Keeping up with a world that’s always on the move necessitates the hectic lives people lead today. Now, while most of us have grown accustomed to this struggle to get as much done, what seems like ever-shrinking hours, not everyone has the stamina to keep the momentum going.
Now and then, you are bound to get utterly run down in the race against the clock. Feeling knackered after a particularly strenuous day at work or after completing a physically taxing task is pretty standard, but if it becomes a general way of being, then you have a problem.
Your body works day and night like a machine, and like any other machine, it needs regular servicing and refueling for maximum output. This constant lack of energy is your body’s way of telling you that all is not well with your internal machine.
Stamina is the fuel that your body runs on. It essentially means the strength and energy that allows the body to get through one’s daily activities without experiencing fatigue and exhaustion. It may also refer to the ability to sustain prolonged mental effort needed to lead a stress-free life.
Typically associated with athletes or people in a physically demanding line of work such as factory workers and laborers, the need for high endurance levels is however not exclusive to them. Building your stamina is just as crucial if you are a homemaker or a regular office goer.
This is particularly so because running low on energy goes beyond only the classic signs of exhaustion that manifest physically, such as achy muscles. It can also have an overarching effect on your daily business by hampering your basic concentration and patience levels to a significant degree.
Causes of Low Energy and Stamina
Low stamina and dwindling energy can be due to several lifestyle factors. Such factors include:
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Excessive intake of caffeine and alcoholic beverages
- Use of narcotics
- Excessive physical activity
- Poor sleep
- Too much stress
- Unhealthy eating habits
Certain underlying health problems can also contribute to zapping one’s energy levels, such as:
- Viral infections such as mono or the common cold
- GI abnormalities
- Food sensitivities
- Toxin overload
- Hormonal disruption
- Autoimmunity and decreased immune system
When Should We Worry?
Being tired and having a lack of stamina and energy after physical exhaustion are all but natural. However, if you lack stamina most of the time, then it is a matter of concern and should be appropriately diagnosed.
If you are feeling worn out, you can find renewed vigor and energy with a few simple lifestyle changes and home remedies.
Boost Your Stamina and Energy Naturally
Here are the 11 ways to increase your stamina and energy.
1. Start Your Day Right with Breakfast
There’s a reason why breakfast is touted as the most important meal of the day and, therefore, should not be taken lightly or skipped. A hale and hearty breakfast can help you maintain a high level of energy and focus throughout the day.
Moreover, because it’s the first meal you have after a long slumber break, breakfast is also imperative for improving your body’s metabolism.
Some healthy breakfast alternatives to kick-start your day are as follows:
- Oatmeal is full of complex carbohydrates that get digested slowly and keep you feeling energetic all day long.
- Eggs are abundantly supplied with protein, particularly the amino acid leucine, which is known to stimulate energy, as well as B vitamins that help process food for energy.
- Whole wheat bread with occasional smearing of peanut butter is a good source of heart-healthy fats and proteins that can give your energy levels a push while keeping hunger at bay.
- A combination of unsweetened yogurt and some fresh fruits can give your body an instant fuel-up, as these contain a healthy mix of simple sugars, such as lactose and galactose, proteins, vitamins B2 and B12, fiber, and antioxidants.
A daily dose of yoga and meditation is the ideal way to cut through the noise and rekindle the latent energy that lies within.
This spiritual form of exercise works for people across ages to enhance their well-being on a holistic level, in terms of physical agility, mental strength, and emotional endurance.
It equips you with healthier and wholesome ways to handle stress, helps you shed the extra pounds to get leaner and more toned, and boosts your metabolism. Thus, yoga is an all-embracing technique that helps increase stamina on several different levels-physical, physiological, and mental-depending on your specific needs.
Moreover, something as simple and basic as meditation requires no training or equipment and can be practiced anywhere to help you restart with renewed vigor.
3. Stress and Anger Management
Whoever knew your emotions and feelings can end up silently zapping your energy levels to a significant degree. Whether it be stress, anxiety, fear, or anger, all of these energy killers can leave you feeling mentally and physically exhausted without even moving a finger.
Even if you are not overwhelmingly consumed by stress, grappling with a slight degree of anxiety on a chronic basis can be incredibly draining. Similarly, holding on to anger for prolonged periods can expend your energy levels to a debilitating extent.
It is therefore critical that you let go of such taxing feelings to save your energy for other more productive tasks. Managing these emotions requires a concerted effort on your part to include relaxation therapies as well as reaching out and venting to friends and family.
If all else fails, joining a support group or seeing a psychotherapist to give your feelings a release can also be helpful. Listening to music, meditation, yoga, tai chi, or a rigorous workout can all work to counter the chemical effects of stress and anger.
4. Quit Smoking and Cut Back on Alcohol
Smoking does nothing but damage, and there are more than enough reasons in the world to kick this habit for good. You won’t be surprised to learn then that smoking isn’t good news for your stamina as well. It doesn’t cause a direct dip in your energy levels, but it tends to drain you out progressively by inducing insomnia.
The main content of cigarettes is nicotine, which is also what makes them so addictive, smoking pushes the body into overdrive but only for the worse. The nicotine in tobacco induces wakefulness by stimulating brainwave activity while increasing the heart rate and spiking the blood pressure.
This makes it increasingly difficult to fall asleep, and once you do, you can expect to be awakened by another pressing urge to light a smoke in the middle of the night. Due to this kind of delayed and disrupted sleep, you tend to wake up feeling exhausted and grossly unprepared for the rest of the day.
A study published in Respirology lends support to this claim by suggesting that smokers lack motivation, feel more tired, and are less physically active than nonsmokers.
Another unhealthy habit that contributes to regular slumps in your energy levels is alcohol intake. If you find it hard to do without alcohol entirely, try to limit your intake as much as possible. Given that alcohol’s lulling effect is particularly strong at midday, it’s best to refrain from consuming it with lunch.
In the same vein, plan your alcohol intake in accordance with the energy demands of your schedule. If you need your energy levels to be intact for a particular event or occasion, swear off alcohol until later when you can afford to wind down with a glass.
Moreover, drinking alcohol in the evening to optimize its sedative effect is not the best idea. While alcohol does initially help you doze off, this sleep-inducing effect is often short-lived and keeps you from getting your optimum 7-8 hours of deep, sound sleep.
Thus, if you want to wake up feeling replenished with energy for the next day, cut back on your evening rounds of drinking as well.
5. Get Enough Sleep
Depriving yourself of sleep might give you the time to pack in more hours of work, but your quality of work is likely to suffer if you stick to this pattern. It is essential to give your body time to unwind by catching up on at least 7–8 hours of sleep daily.
Proper rest after a long hard day helps you refill your energy levels for the next day and thereby improve your overall mental and physical performance.
If you find that sleep continually evades you, avoiding napping at odd hours and practicing a bit of yoga and meditation can help facilitate better sleep patterns. Conversely, retiring to bed shortly after dinner is ill-advised as it lulls the digestion of food and leads to fat accumulation in your body.
It’s therefore recommended to maintain a gap of at least 2 to 3 hours between your dinner and bedtime. Moreover, going for a brisk walk post dinner can further aid metabolism and enhance digestion.
6. Revitalize Yourself with a Cup of Green Tea
A cup of refreshing green tea can also increase your stamina and energy level. The polyphenols in it help fight fatigue, reduce stress, and promote better sleep.
According to a 2005 study published in the American Physiology Society journal, regular intake of green tea extract boosts the endurance of exercise performance by up to 24 percent.
- Add 1 teaspoon of green tea leaves to 1 cup of hot water. Cover and steep for 5 minutes. Strain, sweeten with honey, and drink this tea two or three times daily.
- You can also take green tea supplements, but only after consulting your doctor.
7. Eat Magnesium-Rich Foods
Even a slight magnesium deficiency can affect your stamina and energy level. Magnesium plays a crucial role in breaking down glucose into energy. (Magnesium has numerous other benefits, including improving cramping, reducing headaches and anxiety, and improving sleep)
So, when your energy level is low, include more magnesium-rich foods in your diet. The recommended daily intake of magnesium is about 350 milligrams for men and 300 milligrams for women.
- Dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, soybeans, avocado, bananas, and dark chocolate are some excellent sources of magnesium.
- You can also take magnesium supplements, but only after consulting your doctor.
8. Stay Active
It may seem counterintuitive but staying physically active, especially walking, is a great way to increase your energy. A regular dose of mild to moderate exercises such as jogging, walking, or swimming helps increase your lung capacity and strengthen the muscles in and around the heart.
Such physical activity is also a sure-fire way to stimulate the release of feel-good hormones in the body that help fight stress and make you feel upbeat enough to take on life head on.
Additionally, it improves digestion, which in turn helps keep the body free of toxins. All these factors are essential for good stamina and higher metabolism.
- Enjoy a short walk every morning in an open area, preferably on grass.
- Swimming, cycling, and running are some other exercises that tremendously help in boosting stamina.
9. Practice Diaphragmatic Breathing
By practicing diaphragmatic breathing, also known as belly breathing, you can help restore your energy. When more oxygen enters the body, it has a calming effect on your mind and body. Also, it helps fight stress and anxiety that often take a toll on your energy.
- Lie down in a comfortable place and relax your muscles.
- Put your hands on your abdomen.
- Breathe in deeply through your nose for about 2 seconds.
- Next, breathe out slowly through your mouth for about 4 seconds.
- Repeat this for 10 minutes.
- Practice this two or three times daily.
10. Stay Hydrated
Water makes up to 65 to 70 percent of our total body weight and is essential for many vital cellular functions, including energy production. This implies that insufficient water intake can impede the most basic bodily processes and leave you feeling sluggish and fatigued.
- Drink an ample amount of water throughout the day at regular intervals.
- You can also drink a lot of healthy homemade fruit or vegetable juices.
- Soups, stews, and broths also help keep you hydrated.
- Also, cut down on alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, which can lead to dehydration.
11. Coffee is an Instant Pick-Me-Up
Coffee is globally prized as an instant energy booster, with multitudes relying on their regular caffeine kick to get them through the day.
This wonder compound helps stimulate the central nervous system by quickly making its way from your bloodstream to your brain and inhibiting the activity of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that dulls your nervous responses. Also, caffeine promotes the production of the hormone epinephrine, which helps keep your body and mind alert.
Moreover, according to research, moderate consumption of coffee can do wonders for your stamina by boosting your endurance levels, especially on days when you are feeling particularly beat or just before an athletic event.
For all its perks, too much caffeine can backfire and negatively impact your energy levels as well. Excessive consumption can induce insomnia and engender a diuretic effect that can leave your body dehydrated.
A good option is to complement your caffeine hit with the sustaining power of milk protein by having a low-fat latte instead of a regular cup of coffee.
Despite insufficient scientific backing, these additional home remedies have garnered significant popularity by word of mouth and emerged as safe and effective ways of boosting energy and stamina.
1. Blackstrap Molasses
A by-product of sugar cane’s refining process, blackstrap molasses is useful in increasing your stamina. It contains high levels of iron, manganese, potassium, and copper that keeps your endurance level high.
- Add 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses to 1 glass of warm water or milk.
- Drink this mixture once or twice daily to boost your stamina.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is also beneficial for increasing your energy and stamina. It contains healthy fats, especially medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that are digested easily and used as a form of direct and instant energy.
Plus, coconut oil is heart healthy and helps boost your immunity and overall health. When taken in moderation, it also helps reduce abdominal fat.
- Eat 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin coconut oil daily. You can add it to your smoothies or your morning coffee. You can also use it in your baked goods.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another good remedy to beat exhaustion. It helps to alkalize the body to help you remain energetic. In addition, this health tonic is full of electrolytes that work to spike up your energy levels and build your stamina.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and a little honey in 1 glass of water.
- Drink this twice daily.
- Rest for some time after a vigorous physical activity to restore your energy levels.
- Eliminate energy-zappers from your diet, such as refined, sugar-laden, and greasy food products.
- Eat enough foods rich in iron, protein, and complex carbohydrates.
- Be optimistic towards life to help you remain focused and healthy.
- Stay away from drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes.
- Vissers P.AJ, Jones AP, Corder K. Breakfast consumption and daily physical activity in 9-10 year old British children. Public Health Nutrition. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3667735/. Published September 7, 2011.
- Woodyard C. Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life. International Journal of Yoga. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3193654/. Published 2011.
- Maghout-Juratli S, Janisse J, Schwartz K, Arnetz BB. The Causal Role of Fatigue in the Stress-Perceived Health Relationship: A MetroNet Study. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. https://www.jabfm.org/content/23/2/212. Published March 1, 2010.
- Smokers Lack Motivation, Feel More Tired and Are Less Physically Active than Non-Smokers, New Study Reveals . Wiley. https://newsroom.wiley.com/press-release/journals-and-research/smokers-lack-motivation-feel-more-tired-and-are-less-physically-. Published February 3, 2014.
- Alcohol Eats Away at Muscle Mass. American Council on Exercise. https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/lifestyle/blog/6672/alcohol-eats-away-at-muscle-mass.
- Markwald RR, Melanson EL, Smith MR, et al. Impact of insufficient sleep on total daily energy expenditure, food intake, and weight gain. PNAS. https://www.pnas.org/content/110/14/5695. Published April 2, 2013.
- Green tea extract boosts exercise endurance 8-24%, utilizing fat as energy source. American Physiological Society. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-01/aps-gte012705.php. Published January 27, 2005.
- DiNicolantonio JJ, O’Keefe JH, Wilson W. Subclinical magnesium deficiency: a principal driver of cardiovascular disease and a public health crisis. Open Heart. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5786912/. Published January 13, 2018.
- Jayakanthan E, Sathish C. EFFECTIVENESS OF RESISTED DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING EXERCISE ON CARDIOVASCULAR ENDURANCE AMONG OVERWEIGHT ADULTS. PARIPEX – INDIAN JOURNAL OF RESEARCH. https://wwjournals.com/index.php/pijr/article/view/6781. Published 2018.
- Von SP, Braun WA, Markofski M, Beneke R, Leithäuser R. Fluids and hydration in prolonged endurance performance. Nutrition. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15212747. Published 2004.
- Hodgson AB, Randell RK, Jeukendrup AE. The Metabolic and Performance Effects of Caffeine Compared to Coffee during Endurance Exercise. PLoS One. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3616086/. Published April 3, 2013.