"5 Secrets for Higher Energy"

by Frederic Patenaude

All right. Today we're going to talk about energy. Are there any of my readers who do NOT want more energy? Please raise your hand... no takers? Okay, let's keep going then.

My “secrets” for higher energy are actually key concepts to understand about energy. Those concepts are really obvious but often not understood by those who try to sell us their latest gimmick on how to get more energy.

Here they are...

Secret #1 - Energy Comes From Sleep, Not Food

Every day we go to bed with less energy than we woke up with, and we lay down for 6,7, 8 or more hours to recharge our batteries. Ideally, this is how our body is supposed to function.

Although there are different scientific theories on the function of sleep, we all agree that it is essential to our well-being. Sleep is a time for repairing and restoring and it is the true source of our energy.

Food doesn't give us energy. Food provides fuel and other raw materials that the body uses to function. We require energy just to digest that food, and this is why when someone is sleep-deprived her digestion is greatly disturbed.

Your car may have a full tank of gasoline, but if the battery is dead it won't start. The same is true for you. You may eat all you want but in the end if you don't sleep enough to recharge your batteries you won't have energy.

So how much sleep do we need? There is no set number of hours, as each person's requirements are individual. What you need is *enough* sleep.

The likelihood that you're not getting enough sleep is very high. 56% of the adult population reports that drowsiness in the daytime is a problem.

If you experience daytime sleepiness or drowsiness, or if you need an alarm clock to wake up in the morning, you are sleep deprived. If this has been going on for a long time, then you may have accumulated a large “sleep debt.”

The solution? Pay off your debt. Sleep more.

Secret #2 - A Low-Fat, Raw Diet Gives You More Energy

Did you know that not all of the food that you eat becomes available to you as food, since digestion itself requires work and therefore fuel (calories)? Is it any wonder that after a big traditional meal people literally fall asleep? The digestion of their meal took so much energy that they had to “sleep it off” in a comatose state!

On the other hand, the digestion of fruit takes literally no energy. Fruit contains simple sugars that require no digestion. The water it contains also requires no digestion, as well as the fiber, which is evacuated.

In fact, the sugars in fruit start being absorbed under the tongue as soon as you take that first bite of peach or melon. It is the ultimate “high-energy food”: no digestion required, plenty of fuel available.

Raw vegetables also require very little digestion, but what they give us are mostly vitamins and minerals, as well as water, but very few calories.

Fatty foods as well as starchy foods require more energy to digest. They require more digestive enzymes, they stay longer in the stomach, and they require more energy to be available to you as fuel.

It has been my experience that eating a low fat diet composed essentially of fruits and vegetables gives you more energy, as long as you eat enough fruit to meet your caloric (fuel) needs.

Secret #3 - Exercise Takes Energy, But You Need It Anyway

We often hear that exercise gives energy. “Exercise more,” they say, “you'll have more energy.” Right there, there's a big misunderstanding. How could physical exertion give you energy? It *takes* energy!

After a long day of physical labor, you are more tired than when you just woke up. All that work took energy to do. And it will take the body a good night of sleep to recover.

People who are physically active, as well as athletes, need more sleep. Sleep requirements increase as training intensity increases.

However, the good thing is that by being physically active you increase your levels of fitness, which will make an impact on your capacity to handle your daily chores.

In other words, you will have greater physical abilities to go through your day without getting tired as easily as a sedentary person. The quality of your sleep will also improve, although you might need more of it.

A fit person will enjoy better digestion, improved sleep, and will feel more awake during the day, as long as they get enough sleep to recover from their physical activities.

Secret #4 - Energy Is Not Stimulation

Chronically-tired and low-energy people are always looking for something that will “give them energy.” They confuse energy with stimulation, and want a quick fix to feel better now, without thinking about the long-term consequences.

Let's take caffeine for example, keeping in mind that the same principles apply for other stimulants such as those foods in chocolate or raw cacao, recreational drugs, Chinese herbs and mushrooms, and any other product that is sold for the purpose of giving you “a quick boost of energy.”

Caffeine does not give you energy. It is not possible to scientifically measure any increase in energy when caffeine is consumed. What can be measured are higher levels of stress. This means that there is an increased production of stress hormones (such as adrenaline) and there is an increase in blood pressure and heart rate.

This is because caffeine “stimulates” you. It does not give you energy. You could say that caffeine “lends” you energy, which you must eventually pay back at a high price in health.

Let's add to that that caffeine and other stimulants are powerful addictive drugs. They do not give you any energy at all.

Secret #5 - You Need to Avoid Energy Drainers

If you want more energy, you must avoid the numerous energy drainers: all of those things that tend to drain your physical and emotional energy, as well as the things that decrease your motivation to take care of yourself.

Of course, sometimes stuff happens that isn't under your control, such as the death of a relative, but since your energy is limited it should be your goal to get rid of as many energy drainers as possible.

Energy drainers include: negative relationships, stressful jobs, pessimistic or cynical friends and relatives, the news on television, debt or other financial concerns that cause stress, living in a polluted environment, and many more.

Motivation drainers include: a messy office where you can't find anything, a long list of to-do's you've been trying to maintain in your head without success, lack of purpose in life, lack of self-esteem, being unfit and fat without any desire to exercise, living a life that is incongruent with your innermost values, and so on.

Actions Steps You Can Take Now to Get More Energy

Go to bed an hour earlier - You might not realize how much sleep debt you've accumulated. Start paying it off by allowing you an extra hour in bed everyday. And no guilt please! You're doing this for your health. If necessary, get a night mask that blocks light in order to fall asleep more easily.

Start a fitness program - Being unfit decreases your motivation and your ability to perform everyday tasks with ease. In addition to that, you can't be healthy if you're not fit. The best way to start a fitness program is to start now. Find something you can do and do it every day. Please stay in tune for more articles on the topic in future issues of Pure Health & Nutrition.

Discard the use of stimulants
- What stimulants do you use to fake energy? Choose the best for yourself and get in touch with the real source of energy, not the illusion of stimulation.

Lower the fat content of your diet and eat more fruit
- By lowering the fat content of your diet and increasing your fruit consumption you will have more energy available. To learn how to do that, please refer to my book “The Raw Secrets.” (http://www.therawsecrets.com)

Identify one energy drainer and get rid of it
- The energy drainers are almost too numerous to tackle all at once. Instead, identify one energy drainer, such as perhaps a negative relationship, and take the necessary step to get rid of it. You will feel much better for it.

A final quote to inspire you: "Love the moment, and the energy of that moment will spread beyond all boundaries." -- Corita Kent, American Muralist and Printmaker (1874 - 1963)

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