It’s 2pm on a weekday and you reach for your second cup of coffee, telling yourself that as long as you can get through the next thing, the inevitable ‘crash’ will be worth it. Right? Maybe, to a point. Some part of you feels that this ‘solution’ is patchwork at best (because what goes up must come down!) yet you press on, downing the last of your Americano.
Caffeine is a fast-acting stimulant, but its effects are very much temporary and do not build on themselves in a beneficial way. To address low energy and fatigue holistically, we want to first address any foundational weaknesses in nutrition, movement, sleep, and rest. On top of this, herbal medicine can further support the individual and the variety of factors that play into perpetually low energy.
Common causes of low energy:
- Nutrition deficiency
- Poor sleep
- Chronic stress and anxiety
- Depressed state of mind/mood
- Overusing stimulants like caffeine sugar etc
Anemia, hormonal imbalances, and Candida are also conditions that can directly affect your energy levels. These are issues we frequently address in private consultations and require slightly more oversight. If you are still not feeling any change in energy after incorporating some of the suggestions in this blogpost, we highly recommend working with one of our Clinical Herbalists!
Sleep and Stress
Daytime energy will feel like an uphill battle if you are not sleeping enough for your own body’s lifestyle and needs. We talk about adaptogens in almost every blogpost but that is because they are so integral to both sleep and energy levels throughout the day. If you’d like to learn more about what adaptogens are and how they work, read our Adaptogens 101 blogpost!
Cordyceps, Korean and American Ginseng, Eleuthero, Ashwagandha, are all considered ‘stimulating’ adaptogens which can help people feel more alert and physically energized. You can also find many of these blended together in our Adrenal RX formula.
Ginkgo and Rhodiola both support concentration while lowering stress levels. These adaptogens are ideal if you primarily experience mental sluggishness as a symptom of fatigue, assuming there are no underlying gut or autoimmune issues.
For people who are fatigued from conditions like long covid, adaptogens that are more nourishing will be easier to work with. The formula EnergyPlus is designed to support cellular oxygenation, bone marrow and blood building, while providing mildly energizing adrenal support with some of the adaptogens listed above.
Natural Energy Support
Nutrition goes a long way in terms of boosting energy levels. We always recommend eating a small breakfast of some protein, healthy fats, and/or complex carbohydrates like fruit. We want to give our bodies an early boost of energy to set the tone for the rest of the day. Fruits and complex carbs like potatoes, dates, and yams provide a slower absorption of sugar so you avoid crashing later in the afternoon. Protein raises your brain’s levels of precursors to neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine, helping you feel alert and motivated in the morning. Snacking throughout the day (on similar carbs, proteins, and healthy fats!) will keep your energy and metabolism elevated.
In our previous blogpost, we talked about how important it is to hydrate with electrolyte-fortified water. Without sufficient mineral intake (especially Magnesium) organs like our brain and heart will not work at optimal levels, contributing to muscular and mental fatigue. Magnesium malate has been shown to support the body’s production of energy at a cellular level, which sets our bodies up for success throughout the day.
Iron and B12 both help promote cellular oxygenation throughout the body which is key for robust energy support. People who are vegetarian or vegan often are not getting adequate levels of B12, so we recommend supplementing with a good quality sublingual liquid form like this one.
A simpler way to consume enough iron is to eat foods like dark leafy greens, turkey, shellfish, and legumes like lentils. If your doctor has already confirmed an iron deficiency, a bioavailable iron supplement like this one is a great addition to your daily regimen. Make sure to re-test your iron levels every few months if you start an iron supplement.
Liquid Chlorophyll achieves a similar effect and is perfect for people who need a refreshing pick-me-up any time of day. I have found that fresh green juice or mineral-rich herbal tea in the mornings keeps me wide awake and alert without any sort of jitteriness. Nettle is an excellent herb to drink every day. The health benefits of herbal tea compound on themselves over time, unlike coffee or caffeinated drinks.
Daily Energy Iced Tea
- Red Raspberry Leaf
- Rose Hips
- Lemon Balm
- Red Clover
Mix equal parts of the herbs above into a blend and steep a handful in a mason jar overnight. Pour over ice and drink throughout the day!
A daily tea like this is especially great for women who feel a dip in energy around their periods. We often make custom teas for our patients to use daily and would be more than happy to put one together for you!
Next time you reach for a cup of coffee, consider investing the time into supporting your energy from a much deeper place. Even if all you have going on are fun things this summer, overbooking your schedule can take a toll on your energy levels! Make sure you make time for rest away from your inbox and social media, to let your mind and body recharge.