Energetic couple

You wake up in the morning feeling fatigued even though you’ve had a full night of sleep. You can’t pinpoint why you’re feeling this way, but need something to boost your energy. An extra cup of coffee just isn’t cutting it or creates more fatigue as the day progresses. You make certain you unplug at least two hours before bedtime and try to stay consistent with your nighttime routine, but nothing seems to work. It might be time to reevaluate what little tweaks you can make to increase your energy levels. And the good news is there are several go-to options.

Those who might be worried about decreasing energy levels shouldn’t be overly concerned. Research indicates that lack of energy isn’t an uncommon feeling (via ScienceDirect). Almost one-third of healthy teens and adults complain of fatigue. It might be because you had too many carbs the night before or haven’t exercised in some time, but that doesn’t mean you need to live with the constant tiredness. There are simple and easy hacks you can include in your day-to-day life to get the energy back into your morning and throughout the day. Check out these easy and practical tricks to try to jumpstart your energy.

Eat spicy foods

sliced jalapeno peppers

Those who love to add a little dash of red pepper flakes to their pizza, enjoy chips and spicy salsa, or ask for extra jalapeños on their nachos will find that a little heat gives an unexpected energy boost. It might be difficult to add spice when you aren’t necessarily in the mood for it, but there is another potential unexpected benefit.

Donald Deblock, a nurse practitioner with Rutgers University Health Services in New Jersey, told Prevention, "Curry and chili can stimulate heat receptors in the mouth, which enhance circulation and cause sweating, in turn helping to cool the body down." Capsaicin, a substance in hot peppers, can cause the body to heat up and research indicates that it can cause energy levels to increase. If you can’t bite into a hot pepper, take a more measured approach, slice up the peppers or use other spices to increase the level of heat in your appetizers and entrées.

Laugh

Mom and daughter laughing

Do you like watching funny videos or search the internet for memes that make you laugh? Laughing — which can and should become a daily part of your life — is good for increasing your energy levels. Jennifer Lea, a performance coach and global director of portfolio management and innovation at the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute told Today that the simple act of smiling can be an energy boost.

One cannot underestimate the power of emotional satisfaction and how it can renew your physical energy. People sometimes underestimate how much a bad conversation with a boss or a fight with a friend can become an immediate zap on one’s energy. It isn’t surprising that laughing gives an extra pep in your step — endorphins are released when you smile or giggle (via Mayo Clinic). Lea recommends making a concerted effort fo find a way to laugh every single day and remind yourself what is most important to you. This can help you in difficult times as well because you’re likely to remember what to do when your emotions skew toward sadness.

Eat chocolate

Chocolate

If you’re a fan of anything chocolate, there is a good reason why. It tastes decadent and delicious, and research shows it can boost your energy (via Greatist). The caffeine content helps, but flavanols in cocoa have been shown to improve mood and cognition. Studies show that an increase in chocolate offer participants a quick pick me-up.

According to Anne Danahy, a registered dietitian and nutritionist based in Scottsdale, Arizona, if you choose to eat chocolate in moderation it won’t necessarily give you an energy crash (via Livestrong). The next time you’re in the grocery store, don’t be afraid to stock up on your favorite chocolate bars. If you’re looking for more of a payoff, dark chocolate has more flavanols than milk chocolate. Danahy also added that dark chocolate satisfies cravings with smaller portions, while milk chocolate tends to mask the bitterness of the cocoa. You will likely eat more milk chocolate (and sugar) to curb your craving.

Open the curtains

Open curtains

It is intuitive to think the dark induces sleep and light encourages people to wake up. When you wake up first thing in the morning, be certain to head to your windows, open up your curtains, and soak in the sunlight. Dr. Alison Kole, director of Summit Medical Group told Woman’s Health that getting some sunlight in the morning can help regulate your internal clock and even make you feel happier if you happen to have seasonal affective disorder. Sunlight first thing in the morning can also improve serotonin levels, which studies show improve your sleep.

A good night of sleep, of course, can do wonders for your energy the next day. You will also likely feel less stressed too. Research published in the Journal of Biological Rhythms indicates there is some evidence that exposing yourself to sunlight in the morning will release cortisol. Dr. Jeff Rodgers, dental sleep expert in Georgia, told Bustle that having a cycle where you wake up to the sun can be generally good for your circadian rhythm. This is also an energy trick every member of your family can use in their daily routine since it is an easy way to have the quickest energy payoff.

Grab a cinammon stick

cinnamon stick in tea

Cinnamon does not have to be reserved solely for use in baked goods. The scent of cinnamon serves as a natural pick-me-up. According to Dr. Gabriela Pichardo, anecdotal reports reveal that a whiff of cinnamon can help to startle the senses and give you more energy (via WebMD).

You can buy cinnamon sticks and keep them in your kitchen for an easy way to jumpstart your day. Add a pinch of the spice in your coffee or chew gum with cinnamon flavor. Consuming cinnamon stabilizes your blood sugar, which in turn battles fatigue, according to HuffPost. It is nice to have this stable energy surge without needing to reach for several energy drinks or foods laden with sugar. There are additional health benefits, too, like reducing your risk of diabetes. Oh, and more good news: "Cinnamon contains large amounts of highly potent polyphenol antioxidants," Healthline confirmed.

Dab on peppermint oil

oil with bottle dropper

Most people regularly pop peppermints or chew gum to freshen their breath. Peppermint does provide a way to cleanse the palate, but it also can be a way to get instant energy.

Elisah Tashjian, a holistic nutrition consultant, told Prevention that because peppermint contains menthol, it has the ability to activate thermoreceptors, which are sensitive to cold. "Tashjian suggests mixing one drop with some coconut oil and rubbing it on the back of your neck. Although this won’t actually lower your body temperature, it provides a cooling sensation that can make you a lot more comfortable," the site detailed.

You’ll want to avoid rubbing undiluted peppermint oil directly into the skin. Be sure to mix it with a carrier oil first. If you prefer peppermint in other ways, you can also inhale it, use mint leaves, or include a few drops of essential peppermint oil in your water. Smoothie drinkers can also add it to their nutritious shakes for that extra little natural boost in the morning.

Rotate your legs every morning

girl with v shape pose

Want a quick way to secure a burst of energy first thing in the morning? One fast and easy way is to wake up, peel off your covers, and lie back. According to Dr. Ann Marie Chiasson, co-director of The Fellowship at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine in Tucson told Redbook, "Rotate your legs outward from your thighs so your feet make a V shape. Now rotate them back inward, letting the sides of your feet tap."

Repeating this motion several times within a few minutes will help your body feel a burst of energy. Chiasson says this a form of self-acupressure shown to help muscles relax and reduce stress. Some ancillary benefits include relieving restless leg syndrome and lower back pain. This energy booster can be a simple go-to for many — it is easy, free, and can be a part of your regular routine. It might be a fun way to also get other members of the family involved too, especially kids who like to move their bodies first thing in the morning.

See red

image of red rose

The color red isn’t just associated with Valentine’s Day. Traditionally, red is linked with love, power, passion, and anger. In terms of colors, red elicits stronger emotions than other hues. For instance, blue is associated with calm, while green can mean peace (via Verywell Mind).

Red seems to grab a person’s attention quickly and, according to research cited by Verywell Mind, it creates physical responses like an increase in blood pressure, heart rate, metabolism, and respiration rate. Participants had increased motor action when seeing shades of red compared to gray. These combined physical responses can increase energy and cause individuals to feel more alert and aware of their surroundings.

If you’d like to see more red in your life, here are some easy ways: Buy a dozen red roses, keep red trinkets inside the house, pair a red scarf with your outfit, or consider investing in a painting that has several hues of the color red.

Take deep breaths

 lady taking deep breaths

The saying "just breathe" can be a great mantra for a variety of situations. Commonly people will take a deep breath to alleviate an acute feeling of stress. Athletes use breathing techniques to calm themselves in a game, especially when all stakes rely on a single score. Breathing can have a meditative impact, but it can also create a spurt of energy.

Research shows that breathing from the diaphragm can increase blood pumping and as a result, decreases the amount of energy you use (via Healthline). It may also boost your energy (via ShareCare). This is an excellent way to keep going when you’re feeling an afternoon slump in the middle of a workday or if you have trouble waking up in the morning. It only requires an investment of a few minutes, but it can set the pace for the entire day. Relying on a completely natural way to conserve and boost energy is certainly a better idea than relying on sugary caffeinated drinks to plow through your workweek.

Drink water

woman drinking water

It’s no secret that drinking water has several benefits. Increased water intake can keep you hydrated, improve digestion, and keep your skin supple. There is another less-known payoff: Drinking water can increase your energy levels.

Studies indicate that fatigue can be a result of dehydration (via Harvard Health). Our body weight is attributed to over 50% water and so it is natural to think replenishing what we lose from sweating, breathing, and using the restroom can most readily occur by drinking more water. Some may complain that it is a chore to drink water throughout the day, but there are ways to make this habit more automatic.

One good way to make drinking water a regular habit is to start your morning with a glass of water before you reach for your coffee or pour your cereal. For a mid-afternoon boost at work, have a water bottle ready at your desk to limit your temptation to get a soda from the vending machine.

Get social

Group of friends socializing

Being alone can be isolating and deplete you of energy. Dr. Gabriela Pichardo recommends getting together with others to increase your energy levels (via WebMD). Planning weekly or monthly meetups with friends to take a walk, watch a movie, or grab dinner and drinks can provide a much-needed energy lift. However, there is a caveat. To increase energy levels, socialization must be with people who increase your energy. Negative and toxic personalities can often have the opposite effect. Positive vibes have the ability to uplift and create a contagious "I want to be in a good mood" feeling.

With busy work and school schedules, it might be difficult to get together, but one trick to build it into the schedule is to have a particular day each month that everyone agrees on and pencil it into your calendar. Socialization is more likely to happen if there is a commitment (via Bustle). It doesn’t mean additional impromptu dinners and other events can’t happen, but a scheduled date can at least assure you will be getting together at least once during the month.

Listen to music

Woman listening to music

There is a reason why people start dancing as soon as they hear music. They might start jamming in their car or busting out moves in their living room and the energy increase seems natural. Scientific American revealed that individual tends to use their bodies more efficiently because there is synchronicity that happens when you hear the same beats. Fast music creates more of an energy increase because it overrides the brain’s signal for fatigue.

An upbeat song like Taylor Swift’s "Shake It Off" can increase your heartbeat to 160 beats per minute. Slip on your headphones at work if you need a quick jolt to get you through the hours until quitting time or play a favorite song while cooking dinner to stave off the need for a nap after a hard work day to increase energy levels. It might be helpful to make a playlist of favorite upbeat songs you love so you don’t spend time searching for the right music on the radio.

Work out in the middle of the day

Woman working out

Exercise is good for your body — that’s nothing new. A run, some time on the elliptical, or lifting weights can help with overall fitness, mood, and energy levels. Energy slumps often happen around midday, causing you to reach for a sugary drink or snack, close your eyes for a quick nap, or start mindlessly scrolling on an electronic device.

However, exercising midday might increase energy levels (via ShareCare). If you work from home, try stretching, jumping jacks, or play an exercise video to power through the rest of the afternoon. For those who work in an office, it might be a good idea to take a walk outside to get the blood pumping. Those who have private offices can bring small weights to do bicep or tricep workouts. This quick exercise burst could lead to an increase in productivity and might help you finish your work task more efficiently.

At your work computer, keep a note to move periodically and avoid sitting in one place for too long. This little reminder will help you stay on track with making it a habit to move throughout your work day.

Listen to your body

Women rubbing her neck

Listening to your body can be integral in determining why your energy levels might be off. Fatigue can be due to a benign reason, but if your tiredness is continuous and interferes with your work and social plans, it is wise to consult a doctor to rule out more serious illnesses.

Dr. Laura Kruper, director of the Women’s Center and Chief of Breast Surgery Service at City of Hope Hospital in Los Angeles, suggests taking the time to listen to your body (via Redbook). She explained that some cancer survivors face pressure to resume exercising shortly after they are done with chemotherapy. However, not everyone operates on the same schedule. One cancer survivor told Kruper that she’d always been an avid exerciser and she started slowly building her new routine after treatment, but she didn’t push too hard when she wasn’t feeling it. Kruper continued, saying, "Everyone heals in their own time — you can’t rush getting your mojo back. But if you make good choices, and don’t stress yourself out, it will come back."