If you’re feeling fatigued and wondering how to get energy fast, you can try tips, such as exposure to sunlight or eating nutrient-dense foods.

Daytime fatigue can interfere with your plans and goals, but you may not have to continue feeling tired.

While certain habits like maintaining a regular sleep schedule can help, there are also several ways you may be able to gain energy quickly.

Complex carbohydrates are a good source of quick and sustainable energy.

Dietary fat and protein also provide fuel, but carbohydrates are the most efficiently metabolized.

This means a piece of whole fruit will fight fatigue faster than nuts or eggs. Even so, foods containing protein and healthy fats are important for sustaining energy.

To gain energy fast and maintain it, aim for a range of nutrient-dense foods that contain complex carbohydrates, protein, and unsaturated fat.

Foods that boost energy

  • fruits
  • vegetables
  • whole grains
  • nuts and nut butter
  • seeds
  • legumes
  • fish and lean meat
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Nutrient insufficiencies can contribute to fatigue. If your levels of vitamin C, magnesium, or iron are low, it may impact your energy-yielding metabolism. Iron and B vitamin deficiencies can impede oxygen transport.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) states that inadequate dietary intake of vitamins and minerals occurs frequently worldwide.

The NCBI lists iron, magnesium, and zinc as minerals that have roles in reducing fatigue. They also pinpoint several vitamins that contribute to optimal energy levels.

While the best source of vitamins and minerals is nutrient-dense food, consider asking your doctor for suggested supplements that can help you. It’s important to take supplements as directed, either on the label or as recommended by your doctor.

Vitamins that boost energy

  • B1 (thiamine)
  • B2 (riboflavin)
  • B3 (niacin)
  • B5 (pantothenic acid)
  • B6 (pyridoxine)
  • B8 (biotin)
  • B9 (folate)
  • B12 (cobalamin)
  • Vitamin C
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According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), dehydration is a key contributor to heat exhaustion.

If you want to quickly boost your energy, drinking some water may help.

Research indicates that dehydration can cause:

  • fatigue
  • anxiety
  • tension

Insufficient fluid intake can also impair:

The NIOSH warns against drinking too many fluids too quickly and recommends that you consume less than 48 oz in 1 hour. This is to ensure that the salt concentration in your blood doesn’t end up too low, which would be a medical emergency.

You may not feel like moving if you’re tired, but there’s evidence to suggest it may help.

A 2022 review indicates that connection between physical activity and a reduced chance of fatigue, energy, and vitality. Researchers state that long-term, consistent exercise can increase the effects that physical activity has on your energy levels.

You don’t have to spend hours in the gym each day to reap the benefits of regular movement.

Instead, you can try activities like:

  • using the stairs instead of an elevator
  • stretching
  • going for a walk
  • taking regular movement breaks at work

Exercise may even help your body generate more mitochondria, according to a 2018 study. Mitochondria are the organelles responsible for generating cellular energy. The study lists chronic fatigue as one of the conditions linked to suboptimal mitochondrial function.

There’s even research linking exercise to mental health improvements, regardless of the type of activity you choose.

Mental health issues like stress, depression, and anxiety can be draining. Treatment like therapy and medication can be very effective.

There are also self-care strategies you can try to quickly improve your energy and mood, such as:

  • talking with a friend
  • researching a topic of interest
  • planning a new hobby
  • engaging in mindfulness
  • listening to upbeat music

The World Health Organization (WHO) also suggests limiting your exposure to television news and social media as a way to reduce fatigue-inducing stress.

Breathing exercises may also increase your energy.

A 2018 review found that using slow breathing techniques can promote autonomic nervous system changes.

These changes led to increases in:

  • vigor
  • alertness
  • comfort
  • pleasantness
  • relaxation

Researchers also noted that slow breathing techniques reduced the signs of:

  • anxiety
  • arousal
  • depression
  • confusion
  • anger

One of the studies in the review found that when participants slowed their breathing to 5.5 breaths per minute, their brains engaged in more activity that was dependent on blood oxygen.

Participants at this slower breathing rate demonstrated more alertness than those taking 10 breaths per minute.

Opening your window blinds or briefly stepping outside is another potential energy-boosting strategy.

Light exposure directly increases alertness, according to a 2021 research article summarizing the impact of daylight on humans.

Daylight exposure may also improve your sleep because of its circadian effects. If your nighttime sleep is more regular and restorative, you’ll likely experience less daytime fatigue.

Not only does light help you become more alert and sleep more easily, but it may also improve your cognition, performance, and mood.

It might not sound warm and inviting, but a cold shower or bath can be energizing.

A 2023 study examined the effects of 5-minute whole body baths in water at a temperature of 20°C in healthy adults who were new to cold water swimming.

After the baths, participants felt more:

  • alert
  • active
  • proud
  • attentive
  • inspired

They also felt less nervous and distressed.

The study authors theorized that short-term cold-water exposure might change the way the brain functions.

They also note that whole-body cold exposure causes a release of neurotransmitters like:

Norepinephrine is similar to adrenaline, which may partially explain the energizing effect of cold-water immersion.

Chewing gum or properly chewing food before swallowing may boost your energy.

According to a 2015 study, there’s a link between chewing and improved cognitive function.

Chewing is the first stage of food digestion and requires coordination among the tongue, face, and jaw muscles. It increases blood flow to the cerebral cortex and boosts blood oxygen levels in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus.

Sufficient chewing can also increase the bioavailability of the nutrients in your food, which may help improve your energy level.

Insomnia, chronic pain, and medical disease are just a few of the reasons why as much as 28% of the general population experience excessive daytime sleepiness. Daytime fatigue affects around 1 in 4 people.

Along with energy-boosting habits like a consistent sleep schedule, there are tips you can try to gain energy fast, such as:

  • engaging in physical activity
  • consuming nutrient-dense foods
  • increasing exposure to sunlight
  • properly hydrating

Physical and mental health are often linked. Many of the strategies you can use to increase your energy may also improve your mood.