Have you been feeling especially sluggish and tired while you’re stuck inside due to the coronavirus pandemic? You’re certainly not alone.
People all over the world have reported feeling exhausted, even though they are less active and not leaving the house as much.
The phenomenon has become so widespread that it now has a name: lockdown fatigue.
The good news is, there are some simple yet effective ways to overcome lockdown fatigue using natural energy boosters such as certain vitamins, supplements, and daily practices.
If you’re wondering how to get more energy, here’s what our Nutrition Experts recommend as the best ways to get your body and brain alert and ready for the day.
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Best natural energy boosters to wake you up
1. CLA with caffeine: double the boost
We are all familiar with the energizing effects of coffee, but did you know that when you combine caffeine and CLA, it’s a winning combo both for energy and weight loss?
“CLA” stands for conjugated linoleic acid, and is a type of Omega-6 fatty acid that can help boost endurance and increase metabolism.
Our CLA supplement contains caffeine beadlets, which slowly release into the bloodstream for sustained and long-lasting energy throughout the day.
Each of our CLA capsules contain 159 mg of caffeine — roughly the equivalent of 2 espresso shots. We recommend that you take it in the morning so it doesn’t affect your sleep.
2. Ashwagandha: the stress buster
One of the main contributors to lockdown fatigue is the added stress of dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. Living in such unprecedented times of uncertainty means our stress levels have gone up, sometimes resulting in disturbed sleep and chronic exhaustion.
Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb with a multitude of health benefits ranging from improving stress levels, calming anxiety, decreasing cortisol, and improving strength and muscle mass.
Some preliminary studies suggest that Ashwagandha may help balance cortisol levels (the stress hormone).
A systematic review of 5 randomized controlled trials published in the Journal of Complementary Medicine suggested that Ashwagandha substantially reduces stress scores when compared to a placebo.
3. Vitamin B12: the energy essential
You can think of B vitamins as the batteries of our cells. Vitamin B12 is necessary for red blood cell formation, neurological function, energy production, and helps create and regulate DNA.
If you are deficient in Vitamin B12, you will likely experience chronic fatigue. Vegetarians, vegans, and older adults tend to be most at risk of a B12 deficiency.
Deficiency symptoms include tiredness, weakness, and nerve problems that result in numbness and tingling in the hands and feet.
If you’re not a vegetarian, you can meet your Vitamin B12 needs through diet by eating foods such as: animal liver and kidneys, clams, sardines, beef, and salmon.
If you are a vegan or vegetarian, you can find B12-fortified nutritional yeast and fortified non-dairy milks like soy and rice milk — or you can take a daily Vitamin B12 supplement to ensure your nutritional needs are being met.
4. Iron: the power mineral
Exhaustion may indicate that you are low in Iron. Iron is an essential nutrient responsible for carrying oxygen to the muscles and brain, and is crucial for both mental and physical performance.
Iron deficiency anemia is the most common nutrient deficiency worldwide. Vegans, vegetarians, pregnant women, and women with heavy periods tend to be at higher risk.
Symptoms of Iron deficiency include extreme tiredness and fatigue, irritability, poor concentration and light-headedness, having cold hands and feet, and/or being short of breath. Physical signs can be pale skin, dark circles under your eyes and brittle nails.
Men typically need 8 mg daily while women need 18 mg on average. Supplemental Iron can be helpful for meeting Iron needs, but we recommend you perform a blood test before supplementing to see where your levels are at.
5. Maca: the sexy superherb
When it comes to energizing herbs, Maca ranks high on the list. Maca is an herb native to the Peruvian Andes. In Peru, Maca root powder has been traditionally used as an aphrodisiac. Some evidence suggests that besides assisting with sexual function, it can also boost energy levels.
Multiple randomized clinical trials have shown that a daily Maca supplement can improve energy and mood, may decrease stress levels, and improve sexual desire.
Our red Maca is grown organically at over 13,000 feet in the highlands of the Peruvian Andes, respecting ancient traditions of production.
6. L-Tyrosine: the brain booster
High levels of stress and fatigue can sometimes induce a feeling of “brain fog.” Studies suggest that L-Tyrosine supplementation is beneficial for enhancing memory, attention, reaction time, and mood under stressful conditions.
L-Tyrosine is regarded as a nootropic — a class of compounds that enhance cognition. It is a non-essential amino acid involved in the production of important hormones including dopamine, adrenaline and noradrenaline, thyroid, and melanin.
Here at hundred, we offer the most bioavailable N-acetyl form of L-Tyrosine, so you can get the most out of every capsule. Our formula is 100% vegan, GMO-free and made in Germany according to strict European quality standards.
7. Melatonin: the sleep ally
Melatonin is a natural hormone that plays a crucial role in healthy sleep patterns. If you’ve been having trouble sleeping lately, supplementing with Melatonin can be a huge help in finally getting a good night’s rest.
Taking a Melatonin supplement before bedtime can help alleviate insomnia by getting you to sleep faster, helping you stay asleep longer, and improving your sleep quality overall.
As a result of getting better rest, Melatonin can help improve concentration, increase energy and alertness, and reduce fatigue during the daytime.
Our Melatonin capsules contain slow-dissolving beadlets for sustained release throughout the night. We’ve added lavender and ylang ylang essential oils to our formula for added relaxation.
Self-care tips for naturally getting more energy
8. Eat complex carbs
Foods high in simple carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta might provide a quick boost of energy at first, but this is often quickly followed by a crash, as blood sugar levels spike and then drop, leaving you feeling sluggish and sleepy.
We recommend you stick to low-glycemic carbohydrates such as oats, brown rice, whole wheat bread and pasta, legumes, and sweet potatoes. These foods take longer to digest and provide the body with a steady source of nutrients and energy.
9. Drink plenty of fluids
One of the first signs of dehydration is fatigue. It’s very possible the reason you feel so tired is because you aren’t giving your body enough water.
Chronic dehydration is incredibly common, with doctors estimating that around 75% of Americans are not drinking enough water each day.
Take care to make sure you’re staying hydrated every day by drinking plenty of water and other fluids. Health authorities commonly recommend adults to drink about 2 litres of water a day to meet hydration needs, and even more if you live in a hot climate or exercise.
If you aren’t a big fan of drinking regular water, try coconut water, herbal teas, sparkling water with fruit slices, or kombucha. You can also eat water-rich foods like watermelon, cucumbers, strawberries, cantaloupe, tomatoes, broths, and soups.
10. Take a cold-hot-cold shower
Give yourself some hot and cold hydrotherapy by jumping in the shower and standing under 30 seconds of cold water, followed by 30 seconds of hot water (as hot as you can stand), and finishing it off with another 30 seconds of cold.
The dramatic contrasts in temperature will open up your capillaries and help increase blood flow throughout your body — leaving you feeling energized.
11. Move your body
While we’re stuck at home a lot more these days, we might not be moving around the way we’re used to. This lack of movement for the majority of the day can leave you feeling extra sluggish.
If you can get your body moving, it will do wonders for your energy and mood. Even if you just walk around the house, do a 15-minute yoga routine, or dance around to a few of your favorite songs, you’ll begin to feel some energy that wasn’t there before.
12. Get some fresh air
Make sure to get some time outside every day, and you’ll see your mental and physical health improve.
Studies have found that spending time in nature dramatically helps people recover from mental fatigue and improve their cognitive energy. Going outside for some “nature therapy” also has been proven to reduce stress levels.
Related reading: The importance of Vitamin D3 and K2 when you’re stuck inside
The bottom line
We hope some of these natural energy boosters will help give you that surge of energy you’ve been looking for.
The way 2020 has been going, the last thing you need stressing you out right now is wondering what supplements you should be taking.
The market is extremely saturated with low-quality options, so it’s hard to know where to turn. If you want to know what our Nutrition Experts recommend just for you, take our 5-minute quiz to find your customized mix.