Energizing Yourself

Powering Through Your Day

Lemon slice in water.

A glass of water can help you to regain your energy.

© iStockphoto/swedewah

Imagine that it's 2:30 p.m., and that you've run into a brick wall at work. You can barely keep your eyes open, and you're struggling to stay focused. All you want to do is take a nap.

At times like this, you may make poor decisions or feel irritable, or you may struggle to deliver high-quality work or meet deadlines. And you may lack the energy to push ahead with new initiatives. Let's face it: to do our best, we need to be energized throughout the day!

In this article, we'll look at what lies behind low energy levels, and we'll explore what you can do to boost them.

What Causes Low Energy?

There are many reasons why your energy levels may be low. For example, this could be caused by:

  • Lack of sleep.
  • Poor diet.
  • Iron or vitamin deficiencies.
  • Medication.
  • Lack of exercise.
  • Depression.
  • Burnout or stress.
  • Underactive thyroid.
  • Low motivation.

Note:

Fatigue may be a symptom of a physical or mental health problem. If your lack of energy persists over several weeks, seek the advice of a health care professional.

Short-Term Solutions

Give yourself a quick boost in any of these ways.

Rehydrate Yourself

Our bodies need water to function. When you're dehydrated, you're depriving yourself of vital fuel, and this can affect your memory as well as your energy levels.

As soon as you feel your energy flagging, reach for a tall glass of water. The Institute of Medicine suggests that men should drink around 3 liters of fluid over the course of a day, and that women drink around 2.2 liters.

This fluid need not be water. However, if you choose another drink, be aware that its ingredients may offset the benefits of pure water. For example, caffeine can cause anxiety, while high-sugar fruit drinks may give a short-term energy boost that's followed by deeper fatigue.

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