The first thing many want to do when they feel exhausted is to grab a cup of coffee or open up a can of cola.
While these may give a quick energy boost, using them comes at a heavy price health-wise.
Luckily there is a lot one can do to boost your energy without depending on these addictive drinks.
It all begins with understanding where energy comes from in the first place!In this article, we will be discussing 5 Herbs that boost your energy levels and what you can do to boost your energy naturallyClick To Tweet
Where Does Human Energy Come From?
Most of the energy our bodies make comes from what we eat and drink throughout the day.
During digestion, all the nutrients in what we consume are efficiently broken down into smaller components, which then get transported to all the cells in the body to make energy and everything else we need to function.
The mitochondria are the tiny cellular ‘organs’ (organelles) responsible for generating our energy once nutrients reach the cell.
Through a process of controlled oxidation, these organelles literally burn up sugars and fats to generate energy.
However, without proteins, minerals, and vitamins, the mitochondria would not be able to make the compounds needed to produce energy in this way, let alone function.
As a result of modern habits and on-the-go living, a lot of people seek out quicker, more convenient ways to get energy instead of consuming well-prepared nutritious meals.
Sugary snacks, fast food, and energy drinks have become the go-to for many – especially coffee.
Why You Should Avoid Coffee & Other Non-Nutritious Stimulants
Although you can get an immediate boost from them, are coffee and energy drinks really the best way to get more energy?
The answer is no because these beverages do not provide the body with the nutrients it needs to make and sustain energy properly. Instead, we get an irregular blood sugar spike, which gives us an energy high, followed by a drastic dip in blood sugar levels, resulting in a low.
This is not the same as sustained energy throughout the day and in the long-term creates insulin sensitivity, which ultimately results in an overall lack of energy. It also contributes to the onset of diabetes, Alzheimer’s Disease, metabolic syndrome and heart disease.
In the case of coffee, more adrenaline and cortisol get released, as the central nervous system gets stimulated
This gives us a feeling of being “pumped up”, making our heart beat faster, suppressing appetite and sending more blood to our periphery, away from our digestive systems.
A response like this is similar to being in distress and also signals the liver to release its stores of glucose into the bloodstream, as the body is preparing for either “fight or flight”.
Furthermore, coffee has a high oxalate content, which prevents the absorption of nutrients from food and even strips the body of them!
While it does appear to enhance cognition, coffee only provides us with a fake sense of energy through stressing our bodies out, lowering energy levels in the long run.
As a result, we become addicted, constantly needing stimulants to fuel us.
This is not healthy and can cause problems in the long run, such as under-functioning adrenal glands, kidney problems, too much bodily acidity, nutritional deficiencies and bone mineral density loss.
Nature Provides More Ways Than One To Boost Energy
So what can you do instead of taking stimulants that ultimately deplete energy? You can turn to nature’s energy boosters: adaptogens.
Adaptogenic herbs balance and improve energy levels and help our bodies deal with stress without causing us to become addicted to them.
They do this without lowering energy after long-term use and often come with bonus antioxidant effects that help to protect against all the health problems listed above!
5 Herbs That Boost Your Energy Levels
The following herbs are all well-known to give an energy boost, as well as containing impressive levels of antioxidants and other nutrients, including trace minerals.
Without trace minerals, our cells would not be able to function properly and therefore the benefits of trace minerals cannot be emphasized enough! Often people do not get enough of them from their diets and this can certainly contribute to low energy levels and defective mitochondria.
Let’s take a closer look…
NOTE: If you have a chronic lifestyle ailment or are on any pharmaceutical drugs, make sure you consult with a natural health care practitioner before using any of the following herbs, as they may be contraindicated.
1) Rhodiola Rosea
Rhodiola Rosea is a popular medicinal herb that grows in Europe, Asia, and North America, commonly referred to as Arctic Root, Roseroot, Golden Root or King’s Crown.
This herb is a superstar energy booster in the health community and its anti-fatigue effects are well documented!
In one promising study, Rhodiola Rosea reduced fatigue and increased energy levels significantly in 30 Swedish participants against a placebo.
Furthermore, this herb improved symptoms of being ‘burnt out’, alongside enhancing cognition, mental clarity and focus.
Rhodiola Rosea has been shown to decrease levels of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is one of the stress hormones associated with fatigue, insulin sensitivity, and bodily inflammation.
This fabulous herb also appears to alleviate symptoms of depression.
When compared to a common pharmaceutical antidepressant, it was shown to be a much safer treatment option.
How To Use Rhodiola Rosea
There are three ways people normally take Rhodiola Rosea, as a supplement, tincture or tea. Tea is the best way to take it followed by tinctures, as tablets often have additives which prevent absorption.
- Tincture– Add a few drops of a tincture to water or another type of non-stimulant tea and enjoy. The tincture should indicate how much to take at a time.
- Tea– Steep about 5mg of Rhodiola Rosea root in some warm (not boiling) water until it is cool enough to drink. If you want to make an anti-fatigue tonic, let it steep overnight for the best results.
- Capsule or tablet– If you are taking a capsule or tablet, it is recommended to take an extract of it known as SHR-5. It has been tested as beneficial and safe between amounts of 300-1500mg a day. Make sure to take it 15mins before meals to aid absorption. Children should take a lesser dose.
2) Yerba Mate Tea
Yerba Mate Tea comes from a type of holly tree in South America. It is drunk in some countries there as much as coffee for its stimulating properties.
Like coffee, it contains sizable amounts of caffeine. However, it also contains high amounts of protective antioxidants, preventing the same negative effects as observed with coffee consumption.
This is one health drink that could replace coffee without inducing addiction, metabolic problems or an irregular heartbeat.
How To Use Yerba Mate
There are two ways to use Yerba Mate, as a tea or a powder.
- Tea– Steep 1-2 tsp of Yerba Mate in warm water and drink when cool. There are also tea bags available on the market.
- Powder– In this form, it is easiest to add to a smoothie or steep it as a tea. Add 1 tsp or less of Yerba Mate to a smoothie to suit your taste.
3) Panax Ginseng
Panax Ginseng, also known as Asian Ginseng, is another famous herb for boosting energy levels and combating severe exhaustion.
It has been shown to reduce levels of stress hormones, inflammation, and fatigue in the body, even in those with cancer or chronic fatigue syndrome.
Those with blood sugar problems, depression, and erectile dysfunction have also been shown to benefit greatly from this wonder herb.
In studies that looked at Asian Ginseng compounds, it was noted that it protected the mitochondria from malfunctioning, directly preserving the production of energy and promoting longevity.
Not surprisingly, ginseng is a rich source of trace minerals such as magnesium, potassium, manganese, cobalt, copper, iron, zinc and phosphorus, all of which are
great for maintaining energy production.
How To Use Ginseng to boost your energy
Ginseng is more commonly used as a health supplement in capsule, powder or tincture form, however many also benefit from drinking the roots as a tea.
- Capsules or tablets– Dosages for supplements vary greatly between 200 and 3000 mg per day, depending on what you need to use ginseng for. To boost energy, the standard dose is 200-400mg per day.
- Powder– Ginseng powder can be added to a smoothie or steeped in tea. 1 tablespoon is considered a good dosage for this.
- Tea– Use 1 tablespoon of dried powder or roots in a tea steeper and leave to infuse for 5-10 minutes until cool.
- Tincture– Follow the dosage on the bottle and add to water or cooled tea.
4) Licorice Root
Licorice root, or Glycyrrhiza Glabra, is a powerful hormonal regulating herb and adaptogen.
It is one of the most commonly used natural supplements for enhancing energy, especially related to stress.
Research has been shown to bring stress hormones back into balance, therefore improving the function of the adrenal glands.
It is also well known that licorice root balances out high testosterone levels in women, which if left unattended can cause metabolic problems as well as increased levels of cortisol.
Licorice root reduces inflammation and improves mitochondrial health, as well as preventing the onset of cancer through multiple different avenues!
How To Use Licorice Root to boost your energy
Licorice root is often consumed in powder form in a variety of ways. It is so potent that one only needs to take very little amounts at a time to feel the effects – the flavor is also so strong that you would not want to take more!
- Smoothies or baked goods– Licorice root powder goes really well with ginger and cinnamon in baked goods. It can also be added with those spices to smoothies and works well with pineapple, banana, apple and citrus fruits. Do not add more than 1/8th of a tsp per person to a smoothie or 1/4tsp to baked goods.
- Tea– Since the flavor of licorice powder is too strong to make licorice tea on its own, one can use it to enhance the flavor of other sweet teas, like Rooibos or chamomile. Literally, a pinch is all that is required to this effect.
- Capsules– When using it as a supplement, be careful never to take more than 3000mg per day. If using an extract, stop after 1-3 months of use.
5) Green Tea
Some of you may not know that Green Tea can be highly energizing. Especially when used in combination with jasmine, which has further mental clarity benefits.
This potent herbal tea contains powerful antioxidants, such as catechins.
Science proves that these mop up free radicals. They lower stress, aid your metabolism, improve mental focus, increase longevity and so much more!
Not to mention, it is also a rich source of trace minerals associated with promoting better energy production, namely manganese, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and copper.
How To Use Green Tea to boost your energy
The most common way of ingesting green tea is drinking it!
Both hot green tea and cold kombucha are great ways of reaping the benefits of this wonderful herbal concoction.
- Tea– You can use organic green tea bags or steep 1 teaspoon of green tea in hot water until cool enough to drink.
- Kombucha– Green Tea Kombucha is a probiotic drink that contains green tea nutrients in a pre-digested form. It promotes gut health and energy. To make kombucha, you need sugar, some patience, and a SCOBY starter culture. After 1-3 weeks of brewing, all the sugar and caffeine is consumed, leaving you with a beverage full of readily absorbable green tea fatty acids.
What Else Can You Do To Be Full of Energy?
Aside from drinking more herbal tea, here are four other things you can do to help improve your energy level throughout the day.
1) Improve the Quality of Your Sleep
If you sleep deeply for six hours, it is likely to be more energizing than sleeping lightly for ten!
There are three stages of sleep. The first being the lightest, the second where one dream and the third where one sleeps deeply.
Here are some tips to promote deep sleeping:
- Do not take stimulants after 4 pm.
- Try to sleep before 11 pm.
- Wind down 1 hour before you go to sleep. Avoid TV and computer screens which stimulate the central nervous system. Instead, do something relaxing like reading a book or knitting.
- Sleep with a straight posture to help oxygen flow to the brain for deeper sleep.
2) Drink Enough Water
Dehydration is one of the most common causes of low energy. Ironically, the large amounts of sugar and sodium in energy drinks and fast food, as well as coffee, often cause dehydration.
Make sure to drink at least 6-8 glasses of water every day – herbal tea beverages without sugar also count!
Bottled water is great and tap water is just as good providing you have a good source. If not it may be worth investing in a water filtration system.
3) Exercise Daily
Frequent exercise in moderation works the mitochondria and oxygenates the body, providing us with more energy.
Exercising on a daily basis like this is better than doing intensive exercise less often. Intensive exercise can drain your energy reserves.
Morning exercise was shown to improve cognition and performance throughout the day. It also promotes a better sleep quality versus evening exercise.
4) Keep Calm and Have Rest
Resting in between activity is good for maintaining energy levels and reducing stress.
Power napping for 10-20mins during the day can improve cognition, mood, energy, and alertness.
It is also very important not to stress and to take time out to breathe.
Stress uses up enormous amounts of energy.
Moderate exercise, mindfulness meditation, talking a walk in nature or transferring your emotions to a journal are all good ways to reduce stress and anxiety.
5 Herbs That Boost Your Energy Levels – Final Thoughts
To conclude, using coffee or energy drinks is doing the opposite of boosting your energy levels in the long run.
Rather stick to herbal teas such as Rhodiola Rosea to fight fatigue and work on improving your lifestyle through relaxing, sleeping better, exercising and consuming plenty of water alongside a healthy diet.
Your energy levels should normalize in no time!
Now it is over to you. Do you know of any more herbs that can help you boost your energy levels?
Let me know in the comments section below.
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