Energy Boosters and Busters
Exercise. A University of Georgia analysis of 70 studies on exercise and fatigue overwhelmingly showed that regular workouts increase energy levels.
Tyrosine supplements. "Tyrosine is an amino acid that acts like caffeine without the downsides," says Hyla Cass, MD, author of Supplement Your Prescription. She also recommends coenzyme Q10, a fat-soluble vitaminlike compound that helps convert nutrients into energy.
Acupuncture. "An unexpected benefit is that it seems to make a person's energy more available to her," says Rosa N. Schnyer, an acupuncturist and investigator at the Osher Institute at Harvard Medical School.
Nap. To recharge from the afternoon dip, lie down for 20 to 30 minutes—no longer, or you'll wake up groggy, says Phyllis C. Zee, MD, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
Stress. When prolonged and unresolved, it can cause the adrenal glands to stop producing as much cortisol. Low levels of cortisol, known as the stress hormone, can leave you feeling lethargic.
Winter darkness. "Lack of energy is the number one complaint of people with seasonal affective disorder," says SAD expert Kelly Rohan, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Vermont in Burlington (more info at HealthyMinds.org/factsheets/LTF-SAD.pdf and MayoClinic.com/health/seasonal-affective-disorder/DS00195).
Boredom. "We know about burnout, from doing too much, but there's also 'boredout,' caused by doing too little," says Carl Mumpower, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Asheville, North Carolina. The longer you're bored, the less energy you have and the more likely that this temporary feeling can become permanent, he says.
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