To help you salute spring's arrival, we’ve put together a new wellness series on how to start the season off right. In this piece, functional medicine physician Dr. Robin Berzin explains how to maintain vibrant energy all day. And if you’re interested in really springing forward into good health, check out her full course, The Stress Solution: How To Live With Grace & Ease No Matter What Comes Your Way.
Fatigue is one of the number one things people ask for help with when they come to see us at Parsley Health.
I see it as a side effect of modern life—we're always on, always motoring through our day from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep. All of our energy is going out and none is coming back in. No wonder we’re tired!
But fatigue manifests in different ways for different people. Do you have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning? Or do you wake up easily but feel like you could face-plant on your desk around 2pm? Or do you feel pretty good all day but crash by 6pm, skipping that evening work out every time because you just don’t have the motivation or energy at the end of the day?
I hear these stories over and over again. People seem to accept that feeling really tired is a way of life.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Some of the things you’re doing every day could be sabotaging your energy.
Here are my three easy ways to find natural vibrant energy that will keep you going all day this spring.
For the late morning hangry:
Eat protein for breakfast. Protein in the morning—at least 20 grams of it—will increase your energy levels and keep you full so you’re not crawling the walls at 11am for a second coffee or a second breakfast. It will also boost your resting metabolic rate for the whole day.
Many of my patients trade in their oatmeal, cereal, or bagel for one of our Rebuild protein shakes, which has 26 grams of bioavailable vegan protein, and it's a total game changer for their morning. Or try scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and avocado slices instead.
For the 2pm face plant:
Do a carb detox. Most of us are eating way too many refined carbs—from the obvious offenders like candy to the less obvious ones like that gluten-free bread you’re noshing on for lunch. Refined carbs turn to sugar in the body, spiking blood glucose and increasing insulin—the hormone responsible for keeping sugar balanced. Too much insulin leads to weight gain and inflammation.
Sometimes the only way to quit sugar is to give it up cold turkey. I recommend a 7-day detox where you have a protein shake for breakfast and dinner, and a paleo-style lunch with tons of greens, healthy fats like olive oil and coconut oil, and some kind of lean protein—be it eggs, grass-fed beef or free-range poultry.
For the 6pm crash:
Get a better night’s sleep. How you feel at 6pm really comes down to how well you’re sleeping. If an anxious, restless sleep is normal for you, or you’re getting up to pee three times a night but only a few drops come out, it probably means you’re not reaching the deep restorative sleep you need to feel rested come morning.
You may get in a good 7-8 hours, but by 5 or 6pm your energy is tanking. Try 400mg of magnesium glycinate before bed, plus an epsom salt bath (made of magnesium sulfate) to unwind in the evening. They will help you achieve deeper, better quality sleep—the kind that gives you lasting energy all day.