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Mind & Body

How to increase your energy levels

Boost your energy reserves and get more out of your day with these tips from the experts, says FIORELLA VALDESOLO

Beauty

The reasons we feel zapped of energy – think the never-ending cycle of work, life and family demands – are easier to identify than the solutions to generate more of it. We asked the experts to share their best energy-boosting advice.

Create a routine

Sleep and energy have a symbiotic relationship: don’t get enough of the former and the latter will suffer. That goes for productivity, too. According to a recent National Safety Council Report, nearly half of us are not getting enough sleep to function optimally at work. Key to maintaining energy levels, says Jules Miller of The Nue Co., is following a sleep-friendly evening routine. Hers? “I make a big cup of sleep tea, have a few CBD drops along with our Sleep Drops and Magnesium Ease, then I’m in bed by 9.30pm.” Dr. Shari Auth, co-founder of New York acupuncture start-up WTHN, adds that some deep listening pre-bedtime can also help quiet the mind. “WTHN’s tracks by sound therapy practitioner Nate Martinez use binaural beats to relax your brain waves so you can fall deep asleep,” she adds.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Being dehydrated has a direct, and profound, impact on your energy. Find a reusable one-liter bottle you like and keep it with you at all times, says Heather Andersen, founder of New York Pilates. She refills three to four times a day and adds chlorophyll drops – “They are detoxifying and hydrating,” she adds.

Make your fragrance functional

In an effort to re-energize, why not engage all the senses, suggests perfumer Frederick Bouchardy, founder of Joya. He uses orange oil and orange blossom, directly on skin and in the air, to keep him going throughout the day. The Nue Co.’s Functional Fragrance is devoted to shifting your energy via scent. “There’s a powerful connection between cognitive function and the olfactory system, meaning certain scents can elicit reactions within the body, both physically and psychologically,” Miller explains. “We used green cardamom, cilantro, bergamot and palo santo to reset and re-center.”

Schedule an acupuncture session

The benefits of regular acupuncture sessions are numerous, and rebooting our energy is chief among them. “In my experience, acupuncture boosts energy by increasing circulation,” explains Auth, adding that it’s been proven effective for those suffering from the most serious fatigue. “We feel energetic when our blood is moving, and acupuncture gives us that extra push.”

Quiet your mind

“When we’re exposed to sudden stress, we experience an adrenaline rush as a result of the hormone release,” says Miller. “This is what contributes to rapid breathing, a faster pulse and higher blood pressure. Meditation elicits the relaxation response, which decreases these reactions and reduces stress.” Gara Post, co-founder and creative director at LA’s The NOW, credits her twice-daily Transcendental Meditation as key to a quick recharge.

Work up a sweat

Running is, admittedly, not for everyone, but find a way to regularly raise your heart rate. “Exercise is one of the best cures for stress, because it helps your body eliminate the ‘fight or flight’ cortisol hormone and leaves you relaxed and focused,” Andersen explains. “Exercising regularly heightens energy levels by improving circulation and metabolism, and actually makes you feel happier by stimulating the production of endorphins.”

Walk while you work

An antidote for the sad desk lunch? A brisk walk. “I try to put all my meetings back to back and then, instead of sitting at my desk, I’ll take my calls while going for a walk outside,” suggests Andersen. “The fresh air is a much-needed midday energy boost, and there are also fewer distractions, so I remain more focused.”

Mind your diet

When it comes to energy, you are what you eat. Nutritionist Dana James suggests getting plenty of greens – “The minerals and chlorophyll in greens boost your vitality” – and being mindful of your carb intake. “I know you want them, but if you’re tired, they will give you a short burst of energy then drop you flat two hours later,” says James. “Be sure to get your carb-to-cardio ratio right. If you train for more than 70 minutes, don’t skip carbs because you need to restore your glycogen levels. Low cardio equals low carbs; it’s an easy equation.”

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