Health Talk:Natural energy boosters
Published: Monday, September 24, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 15:09
Energy is one form of power necessary for getting through days and weeks of work and school. It is easy to find energy in unnatural ways, such as shot-gunning a 5-Hour Energy drink, sipping on coffee, gulping soda or popping an expensive and potentially dangerous energy pill.
However, we need to be aware that there are various forms of natural energy-boosting mechanisms available and that they can leave you feeling lively without harming your health.
Using your five senses can be a simple key to natural energy enhancement. Experts at LiveStrong.com warn that energy pills can cause side effects like headaches, insomnia and increased heart rate. They also state that energy drinks can cause strain on your kidneys, weight gain and dehydration, among several other negative health consequences.
No. 1: Sight
It is important to give your eyes a break while studying, reading or examining your professor’s PowerPoint lecture. Look away from the screen every now and then to relieve the strain on your eyes and lessen your sleepiness.
Also contributing to natural energy boosting are the colors yellow, orange and lilac, according to Harvard Medical School research. Wear bright colors on days when you feel tired, sit near a window or bright light while studying, and fill your room with bright colors to keep your mood and your energy vibrant.
No. 3: Taste
Citrusy or tangy fruits are capable of pumping up your energy “by activating nerves in the mouth, throat and nasal cavity that trigger a heightened level of brain activity,” as stated by sensory scientist David Labbe. Another great way to relieve tension and increase alertness, says psychologist Andy Smith, is to simply chew a piece of gum. Citrus or sour gum could be the Energizer Bunny’s secret weapon -- maybe it can be yours as well.
No. 4: Smell
According to the North American Journal of Psychology, the smell of peppermint can suppress your stress, leaving you feeling more stimulated and alert. Lemon, orange and cinnamon scents also have the same effect. Therefore, consider purchasing a lotion or hand sanitizer that fits any of these scent descriptions and dab a drop on your wrists when you feel like you need a shot of energy.
No. 5: Touch
Convince a friend to give you a massage, even if it is a simple hand or foot massage. Trade your masseur or masseuse hands for theirs and you both will end up feeling sprightlier. Research conducted by staff at Yale, MIT and Harvard found that touching rough objects creates anxiety and apprehension. One way to become more assured and spirited would be to use a smooth-sided pencil while taking a test or wearing a smooth ring that you can rub.
No. 6: Sound
“Hearing a supportive, familiar voice prompts the brain to release oxytocin, a stress-fighting, mood-elevating hormone,” says Doctor Leslie Seltzer in Madison, Wis. Also an effective technique: listening to an hour of upbeat music every day. Biochemist Miguel-Angel Mayoral-Chavez informs readers of Women’s Health magazine that cell growth and repair occurs while listening to your favorite tunes, and this will also help you feel less tired and much more energized.