Muscle Up

By Jo Phillips

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Many people have been feeling a little drained lately, understandably, and there has been a rise in awareness of the need for self-care. Even with a focus on wellness, plenty of people have still been reaching for the coffee in order to get through their new routine. There are plenty of natural alternatives to get an energy boost, however. There’s been an increase in popularity this year in herbal medicine, and finding natural solutions to ease stress and fatigue. 

If you’re one of the many people who’s been feeling a little sluggish, here is a selection of natural alternatives for an energy boost. The majority of these have been used for centuries as herbal remedies, and they’re making a comeback right now. 

Beetroot

For a while now, many people have considered beetroot as a superfood. This is because it has many health benefits. Beetroot contains a high amount of nitrate which helps your body produce nitric oxide. This gives you an energy boost because it relaxes your blood vessels and helps improve blood flow. This means oxygen travels around your body more easily, allowing you to produce more energy during exercise. Athletes have been known to take beetroot supplements as it reduces the amount of oxygen they need to exercise, due to the nitrate level, giving them more energy for longer. 

Maca

Maca has been used for centuries as a natural remedy to enhance mental focus. There are several other maca root benefits. Maca combats fatigue while also improving adrenal function. You can add it to many different recipes including smoothies, hot drinks, and even baking. It’s technically a cruciferous vegetable related to cabbage, kale, or broccoli, but it actually looks more like a root vegetable such as a turnip. It can be used to make a number of things like no-bake cookies, hot chocolate, truffles, and of course, energy bars. It’s a favourite of athletes and body-builders alike because it really recharges the batteries. Its use originated from sheepherders who noticed their sheep were healthier and stronger after eating it.

Creatine

Creatine is used in a number of supplements for working out and training. Plenty of successful brands have incorporated creatine and similar compounds found in muscle cells including muscle rage. It gives you a boost of energy which is great for high-intensity, short bursts of exercise such as sprinting, shot put, jumping, and weight-lifting. Creatine also helps increase strength in general, particularly for bench press and other similar types of training. Essentially, it increases your energy stores, giving you the strength to training for longer, this is why it works so well as a workout supplement. 

Vitamin B12

Many people take vitamin B12 supplements for a natural energy boost. This is because it aids your body in transforming the food you eat into energy you can use. You can get your supply of vitamin B12 from a number of protein foods including meat, fish, and dairy products. This is why sometimes certain people suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency such as vegans, older adults, and those with GI disorders. These people might well benefit from vitamin B12 supplements, which would give them the energy boost they need. Otherwise, low levels of vitamin B12 have been linked to fatigue. 

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Carob

Carob is another natural remedy that has been used for a long time, thousands of years in fact. It’s mostly nowadays considered as a healthier alternative to chocolate. It’s also used as a replacement for caffeine. One of the reasons carob produces so much energy in the body is that it contains high amounts of pinitol which works in a similar way to insulin. Carob is also very beneficial for your digestion. It speeds up your metabolism which is a great way to get a quick energy boost. Nothing makes you feel more sluggish than having poor digestion and being lethargic. Carob is naturally sweet-tasting as well, for this reason, it’s used as an alternative to chocolate. This means it’s perfect for adding to a hot drink or a smoothie as a natural sweetener, without any need for extra sugar.

Rhodiola Rosea

Rhodiola Rosea is an example of one of the powerful plants used as a natural remedy. It’s actually a flowering perennial but it’s mostly consumed in supplement form. Rhodiola rosea is mainly connected to stamina and improving attention and memory. It’s also been linked to enhancing physical performance and easing mental fatigue. Rhodiola rosea has many other health benefits. It’s been used to treat stress and fatigue, and even shown to reduce the symptoms of depression. Rhodiola rosea is also used to combat fatigue in general and especially relating to mental work. 

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is often consumed as a tonic to boost energy. It’s one of the most important natural remedies in Indian Ayurveda. The theory behind it is that it aids your body by improving your resistance to both physical and mental stress. It also works to help you combat fatigue. For this reason, it gives you a natural energy boost. Ashwagandha is also used to treat a number of things as well as stress, anxiety, and fatigue including pain, skin conditions, arthritis, and epilepsy. 

Ginseng

Ginseng is often used as an alternative to caffeine and it is found in a number of different energy drinks. Its original use was mainly in Chinese medicine to replenish energy levels. Now it’s used a lot more for mental energy, and for things like memory, concentration, and endurance. There are also many other health benefits of ginseng. It has been linked to brain function and improving your immune system. Ginseng is also a powerful antioxidant and antiinflammatory. Studies have even shown it to lower blood sugar and cholesterol. 

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Citrulline

Citrulline also works in a similar way to beetroot, by increasing nitric oxide in the body. This improves your circulation allowing more oxygen and nutrients to travel around your body more easily. Citrulline, therefore, gives you a natural energy boost because it decreases fatigue, particularly that associated with exercise. It also helps your body get rid of ammonia faster. This is due to the important role it plays in the urea cycle. Intense exercise can cause ammonia production which can lead to fatigue. Citrulline is, therefore a natural remedy that enables you to eliminate this ammonia more quickly and exercise for longer. 

Melatonin

There is a direct link in your body between the hormone melatonin and sleep. Melatonin supplements are often recommended if you have an irregular sleep pattern, or are suffering from fatigue or insomnia due to this. Melatonin is the hormone your body will naturally release when it thinks it’s time for bed, so usually in the evening, or when it’s dark. If you’re suffering from insomnia then this can greatly affect your energy levels during the day. A melatonin supplement is often prescribed by a doctor to help give you the right balance. It’s used to fight sleep problems, giving you the energy boost you need, improving alertness, and decreasing fatigue.

Cordyceps

Many people recently have been asking the question, what is cordyceps? It is, in fact, a fungus. It’s mostly used as an elixir by athletes and those looking for a short-term energy boost. Cordyceps can enhance physical performance and also improve endurance and increase energy levels. If you’re looking for a way to get cordyceps into your diet, try adding it to oats, porridge, or a smoothie. This fungus has actually been used for centuries in Chinese medicine. It was given as a tonic to improve energy, endurance, stamina, appetite, and disrupted sleep patterns. It’s also been associated with boosting the immune system and enhances cells’ ability to utilise oxygen. This means it has a positive effect on athletic performance, similar to both beetroot and citrulline. 

Water

If you’re looking to boost your energy you need to ensure you drink enough water. Water doesn’t actually contain any calories so it won’t give you energy directly, but it’s essential to stay hydrated. Dehydration causes fatigue, so it’s important to stay on top of it. Drinking plenty of water is just one of the ways you can take care of your health. If you’re feeling tired, a lot of the time it could just be your body telling you to drink more water. 

There are many other ways you can increase your energy levels. These include getting regular exercise, sleeping properly, and eating a balanced diet. You need to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to keep your energy up. It’s also important to consume certain things in moderation such as caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and nicotine. These could all affect your energy levels and sleep patterns. 

If you’re worried about your routine maybe it’s time to shake things up instead by starting a new hobby or sport. This will be great for your mental wellbeing which will in turn give you an energy boost. Alternatively, always speak to your doctor or seek professional advice before starting to take any supplements. Make sure they’re the right ones for you.

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