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Tired? Quick tips for getting your energy level up...by Dave Foreman
Most Americans are experiencing an energy shortage. There are several reasons: our active lives, family commitments, careers, poor nutrition and lack of rest.
Constant stress and poor nutrition tend to weaken our adrenal glands, which are responsible for the body's ability to adapt to stress and fatigue. When these lifestyle choices continue over time, the body is unable to keep up with the demands. Fatigue is probably the most noticeable consequence.
What's a person to do? Dietary recommendations, such as eliminating caffeine, tobacco, refined foods (sugar, white foods, etc.) and getting yourself checked for gluten allergies is a great start. It is also beneficial to add more greens to your diet. Supplements like Greens Plus or New Chapter's Berry Green would be great additions to your every day diet. That's because greens help purify the body and promote energy and well-being.
Exercise may seem like a silly thing to recommend to someone who is tired, but believe it or not, increased activity will build your energy. Exercise (increased activity) will also help reduce stress, which, in turn, will allow your body to recover from every day rigors. It will also help you lose a few pounds, lower blood pressure and strengthen immune function. Brisk walks of 30 minutes (or two 15-minute walks) are recommended.
Spirituality plays a huge role in fatigue. It can help with stress reduction and assist your body rest better at night. If you have problems sleeping, try my A-Z method of sleeping. For each letter of the alphabet, think of something you are thankful for (for example, A- Adam and Amanda-my children, B-Birds of prey (my favorite type of bird). You get the idea; prayer and rest go hand in hand.
Finally, the quickest way to impact your Energy Crisis is with supplements. Supplements help build up energy stores and support your energy levels in the short-term too. For rebuilding energy stores, here are a few key nutrients: B-5 (also known as Pantothenic Acid), Phosphatidylserine, Licorice, Melatonin, L-Theanine and B-complex. This may sound like a ton of supplements, but if you really wish to get your energy back to full strength, this arsenal may be necessary.
Why these supplements? Vitamin B-5 (Pantothenic acid) helps activate adrenal glands. A prolonged depletion of B-5 can lead to headaches, fatigue and sleep disturbances. It also plays a key role in the production of energy within cells. Phosphatidylserine (PS) provides serine, a precursor to the formation of many neurotransmitters. By providing the tools the nervous system needs, you are more likely to stay emotionally in balance and suffer less fatigue. Newer forms of PS such as Alpha-GPC (Alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine) provide a similar benefit.
Licorice root has been widely used in Chinese medicine. It is known to stimulate and nourish the adrenal glands and has also been used for more serious conditions, such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. A word of caution: prolonged use of Licorice root can lead to increases in blood pressure and contribute to fluid retention. Melatonin, known as the sleep hormone, is occurs naturally in the body and can improve circadian rhythm and help you fall asleep faster.
L-Theanine is an amino acid found in green and white tea. It helps produce a calming effect. L-Theanine helps control mood, which in turn aids the body in dealing with stress. B-complex is the last part of this program. Since I preach never take one B-Vitamin by itself, you need to make sure you are getting the synergy provided by taking all of the B-Vitamins.
For those looking for a quick fix that is natural, try Green and White Tea extract by New Chapter. The natural occurring low levels of caffeine and L-Theanine provide a quick boost of energy without side effects.
Combination products like Adrenal Stress End (Enzymatic Therapy) or StressAssist (Futurebiotics) are designed to help your body deal with stress and reduce fatigue. You can build your own cocktail of supplements, but sometimes it is better to leave it up to the experts.
If I were suffering from an "energy crisis," I'd look to Enzymatic Therapy and their Fatigued to Fantastic products. Not only will you get the nutritional support for immediate impact, you will get the proper nutrients to help rebuild depleted stores. Within this line is one of the best sleep formulas available (Revitalizing Sleep Formula) on the market. If you really want to get out of the hole, then this is a must take product line.
A final thought, most of us suffering from the "energy crisis" seem to look for that short-term solution, stopping at a coffee shop or vending machine. Remember, energy depletion didn't happen over night and fixing it won't happen immediately either. This is a lifestyle choice. By taking the proper supplements along with following the other 3-pillars of health, will get you on your way to a more energized life.
As adults we sometimes forget the thrill of those words. My goal here is to help you and your family stay healthy while enjoying this great season.
Summer and sunshine go hand in hand, and taking care of your body's largest organ (your skin) goes right with it. Most know about the harmful effects of sun on skin, yet many still challenge the belief. Luckily, there are some great natural approaches to dealing with harmful sunrays. Let's start on the outside of the body. You can now go to your local Vitamin Shoppe and buy natural, even organic sunscreen. Products like Green Tea SPF 30+ or Kids Sunscreen by Alba Botanica are a great start. If insects are also a concern, try Buzz Away Sunscreen (I call this a 2 for 1 special; no bug bites, plus sun protection). Using Carotenoids, like Lutein, Lycopene and Zeaxanthin can help deal with damage from the inside out. Trying a combination product like Antioxidant Super Food from Futurebiotics or Life Extension's Super Zeaxanthin w/Lutein is a great option. Though there's still limited science to prove this, I believe carotenoids were put in plants to protect them from harmful rays and therefore may provide us the same benefit. Even if being in the sun is not a concern, carotenoids are super antioxidants, providing many additional health benefits.
DON'T LET THE SIT-DOWNS GET YOU DOWN
While traveling, diarrhea and constipation are common issues. There are many reasons and, in general, easy to address. With regards to "Traveler's Diarrhea" I recommend using Probiotics (Acidophilus etc.) on a daily basis. Products like Reuteri Pearls and FloraSmart are ideal because they don't require refrigeration and contain more than one type of bacteria. If using a probiotic isn't enough, try a fiber supplement, remembering to drink plenty of water. Use of charcoal capsules (yes, charcoal) is also very effective at addressing diarrhea quickly. If you're running a fever or unable to drink enough fluids, please seek medical care immediately. This is especially true for children and the elderly. Using supplements like fiber and magnesium can be a great help to avoid becoming constipated. If you want to go a bit stronger, try CleanseMore from Renew Life. It is the supplement I travel with, just in case. When adding fiber, don't forget your water. Too little water will constipate you further. Avoid refined foods (white foods) and dairy while traveling as these food groups can contribute to your problem. I try to eat a salad at lunch and dinner each day. The added fiber from the greens is usually all one needs to keep from getting constipated.
As long as we are mentioning changes in time zones, jetlag can be a big problem for many. I change 3 time zones every week or two while traveling between California and the East Coast and have learned that taking Melatonin can facilitate the adjustment and not ruin the first few days of vacation (or your return home). If you haven't changed time zones before, you may need to allow 1 day for each time zone to adjust. For example, flying from NYC to LA= 3 time zones or up to 3 days to adjust.
New flight regulations or new environments can add stress. Try Reishi. This mushroom not only helps the body adapt to stress, it supports the immune system. A combination product like Stressassist by Futurebiotics is awesome at helping your body cope with anxiety. It should work relatively quickly and not make you drowsy like many other herbal supplements (valerian, passion flower, etc.)
Too many times people end up fatigued, with headaches or even sick just from not drinking enough water. Yes, this summer I am adding Water to my Dietary Supplement Pyramid because most of us don't drink enough. Dehydration can lead to all sorts of problems, such as heat exhaustion, wrinkles, decreased mental alertness, even death. Waiting until your mouth is dry is too late. It can take hours to re-hydrate once you've reached this point. I suggest increasing water intake throughout the spring and summer over what is usually recommended (half your body weight in ounces of water). I also suggest eating more fruit, especially prior to engaging in outside activities. Melons are my favorite because they're packed with water. I jokingly call fruit, "time-released water."
STOP THE BOAT – I'M GOING TO BE SICK
Motion sickness (whether from a plane, train, or car) can be avoided. Ginger root works great. Use 1 gram two hours prior to travel and then repeat every 3-4 hours during travel. This can be used in children but at a reduced dose. Consult your natural healthcare provider for proper dosing.
IMMUNE SYSTEM SUPPORT
My last recommendation is to take along an immune supplement. I prefer taking something regular, like Host Defense (New Chapter) or Advanced Immune Support (MD Select). These can be used for extended periods. Begin a week in advance to assure they're ready to do their job. If you're looking for a supplement to take along "just in case" you get sick, Esberitox® is great for the whole family because the tablets are chewable. If you prefer a liquid, try Sambucus black elderberry extract.