Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Lifestyle Tips for Balancing Energy

By Chris Jensen, March 9, 2010  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Chris Jensen
Curious about all the promises of energy for your busy day that are packed into pills and drinks these days? Is there any truth in what the labels and ads are selling, and why are so many of us in need of an extra pep in our step? Ric Scalzo, a respected herbalist, botanical researcher, and founder of Gaia Herbs, gives us some answers, and tells us how to balance energy naturally and safely.

Some listeners ask for a recap of our podcasts so they can refer to it later. So, here you go. (Don't forget to listen to the podcast for more details and information, though.)

Lifestyle Tips for Balancing Energy

  • Many of us experience reduced energy due to our physiology working in overdrive for extended periods of time.
  • What causes the physiology to work in overdrive is not always simply working too hard or getting inadequate sleep.
  • An underlying element in lowered energy may be related to poor digestion, poor assimilation, and poor elimination.
  • The outcomes can surface into symptoms that we associate with the "stress of life" such as sleep difficulties, and lowered energy.
  • While it is true that many of us migrate to stimulating energy products that are really common - over the counter types of products that can give us a quick boost of energy - this approach does not address the underlying elements.
  • Often overly stimulating approaches without proper adaptogenic and causative approaches can further deepen the stress to the physiology.
  • Another concern is that these stimulating items may be filled with unnatural ingredients.
  • The body is fully equipped to achieve optimal energy when obstacles to wellness are removed. That's a real foundational practicing aspect to naturopathic medicine.
  • Our approach to optimal energy levels should always draw upon the wisdom inherent within the body and mind. To do this we must keep impurities in the body to a minimum.
  • There are many adaptogenic plants that serve us well to both protect us from stress as well as activate the natural energy systems of the body.
  • The expert's favorite herbal remedies are Rhodiola Rosea, American or Korean Ginseng, the Ashwagandha plant from India, Holy Basil ( a very popular herb now used in India and now in the U.S. for optimizing energy,) and Schizandra berry (often referred to as "the 5 flavored herb.")
  • Every one of these is considered an adaptogenic plant - which means that they facilitate the body's adaptogenic systems and allow us to respond to stress more effectively.
  • Other strategies that are very important are to adopt a dietary plan that maintains an alkaline chemistry within the blood. Whole and fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds, and nuts provide the opportunity to prevent the body from becoming overly acidic.
  • Another strategy is to consume adequate clean water daily drinking small amounts throughout the entire day.
  • Maintaining a healthy posture can also optimize energy and for this reason a regular practice of yoga is often very valuable.




12th Man says ...
Holy Basil, Batman! I'll give that a shot.
03/09/2010 10:00:13 AM CST
mcoker says ...
Love me some Rhodiola Rosea. I take it sparingly around exercise time. GAIA's Adrenal Health is also pretty good, has a lot of what was listed above. http://www.gaiaherbs.com/product.php?id=5
03/09/2010 10:38:00 AM CST
Joe @ Eden Kitchen says ...
I have always shied from energy drinks and pills. I firmly believe that if I am feeling rundown or stressed then there is something out of balance in my lifestyle or diet. When I do feel like that I focus on eating alkalizing foods, exercise, and getting enough sleep. I am back to normal in a matter of days :)
03/09/2010 3:42:20 PM CST
Margo says ...
Appreciate the tips! I had not thought of posture as one way to help - that is a new one to me. I rely on my daily apple and handful of nuts to boost my energy throughout the day. Drinking water helps too, just like you say. And the other thing that works for me is to avoid sugar - nothing makes me more tired than that tasty but deadly item!
03/09/2010 4:43:12 PM CST
Terri says ...
Great article! Thanks for sharing this information.
03/09/2010 4:50:57 PM CST
Leslie says ...
I agree with the other comment here that a balanced life and good nutrition is all you need to keep your energy up.
03/19/2010 11:59:12 AM CDT
Kathleen says ...
I am surprised I didn't hear wheatgrass listed in this podcast.
03/19/2010 12:00:13 PM CDT
Tracy says ...
Sorry charlie I like my coffee! and your coffee for that matter!
03/19/2010 12:01:17 PM CDT
Mary says ...
Very cool that you mention posture and yoga, these are great ways to keep a solid outlook on life up.
03/19/2010 12:04:10 PM CDT
Susan says ...
Great podcast, thanks!
03/19/2010 12:05:19 PM CDT
Nillie says ...
Thanks for this series!
03/19/2010 12:06:21 PM CDT
Deann says ...
Exercise may be difficult to motivate yourself to do, when you are tired, but it is a key.
03/19/2010 12:09:47 PM CDT
Anne says ...
Glad you brought up this subject.
03/19/2010 12:12:18 PM CDT
Sue says ...
Very cool! Thanks for creating these.
03/19/2010 12:14:30 PM CDT
Sammy says ...
I understand you want to promote natural energy, but caffeine is natural, and actually beneficial in many ways.
03/19/2010 12:15:56 PM CDT
Erin says ...
Great podcast!
03/22/2010 12:29:03 PM CDT
Rory. says ...
Great podcast!
04/07/2010 8:38:31 AM CDT
Val says ...
Great podcast
04/08/2010 7:39:18 AM CDT
Steph says ...
I really enjoyed this information, thanks!
04/08/2010 8:15:55 AM CDT
Donna says ...
Great podcast
04/08/2010 8:22:39 AM CDT
Jenna says ...
I agree with the suggestion that yoga and posture can keep energy flowing within the body.
04/09/2010 10:25:39 AM CDT
Milton J Akridge says ...
Must try Rhodiola Rosea--tincture form is best.
10/26/2010 9:06:36 PM CDT
Gregorio Stritmater says ...
I actually wanted to jot down a simple remark in order to say thanks to you for those unique tips and hints you are placing here. My time intensive internet research has finally been compensated with sensible suggestions to go over with my two friends. I would state that that many of us site visitors are very much lucky to exist in a wonderful network with so many outstanding professionals with useful tips. I feel truly fortunate to have come across your entire site and look forward to tons of more cool times reading here. Thanks once again for all the details.
06/02/2011 7:53:30 AM CDT
Adler says ...
I came across your web site on the internet and look a lot of the early posts. Preserve up fantastic operate. Looking for forward to studying more within you afterwards!.
09/10/2011 5:04:08 PM CDT
Leroy Brock says ...
looking for a supplement with these ingredients L - Theanine, GABA, Ashwagandha Root, Brahmi (Bacopa) Tryptophan, Passion Frower, magnesium, Nlacin
04/19/2014 6:43:28 PM CDT