How To Have More Energy, Naturally

Why am I always so tired?

Many of us wake up feeling fatigued and this feeling may persist throughout the day, leaving us to ask ourselves, “why am I always so tired?”

Many factors can contribute towards the depletion of energy levels and here is a breakdown of how to have more energy, and some top tips on how to maintain it:

Don’t wake up in the middle of a sleep cycle

Do you ever wake up groggy, even when you’ve had ‘enough hours sleep’? Usually it is when our alarm wakes us up whilst in the middle of a dream, and we would rather go back to sleep, than get out of bed because we do not feel refreshed. For those of us who don’t know about sleep cycles, this can be a common problem that can be avoided.

A sleep cycle lasts for around 90 minutes, with five stages (although stage 3 and stage 4 have been merged into one stage since 2008); Light sleep, slower brain wave sleep, extremely low interspersed delta wave sleep, predominantly delta wave sleep and the last stage is REM (Rapid Eye Movement) where dreaming occurs.

We typically have around 4-6 sleep cycles a night, therefore, you should aim to wake up at the end of one of the cycles to feel refreshed. Waking up after 6, 7 and a half or 9 hours sleep can make you feel more energized, rather than waking up in the middle of a sleep cycle. This is why we sometimes feel refreshed waking up, but hit snooze anyway. The next time we wake up, we feel a lot more tired than our initial rise.

I was skeptical at first but after trying it out, I can really feel the difference. Give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Sleep debt

Our bodies keep tabs on the amount of sleep we have, vs. the amount of sleep that we need. If we have a sleep deficit, it will not vanish by itself, therefore we need to pay it back somewhere down the line.

If it is not possible to get enough sleep sometimes, aim to pay it back when you get the chance. A 9 hour sleep can make you feel energized when you really need it, waking up at the end of a cycle can make you feel amazing and give you that natural energy boost.

how to get more energy

Aim to get at least 7 and a half hours of sleep a night

Especially if you are going to the gym, your body needs that time to recover and repair muscle. Without getting enough sleep, your hard work is going to waste as your body will not be as efficient in building muscle or burning fat reserves.

Try to sleep and wake up at the same times every day

“Our circadian timer (the sleep clock in the brain) runs on a rhythm which functions optimally with a regular routine. This rhythm is influenced by the light/dark levels, which then influence the amount of melatonin we produce. Many of us unknowingly work against this rhythm, spending too much time in front of screens. The blue light from the devices and the dopamine-induced alertness both disrupt the clock mechanism.” Dr. Nerina Ramlakhan, Silentnight sleep expert.
Yes, that means that being on your phone or the laptop before you go to bed is actually making you feel more awake. Give yourself some relaxation and down time before bed to ensure a well rested snooze.

Too many simple carbs

Eating simple carbohydrates can stimulate the production of insulin, which allows your body to absorb the sugar which has entered your blood stream from the carbohydrate breakdown. The reason I say simple carbs is because the spike leads to a rapid decline in blood sugar levels, leading to a groggy, tired feeling.

Try to limit your exposure to simple carbohydrates because tiredness is not the only problem which is can cause. They have also been linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

Examples of simple carbohydrates are:

  • Refined sugar
  • Bread and pasta made from white flour
  • fruit juice
  • pastry
  • conventional packaged cereals

The more a food has been refined, it is generally more of a simple carb.
The carbs which can actually lead to an increase of energy are complex ones. Because they are slow digesting, your body can burn them over a longer period of time, making them a great fuel source.

Examples of complex carbohydrates are:

  • Spinach
  • Porridge / oats
  • Brown rice
  • Muesli
  • Sweet potato
  • Artichokes
  • Oatmeal
  • Buckwheat
  • Rye
  • Quinoa

complex carbohydrates

Good Fats

MCTs (Medium Chain Triglycerides), such as those contained in coconut oil, are great for boosting energy levels naturally. They are transported straight to the liver to be converted into ATP, which our body uses for cellular energy. There is little chance it’ll be stored as body fat because our bodies use up the energy.

It has also been found to increase metabolism, curb cravings and help with your immune system.


In moderation, caffeine can do wonders in maintaining an energised state when you really need it. Although it should not be used as a substitute for a healthy diet and good sleep, it can be synergistic with these other variables if taken in moderation.

A great way to have caffeine is through green tea. This allows for a mild dose of caffeine which is ample for giving you a little energy boost, with the added benefits of a wide range of anti-oxidants.

Cautionary note: A long term excess in caffeine intake can lead to exhausted adrenal glands, a big problem which will be counter-productive in terms of maintaining energy levels.

Ginseng (Adaptogens)

Although caffeine was worth a mention, incorporating an adaptogen into your diet can be a much more sustainable, long term solution to combating fatigue.

The great thing about adaptogens such as maca root powder (peruvian ginseng) or ashwaghanda (indian ginseng), are their ability to calm you down, but also give you a boost of energy at the same time. This is due to their hormone balancing qualities, as they work on the adrenal glands, which is important for managing stress and fatigue.

They are called adaptogens because of their ability to ‘adapt’, depending on what your body needs, whether it be stress or tiredness.

Take a tea spoon each morning to start off with in your muesli, protein shake or stirred into a glass of water. The effects should be felt within a couple of weeks and you should feel an increase in energy levels, plus a number of other benefits which you can read about here.

Eat berries

Berries are generally low on the Glycemic Index, which means that they are more of a complex carb than a simple one. The Glycemic Index is a way of measuring the potential impact of a food on our blood sugar levels once it has been consumed and digested.

Although blueberries are a bit higher on the GI index than berries such as blackberries, strawberries and raspberries, a recent study has found that all these berries have the potential to regulate the blood sugar more effectively for those with type 2 diabetes.

berries for boosting energy levels

Go organic

A recent study shows a significant difference in the concentration of anti-oxidants contained between organic and non-organic blueberries. The organic berries contain a higher concentration of total phenol anti-oxidants and total anthocyanins, with a significantly higher anti-oxidant capacity.

Anthocyanin anti-oxidants contribute towards increasing your energy production, as well as strengthening your immune system.

Stop smoking

Even though nicotine is supposedly a stimulant, it can cause us to feel fatigued and lethargic. Our bodies have to work hard to combat the dangerous toxins which enter our body, increasing resting energy expenditure and also increasing energy expenditure while doing light exercise.

This, in correspondence to the decrease in the flow of oxygen in lung tissue and the blood stream, can cause a big drop in energy levels.

This can cause the smoker to smoke more, as the nicotine is a stimulant, thus creating a vicious cycle.
Although there is no long-term research on E-cigarettes yet, it is my personal opinion that they seem much safer than cigarettes which can contain thousand of known poisons and toxins.

The E-cigarettes seem like a lesser evil due to their lack of combustion (due to being vaporised, and not burned) and their limited ingredients; Vegetable Glycerine, Nicotine (can control the dosage, and is also an optional addition), Propylene Glycol, and food grade flavourings.

Note: I do not recommend any form of smoking or vaporising, merely suggesting an alternative that is available.

Avoid energy drinks

A study by the Mayo Clinic has found that energy drinks release “stress hormone”, which can cause us to feel depleted and drained. They also stress our adrenal glands, which can make us feel more tired in general, and not regulate our energy efficiently.

They are packed full of sugar and caffeine; a one way ticket to a major energy crash. Other problems which energy drinks can cause include an increase in cardiac arrest, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and more.

Eat more fiber

Eating enough fiber is a great way of slowing down the digestion of sugars. This can help to avoid energy crashes throughout the day, with the added benefit of helping you to flush toxins out of your body, which can decrease the risk of colon and rectal cancers.

Be mindful

As we stated earlier about the stress hormones, they can deplete our energy levels. Mindfulness practices have been shown to lower cortisol levels and are linked to an increase in physical health, mental health, and general well being.

Take some time out each day to practice mindfulness, and look into The Institute of HeartMath for more information on mindfulness practices, and also the abundance of research into this field by Scientists, Doctors and other professionals.

How to have more energy with vitamins


Magnesium is so important for increasing cell efficiency, which can help us to conserve energy when we need it.

Found in: Dark leafy greens, wheat grass, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, yogurt, fish & beans.



These fatty acids help to regulate metabolism and boost your intake of oxygen.

I take cod liver oil capsules each day which can help me to meet my daily intake, without having to eat too much fish.

Everything in moderation; certain fish contain high levels of

mercury such as shark, swordfish & mackerel. Overdoing it can lead to mercury poisoning, a very painful way to go.
Salmon and tuna have lower amounts of mercury, and federal agencies say that daily intake of these fish should be safe for most people. However, try to limit your intake to a couple of times a week, just to be safe.

Found in: fish such as tuna & salmon.

Vitamin C

This vitamin is generally known for the immune-boosting benefits that it provides. Another role it plays in our body is how it helps the synthesis of carnitine; a molecule which is essential for the transportation of fatty acids to the mitochondria. These are responsible for converting food sources into energy in the body. Basically, it helps us to maintain healthy energy levels.

Found in: Citrus fruits, moringa plant, mangos, broccoli, kale, bean sprouts & green peppers.

Exercise for helping to combat fatigue

In 2008, a study was published by University of Georgia researchers which found that those who did not participate in exercise and complained of “fatigue” could actually increase their energy levels by up to 20%, whilst decreasing their fatigue by as much as 65%, by participating in regular exercise.

Contrary to the belief that exercise decreases energy levels, it actually stimulates the production of energy (ATP) by our mitochondria which makes it more readily available to us.

For best results increasing your energy levels for the day, aim for low to moderate heart rate range, therefore low or medium intensity.

Although, high intensity training can improve your overall fitness level in the long term, much more than low intensity training, even if it may leave you very tired after your session.
Take into consideration your current fitness level and your goals, and act accordingly.

tired after a workout

This information is for informational use only, and should not be taken as healthcare advice. If you have fatigue, check with a healthcare professional to make sure that it is none of the following, or any other ailment:

Anaemia, hypothyroidism, urinary tract infection, food intolerance, AIDS, coeliac disease, diabetes, heart disease, depression, generalized anxiety disorder, cancer or bipolar disorder.

How to have more energy in regards to diet, exercise, proper sleep and a few other variables involved. Take care of all of these areas and you could feel more energetic very soon.

Have something to add or just want to chat? Comment below!