I decided to get serious about my health and fitness at the end of last year, which involved starting a very strict workout regimen, beginning at 5 a.m. every morning. I also switched to a standing desk -- another move designed to improve my health.
I did this to get into great shape, but also to improve my overall energy. Being an entrepreneur involves long hours -- it’s a constant grind that doesn’t shut off after 5 p.m. or on the weekends.
1. Caffeinated beverages.
I feel like caffeine gets a bad wrap sometimes. There are going to be drawbacks and cons for almost everything, but there are several health benefits of including caffeine in your diet. The key is to limit your caffeine intake -- according to the Mayo Clinic, 400 milligrams per day is perfectly fine for a healthy adult. For reference, there is 80 mg of caffeine in an 8.4 oz can of Red Bull, which is similar to the average cup of coffee.
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Start your day with a coffee and keep a few energy drinks in the office for those times that you need a bit of energy to power through your tasks. You don’t want to rely entirely on caffeine, but you don’t have to avoid it like the plaque, either. There is nothing wrong with using it in moderation.
2. Frequent smaller meals.
It's better to eat small meals and snacks every few hours than three large meals a day, if you want to increase your energy, according to Harvard Medical School. Eating frequent smaller meals reduces your perception of fatigue because the brain requires a steady supply of nutrients and has very few energy reserves.
Most individuals will start to feel sluggish after a few hours without eating. You don’t need a huge meal to fuel your brain -- a piece of fruit or a small snack, such as almonds, will do the trick. I eat six smaller meals a day, opposed to the standard three meals. While it was difficult to adjust to at first, it has definitely improved my energy levels. Prepping your meals in advance is a huge advantage and will help you stay on the six-per-day schedule.
I incorporate supplementation into my diet, and recently started looking into Kratom, or Mitragyna Speciosa, an herb used to help people stay alert. A plant native to Southeast Asia in the coffee family, many claim it helps to increase concentration and energy levels. After trying it, I would compare it to a very powerful caffeine pill or a very strong pre-workout supplement.
Kratom is a supplement that, since around 2012, has really caused quite the buzz online. In higher doses, it has been said to be used as a pain killer, and because of this, a few states have banned the plant-derived supplement, with Alabama being the latest. If you have tried this supplement, tweet me, as I am interested in hearing about your experience.
4. NAD+ booster.
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is an essential metabolite in all human cells and it plays a key role in cellular metabolism. Many use this supplement for its anti-aging and metabolism benefits, but it has also been shown to offer several other health benefits. These include increased endurance, improved mental focus and memory, and increasing muscle endurance.
I was first turned onto this product as part of my training supplementation and I quickly experienced the mental focus benefits, which contributed to a much more energetic state. There are many benefits aside from increased energy and I encourage you to explore them.
Last, but not least, is good old fashion sleep. Adequate sleep is necessary for healthy functioning. There is no denying we all need sleep; it regulates mood and is a critical factor in your energy level. I think it’s important to find out what works best for you personally, rather than just going along with the perceived notion that eight hours a night is ideal. For me, I am good on just four hours, yet I know individuals that can’t function on anything less than 10 hours.
Sleep will help you restore your energy levels, but did you also know that getting adequate sleep the first night after learning a new skill is important for improving memory and performance? As entrepreneurs, we are constantly absorbing new information and skills, which is another reason to make sure you get a solid sleep every night.