EAT YOUR MAGNESIUM
“Research shows that when the body doesn’t have enough magnesium, a mineral that is found in our bones, tissues and organs, it has an increased need for oxygen during exercise—in other words, you wear out more easily,” explains Rachel Meltzer Warren, MS, RD, a New York-based nutritionist. “Magnesium is found in foods like spinach, almonds, cashews and soybeans. ”Keep a plethora of nuts on hand for quick energy boosts. Experts have also found that increased magnesium levels help assist chronic sleep problems—another fast track to more energy! For maximum absorption, be sure to eat your magnesium-rich foods with a serving of calcium, or take a 500 mg supplement of it.
EXERCISE OUTDOORS AND BOOST YOUR VITAMIN D
A recent study in the publication Environmental Science & Technology shed some light on the positive effects of outdoor activity. “Compared with exercising indoors, exercising in natural environments was associated with greater feelings of revitalization and positive engagement, decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression, and increased energy.” Psych yourself up for a 10-minute power walk outdoors, and chances are in your favor that you’ll keep going for 30 minutes—plenty of time to soak up some Vitamin D.
TRACK YOUR LIQUID INTAKE
You’ve got to stay hydrated to keep your energy levels high. By the time you’re thirsty, you’re already on your way to being dehydrated. “Even mild dehydration (as little as 1 percent below the optimal level) can cause fatigue, loss of focus, headache and depressed mood, according to one recent study in the Journal of Nutrition,” explains Meltzer. Constant drinking of liquids such as coconut water, herbal tea, flavored seltzer and water will help keep you hydrated. “To make sure you’re drinking enough, check the color of your urine—anything darker than pale yellow, and you’ll know you to be need to be drinking more fluids.”
POP A MINT
In a classic study that appeared in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, Bryan Raudenbush, Ph.D., and director of undergraduate research at Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, West Virginia, concluded that athletic performance was improved in a controlled environment infused with peppermint odor. “Forty athletes undertook a series of physical tasks under conditions of no-odor or peppermint odor. The peppermint odor condition resulted in increased running speed, hand grip strength and number of push-ups.” Similar studies have shown that popping a mint while driving or taking a test can increase alertness.
KILL THE TELEVISION
OK, not really. Everyone needs time to chill out and decompress, but too much of a bad thing is just that. According to the Nielsen organization, “The average American spends more than 41 hours each week—nearly five-and-a-half hours daily—engaging with content across all screens. They spend most of that time (more than 34 hours) in front of a TV.” You do the math, and it becomes obvious very quickly how many other productive and healthy activities you could be doing instead of being parked out on the couch.
HAVE MORE SEX
“The equation is simple,” says Dr. Harry Fisch, a urologist in NYC and author of multiple books on health and sexuality, including Size Matters: The Hard Facts of Male Sexuality That Every Woman Should Know. “If you’re feeling low energy, you’re not going to have sex. When you’re having sex, it’s an energy release and you tend to be happier and have more energy to do things you like.” So guys, make the first move.
Drinking too much alcohol has a negative domino effect. Aside from the cinematic hangover symptoms that you have to endure after a long night out, drinking too much weakens your immune system, making you susceptible for every sick-making germ you come in contact with. Plus, “Alcohol is the major depressant for sex and energy. It’s just the worst,” says Dr. Fisch. “So if you’re planning on having sex, make sure you don’t drink. It increases the desire, but decreases the ability.”
REDUCE PROCESSED CARBS
This is a mantra that’s on repeat just about everywhere you look: “Eat whole grains” or “Eat less of the white stuff” (white flour, white sugar and all of the processed snack foods that are made with these ingredients). These processed carbs wreak havoc on your waistline, and on top of that, they won’t give you any sustained energy. “Your body absorbs the energy in simple carbohydrates very quickly,” explains Meltzer. “Complex carbohydrates, on the other hand, are like time-release energy for your body. Focus on getting the majority of your carbohydrates in the form of vegetables, fruits, beans and whole grains. Your body takes longer to break down and digest them, which means you get a steady supply of energy for a longer period of time.”
GET MORE ZZZZ’S TO BOOST YOUR “T”
You already know this, but we’ll say it again: Getting enough sleep is critical for health and well-being. The National Institute of Health pulls no punches when explaining the fallout that can occur when you continually fall short: “Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke. Plus, sleep is also the time when the energy-boosting hormone testosterone is made. “The number one symptom of low testosterone is low energy,” explains Dr. Fisch. And since testosterone is made when you sleep, it’s crucial to get 7 to 9 hours a night. To improve your sleep regimen, try reading instead of watching TV before bed, and try to hit the hay at the same time every night—even on the weekends.
LISTEN TO MUSIC
“It’s clear throughout history that music has been an energizer. It’s not an accident that men have marched to war with music,” explains Al Bumanis, spokesperson for the American Music Therapy Association. “If you look back, you’ll see that music was always playing an important role in historical events. There were bands in the Civil War, and it’s a way that athletes have always psyched themselves up before games. In clinical music therapy, we use music to connect people to movement and motivation.” Load your MP3 player with music that makes you feel like moving, and your energy will follow.
Source: Men’s Health