More and more we find ourselves drained, on edge, and with some extra pounds we could do without. But now, you can break your energy slump thanks to a revelatory new concept that says we each have an energy type, or “E-type,” based on where you put on your weight. Here, Dr. Oz reveals how to identify your E-type, allowing you to boost your health and get your energy back for good, followed by the energy boosters that can change your life.
E-Type 1: Reactive
If you find yourself overly responsive to stress, constantly on edge, and with a tendency to carry extra weight on your upper back, chest, and arms, you are the “reactive” energy-type. The Reactive E-type is primarily the result of an imbalance in the stress hormone cortisol, which is made worse with a high-glycemic (high sugar) diet. The combination of blood sugar surges from your diet and too much cortisol inflame your body at a cellular level, leaving you feeling emotionally and physically drained.
To supercharge your energy, you need to curb your cortisol levels so you’re not being drained by so much stress. Start by replacing sugary foods with high-fiber foods like beans, greens and whole grains. You’ll prevent blood sugar spikes and the accompanying energy crash. Follow that up by being sure to black out your bedroom at night. Light at night can contribute to poor sleep, increasing your cortisol levels. Simply closing the curtains isn’t enough – be sure to turn off the lights on alarm clocks, DVD players, cell phones, and anything else that might interrupt the darkness we need for that deep, cortisol-curbing sleep. Lastly, try adding an adaptogen to your routine. Adaptogens are compounds extracted from herbs that allow your body to resist stress and regulate cortisol. Try taking 1000 mg a day of astragalus, an adaptogen derived from an Asian root, available in health stores.
E-Type 2: Fluctuating
If your period seems unpredictable, you feel tired at random times, and you carry your weight from the waist down, you are the “fluctuating” energy-type. In both men and women, the body maintains a balance of the hormones estrogen and progesterone; a variety of causes, however, can cause an excess of estrogen over progesterone, leading to the fluctuating E-type and its energy drain.
The key to boosting your energy is to reduce excess estrogen. The first step is to add some healthy and tasty foods that contain flavones – compounds that, among other properties, can inhibit estrogen activity. Roots, nuts, seeds, eggs, and dairy all contain high flavones, which can help restore the estrogen-progesterone balance. Next, while soy can be a great part of your diet, it raises estrogen levels, which can be problematic for Fluctuating E-types. If you fall into this category, take care to limit soy in your diet, especially from hidden soy derivatives found in processed foods like sauces, burger patties, ice creams, canned tunas, and artificial flavoring. Check your food labels for the following terms: mono-diglyceride, soya, soja, soybean, soyabeans, soy protein (isolate/concentrate), vegetable protein, textured soy flour (TSF), textured soy protein (TSP), textured vegetable protein (TVP). You should also avoid parabens, or preservative chemicals found in many lotions and cosmetics. They can seep through your skin, and may mimic estrogen activity. Be on the lookout for ingredients containing parabens, such as methyl paraben or propyl paraben, and seek out beauty products labeled paraben free.
While the aforementioned tips are tailored to reduce estrogen levels, you can also boost your progesterone levels by patting on a progesterone cream. Available over-the-counter, progesterone cream is easily absorbed through the skin. Apply 1/4 tsp to a thin part of your skin, such as the inner arm, for 14 days before your expected period to dampen the energy-draining effects of estrogen.
E-Type 3: Sluggish
If you feel exhausted throughout the day, sensitive to changes in temperature, and tend to gain weight throughout your whole body, you are the “sluggish” energy type. In this case, your lack of energy is due to your thyroid not producing enough of the hormone thyroxine, which occurs when your body doesn’t get enough iodine. This can be attributed to consuming too many goitrogens, components of foods that suppress thyroid function.
To supercharge your energy, allow your body to get the thyroid hormone it needs by avoiding goitrogens. Surprisingly, they’re found in many healthy foods like kale, broccoli, cabbage, peaches, and strawberries. Fortunately, you can deactivate goitrogens in your raw veggies simply by steaming them for as little as 10 minutes. That way you’ll reap the benefits of their many nutrients, and give yourself a thyroid thrust. You can ramp up your thyroid function even further by taking a daily dose of vitamin D. It’s a crucial component in thyroid function, especially in winter months when we don’t get enough natural vitamin D through sun exposure. Take 1000 IUs daily for maximum effect.
This final suggestion may be a bit surprising, but naturopaths have been recommending for years that you can hum your thyroid to health! They argue that the inner vibration stimulates the release of thyroid hormone. Try tapping the sides of your neck at the base 10 times while deeply humming. If the vibrations alone aren’t enough to boost your energy, humming one of your favorite tunes surely will help.
Energy Solutions for All E-Types
Now that you’ve identified the best methods to supercharge your energy based on E-type, it’s time to explore some fast solutions that work for everyone.
Energy Solution 1: Probiotic Purée
As we age, our bodies experience cellular inflammation, sapping us of energy and making us gain weight. Simply adding a probiotic purée to your diet will battle inflammation and leave you recharged and refreshed. Use any pureed fruit or vegetable, like an applesauce or a guacamole, as a base. Then, stir in a tbsp of probiotics per cup of purée. Available at health food stores, probiotics are healthy bacteria that improve the lining of your gut. They allow you to get more nutrients from your food and reduce inflammation, giving you more energy from what you eat.
Energy Solution 2: Ginseng coffee marinade
Give your morning coffee an extra jolt with ginseng. Simply add 30 drops of Siberian ginseng extract to a half-cup of water, then soak a coffee filter in the solution overnight. By brewing your coffee through the filter, you’ll infuse your cup of joe with ginseng, which has been shown to help the body respond better to stress.
Energy Solution 3: Nut Soak
We all know nuts are a terrific source of protein, but you may not have known you can’t unlock all the energy you want from nuts because they’re covered in phytates. Phytates are an indigestible plant compound that inhibits our enzymes from digesting nuts fully. By soaking the nuts in purified water overnight, you’ll wash away phytates and make the nuts easily digestible, including the key nutrients you need to boost your energy.
Energy Solution 4: Frankincense Pillow Puff
If a poor night’s sleep is sapping your energy, add frankincense to your sleep routine. Frankincense, a tree resin available as an extract, contains potent anti-anxiety properties. Add 30 drops of the extract into a handful of cotton balls and scatter them in your pillowcase. The pillowcase acts as a natural filter to subdue the scent, while you reap the benefits of frankincense’s relaxing and restorative properties while you sleep, so you can wake up recharged and ready to face the day.