Low energy can be a roadblock to many of life’s most potent joys, from your relationships to your career success. Simply “handling” your daily challenges isn’t enough. The true magic lies in having enough fuel in the tank to go above and beyond.
Energy drinks and coffee are certainly one answer. But if you want to boost your energy in a more natural and sustainable way, recent science has revealed some simple tools you can adopt.
Here’s a breakdown of the 17 most effective, science-backed natural energy boosters for crushing fatigue and operating at your peak all day long.
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Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by The Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Natural Energy Boosters
A sustainable, balanced approach to increasing your energy levels includes lifestyle modifications, diet changes, and supplements. We’ve compiled the science on these powerful techniques below.
A few simple adjustments to your day can make all the difference when it comes to boosting energy. Many of these changes are interconnected. For example, exercise, sleep, and stress are all related, so making changes to one or more of these areas can have a compounding effect.
1. Get Moving
Another review of studies showed that a sustained aerobic exercise program reduced symptoms for people with chronic fatigue syndrome. Walking, swimming, dancing, or cycling at various intensities positively affected energy levels.
So if you’re feeling drained, take a brisk walk or jog around the block. And if you’re short on time, a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) session can give you the benefits of intense exercise in a much shorter time block.
2. Take a Power Nap
Taking a short nap during the day can help you:
Beat daytime drowsiness
Perform better at work
Improve your memory
Fulfill complex tasks
Many people find that the most restorative naps are 20-30 minutes long and happen in a cool, dark place, usually just after lunch. But, since everyone is different, adjust the details to see which napping method works best for you.
3. Make Stress Management a Priority
To lower your stress levels, practice a few self-care techniques in some key areas of your life:
A healthy, balanced diet
Working to quit or avoid tobacco, alcohol, and illicit substances
Making time for yourself to do what you enjoy
Talking to family, friends, and your employer about your stresses
Deep breathing, meditation, mindfulness, and stretching
Having a regular gratitude practice, where you appreciate all the positives in your life
Minimizing stressful media consumption
By devoting less time to your stressors, you’ll boost your energy in the more enriching areas of your life.
4. Work Less
Another important way to get more energy is to avoid draining your energy through overworking. Your work is your livelihood, but it’s not the whole point of living — especially if you’re tired and stressed most of the time.
Take advantage of your lunch breaks and time off, and leave your desk at least once an hour. One 2022 study found that regular micro-breaks of 10 minutes or less significantly boosted vigor and reduced fatigue in the workplace, even though more demanding tasks required a longer recovery period.
5. Quit Smoking
While nicotine is a stimulant, smoking depletes your energy levels over the long term. A 2020 study found that teachers who consumed tobacco were more likely to feel emotionally exhausted. Smoking is a dangerous cycle that’s worth breaking. Quit it, and you may soon find you have more energy.
6. Sleep More
If you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll feel groggy and tired throughout the day. Research has shown that sleep loss can impact your ability to dip into extra energy reserves. This can make it harder to give your best effort to your workday or your family life.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that healthy adults sleep for seven to nine hours every night. Keep your sleep schedule regular, your room cool and dark, and your screen off at bedtime. This can help you enjoy longer, higher-quality shut-eye and can give you a potential energy booster during the day.
7. Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting (IF) brings a host of science-backed health benefits. But did you know that it can also give you more energy? Studies on mice suggest that narrowing your eating to fit within an eight to 12-hour window can increase your energy levels.
Depending on the timing, IF may also reduce that groggy feeling after a meal — called postprandial somnolence — giving you more energy throughout the day.
Meditating can actually facilitate the effectiveness of other natural energy boosters, like sleep and stress management. For example, a randomized 2015 clinical trial found that practicing meditation for two hours each week improved sleep quality for a group of older adults, and reduced fatigue the next day.
The term “meditation” covers many approaches to stress relief, including
Yoga, an ancient Indian practice involving sequences of poses and breathing exercises
Mindfulness meditation, a practice based on observing distracting thoughts and letting them pass while focusing solely on your breathing
Repeating a mantra, which can reduce the impact of distracting thoughts
Qi Gong, a Traditional Chinese Medicine practice involving movement, relaxation, and deep breathing
Guided meditation, in which you picture a comforting setting or situation using all of your senses, sometimes led by a guide
Stress is a common factor in fatigue, so meditation can help you manage it and reduce its drain on your energy.
Vitamins to Boost Energy
If you don’t get enough of certain nutrients in your diet, your energy levels may be low throughout the day. Supplements may help you correct this problem if you’re levels aren’t optimal, making them an effective energy booster for some people. However, starting with a comprehensive blood test, like the Lifeforce Diagnostic, can help identify any nutrient deficiencies you may have and where you might need to supplement.
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Our at-home blood test measures 40+ biomarkers that drive your mental and physical performance. All diagnostics include a telehealth visit, clinical report, and personalized plan created by a Lifeforce physician.
Fatigue can be a symptom of a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium supports optimal nerve and muscle function, helps blood sugar regulation, and supports healthy blood pressure. It can also help relax the mind and body. Men need 400-420 milligrams (mg) of magnesium daily, and women need 310-320 mg.
Legumes, nuts, seeds, fortified cereals, leafy greens, and whole grains provide ample magnesium.
Read more in our article: How Magnesium Can Level Up Your Life
10. B Vitamins
B vitamins are a group of eight vitamins that are vital to your energy supply. They’re directly involved in how your cells make energy.
Supplementation with vitamins B1, B2, B5, and B9 has successfully improved fatigue symptoms in limited human or animal studies. B12 deficiency can cause tiredness and weakness and impact your nerve function as well.
Asian ginseng has been part of Traditional Chinese Medicine for millennia, but it’s one of the most popular natural energy boosters in the modern Western world.
A 2018 review of 10 studies on the energy-boosting effects of Asian and American ginseng identified it as a promising fatigue treatment.
More research is necessary, but with ginseng’s low risk of side effects, it could be worth trying as a way to get more energy.
12. Peak Rise™
Peak Rise™ is a powerful energy-boosting supplement that can help you maintain optimal energy levels all day long. Based on research in Life Force by Tony Robbins, its patented compounds place it among the most effective energy boosters on the market.
A 2021 clinical trial found that its combination of ingredients (like caffeine, TeaCrine®, and Dynamine™) safely and effectively improved cognitive performance in male gamers without causing a mood crash.
Likewise, a 2019 study discovered that another ingredient, Citicoline, improved motor speed and attention.
As your source of fuel, your diet makes a significant impact on your energy levels.
13. Eat Whole Grains
Whole grains are fantastic energy boosters, and not only because they’re sources of both magnesium and zinc. They also have extremely low glycemic index (GI) scores, so they release energy slowly throughout the day and help you avoid energy-sapping blood sugar crashes.
Whole grain sources include:
Whole-grain pasta, bread, and cereals
14. Cut Back on Added Sugar
Many people think of eating foods with added sugar as a natural energy booster, but sugar enters your blood quickly and can lead to reactive hypoglycemia. Your body overcorrects from the initial blood sugar spike, leading to a crash, which can leave you feeling shaky, weak, and tired.
The best way to increase energy in your diet is to limit your added sugar intake. Sticking to lean and non-meat proteins, whole grains, and non-sugary snacks can steadily build your body's energy. Intermittent fasting, avoiding alcohol while you eat, or eating small, regular snacks may also help prevent a sugar crash.
15. Increase Your Water Intake
Dehydration can leave you tired and weak, making water one of the simplest natural energy boosters.
Generally, healthy people need four to six cups of water daily, but your recommended intake depends on your size, activity level, age, and local climate. Chat with a physician about how much you need.
Throw in a garnish of lime, lemons, strawberries, or cucumbers to make your water more appealing as a regular drink. Fruits, vegetables, and soups will also hydrate you.
16. Energy Boosting Snacks
Proteins, fats, and fiber slow down how your body digests carbs, helping to prevent blood sugar spikes and giving you a steady energy boost. Eating a snack designed to fuel you longer is a quick, easy way to raise your energy level if you're tired or hungry.
The best snacks for energy might include:
Whole grain toast, fried egg, and avocado
A cup of blueberries and natural Greek yogurt, with a sprinkling of nuts or seeds
A small serving of lean chicken or fish with whole grains and non-starchy vegetables
17. Eat More Iron
Enriched cereals, rice, pasta, and bread
Dark leafy greens
Pumpkin, sesame, and flax seeds
Pistachios, cashews, pine, and macadamia nuts
Iron supplements can also correct this deficiency.
Energy Boosters for Each Sex
The bodies of men and women have different hormonal needs. While most causes of low energy affect both sexes, some are sex-specific.
The Best Energy Booster for Men
Testosterone supplements can be effective as a way to increase energy for older males. As men age, low testosterone (male hypogonadism) becomes more likely and can reduce your energy levels. Supplements can help by returning testosterone to previous levels.
Testosterone optimization treatments are available in the form of skin patches, creams, implantable pellets, injections, and pills.
The Best Energy Booster for Women
Declines in estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone levels can all contribute to symptoms of fatigue around perimenopause and menopause. Estrogen fluctuations from menstruation and menopause can also impair your energy levels. During these times, estrogen supplements can help boost your energy.
Under a physician’s supervision, estrogen creams and supplements can improve menopause symptoms, which may give you more energy. Read more in our Guide to Hormone Optimization for Women.
Pregnancy is also a commonly reported source of fatigue in women. Research suggests that focusing on sleep quality in pregnant women can help reduce fatigue and boost energy the next day. Side sleeping and using pregnancy pillows can improve sleep during pregnancy. Eating small meals throughout the day instead of large, sporadic ones may also help improve your sleep.
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What’s Causing Your Low Energy?
You’re likely searching the web for energy boosters because you know your energy levels could be better. Getting to the root cause of your fatigue can give you some ideas about which of the above strategies to try first. Here are a few of the most common culprits for low energy:
According to a German study from 2021, depression and stress are among the most common causes of fatigue. Exercising or starting a meditation habit may lower your stress levels. If you’re struggling with mental health, seeking out a specialist can help.
Imbalances in several hormones other than estrogen and testosterone can significantly reduce your energy, including:
Insulin. Higher than optimal insulin levels (or insulin resistance) can mean your body is struggling to regulate your blood sugar. This can severely reduce energy and may lead to diabetes without treatment.
Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH). TSH helps your body regulate energy. Having high enough levels of TSH can positively impact how much energy you have for day-to-day tasks.
DHEA. This is a precursor hormone that supports optimal hormone balance. Improving this level can give your body a big energy boost.
Vitamins and minerals are essential to your health, so low levels of certain micronutrients may make you feel tired and weak. Examples of these include vitamin B12, magnesium, and iron.
Supplements can optimize levels for certain nutrient deficiencies. Always use supplements under physician supervision.
Fatigue can develop if you’re having problems sleeping, due to the effects of another condition like depression or a sleep disorder like narcolepsy or sleep apnea.
Chronic Health Problems
Living with a chronic condition can hold a person’s energy and motivation hostage for years, either due to the physical effects of the condition or the side effects of its treatments. Some energy boosters may help improve quality of life but won’t treat the underlying condition. Such health problems include:
Congestive heart failure
Coronary artery disease
Strokes or Transient Ischemic Attacks
Some types of cancer
Given the range of possible causes, speak with a medical professional before supplementing nutrients or hormones.
Should You Avoid Caffeine?
Caffeine is a safe stimulant that millions of people worldwide consume. However, if it makes you restless or causes sleep problems, it can feel better to cut back or stop completely.
Some people use glucose tablets for a quick burst of energy that doesn’t involve large doses of caffeine. However, tablets cause a rapid blood sugar spike, which can make you feel more tired later on.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about energy boosters.
What can boost my energy immediately?
Quick workouts can provide an immediate energy boost, and power naps can provide fast energy during your day.
What supplement gives you a lot of energy?
Supplements that help increase your energy include ginseng, Peak Rise™, and vitamins like B12 (if you’re deficient in them). Check with your healthcare provider about measuring your levels, or schedule a blood test right at home with the Lifeforce Diagnostic.
What vitamin is best for fatigue?
Often, the best vitamins to boost energy are the ones you’re currently deficient in. It can be beneficial to seek out a diagnostic blood panel before you supplement.
Low energy can drain the life out of your day. But by staying active, eating a diet rich in natural energy boosters, and optimizing your vitamin levels, you can operate at peak performance all day, every day, and enjoy life to the fullest.
Based on research in the bestselling book Life Force by Tony Robbins, improve your energy and optimize your health with the Lifeforce Membership. It empowers you with everything you need to track your body, get expert guidance, and take the right steps to live at your peak.
This article was medically reviewed by:
Julia Afridi, DO, ABIHM Board Certified in Family Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine