiff could be all you need to set your senses on high alert.
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    Drink a caffeinated beverage. Caffeine, which is found in coffee, tea, sodas and energy drinks, are great for a short boost of energy. Doctors recommend that healthy adults limit their caffeine intake to 400 milligrams per day, which is about four cups of coffee, 10 cans of soda, or two "energy shot" drinks.[2]
    • While 400 milligrams is safe for adults to consume on a daily basis, excessive caffeine intake can lead to high blood pressure, insomnia, irritability, upset stomach and muscle tremors. So try to limit the amount of caffeine you drink each day to an absolute minimum.[3]
    • Caffeine will definitely give you a quick shot of energy in the short-term, but does little to help you ward off fatigue throughout the course of the day. Be sure to eat healthy and drink plenty of water to avoid an energy crash later in the day.
    • Limiting your intake of caffeine to the morning hours can help you avoid insomnia in the evening or nighttime. Also, it is wise to hold-off on that first cup of coffee or soda until after nine a.m. Your body naturally produces cortisol at higher levels between eight and nine a.m. and caffeine can actually diminish that natural rush you would otherwise feel.[4]
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    Sprinkle some chia seeds into your diet. Not only are chia seeds trendy, but they're rumored to have some serious energy-boosting benefits as well.[5] Chia is full of B vitamins, fiber, and protein, so it can help give you an extra boost of energy.
    • Chia seeds mix well with yogurt or can be mixed into your favorite flavor of smoothie. You can also put them in breads or muffins.
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    Make your own energy food and drinks. So you want a brick of grain and protein to keep you going? Energy drinks and power bars are all well and good, but if you make them yourself they're even better. Homemade goods avoid the extra processing, so they're that much healthier.[6]
    • Nuts and nut butters are great at providing you with an extra kick of protein and some healthy fats.[7]
    • Bananas are tasty and ready source of potassium and B vitamins.[8]
    • Coconut oil can provide fatty acids that are healthy and provide you with a quick burst of energy.[9]
    • Leafy greens mixed into a smoothie can help you get more vitamin A, C and K. They are also a good source for B complex vitamins.[10]
    • Greek yogurt can add a nice smooth texture to your drink while also providing a healthy source of protein.[11]
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    Drink plenty of water. Water itself is a great revitalizer, so drink plenty of it to stay awake and alert.[12] You can get water from food sources, too, such as soup and watermelon.
    • Research suggests that adult men should try to consume three liters of water per day and adult women should try to consume 2.2 liters of water per day.[13]
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    Go ahead and snack away. If you're feeling a little down for the count, it may be snack time. Not only does this give you the jolt you need, but it could prevent you from overeating later, too.[14]
    • To do your body a favor, pair complex carbs with protein. A piece of fruit with some peanut or almond butter is a good choice. Cheese, some yogurt, or a protein shake are all good options as well.
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    Get your nutrients. To stay energized through a draining day, first things first: you need breakfast. And we're not talking the dough-with-the-hole-in-the-middle kind. A good breakfast means protein and fiber, not a plate full of carbohydrates. Choose whole grains, lean meats, eggs, and fruits for your breakfast.[15]
    • After breakfast, your body needs more protein to stay alert. Good sources of protein include poultry, fish, lean red meat, nuts, milk, yogurt, eggs, yogurt, cheese, and tofu.[16]
    • Recent researched has pointed toward omega-3s and magnesium in the fight against the drowsiness. They both can improve mood and help transform carbs into energy. Munch on tuna, walnuts, almonds, flax seeds, and leafy greens to get these nutrients into your system.[17]

Part 2
Creating Energizing Moments

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    Get laughing. Laughing increases your heart rate and activates your muscular system. Therefore, laughing is great for feeling energized. Take a break from work and go watch that silly YouTube clip. If the boss catches you, you were just busy motivating yourself.[18]
    • Thinking positive thoughts will help, too. Have you ever noticed that sad, pessimistic thinking just sort of shuts you down and makes you want to clam up? Concentrating on a can-do attitude can help make everything seem a little more doable.[19]
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    Don't hit the snooze button. Research shows that hitting the snooze button actually makes you more tired.[20] Think of it this way: you're waking up, falling back into a kind of half-sleep, waking up, falling back into a kind of half-sleep, and repeating and repeating until you finally get out of bed. This just makes you more drowsy – you'd be better off spending that half an hour getting actual rest.
    • If you're just too tired to get up, you need to go to bed earlier. Aim for just 15 or 20 minutes earlier and you may be surprised at the difference it makes.[21]
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    Yawn away. Thought yawning was just when you were tired or when your body needed oxygen? Think again. It also wakes up your brain, cooling it down and sending it a burst of energy.[22] So yawn away, because it's actually good for you.
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    Look at something red. Our bodies are still programmed like our ancestors. We have urges that call for fight or flight and we still attribute color with meaning. Just like animals get alarmed at the color red, so do we.[23] If you want to wake up your primitive mind, look at something red.
    • If being sleepy is constantly a problem, you may want to consider putting specks of red all around you, whether it's at work, home, or school. Abandon seasonal colors (winter is so blah) and go for brighter shades, red included. This means your wardrobe, too.[24]
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    Take a moment to yourself. Sometimes being tired has less to do with how much sleep you got and more to do with what you've been doing all day. The brain can only handle so much stimuli and sometimes being tired is its way of telling you that it needs a break.
    • Or just take a moment to do whatever the heck you want. A piece of dark chocolate, a moment with a book, a video game – whatever you want. If it makes you feel good, take a minute to do it. You'll be happier and feel better.

Part 3
Taking Energizing Action

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    Stretch. You don't necessarily have to exercise to feel rejuvenated. Just stretching may do the trick. Grab the top (or sides) of a door frame and push your chest forward. Hold it for 30 seconds. Stretching out your core will bring more blood to your brain, energizing you.[25]
    • If you're stuck at your desk, make it a point to get up regularly. This is an instance where your brain needs different stimulation to wake up. So get up off your chair, walk around, grab some water, and you may be able to hop back to it.[26]
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    Exercise. Exercising is one of the most common ways to get energy flowing within you again. Though it may seem like the last thing you want to do right now, once you get out there, you'll feel better.[27]
    • If you don't have enough energy to go out and exercise, do something small like jumping jacks, knee lifts, a few push-ups, or whatever suits you.[28]
    • Or just go for a walk. Getting outside, getting some fresh air, and moving around will do you good.
    • Though it may the hardest to do, exercising in the morning can charge you for the entire day.[29]
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    Start cleaning. A messy desk, kitchen, or home can be a serious drag. You may not realize it, but just being in that environment could wear you down. Even if it just means throwing a few papers into a folder, do it. One little step often leads to much bigger ones.[30]
    • Imagine how good it'll feel to come home or to work to a clean space. You'll be happier to be where you and get energized just by being somewhere with such good chi. Even just a 15-minute effort can help you start seeing improvements.[31]
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    Get outside for some vitamin D. Vitamin D can be found in supplements, but it's not really found in your diet. With a vitamin D deficiency, you'll feel lethargic and lazy. To get this nutrient, you'll need to get some much-needed sunlight. Throw open the windows or go walk the dog.[32]
    • This is why areas that are wintery 24-7 have higher rates of Seasonal Affective Disorder. People become sadder and more withdrawn when there's no sunlight. If you live in an area that gets very little sun, or you work indoors all the time, consider getting a sun lamp that can up your body's levels of melatonin.[33]
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    Put on your feel-good music. Turn on your music player and start making a playlist. It should be full of tunes that rev you up and make you feel good, inspiring you to move. If you have to, throw headphones on so as not to bother those around you. It'll take you out of the dull moment and get you into a more inspiring one.[34]
    • Once in a while, we have to slow down. If you're not feeling energized because your life is so hectic, consider throwing on some classical music, or some slower instrumentals. You brain may then be able to slow down to normal speed, allowing your body the energy it needs.[35]


  • Try not to rely too heavily on caffeine. It's highly addictive and can send you crashing later.


  • Make sure you talk to your doctor if you experience ongoing fatigue.

Sources and Citations

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Categories: Alternative Health