7 Sugar-Free Ways to Boost Your Energy
In most parts of the country, it’s cold, and some days are downright gloomy.
It gets dark early, making 6pm feel more like 10pm.
Is it any wonder why so many of us lack energy, especially now?
When you are in an afternoon energy slump, or if your motivation is down in the dumps, it can be really tempting to grab a can of soda or sugary snack to give you an instant boost. But that’s a catch 22.
The Roller Coaster Effects of Sugar
While sugar does provide a very quick burst of energy, a major crash soon follows—leaving you more tired and depleted than before, putting you on a vicious cycle
And while a single can of soda or sweet treat in an otherwise healthy diet will not cause any long-term health effects, using sugar regularly to boost your energy levels can lead to a lot of serious health problems.
The more sugar you consume, the more insulin your body produces, which can lead to metabolic syndrome and eventually diabetes.
Additionally, constant sugar consumption leads to fat storage, especially in the abdominal area—which is linked to diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Sugar also affects your adrenal glands and can result in excess cortisol production, resulting in fatigue, depression, headaches, cognitive issues, and more.
Clearly, sugar is not your friend and poses a real threat to your health.
Now, it is impossible to expect you to eliminate all sugar forever. That is just not feasible since it’s so pervasive in our foods. Nor is it fun—especially after the holiday sugar rush.
But regularly relying on sugar for energy is neither healthy nor sustainable. The more sugar you eat, the more you crave it. If it is something you regularly do, now is the time to explore alternative ways to increase energy levels, without the crash.
Luckily, there are plenty of safe and effective ways to reenergize you.. Here are 7 things to give yourself a natural energy boost without resorting to sugar
7 Sugar-Free Ways to Boost Your Energy Safely
This one’s an easy fix. Did you know that dehydration can lead to fatigue, weakness, lack of concentration, and loss of productivity? You lose a lot of more water than you think during the day (through breathing, sweating, moving, and going to the bathroom), so keeping a water bottle at your side can help make sure you’re sipping throughout the day and staying hydrated.
The benefits and drawbacks of caffeine are forever being analyzed, and while it is not for everyone, the fact is caffeine is an extremely effective natural energy booster. You do have to be careful with when and how much you consume, though.
For one, caffeine is addictive and can lead to withdrawal symptoms in some people, including
headaches/migraines, impaired concentration, and even mild depression. Relying on caffeine only when necessary can help prevent these withdrawal effects. Make sure you’re getting proper rest at night so you’re not dragging during the day.
If you are especially sensitive to the effects of caffeine, try to avoid it after 2pm—otherwise you’ll be awake far later than you hoped.
But, for most people, enjoying a small cup (or half cup) of a caffeinated beverage like coffee (NOT soda) is a safe way to re-energize. And remember to either drink it unsweetened, or choose a natural sugar alternative like stevia, monkfruit, erythritol, xylitol or even honey. If you do not like coffee, black or green tea are another caffeinated beverage you can try that have the added benefit of antioxidants called flavonoids.
3) Eat for Energy
Rather than grabbing cookies, ice cream or other sweet treats for an energy boost, choose midday snacks that are low glycemic index—meaning whatever natural sugars they have are absorbed slowly (as opposed to quickly, like processed junk food, sodas, etc. are).
Foods with a low glycemic index include vegetables, certain fruits like berries, and nuts. In fact, a handful of almonds are especially beneficial as they’re high in magnesium and B vitamins, which are essential for energy.
When you feel your energy start to wane, get up and go for a short walk around the block. If you can’t get outside, do jumping jacks or air squats in place. You should quickly feel a surge of energy.
In fact, exercise in general is one of the best natural energy boosters, and you do not even have to commit to a stringent fitness routine.
Research shows that sedentary people who complain of fatigue can increase their energy by 20% and decrease their fatigue by 65% just by engaging in some low-intensity exercise like going for a slow, leisurely walk.1
5) Nap Judiciously
Quick power naps—20 minutes tops—can be an excellent way to rejuvenate and re-energize. Long naps, however, can mess with your sleep schedule and cause more grogginess.
Sometimes called “stage 2 naps,” short power naps help with improving alertness and motor learning skills. To get the most out of a power nap, try to make it a regular thing—every day sometime between 1–3 pm. Set your alarm so you do not sleep for more than 20 minutes, and wear an eye mask or go into a dark room so you can fall asleep faster.
Certain scents are known for their energy-lifting potential—cinnamon and peppermint being two of the best. Diffusing cinnamon, lemon, rosemary or peppermint essential oils is an easy way to gain this benefit.
7) Support Your Body with CoQ10
If lack of energy seems to be a daily concern for you, you might consider supplementing with coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). This important antioxidant fuels energy production in the mitochondria—the cells’ energy factories.
Nowhere is CoQ10 more abundant than in the heart—the body’s hardest working organ.
While our bodies produce sufficient levels of CoQ10 in the first few decades of life, after about the age of 30, production starts slowing down, and so do we.
Try a high-quality CoQ10 supplement, like Newport Natural Health’s CoQ-Max. This top-notch formula combines the energy and cardiovascular benefits of CoQ10 with the inflammation-reducing properties of curcumin to give you the natural boost you need. Find out more here.
You CAN Break Free
If you find that you regularly rely on sugar to increase your energy levels, you are not alone. By some estimates, most Americans consume about 43 teaspoons of added sugar per day.
As we kick off a new year, you likely have already resolved to wean yourself off an ingredient known to lead to serious, often permanent health problems.
We hope these tips above help you switch from sugar to natural quick sources of energy and give you the healthy boost you need to reach your health goals.
Take good care.
- Science Daily. Low-intensity Exercise Reduces Fatigue Symptoms By 65 Percent, Study Finds. 2008 March 2.
Disclaimer: Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Last Updated: January 9, 2021
Originally Published: January 9, 2021