With workplace burnout, long COVID symptoms, demanding schedules, and everyday exhaustion, sustaining a natural energy level is a premium these days. Coffee, matcha, energy drinks, and green tea are natural energy boosters that may work in a pinch, but it isn’t realistic to rely on them for smooth, sustained energy all day long. So if you’re wondering how to get energy naturally, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s what the science has to say about how to combat fatigue and boost energy naturally.
Why We’re Feeling Fatigued?
The question isn’t are we fatigued, it’s why are we experiencing low energy levels? A 2022 survey showed that 3 out of 5 U.S. adults say they feel more tired now than they’ve ever been.
Poll respondents cited long working hours (53%), too much time indoors (52%), and too much screen time (46%) as among the leading causes of their exhaustion (1). We also know that many basic health factors can lead to fatigue and increased stress levels.
A 2022 survey showed that 3 out of 5 U.S. adults say they feel more tired now than they’ve ever been.
Health conditions. Of course, any number of physical changes and conditions can take a toll on your energy levels, from stages in life like pregnancy and menopause to health concerns like a passing infection or chronic ailment.
Poor sleep quality. When we don’t get enough sleep, we often experience decreased energy levels, difficulty concentrating, and impaired physical performance. And it goes the other way, too: Your body actually requires energy to get restorative REM sleep. So if you improve one, you’re likely to improve the other as well. Sleep needs vary per person, but most adults should aim for between 7 and 9 hours per night.
Protein deficiency. Protein is an essential nutrient for the production of enzymes, hormones, and other substances in the body. It’s also important for the repair and maintenance of tissues, including muscles. If your body doesn’t get enough protein, you may experience muscle weakness and fatigue.
Nutrient deficiency. Inadequate intake of essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals can also lead to feelings of exhaustion. While some vitamins directly impact your energy metabolism, like B Vitamins (especially vitamin B12), or your sleep health, like Magnesium, many nutritional deficiencies can make you fatigued because it can mean that your body has to work harder in order to function.
Dehydration. Thirst can even cause you to feel tired, because it disrupts the body's natural balance of fluids and electrolytes, which are necessary for proper body function. When the body gets dehydrated, it has to work harder to function, which can lead to fatigue and weakness.
Lack of Movement. A lack of physical activity can lead to fatigue because it reduces the body's ability to produce energy. Regular physical activity helps to increase blood flow, which can improve energy levels and increase the production of endorphins, chemicals that can help improve mood and reduce stress.
The Top 4 Ways to Boost Energy Naturally
The cells in our bodies rely on food in order to produce natural energy, or ATP.
What we eat, specifically, can have a major impact on how efficiently our bodies convert and use this cellular currency.
Eating plenty of high-quality protein, choosing complex carbohydrates with fiber instead of refined sugars and starches, balancing our blood sugar, and getting adequate vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in our diet are all important actions for healthy energy.
While carbs provide quick energy boosts, they can come with a blood sugar spike that leaves you low not long after you eat. If you want smooth energy, avoid ultra processed foods, refined sugars, “white” carbs like white rice and breads, fried foods, and empty calories.
Make sure you’re prioritizing nutrient-dense whole foods on your plate—and enough of them. You want to be sure you’re getting enough per day to power you through, so eat regular meals and snack strategically.
Foods That Boost Energy
Nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds like almonds, Brazil nuts, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and flax seeds nourish your body tissue and brain, delivering micronutrition and vital energy. For improved nutrient absorption, activate nuts and seeds by soaking and rinsing them. This helps your body digest them more smoothly and access all the nutrients in these living foods.
Quinoa. This “pseudo grain” offers complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids, and it’s also high in fiber to help ease harsh spikes in glucose.
Bananas. Bananas are high in natural sugars, including glucose and fructose, which can provide a quick energy boost (2). A slightly underripe or green banana in your smoothie also provides resistant starch, which acts like prebiotic fiber in your gut.
Legumes. Legumes like chickpeas, lentils, beans, and peas are a great source of protein and fiber, and they’re also a source of resistant starch. Beans paired with brown rice form a complete protein and make for a meal rich in fiber.
Berries. Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are high in antioxidants that can help fight inflammation and increase energy metabolism, as well as micronutrients like Iron, Vitamin C, and B Vitamins to help support your energy levels (3). They’re also high in natural sugars for quick energy and fiber to balance blood glucose.
Leafy greens. Green, leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, and swiss chard are high in vitamins and minerals like Iron and B Vitamins, which are essential for energy production.
Bee pollen. Bee pollen provides predigested, easily assimilated, alkaline dense food containing bioavailable proteins, high levels of B Vitamins, and other nutrients. A potent blood nourisher and muscle food, bee pollen supports stamina, muscle growth, and recovery from exercise.
Dark chocolate. Cacao is high in antioxidants and magnesium, which can help to boost energy levels and improve mood. Just be sure to choose a high-quality dark chocolate with a cocoa content of at least 70%, and be wary of refined sugars.
Nutrients + Herbs That Boost Energy
Ginseng. An adaptogen used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to promote calm focus and energy. Its potency lies in its supreme ability to energize.
Vitamin B12. This vitamin is essential for the production of red blood cells, which transport oxygen to the body's tissues. When the body is low in Vitamin B12, this can lead to anemia, a condition in which the body does not have enough red blood cells to function properly. Symptoms of anemia can include fatigue and weakness.
B Vitamins. Overall, the B Vitamins work synergistically throughout the body to support metabolism, or the process of converting food into energy. Ting™ is a potent blend of B Complex, Methylated B12, and adaptogenic Ginseng to stoke energy, metabolism, and mood.
Vitamin D. Known as the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D assists your body in calcium and phosphate absorption. Deficiency can result in fatigue, muscle weakness, and low mood. But Vitamin D deficiency is very common, especially in the winter, when lower UV means that our bodies synthesize less of this nutrient, so it’s important to supplement.
Iron. This is another important nutrient for energy production. It’s necessary for the production of red blood cells and is involved in the transport of oxygen to the body's tissues. When the body is low in Iron, anemia can result, causing fatigue and weakness.
CoQ10. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a nutrient essential for energy production in the body. Found in every cell in the body, it’s involved in the production of ATP, the body's primary energy source. CoQ10 levels tend to decrease with age, and some research suggests that supplementation with CoQ10 may help to improve energy levels and physical performance in older adults.
Rhodiola. An adaptogen that helps support concentration and reduce fatigue. This hardy plant is traditionally used to sustain endurance, fight fatigue, and increase cardiovascular function and lung capacity while also easing stress and lifting mood.
Magnesium. Every cell in your body needs Magnesium to function, and a deficiency in this essential mineral can manifest as fatigue and insomnia. Magnesi-Om®, a relaxation and sleep support supplement, replenishes your supply with 3 bioavailable forms of Magnesium and L-Theanine.
If you’re dealing with fatigue from an imbalanced sleep-wake cycle, try the Awake and Unwind Stack to get back on track. Ting® for non-stimulant energy by day that won’t keep you up at night, and Magnesi-Om® for a non-groggy nightcap with residual brain benefits. You should consider adding vitamins, especially vitamins that give you energy to your routine.
Exercise works in many ways to help you have consistent, healthy energy levels. For one thing, it helps your body use ATP, increasing the byproduct adenosine as a result (5). At night, the accumulation of this neurotransmitter throughout the day helps you get better quality sleep, which is consequential for good energy during the day (6).
There’s also the “runner’s high.” Exercise helps stimulate the release of endorphins, causing us to feel euphoric and uplifted. If you’ve ever started a workout feeling sluggish and ended it feeling like you could go again, you’ll recognize this effect.
Exercise also delivers oxygen and nutrients to the tissues in your body, which helps with endurance. If you exercise regularly, you’re likely to have better ability to perform daily functions and physical activity without finding them as taxing.
It goes without saying that deep, uninterrupted sleep each night is essential for high energy during the day. To improve your sleep hygiene and wake up feeling more rested, check out our full guide to a better sleep routine.
Small Daily Habits
Water. Staying hydrated is important for maintaining energy levels. When you're dehydrated, your body has to work harder to function, which can lead to fatigue.
Stress. Stress itself isn’t bad, but what can be bad is how your body responds to it. Left unchecked, it can wreak havoc on your energy. Stay balanced by creating little moments to unstress each day, whether that’s supplementing with adaptogens, taking a walk outside, or cooking without distractions.
Caffeine. If you find yourself drinking multiple cups of coffee throughout the day, chances are that over time your body will need a greater amount in order to feel the desired effect. Try replacing your afternoon cup with a non-stimulant energy beverage like Ting® to get more in touch with your true energy. There are also coffee alternatives for energy that you can explore in addition to supplements, such as our cordyceps mushroom powder which is traditionally used to sustain energy and stamina.
Sunlight. Sunlight is hugely important for our circadian rhythms. If you want to boost your natural energy in the morning, try to step out and get full sunlight as early as possible to signal to your brain that it’s time to start the day.
When in doubt, shake up your routine. If you’ve been sitting at your desk for hours, do some jumping jacks or step outside for some stimulating fresh air. At the end of your shower, switch on the cold water for an instant wake-up call. This cold water sends electrical impulses to your brain that increase alertness for a quick boost of energy.
Feeling like you have some tools to spark your natural energy? Don’t forget, it’s most important to set the foundation with proper nutrition, sleep, and movement, and add a supplement or two to your daily routine for some extra support.
- National Library of Medicine, Yerba Mate as a Source of Elements and Bioactive Compounds with Antioxidant Activity https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8868397/
- National Library of Medicine, Molecular understanding of Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28864169/
- National Library of Medicine, Effects of L-Theanine Administration on Stress-Related Symptoms and Cognitive Functions in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6836118/
- The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Ginseng as a Treatment for Fatigue: A Systematic Review https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/acm.2017.0361
- National Library of Medicine, Polyphenols: food sources and bioavailability https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15113710/
- National Library of Medicine, Identification of the 100 richest dietary sources of polyphenols: an application of the Phenol-Explorer database https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21045839/
- National Library of Medicine, Coffee consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15998896/