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3 Ways to Feel More Energized

Finding the energy to make it all the way through a work week can be difficult, to say the least. By Wednesday afternoon, at about three pm, I'm generally pretty ready to raise the white flag and start the weekend. But, alas, Thursday and Friday have yet to pass. It's usually at this point that I do whatever I possibly can to refuel myself in order to push through the last couple of days. I generally drink a lot of coffee, take a few naps, and eat some ice cream. However, I know that there are more efficient (and healthier) ways to re-energize. Here are a few of them:

#1: Eat some chocolate. 

I know, this one may sound too good to be true. But, it's true! The main flavonoid found in dark chocolate, epicatechin, increases the amount of mitochondria in your muscles's cells, which helps to produce extra energy in your body. Francisco Villarreal, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, says, "What’s surprising is that you only need small doses of the compound to generate large effects, and our data suggests that more is not better". You shouldn't eat more than five grams per day, which is about the size of two postage stamps. 

#2: Drink tea. 

Studies have shown that employees who drank caffeinated tea without any sort of milk or sweetener in it were more productive overall than those who drank coffee or other beverages. It is thought that this is true because tea contains high amounts of flavonoids, which have been shown to improve overall blood flow to the brain, which can significantly improve both mood and congnitive function. Green, black, and white tea are all good options. Try drinking a cup after lunch time, when energy crashes generally happen. 

#3: Get some exercise. 

Exercise can help to energize and wake you up, since it increases heart rate and delivers oxygen to your brain, thus providing you with extra energy. Furthermore, physical activity increases the amount of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin, which are energy-producing neurotransmitters. Experts agree that, in order to maximize the benefits, you should aim to get between 30 and 60 minutes of physical activity at least five days per week. Some good options are walking, jogging, yoga, dancing, and self-defense classes. Try mixing it up each week!  


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