Many people complain of a persistent lack of energy - whether it’s having a tough time getting out of bed, feeling tired after lunch, or just general sluggishness throughout the day. While no one can expect to feel energized all the time, a natural and healthy amount of sustained energy should be within reach. When it’s not, it’s likely that health and lifestyle factors are at play. Fortunately for you, there is plenty you can do to help bring back low energy levels.
What does it mean to have good energy? Ideally, it should be easy to wake up in the morning at your usual time, and you should be able to feel vibrant and alert throughout the morning hours. When you follow a healthy diet, eating the right foods, you should feel level energy until the evening hours. If you notice that you’re feeling run down throughout the day, or are particularly tired in the afternoon, unruly hormones could be affecting your energy.
Numerous aspects of biology impact our energy levels. To understand why we feel lethargic or tired, it’s important to take inventory of our hormone health.
Hormones are signaling molecules that tell the body what to do in order to make biological systems run smoothly. For example, in the early morning hours, our levels of cortisol — a stress hormone — should be at their highest levels. This should trigger a natural waking around the time we usually wake up. Melatonin is another hormone that plays a role in sleep, specifically by making us tired. Ideally, melatonin increases after dark and is suppressed by light. Given the presence of relative darkness, our melatonin production should increase, and we should find ourselves getting slightly drowsy right around bedtime.
If these hormones are imbalanced, it can lead to problems falling asleep. Cortisol, as a stress hormone, is thought to be commonly over-triggered in many people. If your cortisol production is out whack due to stress, excessive caffeine consumption, eating too much of the wrong foods or being exposed to bright lights around bedtime, you could experience a rush of energy near bedtime, which makes it difficult to sleep.
When we artificially inflate our cortisol levels, our body’s level of stimulation goes to battle with melatonin. Unfortunately, melatonin never wins. We may eventually fall asleep, but never getting the proper amount of rest our body deserves.
If you feel like you’re low on energy, you may be wondering if the problem is your amount of sleep. Most experts agree that adults need at least seven hours of sleep. Our body needs to go through five 90-minute sleep cycles. At the beginning of every sleep cycle, the pituitary gland in our brain releases something called human growth hormone (HGH). Every burst of HGH our body gets helps us to repair any damage done to our body from the previous day. If you had a hard day - whether it’s physical or emotional - you need to take advantage of these sleep cycles. If you don’t, you’re cheating yourself out of the much-needed rest you need.
Nutrition can also be a factor in how easily you fall asleep, and how deeply you sleep. Our hormones sit in a state of homeostasis, meaning that they’re balanced by one another. When we throw off one hormone, we can have an affect on all of our hormones! Since what we eat plays such a huge role in keeping hormones in check, it’s something to pay close attention to. Both insulin and cortisol are particularly affected by food intake, and if these hormone levels do not remain balanced, it’s difficult to get a full night of sleep.
The best diet to promote restful sleep and sustained energy is a diet low in sugar and high in fiber, with plenty of healthy fat and clean protein. Additionally, avoiding coffee in the afternoon is definitely a good idea, as coffee can stimulate cortisol production and throw off insulin, disrupting your hormones and potentially making it difficult to fall asleep.
Finally, paying attention to the nutrients in your diet can be a helpful way to promote healthy energy levels, whether by encouraging restful sleep or by boosting energy during the day.
The presence of glycine to promote sleep is an extremely important component of promoting overall energy. But there are numerous other ways collagen can be a part of a healthy energy cycle.
Collagen is the main component of the body’s connective tissues, which include the hair, skin, bones, joints and digestive tract. This makes it an important component of your body’s cellular repair, energy production and mobility.
As we age, our natural collagen production tends to decrease — this tends to start happening around age 25. In order to keep our bones and joints healthy, not to mention our digestive tract and gut health optimal, we should support our connective tissues with collagen.
With collagen playing such a versatile role in healthy energy levels, you may be wondering how to get it into your diet. Unfortunately, our modern diets, which don’t often contain ingredients such as cartilage, bone broths and organ meats, tend to lack collagen.Collagen Peptides contain pure collagen from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine hides. More than 90 percent of collagen peptides are digested and quickly absorbed by the body after oral ingestion.
We’ve already covered how food can impact your hormones, so what kind of diet should you aim to consume? Most importantly, try to limit your consumption of sugar and starchy carbohydrates such as breads and processed foods. These foods are known to cause disruptions in blood sugar levels, leading to energy crashes.
Instead, fill up on complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes and squash, as well as a diverse array of nutrient-dense vegetables containing fiber and phytonutrients. By eating a plentiful amount of veggies, you can help ensure you’re getting in all the nutrients you need to support energy levels.
Finally, protein and healthy fats are the main staple in energy production. Look for clean proteins from fish, grass-fed livestock and eggs. Aim to get plenty of healthy fats into your diet as well, not only from meat, but also organic butter, ghee, olive oil, coconut oil and avocados.
Chicken and Veggie Lettuce Wraps
As you work to boost your energy levels, you may want to check out these energy-promoting products:
Collagen Peptides: A pure source of collagen, collagen Peptides are a great all-around wellness product to promote energy, recovery and mobility.
Beef Liver: Beef Liver is a whole food-based supplement that promotes energy by replenishing your body with Vitamins A, C and B12, as well as folate, iron, zinc, potassium, hyaluronic acid, and protein.
Collagen Creamer: Vital Proteins Collagen Creams are made from coconut milk powder. This healthy fat is a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT), which may help promote healthy metabolism and weight. The Collagen Creamers also contain nourishing collagen protein.