18 Ways To Increase Your Energy & Live Better - Dean McMenamin

18 Ways To Increase Your Energy & Live Better

If you’re often tired, lethargic, or struggle with chronic fatigue, you should probably read on.

And you might wanna bookmark it to refer back when you need to (do it now).

Some of these steps are genuinely life-changing.

They’re in no particular order or priority…

1 – Get to sleep before 11pm.

Researcher and health coach, Shawn Steven [Sleep Smarter] says we benefit most from Melatonin (recovery hormone) production between the hours of 10pm and 2am.

So you need to be sleeping before 10pm to fully recover.

But life isn’t always ideal.

So I’ll give you an extra hour.

2 – Drink 2-3l water/day.

I’ve coached over 1000 clients in the past decade. Most people are de-hydrated, which shows up in many ways.

One symptom is tiredness and lethargy.

3 – Eat enough protein.

It keeps you feeling fuller longer, so you won’t eat as much sugary crap that zaps your energy with crashes through the day.

BONUS points: it gets you a leaner, stronger body, too.

4 – Eat 5 ‘colourful’ veggies and fruits per day.

A single nutrient deficiency is enough to keep you feeling tired.

Lower you chances of deficiencies by getting plenty (at least 5) veggies and fruits per day.

Aim for a variety of different colours for different nutrients.

5 – Delay coffee until after your first hour awake.

Coffee spikes cortisol production (the hormone that powers our ability to get up and do stuff). Let your natural rhythm kick in for a while first and you’ll feel better through the day.

6 – Have a caffeine curfew

Caffeine stays in our system for 8-10 hours, and inhibits our sleep and recovery quality.

Limit coffee to the early part of the day, and stop by the afternoon.

7 – Get as much daylight exposure as possible, as early as possible.

Your body’s covered in light receptors. Daylight stimulates cortisol production and gets your rhythm going for the day.

Which also impacts our mood, because daylight stimulates serotonin production too (even on over cast days).

Try to be in tune with natural day and night cycles as much as possible.

8 – Stay off screens 1 hour before bed.

Like I said, light stimulates cortisol. And light at night inhibits Melatonin production strength by over 50%, plus delays production up to 3 hours [Sleep Smarter].

9 – Have a pitch-black bedroom.

Rolling with the light theme still. The darker the better.

Get black out blinds and curtains. Make sure not light’s creeping in around the door from the hallway.

10 – Keep electrics out of your bedroom.

A lot of research suggests EMFs from electrical devices inhibits our sleep cycles.

Plus, a mobile phone beside your bed is too tempting to keep checking through the night.

Keep the bedroom for two things:

Sleeping and humping.

11 – Eat more single ingredient whole foods.

The closer we with how nature intended the better we feel.

Get most of your foods from the outside isles of the supermarket that don’t come with ingredient lists.

Or at least have 5 ingredients or less.

This will do wonders for your physique, too.

12 – Make time to train your body.

Like my Irish mate, Andrew Lahart, likes to say: “you’re only 1 workout away from feeling great”

13 – Spend less time on your phone.

Screens take a LOT of concentration and tire our eyes out.

It’s mentally draining.

If you need to be on screens for work then you have to do what you have to do.

Try glare reducing glasses.

Put the phone away in the evenings, leave it in the car when out for dinner, give yourself a break and engage in real life more.

14 – Spend more time with people who make you feel good.

Good energy and positive thinking is contagious. The people you surround yourself with will influence how you think and feel.

Choose the people you keep close intentionally.

15 – 10, 000 steps a day.

Movement is the foundation of youth. We’re designed to move. there’s nothing magical about 10,000 steps, but I think everyone should aim to get at least 7000. Especially if you want to be leaner.

16 – Lower stress

I know it’s easier said than done. But Chronic stress (even low levels) will run your energy (and body) into the ground.

Identify the biggest stressors in your life.

Cut off as much as you can.

And get help with what you can’t cut off.

17 – Do more fun stuff.

I’ve struggled with tiredness, fatigue, GI, and auto-immune problems for years of my thirties.

When I went to hike Kilimanjaro for two weeks, most of my symptoms disappeared.

Plus, I was able to eat dairy and gluten containing foods without negative reactions I’d normally have back home.

After collaborating with my functional medicine doctor, we think stress is likely holding back my recovery.

Back home, as a remote coach, I’m behind a computer every day.

In Kilimanjaro I was outdoors, off screens, moving, laughing with people who make me feel good. Ticking a lot of boxes in this list.

Are you doing enough of this stuff?

I’m now under strict doctors orders to take Saturdays off from work (and tech) completely.

And do more fun stuff with people I enjoy spending time with.

I think this should be in everyone’s rulebook for life. It’s too easy to de-prioritise yourself and chase the money.

Because of this, my functional medicine practitioner (Charmaine Shepherd) wanted to check my vagus nerve was doing its job, and my Heart Rate Variability.

Which leads us onto 18…

18 – Breathe

Your breath dictates your heart rate. And heartrate tells your body whether you’re in a stress or thrive state.

Here’s my HRV graph without being conscious of my breathing for 3 minutes:

This kind of uncoherent heart rate is common in people who work behind screens. We forget to breathe (and most of us spend way to much time glued to our phone screens today).

This bleeds into our normal breathing patterns with enough practice.

And that can keep you in a stressed state a lot of the time.

A chronically stressed state leads to tiredness and all kinds of health problems.

Trust me on this, I’ve wore the t-shirt.

Here’s my heart rate after just 3 minutes of conscious coherent heart breathing:

Practice conscious breath work at different points in your day to get your body out of a stress state and into a thrive state.

Morning, bedtime, and post workout works for me.

Dr Rangin Chatterjee has a whole section on breathing techniques for thrive states in his book The Stress Solution (Links at the bottom of this article).



Keeping this simple, modern living has big impacts on our energy and health.

The more we live in line with what nature intended, and our genes expect us to do, the better we tend to feel…

  • Move more every day.
  • Get better sleep.
  • Get outside more.
  • Community and meaningful relationships.
  • Physical exercise and sweat.
  • Laugh more often.

What To Do Now

I hope you got some value from this list.

If you did, I’d massively appreciate it if you send it to, and share it with anyone else you think needs to see it.

Also, if you’re a man who not only wants to increase your energy but also get in great shape, make sure to download a free copy of my busy dads body transformation pack from any of the opt-in boxes on this page or website.


PS – More Resources & Reading

In relation to a lot of stuff in this list, here’s 3 books and resources I highly recommend: (Tap the links to the books on Amazon)

  1. The Stress Solution – Dr Rangin Chatterjee.
  2. Sleep Smarter – Shawn Stevenson.
  3. Energy is Everything – Mike MacDonald.

About the Author Dean McMenamin

Dean McMenamin is an Army veteran, father, dog-lover and body transformation coach to every day men all over the UK & Ireland. He's also a big eater of ice-cream.

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