How To Improve Your Energy

How To Improve Your Energy

Written by: Ryah Nabielski, MS, RDN

Whether you are a mom, a business owner, or an athlete, chances are you want more energy.

The concept of “getting more energy” is very American, assuming energy is something “out there” to acquire. And so, you push through fatigue and sacrifice sleep and self-care to be more productive.

With so much on your plate, consider that feeling tired is your body’s way of asking for rest. When you keep increasing caffeine and ignoring cues from your body, it may catch up with you and take a toll on your health.

Instead of offering you a pill or a hack to magically get more energy from somewhere out there, today’s article will focus on the energy you already have and how to manage it better.

If this doesn’t make sense yet, stay tuned. Keep reading to discover more about:

  • Energy and mitochondria
  • Possible causes of low energy
  • The energy and blood sugar connection
  • The connection with stress and adrenal hormones
  • A note about caffeine
  • How to discover your energy drains and tips for renewing energy stores
  • How to improve energy levels with lifestyle change and supplements

Let’s get started!

What is Energy?

Energy is your sense of motivation, alertness, and capacity to do what you need or want.

Physiologically, every cell in the body contains mitochondria, tiny organelles that transform macronutrients in food into energy currency called ATP. Every process in the body, even when we are at rest, requires ATP. So, on one level, nutrition plays a fundamental role in our energy for the day, along with other lifestyle pieces like sleep, stress reduction, and movement.

Your perception of energy is constantly responding to your environment. Imagine feeling low energy and spending the afternoon watching TV. If a dear friend calls out of the blue, you might feel energized after the conversation and decide to get dressed and leave the house. At another time, you may feel energetic, but then you receive some disappointing news, which zaps your

Today’s conversation will touch on the physiological energy response and lifestyle adjustments that help us feel more energetic.

Root Cause of Low Energy

If you have low energy or fatigue, it’s helpful to consider this symptom as a message from your body about something deeper. Uncovering and addressing the root cause will help you improve your energy.

Here are some possible root causes of low energy:

  • An underlying health issue
  • Over-exercise or inadequate recovery from exercise
  • Sedentary lifestyle – physical activity helps to increase energy
  • Disrupted sleep – new parents and those with insomnia know this all too well
  • Stress, grief, trauma, depression
  • Undereating
  • Nutrient deficiencies, such as iron and vitamin B12
  • Hormone imbalances with thyroid hormone, cortisol, insulin, or sex hormones
  • Poor lifestyle habits and energy leakage (more on this below)

If you have new or unexplained fatigue or the onset of fatigue along with other symptoms, please consult your healthcare provider.

Energy and Blood Sugar

How you manage blood sugar informs your energy throughout the day. You can feel low energy with both high and low blood sugar. When blood sugar spikes, you may feel lethargic or anxious. Then, when it crashes, you might feel tired, irritable, and “hangry.”

Balanced blood sugar helps stabilize energy, mood, hunger, and more. It’s an excellent tool for managing your energy more efficiently, so you feel like you have more.

To learn more about blood sugar and tips for improving your energy, read the article How To Balance Your Blood Sugar (And Why It Matters).

Energy and Adrenal Hormones

The adrenal glands sit above the kidneys and receive signals from the brain to produce hormones, including cortisol, that play a vital role in the circadian rhythm and stress response. Balanced cortisol is higher during the day to promote alertness and dips at night to encourage sleep. When cortisol is out of balance, so is your energy.

High stress increases cortisol, causing elevated blood sugar, poor sleep, and feeling tired but wired. If cortisol levels are low, it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning, and you may turn to caffeine more and more to “get going.”

For some, managing stress and supporting adrenal health helps improve energy, with stress reduction being the critical intervention. Adaptogenic herbs can help support energy levels while you work to put stress management pieces in place.

Adaptogenic herbs target the brain and adrenals, helping the body adapt to stress. Examples of adaptogens include:

  • Ashwagandha
  • Maca
  • Tulsi
  • Rhodiola
  • Eleuthero
  • And many more!

Energy and Caffeine

While caffeine use may initially feel like you have more energy, you feel this way because of increased epinephrine (adrenaline) and other stress hormones, not from true energy that comes from food. Overuse of caffeine can influence blood sugar regulation, adrenal health, sleep, appetite, and other factors that impact energy.

In some cases, less caffeine or more thoughtful caffeine use (such as a little before exercise) will help improve energy levels. Read more about caffeine and caffeine sensitivity here.

Energy Leakages and Renewal

If you wanted more money, you might start by setting a budget and eliminating thoughtless spending. The same idea is valid with energy; understanding where you spend or drain energy will help you manage your energy efficiently.

It’s helpful to conduct an energy inventory. List all the ways where your energy leaks or drains from you. Here are some examples of things that drain my energy:

  • Mindless scrolling
  • Comparing myself to others
  • Sitting for too long
  • Procrastinating
  • Not having firm boundaries with certain people
  • Saying yes to something I don’t want to do

You get the idea. These are places where I waste energy that I could divert for something more important or productive.

Here’s the good news: energy is a renewable resource. Just as it depletes, it renews. Some of the ways to restore your energy include:

  • Focusing on balanced nutrition
  • Prioritizing sleep
  • Spending time on self-care and relaxation
  • Enjoyably moving your body
  • Building loving relationships
  • Spending time in nature

How To Improve Your Energy Levels

As you can see, the secret to improving energy is better management of the energy you already have.

Here are some questions to ask yourself to identify lifestyle areas to work on:

  • Am I eating regular meals?
  • Am I getting enough protein?
  • Am I hydrating properly?
  • Am I moving my body?
  • Am I getting quality sleep?
  • Am I allowing enough recovery between workouts?
  • Are there places in my life where I can let go or say no?
  • Are my relationships and friendships serving me?
  • Am I managing stress effectively?
  • Where am I experiencing energy leakages?

Rooted Energy

Reaching for a quick fix like an energy drink or sugary snack is easy but might not support your long-term energy goals. Building lifestyle habits to manage your energy better can take time and effort. In the meantime, supplements help bridge the gap.

Twenty2 Nutrition Rooted Energy is a comprehensive formula that supports energy from a place of nourishment. Use it as a pick-me-up or a pre-workout supplement.

Along with greens, antioxidants, and moderate caffeine, Rooted Energy contains:

  • Beet powder – Beets increase nitric oxide production, opening the blood vessels to deliver more oxygen to cells. More oxygen means better energy production in the mitochondria.

  • Cordyceps – Cordyceps is a medical mushroom that promotes energy production and reduces fatigue.

  • Coconut water – This natural source of electrolytes supports proper hydration. Better hydration means better energy.

  • Ashwagandha – Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb used in Ayurvedic medicine. It helps the body adapt to stress, a root cause of poor energy. Ashwagandha may support better sleep and hormone balance.

  • Maca – Maca is an adaptogenic herb from Peru with a long history of traditional use to help promote energy, mood, and vitality.

The focus of energy management isn’t about how to fit more things into less time. Instead, it’s about making the time and space for what’s important in your life, including feeling good. When you focus on managing your energy instead of seeking quick ways to find more, you also reduce stress, improve health, and find more joy.

This article is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider before beginning a new supplement, especially if you are pregnant, take medication, or have a medical condition.

Ryah Nabielski, MS, RDN is a Registered Dietitian, functional nutritionist, writer, and recipe creator. Ryah helps clients use a natural, food-as-medicine approach to improve fertility, pregnancy, hormone balance, autoimmunity, and discover a healthy relationship with food and body. Learn more about Ryah and her private practice at