Looking forward to all the Black Friday doorbusters? If you’re one of the many people gearing up for a day of marathon savings this week, you’ll want to make sure you get the most of out of it. After all, it is only one day—and you have shopping goals!
Grab your holiday list, put your game face on and level up with these 14 Black Friday energy hacks to keep you going strong.
1. Start the Day Before
With Thanksgiving the night before, it will be easy to overindulge and leave yourself feeling groggy the next morning. To feel more energized on Black Friday, watch your portion sizes and fill up on the healthiest options on the table like steamed or raw veggies and lean protein. Drink plenty of water before and during your meal to aid digestion, and consider taking a digestive enzyme before dinner to help your gut manage the feast more efficiently.
And here’s a Black Friday shopping pro tip—many retailers leak early Black Friday deals online on Thanksgiving Day, so you can get some of your shopping done while you’re waiting for the turkey to cook or after dinner when everyone heads home.
2. Have a Sleep Strategy
Sleep quality is just as important as what time you head to the sack, but many things can disrupt your sleep on the night before Black Friday. Overindulging and going to bed with a full stomach can disrupt your usual sleep-wake cycle, but so can staying up late to spend time with family, getting too much screen time later in the day, or simply the excitement of the holidays.
Prepare for a good night’s sleep in every way you can. Schedule dinner earlier in the evening, dim the lights about an hour before bedtime to help signal your body that it’s time to rest, and politely excuse yourself from the festivities when it’s bedtime. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night, try a melatonin supplement, and check out this list of Trendworthy Sleep Essentials.
If Black Friday midnight deals are calling your name, plan to skip early morning shopping and sleep in the next day to make up for lost snooze time.
3. Power up with Protein
Fuel your body with a healthy breakfast to keep energy levels up, and don’t skimp on protein. Protein is energizing and keeps you feeling fuller longer than carbohydrates without the energy slump that a carb-heavy meal can give you later.1
If you’re in a rush or not really hungry after feasting the night before, at least add some Real Food Protein Powder to a healthy smoothie before you go. Our new Real Food Proteins are incredibly great-tasting and made with real food ingredients, nothing artificial.
4. Add MCTs to Your Morning Routine
Even if you’re not interested in the keto lifestyle, keto-dieters have one trick up their sleeves that may be worth embracing on Black Friday—keto coffee made with MCT oil. MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides, which are long-chain fatty acids that give you an energy boost.2 Instead of being stored as fat, the body immediately uses MCTs as fuel.3
To get the benefits, try adding a tablespoon Swanson Premium 100% Pure MCT Oil to your morning coffee or tea. Coconut oil is also a great source of MCTs, so if you like the flavor of coconuts as much as we do, try Swanson’s 100% Certified Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil instead.
5. Un-Stress Your Holidays
Have you ever noticed feeling tired after being stressed? Stress and fatigue go hand in hand.4 And as magical as the holiday season can be, it can also come with a fair share of stress. Traveling, family tension, maintaining work-life balance during the holidays, and even dealing with long Black Friday checkout lines and crowds can contribute to stress and fatigue.
What can you do about holiday stress? Embrace the stress-busting power of adaptogenic herbs, unique herbs that help minimize the physical and mental effects of stress by reducing cortisol levels and contributing to better wellbeing overall.5 Ashwagandha and rhodiola rosea root are among our favorites. Also, check out some stress-reducing ideas for every day in Say Om: 6 Tips to Help You Relax and Reduce Stress.
6. Try Herbal Energizers
Stress reduction isn’t the only use for herbal supplements. In fact, there’s a science-backed herb for every area of health you could imagine, including energy. Herbs like ginseng, rhodiola rosea, ginkgo biloba, and cordyceps are all excellent, nature-sourced energizers.
Our top pick in herbal energy is Swanson’s Pure Science Herbals Pure Energy, a synergistic herbal blend with adaptogenic rhodiola rosea. It provides balanced energy, focus and antioxidant support all in one formula to keep you going strong on Black Friday and every day.
7. Take a Breather
Did you know something as simple as breathing exercises could give you more energy? Most people breath pretty shallow without really thinking about it. Breathing more deeply into the diaphragm increases the oxygen in your blood, which is healthier for your entire body, but it also helps you relax and feel more energized.6
The next time you feel drained or overwhelmed, practice deep breathing. Take 10 deep breaths, breathing in and out from your diaphragm. You can do this from anywhere—from the checkout line to your desk at work. As a bonus, you can also add a couple of drops of an energizing, peppermint aromatherapy oil to a cloth and keep it in your bag or pocket for an aromatherapy pick-me-up after your breathing exercise. Learn more about aromatherapy uses in Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Beginner's Guide to Using Essential Oils.
8. Take a Break with Nature or Music
If temperatures permit in your area this time of year or if you’re dressed warmly enough, taking a quick break outside could be just the energizer you need. Research shows that spending just 20 minutes outside each day increases energy and vitality.7
If you can’t spend time outdoors because of the weather, take a break near a window and listen to music with your headphones for a few minutes. Music can be incredibly uplifting—put some music on that is around 140 beats per minute on your playlist to help your brain feel energized.8
9. Drink More Water
Fatigue is one of the first signs of inadequate hydration.9 Your body uses water for everything, so it isn’t surprising that not getting enough water can leave you feeling tired. Plus, if you had a big meal the night before you might have taken in more sodium than you would at a typical meal, which means you need to drink more water. Also, dry air during colder months can make you feel less hydrated too.
Carry a refillable water bottle with you while you shop on Black Friday to avoid needing to buy water in disposable bottles while you’re out. You’ll always have hydration conveniently on hand that way, and it’s better for the environment and your budget.
Learn more about the importance of staying hydrated in Water for the Win: Benefits of Water, Plus 5 Water Infusions to Try.
10. Pack Healthy Snacks
Keep your energy up on the go by taking along a few healthy, satisfying snacks to hold you over until the next meal. You may be less tempted to grab something unhealthy from a food court that way, and it’s one less line to stand in!
Pack a protein bar or a small bag of trail mix. Reach for a handful of dried fruit and nuts or carry an apple in your bag. Just be sure to wash your hands first or use travel-sized hand sanitizer since you’ll touch a lot of public surfaces while shopping.
11. Don’t Eat a Heavy Restaurant Meal
If you’re spending a day out shopping and want to eat while you’re out, look for something nutritious and energizing. Restaurant meals (even salads!) can be notoriously full of hidden calories, fat and sodium and can make you feel sluggish. Some restaurant salads contain 1000 calories or more!10 Many of those calories can come from the dressing or toppings, and you can usually request modifications, but it’s something to look out for if you’re looking to stay energized all day.
Eating clean and healthily while you’re out will help keep energy levels up, so if you can’t find a reasonably healthy option on a restaurant menu, head to a grocery store salad bar or hot counter instead to find whole food options in portion sizes you can better control, which also means no leftovers to carry around while you shop.
12. Layer Up
Your body uses a lot of energy while keeping you warm in colder temperatures, and we all know that sometimes the lines for the best Black Friday deals start outside the store. If it’s cold out, be prepared. Wear layers that will keep you warm when you’re outside and that are easily removed once indoors, so you don’t get stuck in a line outdoors without proper attire. Also, check the weather before you go to see if you’ll need an umbrella!
13. Take a Nap
If you got an early start or had a late bedtime and feel exhausted, there’s absolutely no shame in heading home for a quick nap. In fact, if you live close enough to the stores, going home for lunch and a nap is a great way to save money and re-energize. After all, you probably have leftovers at home!
Studies show that a quick 10 to 20-minute nap may be all you need to feel more alert, so find a quiet spot and get your snooze on.11 Set the alarm so you don’t miss out on the rest of the great deals and don’t nap longer than 20 minutes. Researchers say that while a shorter nap is helpful, napping 30 minutes or more can make you feel sluggish.11
14. Shop Online
Want to skip the legwork and let the savings come to you? Many of the same deals (or even better deals!) that are available in stores will also be available online on Black Friday. So, if the idea of holiday shopping in pajamas sounds good to you, embrace it completely. Why deal with the crowds when you can get everything done without leaving home? Settle into a comfy chair with a mug of organic cocoa nearby and get your shopping on.
Browse around online before Black Friday to put together your game plan. Most major stores release holiday fliers, sneak peek promos, and helpful info about upcoming deals in advance so you can browse and make your plans. And if you visit websites early, you can usually sign up for secret Black Friday deals via email or text messages.
What’s Your Black Friday Game Plan?
We love hearing tips from our readers. What are your Black Friday plans? Tell us if you’re staying in or braving the crowds and share your strategy for staying energized throughout the holiday season.
Lindsey is a nationally recognized registered dietitian and nutritionist with a soft spot for pie. She empowers people to take charge of their health by finding the balance between the pleasure and nourishment in food.
Her philosophy is that you should take care of your body because it’s the only permanent home you have. It’s what inspired her to pursue a career in nutrition and, ultimately, led her to Swanson Health.
1 Eat a protein-rich breakfast to reduce food cravings, prevent overeating later, researcher finds. Science Daily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110519113024.htm (Accessed 11/20/2018)
2 Medium-chain triglycerides increase energy expenditure and decrease adiposity in overweight men. PubMed. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12634436 (Accessed 11/20/2018)
3 Beneficial Effects on Energy, Atherosclerosis and Aging. Nutrition Review. https://nutritionreview.org/2013/04/medium-chain-triglycerides-mcts/ (Accessed 11/20/2018)
4 A Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Parallel-Group Study of the Standard Extract SHR-5 of the Roots of Rhodiola Rosea in the Treatment of Subjects with Stress-Related Fatigue. Dept. of Psychology Uppsala University. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/ (Accessed 11/20/2018)
5 Adaptogenic Herbs: Nature’s Solution to Stress. The Chiropractic Resource Organization. http://www.chiro.org/nutrition/FULL/AdaptogenicHerbs.shtml (Accessed 06/21/2018)
6 A Simple Breathing Exercise To Give You More Energy. MindBodyGreen. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-18633/a-simple-breathing-exercise-to-give-you-more-energy.html (Accessed 11/20/2018)
7 Spending time in nature makes people feel more alive, study shows. ScienceDaily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100603172219.htm (Accessed 11/20/2018)
8 Energize Your Brain With These 50 Motivational Songs. Inc.com https://www.inc.com/wanda-thibodeaux/what-kind-of-music-is-best-for-energizing-your-brain-neuroscience-has-some-answe.html (Accessed 11/20/2018)
9 Eating to Boost Energy. Harvard Health Publishing. https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/eating-to-boost-energy (Accessed 11/20/2018)
10 24 Restaurant Salads With More Than 1,000 Calories. Eat This, Not That! https://www.eatthis.com/salads-over-1000-calories/ (Accessed 11/20/2018)
11 Why You Should Take a 10-Minute Nap Every Day. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2012/07/24/why-you-should-take-a-10-minute-nap-every-day/#32dfab971b0f (Accessed 11/20/2018)
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.