Increase Your Energy Healthily: Ditch Energy Drinks and Alcohol
When we feel sluggish, we usually fix it with an energy drink or booze. But while those drinks can cause a surge in energy, they can make you crash later.
When you feel sluggish, the first thing you often think of is swigging a can of Red Bull or taking a shot of vodka. While those drinks can indeed cause a surge of energy, they’re ultimately bad for you.
Energy drinks have zero health benefits. Instead, they can cause headaches, heart problems, high blood pressure, and even anxiety. Don’t be fooled by healthy ingredient labels such as B vitamins and ginseng. Energy drinks contain more sugar and caffeine than those.
Alcohol, on the other hand, isn’t actually a stimulant but a depressant. Rather than boost your energy, alcohol lowers your inhibitions. That’s why alcohol-induced boldness is called Dutch or liquid courage; it’s all in your head.
If you can’t cure your fatigue without taking extreme measures, you might have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). It’s an illness that declines your energy levels for no apparent reason, but it’s completely treatable. Seek effective chronic fatigue treatment once you’ve been diagnosed with the disease, then avoid alcohol and energy drinks moving forward.
What’s in an Energy Drink?
Caffeine is the main ingredient in energy drinks. That’s why they’re good at making you more alert. But when consumed in large amounts, caffeine can cause heart palpitations, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, and heart rhythm disturbances.
Did you know that a cup of coffee only contains 100 mg of caffeine, while each serving of energy drink has 70 to 240 mg of it? Hence, if you finish three cans of energy drink daily, you’re more than doubling your recommended intake of caffeine per day, which is only 400 mg.
Energy drinks are also loaded with sugar, usually about 27 to 31 grams per eight ounces. The American Heart Association only recommends having no more than 25 grams of sugar per day. So if energy drinks are part of your daily diet, you increase your risks for obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic conditions.
The Truth About Alcohol
Drinking alcohol might be a fun, social activity, but like energy drinks, booze has no real health benefits. They’re even worse when mixed with energy drinks. That can alter your intoxication levels, making you feel sober when you already had more than a couple of bottles, for example. As a result, you’d experience a crash in energy, causing you to feel even more sluggish than when you started drinking.
Ways to Increase Energy Levels Healthily
Ditch energy drinks and alcohol for these healthy habits:
- Eat Energy-boosting Foods
Instead of cheeseburgers and deep-fried meat, go for whole grains and complex carbs, paired with lean protein and other unprocessed food. These healthier choices can also help you lose weight, as it gives you the energy to perform endurance exercises.
Avoid having too much white bread, pasta, and white rice. Likewise, reduce your intake of cereals, sugared yogurts, and low-calorie foods. The last one may have a shining reputation in the fitness scene, but low-calorie foods can drain your energy because calories are a unit of measurement for the amount of energy food will give you. Without sufficient calories in your system, you’d stay sluggish.
- Get More Sleep
Lack of sleep is one of the leading causes of fatigue. It doesn’t matter if you have a healthy diet and active lifestyle; if you don’t sleep enough, you’d still feel tired.
Change your nighttime routine if it’s causing you to sleep less than you should. For example, swap out browsing your feeds for reading a book. Or trade a movie night for a nice, hot bath. Take steps to relax your body two hours before your bedtime so that you can fall asleep fast and stay asleep.
- Exercise Regularly
You don’t have to commit to an everyday HIIT workout to feel energized. Even a few minutes of yoga each day, for example, is enough to boost your stamina. But you have to increase the intensity of your exercises over time. Adding a challenge to your routines will improve your endurance, and ultimately, your energy levels.
- Take Care of Your Mental Health
Depression can make you feel tired all the time. Left untreated, your fatigue can impact the quality of your life, making you unable to do the bare minimum, like washing the dishes or putting out the trash. Over time, your home could look like a hoarder’s zone with the amount of clutter you’ve accumulated.
Before hitting rock bottom, seek professional help for your mental health. If you’d be given prescription meds, consult your doctor if your medicines don’t affect your energy levels.
Low energy isn’t always a minor problem. Sometimes, it can cost you amazing opportunities and important milestones. So don’t indulge it by having a sedentary lifestyle. Treat it, and enjoy your life as you should.
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