Natural Energy Boosters For Exhausted Moms

An exhausted mother holds her head with one hand and holds a bottle with the other while sitting near her baby laying in a bassinet.

A poll of 2,000 mothers revealed that motherhood equates to about 97 hours of work per week, which is more than the equivalent of two full time jobs.

It’s common for mothers to report feeling scatterbrained, depleted, stressed, and extremely tired. Recent research has found that 63% of new mothers report feeling fatigue, and experience with my patients tells me that it’s likely even more (1). Unarguably, that phase of motherhood is an extremely demanding one!


A poll of 2,000 mothers revealed that motherhood equates to about 97 hours of work per week (2). That’s more than the equivalent of two full time jobs! Many moms also work full time. Additionally, researchers have found that, metabolically speaking, going through pregnancy is equally demanding as training for and racing a Tour de France (3).


That said, our bodies can thrive, even in high demand phases. We are made for motherhood after all, just not for a high toxin, low nutrient lifestyle. Thankfully, our bodies are resilient and constantly seeking homeostasis. There is so much we can do as moms to prioritize our health and wellbeing. In this article, I’ll share seven tips to boost your energy naturally.

7 Tips For Tired Moms To Boost Energy Naturally

1. Get Unfiltered Morning & Evening Light

 

One of the simplest, cheapest, and most effective natural energy boosters for exhausted moms is morning and evening natural light. In the mornings and evenings, the natural light is more on the red/orange side of the light spectrum, which sends powerful signals to our brains that help regulate our circadian rhythms (4). Each morning and evening, take five minutes to step outside and get unfiltered sunlight in your eyes. For increased benefits, do this barefoot on grass or dirt to ground yourself to the earth.

 

If you are frequently up with young children throughout the night, I recommend getting a red light night-light and staying off your phone while nursing or pumping at night. If you do use your phone or other screens at night, I recommend wearing a pair of blue light blocking glasses.

A woman sits by the lake in morning sunlight.

2. Eat A Protein Rich Breakfast

 

Many nights I fall asleep thinking about my raw milk latte that awaits me in the morning, and I’m rarely hungry when I wake up. I know this may be difficult for many moms, but please consider having breakfast within 30 minutes of waking! This is something that I recommend for anyone in my practice experiencing persistent fatigue, especially if they are also experiencing sugar or salt cravings, weight gain, and difficulty sleeping.

 

Starting the day off with protein helps to reduce appetite  and to stabilize blood sugar, cortisol, and energy levels for the entire day! A high protein breakfast also helps to regulate your circadian rhythm, so if your sleep or energy levels are off, try eating a protein rich breakfast (5,6,7,8).

A healthy breakfast with whole grain toast, eggs, and avocado.

3. Hydrate Your Body

 

Adding a big glass of water before your morning coffee can also help you get a jump start on hydration. Hydration plays a vital role in maintaining optimal cognitive performance and overall wellbeing. The brain, comprised of approximately 75% water, is highly susceptible to the effects of dehydration.

 

A study involving a cohort of young adults revealed that even mild dehydration negatively impacts mood and cognitive abilities, such as episodic memory and attention (5). The study also showed that the extent of dehydration was associated with the extent of fatigue and reduced vigor, emphasizing the importance of proper hydration for mood and energy levels.

A woman drinks water.

4. Nourish Yourself With Quality Meals

 

Have you ever had one of those days where all you’ve eaten is the squished granola bar from the bottom of your diaper bag, a handful of crackers, and the leftovers of your child's half-eaten sandwich? Mama, your body deserves quality nourishment. This means eating whole food nutrient-rich meals with plenty of protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. Especially during childbearing years, your body needs nourishing meals to function optimally. 

 

A nutritious meal with healthy carbs, fats, and protein.

5. Take Your Supplements

 

In my practice, I have seen that chronic fatigue has a lot to do with nutrient status. It is generally agreed that regardless of nursing status, prenatal vitamins should be taken for at least 6 months after giving birth. I recommend taking prenatal supplements for at least three months, but ideally one year postnatal or longer if you are nursing, to help boost your energy levels.

 

Many mothers would also benefit from increasing their magnesium intake as it is estimated that up to 48% of the US population do not consume sufficient magnesium (10). Magnesium levels are inversely correlated with stress levels (11). Consuming sufficient magnesium helps you feel calm and encourages restful sleep (12). Furthermore, without magnesium, you cannot synthesize vitamin D, which is required for mood regulation, immune health, and healthy bones and teeth (13).

Various health supplements in a glass bowl.

Vitamin B12 supplementation can increase energy levels, brain function, and mental clarity. This can be of great benefit to those who feel burnt out or fatigued. Especially if you follow a vegetarian diet, this supplement is one that you may want to include in your daily routine as animal products are a great source of Vitamin D.

 

Many moms report staying on top of their kids' vitamins but often forget to take their own. If this describes you, think of ways to encourage yourself to stick to your self care resolutions. Place your vitamins in a place where you can see them, such as your nightstand or next to your coffee machine.

 

6. Move Your Body

 

Exercise might seem like the last thing you have time or energy for, but it's truly a powerful energy booster. Even short bursts of physical activity, like a brisk walk, outside ball play, or a 15 minute workout, can increase heart rate, improve circulation, and release endorphins. This translates to more energy and improved mood. Be sure you are eating enough to support your increased energy demands!

 

A recent study observing 22,000 people across the world showed that just 15 minutes of vigorous exercise per week is enough to decrease risk of death from any cause, including cancer, by 17%. Exercising 50 minutes per week decreases the risk of death by 36% (14). The wonderful news for moms is that this study dispels the notion that you must exercise for an hour every day to benefit. Every little bit you can fit into your day or week provides substantial health benefits! Exercise doesn’t need to be fancy either. You just need to get your heart rate up, like when playing tag with your kids!

A woman holds a yoga pose outdoors.

7. Utilize Herbs For Increased Energy

 

Certain herbs, like ginseng, kava, and eleuthero, are well known for their adaptogenic properties, meaning that they help the body manage stress and fatigue (15,16). I have put my utmost care into formulating herbal blends that harness the best of nature to help busy moms live energetic lives.

 

My formula Adrenal & Focus™ is especially helpful when the stresses of day-to-day life have you feeling overwhelmed, burnt out, impatient, or scatter-brained. The addition of Red Chinese Ginseng provides lasting energy without jitteriness or crashes.

 

For those looking to smooth frazzled nerves and keep their calm, Keepin’ The Peace Kava is the tonic for you! Formulated to enhance calm, elevate mood, and support REM sleep, this mighty remedy is a mainstay in my home. Please note that this formula is not suitable for pregnant or nursing women.

The Eleuthero herb.

Summary

In the whirlwind of motherhood, where exhaustion is often the norm, it can be life changing to foster habits that naturally boost your energy. Despite motherhood’s grueling demands, there are simple strategies that can help moms feel energized. Harness the power of morning and evening light, eat a protein-rich breakfast before your morning coffee, and prioritize eating nourishing meals & hydrating your body. Don't forget your supplements, especially prenatal vitamins if you're pregnant or nursing. Exercise, even in short bursts, can improve your mood and energy levels. You may also consider supportive herbs to help manage stress and add vitality back into your daily grind!

References:

 

1. Baattaiah, B. A., Alharbi, M. D., Babteen, N. M., Al-Maqbool, H. M., Babgi, F. A., & Albatati, A. A. (2023). The relationship between fatigue, sleep quality, resilience, and the risk of postpartum depression: an emphasis on maternal mental health. BMC Psychology, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40359-023-01043-3

 

2. Marquette, T. (2022, May 8). Mothers Spend 97 Hours Per Week On Parenting Tasks -- Equivalent To A Six-Figure Job, Survey Shows. Study Finds. https://studyfinds.org/mothers-parenting-six-figure-job/

 

3. Thurber, C., Dugas, L. R., Ocobock, C., Carlson, B., Speakman, J. R., & Pontzer, H. (2019). Extreme events reveal an alimentary limit on sustained maximal human energy expenditure. Science Advances, 5(6), eaaw0341. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aaw0341

 

4. Suni, E. (2020, November 3). Light & Sleep: Effects on Sleep Quality. Sleep Foundation. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/bedroom-environment/light-and-sleep

 

5. Qiu, M., Zhang, Y., Long, Z., & He, Y. (2021). Effect of Protein-Rich Breakfast on Subsequent Energy Intake and Subjective Appetite in Children and Adolescents: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients, 13(8), 2840. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13082840

 

6. Jakubowicz, D., Wainstein, J., Tsameret, S., & Landau, Z. (2021). Role of High Energy Breakfast "Big Breakfast Diet" in Clock Gene Regulation of Postprandial Hyperglycemia and Weight Loss in Type 2 Diabetes. Nutrients, 13(5), 1558. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13051558

 

7. Witbracht, M., Keim, N. L., Forester, S., Widaman, A., & Laugero, K. (2015). Female breakfast skippers display a disrupted cortisol rhythm and elevated blood pressure. Physiology & behavior, 140, 215–221. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2014.12.044

 

8. Nas, A., Mirza, N., Hägele, F., Kahlhöfer, J., Keller, J., Rising, R., Kufer, T. A., & Bosy-Westphal, A. (2017). Impact of breakfast skipping compared with dinner skipping on regulation of energy balance and metabolic risk. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 105(6), 1351–1361. https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.116.151332

 

9. Zhang, J., Ma, G., Du, S., Liu, S., & Zhang, N. (2021). Effects of Water Restriction and Supplementation on Cognitive Performances and Mood among Young Adults in Baoding, China: A Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT). Nutrients, 13(10), 3645. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13103645

 

10. DiNicolantonio, J. J., O’Keefe, J. H., & Wilson, W. (2018). Subclinical magnesium deficiency: a principal driver of cardiovascular disease and a public health crisis. Open Heart, 5(1), e000668. https://doi.org/10.1136/openhrt-2017-000668

 

11. Pickering, G., Mazur, A., Trousselard, M., Bienkowski, P., Yaltsewa, N., Amessou, M., Noah, L., & Pouteau, E. (2020). Magnesium status and stress: The vicious circle concept revisited. Nutrients, 12(12), 3672. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12123672

 

12. What You Need to Know About Magnesium and Your Sleep. (n.d.). Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sleep-newzzz/201805/what-you-need-know-about-magnesium-and-your-sleep

 

13. Dai, Q., Zhu, X., Manson, J. E., Song, Y., Li, X., Franke, A. A., Costello, R. B., Rosanoff, A., Nian, H., Fan, L., Murff, H., Ness, R. M., Seidner, D. L., Yu, C., & Shrubsole, M. J. (2018). Magnesium status and supplementation influence vitamin D status and metabolism: results from a randomized trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 108(6), 1249–1258. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqy274

 

14. Massive study uncovers how much exercise is needed to live longer. (2023, January 26). American Medical Association. https://www.ama-assn.org/delivering-care/public-health/massive-study-uncovers-how-much-exercise-needed-live-longer

 

15. What are Adaptogens & Types. (n.d.). Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved September 15, 2023, from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/drugs/22361-adaptogens

 

16. Liao, L., He, Y., Li, L., Meng, H., Dong, Y., Yi, F., & Xiao, P. (2018). A preliminary review of studies on adaptogens: comparison of their bioactivity in TCM with that of ginseng-like herbs used worldwide. Chinese Medicine, 13(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13020-018-0214-9

Filter by
Recent Posts
Article recent blog
Feb 22, 2024
Adrenal Fatigue 101—Plus My Favorite Adrenal Cocktail Recipe
Article recent blog
Feb 15, 2024
5 Common Toxins In Skincare Products
Article recent blog
Feb 08, 2024
The Story Behind VaxClear®
Article recent blog
Feb 02, 2024
When To Take Vitamins For Maximum Benefit
Article recent blog
Jan 26, 2024
Nutrients Depleted By Proton Pump Inhibitors
Article recent blog
Jan 23, 2024
The Connection Between Nutrient Deficiencies & Hair Loss
Article recent blog
Jan 11, 2024
The Vast Health Benefits of Probiotics
Article recent blog
Dec 15, 2023
Our Top Supplements For Achy Joints
Article recent blog
Dec 06, 2023
Choosing A Supplement Delivery Method For Your Family
Article recent blog
Nov 14, 2023
Nutrient Depletion & The Birth Control Pill
Article recent blog
Nov 13, 2023
The Risks of Glyphosate (And Why We're A Glyphosate Tested Company)
Article recent blog
Oct 16, 2023
How To Calculate Supplement Dosages For Kids
Article recent blog
Oct 16, 2023
Herbalism For Adults: My Top 6 Supportive Formulas For Busy Parents
Article recent blog
Oct 15, 2023
Natural Energy Boosters For Exhausted Moms

@drgreenlifeorganics