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Health & Balance

9 Ways to Get Your Energy Back

Running on fumes? Here's how to stop feeling so tired all the time.
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4. Drink plenty of water.

Dehydration zaps energy and impairs physical performance. “Our research shows that dehydration makes it harder for athletes to complete a weight lifting workout,” says Dan Judelson, PhD, assistant professor of kinesiology at California State University at Fullerton. "It’s reasonable to think that dehydration causes fatigue even for people who are just doing chores."

Dehydration has also been shown to decrease alertness and concentration.

How to know if you’re drinking enough water?“Urine should be pale yellow or straw colored,” Judelson says. “If it’s darker than that, you need to drink water.”

5. Get to bed early.

Lack of sleep increases the risk of accidents and is one of the leading causes of daytime fatigue. The solution: Get to bed early enough for a full night’s sleep.

When people enrolled in a 2004 Stanford University study were allowed to sleep as long as they wanted, they reported more vigor and less fatigue. Good sleep habits may also have important health benefits. Centenarians report better than average sleep.

If you do fall short on shut-eye, take a brief afternoon nap. Napping restores wakefulness and promotes performance and learning. A 10-minute nap is usually enough to boost energy. Don’t nap longer than 30 minutes, though, or you may have trouble sleeping that night. A nap followed by a cup of coffee may provide an even bigger energy boost, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

6. Go fish.

Good for your heart, omega-3 oils may also boost alertness. According to a 2009 study by scientists at Italy’s University of Siena, volunteers who took a fish oil capsule for 21 days demonstrated faster mental reaction times. They also reported feeling more vigorous.

7. Keep time with your body clock.

Some people get a burst of energy first thing in the morning. They're often called morning larks. Night owls are people who are at their best at the end of the day. 

These individual differences in daily energy patterns are determined by brain structure and genetics, so they can be tough to change. Instead, become aware of your own circadian rhythms. Then schedule demanding activities when your energy levels are typically at their peak.

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