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Home/Blog/16 Energy Boosters: Drinks, Foods, Supplements and Habits

16 Energy Boosters: Drinks, Foods, Supplements and Habits

By Ethan Boldt

February 28, 2024

Natural energy boosters

Do you occasionally wake up and still feel like you could use an energy boost? Do you sometimes experience an afternoon slump? Does a workout time come your way and you’re often just not “feeling it”?

Fortunately, there are easy, affordable ways to boost your energy levels and get a spring in your step once again — all through certain dietary and lifestyle tweaks, including foods, drinks and supplements.

So rather than downing excessive coffee or, even worse, certain “energy” drinks, you may want to try to put many of these energy boosters into your daily routine and diet. As always, you should consult your healthcare professional prior to beginning any new dietary or lifestyle regimen.

1. Energy Drinks (Not Thermogenics)

First is water. Did you know that one of the first signs of not staying hydrated enough is feeling tired? That’s right — not drinking enough water could be the reason your energy levels are sometimes lacking.

Stay hydrated by making sure you’re drinking enough water and other fluids throughout the day. The National Academy of Medicine suggests about nine cups of fluids a day for women and 13 cups for men.

If you have an intense workout, you might want to supplement water with a drink that helps replace the electrolytes your body sweats out. Forget sports drinks loaded with high fructose corn syrup and additives, and opt for something like Multi Collagen Advanced Hydrate. It contains two times the electrolytes versus leading sports drinks, plus it improves exercise recovery by 56 percent. You can also make your own energy drink.

Green tea can help boost energy. It naturally contains some caffeine but less than coffee. It’s also high in antioxidants, such as catechins.

Ancient Nutrition’s collagen and matcha product combines the power of Multi Collagen Protein with that of matcha green tea: Collagen Matcha Energizer.

What does matcha collagen do for your energy? This winning combination provides you with a convenient combo of both protein and phytonutrients, helping to support healthy energy levels and a reduction in fatigue. It also supports enhanced focus and mental stamina, healthy cortisol and DHEA balance, and more.

In addition, regular coffee is a natural energy drink, as it contains antioxidants and caffeine but can usually be consumed safely in moderate amounts. For the most benefits, consume unsweetened, organic coffee.

Yerba mate is a type of tea from South America that has a greenish color and an earthy, herbal aroma. It contains polyphenols and other antioxidants that can help boost energy levels.

Also, a diet coming up short on nutrients can cause low energy and fatigue. Organic SuperGreens is a great way to help increase your daily greens intake and support ongoing energy.

Lastly, drinking fresh vegetable juice, such as wellness shots, can be effective. Because less work is required for your body to reap the nutritional benefits, you’ll notice an increase in energy levels.

2. Energy Vitamins (Vitamin B)

Among common nutrient shortfalls is vitamin B, and there are multiple important B vitamins for energy. In fact, vitamin B12 is also known as the “energy vitamin.” One of the best vitamins to boost energy, it supports energy production and keeps blood cells happy and healthy.

In fact, if you’re not getting enough vitamin B12, one of the first signs can be lower energy levels. Because it’s a water-soluble vitamin, your body cannot store extra amounts of B12 and relies on getting the vitamin from the foods you eat or supplements.

The top vitamin B12 foods include animal products, such as grass-fed beef, lamb, wild salmon, eggs, feta cheese, cottage cheese and beef liver. You can also take a B12 supplement (such as in the form of methylcobalamin), which is an absorbable form of B12. For others, taking a multivitamin — such as 391 percent Daily Value in both Ancient Multivitamin Women's and Ancient Multivitamin Women's 40+ — will most likely easily cover one’s daily requirement.

Vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid) and B6 are also necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. They help convert stored nutrients into usable energy and support the production of neurotransmitters that regulate one’s outlook and energy levels. They also assist in the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the primary energy currency of cells, providing a sustainable source of energy for bodily functions and promoting overall energy levels.

Some of the best thiamine foods include nutritional yeast, seaweed, sunflower seeds, beans, legumes, macadamia nuts, asparagus and Brussels sprouts. The best riboflavin foods for energy include beef liver, yogurt and other dairy products, spinach, almonds, quinoa, eggs, feta cheese, and lentils.

The top niacin foods include chicken, turkey, liver, tuna, wild salmon, grass-fed beef, green peas, brown rice, mushrooms and avocado. The top vitamin B5 foods include chicken liver, sunflower seeds, avocado, portobello mushrooms, wild salmon and lentils. The best vitamin B6 foods for energy include turkey breast, chicken breast, grass-fed beef, tuna, organ meats, avocado, pinto beans and sunflower seeds.

They all are also found in most multivitamins.

3. Vitamins C and D

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that plays a role in energy production by facilitating the absorption of iron, which is necessary for the transport of oxygen throughout the body. It also supports the synthesis of carnitine, a compound that helps convert fat into energy, and it promotes healthy immune system function.

Citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwi, bell peppers and leafy green vegetables are among the top vitamin C foods for steady energy and healthy immune system function support. Ancient Nutrition’s Vitamin C supplement is not only formulated from real food, but also fermented with probiotics to support absorption.

Vitamin D plays a role in energy production by generally supporting muscle function and reducing fatigue. It also helps promote overall well-being.

Besides prudent sun exposure, a vitamin D supplement (preferably vitamin D3 as cholecalciferol) can help to raise levels among those who spend most of their time indoors and avoid foods like milk, dairy and fish. In addition, taking a multivitamin will usually cover one’s daily requirement, including 244 percent Daily Value in both Ancient Multivitamin Women's Once Daily and Ancient Multivitamin Women's 40+ Once Daily.

4. Three Key Minerals: Iron, Magnesium and Zinc

Iron is an essential mineral involved in energy production because it helps carry oxygen to the cells and is a key component of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells.

Iron-rich foods include liver, spirulina, grass-fed beef, chicken, black beans, eggs, pumpkin seeds, lentils and spinach. You can also take an iron supplement. Most multivitamins include some iron.

Magnesium plays a crucial role in converting food into energy. It is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including those related to energy metabolism.

The best foods high in magnesium are cooked spinach, amaranth and other whole grains, nuts and seeds, legumes, black beans, and dark chocolate. Be aware that only low levels of magnesium are typically included in multivitamins.

Zinc is important for energy metabolism as it participates in various enzymatic reactions involved in the breakdown of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Overall, it supports the conversion of food into energy and plays a role in maintaining optimal cellular energy production, helping boost overall energy levels and support metabolic processes in the body.

Foods high in zinc include lamb, grass-fed beef, chickpeas, cashews, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, eggs and turkey. Ancient Nutrients - Zinc + Probiotics is a supplement that contains 20 mg of enzyme-activated zinc. Most multivitamins also include nearly 100 percent Daily Value of zinc.

5. Multivitamin

Regardless of how active you are, multivitamins are one of the most important supplements that you can add to your routine. Multivitamins can help round out a balanced diet, filling in the gaps to supply any essential nutrients you may be missing.

See Ancient Nutrition’s many different kinds of multivitamins for women and men, including Once Daily’s.

6. Adaptogenic Herbs

When you’re feeling occasionally fatigued or stressed, adaptogenic herbs can help. These health-supporting plants help balance the body’s natural ability to handle stress by regulating the adrenal system, which is responsible for controlling the way the body responds to stress.

Adaptogens don’t target a specific body part. Instead, they help your entire body gently cope with occasional stress and fatigue.

Some of the best adaptogen herbs that have been shown to boost energy and combat low energy in females and males alike include ashwagandha, rhodiola, holy basil and ginseng.

Ashwagandha root helps support healthy energy levels and boost sports performance by generally supporting adrenal function and helping the body have a healthy response to stress. In Ancient Nutrition's Organic Ashwagandha Tablets, the combination of organic ashwagandha root and leaf also delivers support for healthy energy and reduces fatigue.

7. Cordyceps Mushrooms

Functional mushrooms such as cordyceps also contain polysaccharides, which are digested by and used by the body as potential energy sources.

Cordyceps mushrooms are typically known for their positive impact on physical performance, particularly exercise performance, stamina and recovery. Ancient Nutrition's Cordyceps Energy and Endurance Support Tablets offer these precise benefits.

8. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of heart-healthy fat that have been linked to a long list of potential health benefits. Omega-3 fatty acids provide support for a healthy cardiovascular system and even healthy cognitive function.

Eating wild-caught fish several times per week or taking an omega-3 supplement equal to about 1,000 milligrams daily is the best way to get enough omega-3s.

9. Glutamine

Glutamine is an incredibly important amino acid that is frequently considered one of the best supplements for endurance athletes. It’s been shown to provide energy for the cells in the immune system, reduce muscle discomfort and help speed up recovery post-exercise.

10. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

CoQ10 is a vital nutrient involved in the production of ATP, which is the primary source of energy in cells. Good food sources of CoQ10 include organ meats, fatty fish, nuts and seeds. It can also be taken in supplement form, with doses generally ranging from 100-200 milligrams daily.

11. Creatine

Creatine, also referred to as creatine monohydrate, is one of the best supplements for those looking to build strength and increase muscle mass. Studies show how it can help boost performance, stamina and recovery.

12. MCT Oil

“MCTs” are medium-chain triglycerides, a form of saturated fatty acid. They are also sometimes called “MCFAs” for medium-chain fatty acids. MCT oil is a pure source of fatty acids.

Medium-chain fats are digested easily and sent directly to your liver, where they can have a thermogenic effect and the ability to positively impact your metabolism. Studies show that MCTs can help support exercise performance during moderate- and high-intensity exercise.

13. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are natural energy foods that boost energy levels and provide your body with a lot of nutritional bang for the buck.

Coupled with high levels of protein and fiber, which help keep blood sugar levels already in the normal range stable, it’s no wonder chia seeds are heralded as a superfood and natural energy boost food. Try a chia seed pudding as a new healthy dessert.

14. Reduce Carb Consumption

While they do provide your body with energy, foods heavy in carbohydrates can leave you feeling sluggish. The main culprit? Simple carbs, like those found in sugary drinks, cookies and processed foods (think white bread and pasta), which burn through your body quickly.

Though they provide a fast boost of energy, it’s quickly followed by a crash as your blood sugar spikes and then drops.

The solution for how to boost energy when tired and keep blood sugar levels (already in the normal range) steady? Stick to whole-grain, low-glycemic carbohydrates that take the body longer to digest and avoid the crash and burn effect.

Nuts, legumes, sweet potatoes, Ezekiel bread, oats and brown rice are all low-glycemic carbohydrates that provide the body with a steady stream of energy.

15. Daily Exercise

Does a tough workout wipe you out? Take solace in the fact that incorporating regular exercise into your routine will actually boost energy levels and is one of the best methods for how to increase energy and motivation while also enhancing overall health.

Torching calories and engaging in physical activity sends oxygen and nutrients to your body’s cells, helping your heart and lungs work more efficiently and boosting energy levels.

And remember, you don’t need to run a marathon to get exercise benefits — moderate levels of your favorite fitness activity will reap plenty of energy benefits, too.

16. Improve Sleep Quality

Occasionally spending part of your nights tossing and turning can definitely make you feel exhausted the next day. Sleepiness has been identified as a leading cause of daytime fatigue, a not-so-positive outlook, accidents, a sedentary lifestyle and even healthy weight management issues.

Squeezing in more sleep is one of the easiest methods for how to get energy in the morning. A combination of healthy dietary and lifestyle habits and more restful sleep-supporting supplements (like Ancient Nutrition’s Stress & Sleep Support formula) can often support a more restful sleep.

Also try to keep a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same times each day, including weekends. This helps regulate your internal body clock. Eliminate caffeine after 3 p.m. because the effects can last up to 12 hours.

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