Epilepsy Talk

28 Ways to Boost Energy Instantly | November 7, 2021

“I feel like I’m burning the candle at neither end.” All burned out.

Is it epilepsy? Is it chemistry?

It’s more than that. It’s resignation. Depression. No way out.

So, it should be no surprise that studies show:

Fatigue was more frequent in epilepsy patients than controls or general population.

Depression and sleep-related problems affected fatigue in epilepsy patients.

And the frequency of fatigue was 47.1% in adult patients with epilepsy.

WHAT DO I DO?

1. Eat chocolate. Sure chocolate’s got caffeine, but that’s not the only reason it offers a quick pick-me-up. Flavonoids found in cocoa have been shown to boost cognitive skills and improve mood.

2. Get moving. Exercise is a natural energy booster, because whenever you do it, oxygen-rich blood surges through your body to your heart, muscles, and brain. Regularly squeezing a workout into your day — even if you can spare only 10 minutes at a time — will help keep your energy levels at their peak. Move around every chance you get, even if it’s just to pace in circles while you’re on the phone.

3. Power nap. Avoid the temptation to pull a Rip Van Winkle, and take a quick midday power nap instead. Studies show the optimal amount of sleep is 10 to 20 minutes to get through the day without throwing off the night’s sleep.

4. Avoid added sugar. When you feel tired, it can be easy to reach for a sweet, sugar-filled snack. However, although sugar can give you a short-term energy boost, it will wear off quickly.

This is because high-sugar foods cause your blood sugar to rise quickly, sometimes referred to as a blood sugar spike. This results in your body releasing large amounts of insulin to bring your blood sugar back down.

It is believed that this rise and fall in blood sugar is what causes a rush of energy followed by a slump

5. Go outside. Just 20 minutes outdoors is enough to feel more alive. How’s that for an energy boost?

6. Eat regularly. The body needs fuel (aka food) to function, and without it our energy and mood can spiral downward. But regular, healthy meals and snacks can improve cognitive function. But keep in mind not getting enough sleep can also cause us to eat when we’re not actually hungry, so check in with that tummy before munching down.

7. Go for complex carbs. Wondering what to eat to fuel up? Complex carbs (like whole grains) are a good bet. The dose of glucose they provide serves as food for the brain, and one study found a meal of complex carbs made subjects feel more energized. Studies have also found low-carb dieters to be moodier and more forgetful than those who do eat carbs.

8. Have a drink of water. Dehydration can leave you feeling drained and fatigued. You don’t necessarily have to follow the “eight glasses a day” rule, but you do want to drink enough water to keep your body well hydrated. You can tell you’re well hydrated when you don’t feel thirsty and your urine is light-colored. Try to get to the fridge or water cooler for a refill every few hours. The walk there will also help you wake up.

9. Laugh. Laughter’s a proven stress-buster, but studies suggest laughing can boost energy levels, too. (Feel free to use this as permission to go on YouTube for the next 30 minutes.)

10. Grab a cinnamon stick. Some people say that just a whiff of this scented spice can reduce fatigue and make them feel more alert. No cinnamon handy? Grab a mint from your bag. Peppermint’s sweet aroma is another fatigue fighter for some people. More research is needed to see if and how these aromas actually affect a person’s energy level.

11. Open your curtains. Environmental cues play a huge role in our body’s energy grooves (aka circadian rhythms), and sunlight can also help alleviate Seasonal Affective Disorder. But there’s no need to invest in a light therapy box if there’s a sunny window available.

12. Go nuts. Eat a handful of almonds or peanuts, which are high in magnesium and folate (folic acid). These nutrients are essential for energy and cell production. A lack of these nutrients in your system can leave you feeling weary.

13. Think fast. It may not sound so easy when those eyelids are drooping, but making the brain work a little quicker may help the body follow suit! Thinking faster (i.e. reading at a quicker pace, learning a new concept, or even trying to solve a puzzle) made one group of study subjects feel more energized.

14. Do a downward dog. Some studies have found that yoga, which uses various postures and deep breathing for exercise and meditation, can be an excellent fatigue fighter.

15. Take a few deep breaths. Nope, it’s not just the key to resisting the urge to scream at someone stupid. Deep breathing from the diaphragm gets blood pumping, which also boosts energy all day long.

16. Add a house plant. In a stuffy room, a houseplant can help filter out pollutants like volatile organic compounds (or VOCs for short) and ozone. And those chemicals can have both long and short-term effects, including energy-draining allergies and headaches. Add a plant, though, and those threats could diminish.

17. Have a bite. Your brain needs fuel to function at its best. When your blood sugar level drops, your mind will start running on fumes and will feel fuzzy as a result. So if your head is starting to droop, eat a snack that will give you enough energy to take you through the rest of the afternoon. Snacks that combine protein with slow-burning carbs — like banana slices with peanut butter, or granola with fresh berries — are best for maintaining your blood sugar levels over the long term.

18. Belt out your favorite tune. Singing gives you a kind of emotional high while it reduces levels of stress hormones in your body. So, put on your favorite song, and sing away.

19. Turn on some lights. Circadian rhythms can have a big impact on how alert we feel, but one study found feeling more awake (at any time of day) can be as easy is flipping on some lights. Sorry, still no recommendations for how to stay awake during that crappy movie someone picked — cough, cough.

20. Get social. Studies have found people who are less social are generally less happy and don’t sleep as well. And compared to being sedentary, chatting it up made study subjects feel more awake.

21. Turn up the volume. Don’t just listen to tunes to chill out. Listening to music and tapping those toes significantly increased college kids’ alertness.

22. Change the temperature. Being too cold can cause the body’s temperature to drop, which tells it “time to sleep!”. Throw on a sweater or turn up the heat to fight off that drowsy feeling.

23. Choose the window seat. Move closer to a window. The daylight, fresh air, or even just a natural view can all help boost alertness. On the flipside, a frantic street view may make it harder to focus.

24. Smell a lemon. Sniffing certain scents (aka aromatherapy) is rumored to have all kinds of mood benefits, but lemon oil is one of the only essential oils with proven support. Lemon is considered a stimulating scent, and one study showed it actually improved subjects’ moods.

25. Surround yourself with purple.  Studies have shown violet hues or reds are associated with winning and self-confidence. Try looking at some violet hues or reds (or wearing them) to feel more awake.

26. Sit up straight. Slouching (especially over the computer), can cause fatigue earlier in the day. Sit up straight, though — that’s shoulders back, eyes dead ahead, and lower back slightly arched — to feel more energized and possibly even get a boost of self-confidence.

27. Do something interesting. Plan to do the most engaging or interesting task of the day during the sleepiest time of day (typically around 3pm). One study found that being interested in a task makes it significantly easier to stay awake (despite an energy lull).

28. Hang out with upbeat friends. Emotions are surprisingly contagious. People who are constantly negative and down can sap your energy, while those who are always up and excited can give you a real lift.

To subscribe to Epilepsy Talk and get the latest articles, simply go to the bottom box of the right column, enter your email address and click on “Follow.”

Resources:

https://www.epilepsy.org.uk/info/health-matters/wellbeing/fatigue

https://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy-living/28-ways-to-boost-energy-instantly.aspx

https://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/boost-energy

https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/a25617294/how-to-get-more-energy-fast/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-boost-energy#TOC_TITLE_HDR_10


7 Comments »

  1. #29- I want to ADD using real 100% pure, unrefined COCONUT OIL to replace all margarine, other cooking, baking & frying oils that are HYDROGENATED or partly hydrogenized which all have MSG toxins in them. Using coconut or olive oils of the pure ones that are FEW you can buy, will increase the energy levels & make brain chemistry feel more awake plus lower the NEED & WANT for over eating, by lessening the desire to eat more foods. http://www.carringtonfarms.com They have the staff there to help understand how coconut oil can work for you,

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by James D — November 7, 2021 @ 2:28 PM

  2. Coconut oil was a “miracle oil” more than ten years ago. Nowadays it is out of favor with nutritionists because it contains so much saturated fat. See:

    https://www.outsideonline.com/health/nutrition/coconut-oil-cooking-bad/

    And yes, hydrogenated oils are also not recommended these days.

    Currently Extra Virgin Olive oil and Avocado oil are the ” miracle oils.” They are monounsaturated oils.

    MSG is insoluble in oil and is not normally found in cooking oils. However, soy and a few other oils can contains glutamate related compounds which some people (including me ) don’t like.

    And talking of “miracle foods” I personally favor quinoa, lentils, berries, beets, very dark chocolate and of course olive oil. I don’t know if my daily cappuccinos count as a “miracle food” but I swear I couldn’t function without it!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Michael H — November 7, 2021 @ 5:48 PM

  3. Coconut oil is still the holy grail here.

    But, as a vegetarian, I don’t think I could live without your “miracle foods”. Except for beets. (Eeewww!)

    I want my cake and I want to eat it too.

    Like

    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — November 7, 2021 @ 9:03 PM

  4. I shared this on Twitter. Much needed advice.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Flower Roberts — November 8, 2021 @ 10:59 AM

  5. Reblogged this on floweralley and commented:
    Much needed advice.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Flower Roberts — November 8, 2021 @ 11:00 AM

  6. and our blog… Thanks Phylis

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Flower Roberts — November 8, 2021 @ 11:00 AM


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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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