Healthy and Not-So-Healthy Ways to Boost Your Energy
Do you feel exhausted all day, even after a full night’s sleep?
Are you too tired to have fun?
We’re constantly on the run, trying to juggle all the things we have to do with all the things we want to do. And in order to make it in today’s fast-paced world, you’ve got to stay focused with plenty of energy – both physical and mental.
As our energy levels decrease because of our overstressed lifestyles, many people look for a quick fix to combat fatigue. However, there are good and not-so-good ways to increase your energy!
On Wednesday, September 16th, I was featured on The Dr. Oz Show “Energy Pick-Me-Ups That Won’t Make You Crash,” that explored healthy and not-so-healthy ways to boost your energy.
As part of the show, Dr. Oz came to Amen Clinics NY for quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG) brain scans (a painless and non-invasive procedure) in order to demonstrate the effect caffeine e-cigarettes have on the brain and body. Caffeine e-cigarettes, also known as vaporized caffeine, are a new form of energy stimulant.
We used QEEG because it measures the brain’s electrical activity in the form of brainwave patterns, which is an indicator of how your brain cells are communicating, and is used to evaluate brain function.
We look at 5 main types of brainwaves:
- Delta: very slow waves seen mostly during sleep
- Theta: insight, creativity and daydreaming
- Alpha: calm and focused
- Beta: focused
- High Beta: heightened attention and anxiety
Additionally, QEEG can be used to track the changes in brain function from various interventions such as neurofeedback, supplements, medication or, as in the case of Dr. Oz, vaporized caffeine.
Dr. Oz underwent one QEEG before smoking the vaporized caffeine to establish his baseline information. Then he underwent another series of them while he smoked vaporized caffeine.
The effects of the vaporized caffeine showed lower delta and theta waves (better energy), higher alpha waves (more alert), BUT lower beta waves, which could decrease a person’s judgment.
In preparation for filming The Dr. Oz Show, we did preliminary QEEG studies on the effects various commercially available stimulants have on the brain:
- Energy drinks (containing caffeine and sugar) – Lowered the slow brain waves (delta and theta) which is consistent with better energy. However, the relaxation (alpha) and focus (beta) brain waves were also lowered, which is consistent with a lower sense of peace and concentration. This is definitely not a good idea!
- Caffeine (from a strong cup of coffee) – Lowered the relaxation (alpha) and focus (beta) waves, which again, is consistent with a lower sense of peace and concentration. This also may not be a great idea for many people.
Still think that extra cup of coffee or energy drink is harmless? Think again. Excess, long-term caffeine use is associated with dehydration (which can harm your body in numerous ways), stress on your heart, high blood pressure, sleep issues, moodiness, jitteriness, and headaches, to name a few.
Relying on caffeine and energy drinks makes you feel worse in the long run by causing your system to crash, burning out your energy reserve, and constricting your blood vessels (NOT what you want for your brain!)
So, we’ve established some of the not-so-good ways to boost your energy. What about the good ways?
We also did preliminary QEEG studies on three people to observe the effects of our Focus and Energy supplement from BrainMD Health.
Here’s what we found:
Patient #1 … Increased focus (beta) brain waves.
Patient #2 … Marked reduction in theta waves, which is consistent with better energy and less daydreaming.
Patient #3 (Dr. Amen) … I really felt its effects; it lowered sleepy brain waves (delta) and raised my beta and high beta waves, which is consistent with focus.
There are healthy and no-so-healthy ways to boost your energy. From my clinical experience and this small case series, I prefer Focus and Energy (link to the product page). Plus, it is always very important to protect your energy by eating right, getting good sleep, and staying away from things that don’t serve your brain, such as caffeine and alcohol.
If you want to learn more about improving your energy and having a healthier brain, you can order a copy of my new book, Change Your Brain Change Your Life, Revised and Expanded 2015. Click here for more information.