6 Energy boosters for moms

Jun 1, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. ET

It’s tempting to turn to caffeine and sugar for the energy to get through the day, but neither will give you the energy that you need without ultimately making you crash. Ditch the sugar and caffeine and replace them with healthy choices that will bring a long-term boost in your energy levels.

As mothers, we spend our days making sure that the needs of our family are met, which often means that we eat on the go, don’t make time for exercise and stay up far too late doing all of those things that we didn’t get to during the day, which can leave us feeling exhausted. By making a few simple changes, we can make a huge difference in how much energy we have and how we feel.

Up your fiber

Try starting your day with fiber-rich foods like whole grain bread, raspberries, apples and fortified cereals or oatmeal. Foods high in fiber take your body longer to digest and provide sustained and steady energy to help you power through your day.

Get moving

As much as this one seems impossible to do when you’re already feeling so exhausted, there’s no denying that endorphins are a powerful way to help you feel awake and positive through the day. Even a brisk walk or light stretching can significantly boost your energy.

Drink up

Being even slightly dehydrated can leave you feeling sluggish and weak. By staying mindful of how much you’re drinking — and aiming for 64 ounces of water throughout each day — you’ll find yourself with a clearer head and more pep.

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Snack smart

Try replacing your sugary snacks with energizing foods. Nuts, including almonds and cashews, and leafy greens like kale and Swiss chard will help give you a boost. If you find yourself reaching for a cup of coffee or caffeinated soda, opt for a square of dark chocolate, which contains less caffeine than that cup of java.

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Up your iron

If you try each of these and you still find yourself lacking the stamina to get through your day, consider having your iron levels checked. Even slight anemia can leave you feel deflated and exhausted. Nuts, seeds, leafy greens, red meats and whole grains are all great sources of iron.

Turn in earlier

Though the suggestion of getting more sleep seems obvious, many of us dismiss this option. Experts at the National Sleep Foundation explain: “Though the exact mechanisms of how sleep works, how sleep rejuvenates the body and mind is still mysterious, one thing sleep specialists and scientists do know is that adequate sleep is necessary for healthy functioning.” With too little sleep, you’re bound to be exhausted. Even turning in a half hour early or squeezing in an afternoon catnap can make a huge difference.

Give these natural energy boosters a shot for a week and see if you feel more invigorated and able to get through your days with energy to spare.

More on upping your energy

Fit in exercise with a baby in tow
Nutrition tips for busy moms
Working Mom 3.0: Sleep tips for working moms