10 Instant Energy Boosters for Thyroid Patients

by Mary Shomon Patient Advocate

“I’m exhausted!” It’s one of the most common complaints we have as thyroid patients. Before my hypothyroidism treatment was optimized, there were days when I actually had to pull over on the road for a quick nap just to stay awake long enough to finish my drive home! I was so sick and tired of being tired! What I wouldn’t have given then to know what I know now about these 10 quick energy-boosters for people with thyroid disease!

Woman's hands organizing pills.

Add T3 or change your dosing schedule

Research shows that some people taking the thyroid hormone replacement drug levothyroxine for hypothyroidism could benefit from the addition of a second hormone, triiodothyronine, or T3. Talk to your doctor about adding T3 in the form of synthetic T3 (Cytomel, liothyronine), a time-released compounded T3 drug, or natural desiccated thyroid.

If you are already taking a T3 drug, talk to your healthcare provider about splitting your dose so that you take some in the morning and some in the early afternoon. This helps keep your levels stable and wards off fatigue throughout the day.

Vitamin B1 spelled out in magnets.

Take some B1/thiamine

Studies show that supplementing with thiamine — also known as vitamin B1 — at 600 mg/day can lead to almost complete relief of fatigue in most thyroid patients within a few hours — or at most a few days.
This is considered a safe dose and is worth trying if you are struggling with fatigue and exhaustion.

Woman taking a deep breath.

Take an energizing breath break

According to breathwork expert Lauren Chelec Cafritz, conscious breathing quickly oxygenates your cells, tissues, glands, and organs. The next time you feel tired, try taking several slow, deep belly breaths. Hold each breath for a few seconds, then slowly exhale.

If you want a more specific breathwork technique, check out this 90-second energy-breath video on YouTube for an easy, quick breath exercise to energize you.

Man napping on the couch with his dog.

Take a power nap

A short “power nap” can increase your alertness and energy for several hours. The key is short, however. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that your power nap last no longer than 10 to 20 minutes. That way, you won't wake up groggy, and your nap won’t interfere with your nighttime sleep.

Apple slices and peanut butter.

Eat an energy-boosting snack

When you're tired, you may be tempted to reach for a carbohydrate-rich snack like a candy bar or muffin. But your energy boost will be short-lived and you will crash and feel even more tired afterward. For an energy boost that lasts, choose a snack that combines a higher-fiber carbohydrate with protein, like a handful of nuts, a hard-boiled egg, an apple or banana with some protein (like cheese or peanut butter), or a protein shake or smoothie.

Seniors dancing in the backyard.

Take a movement break

When you’re tired, getting up and getting a few minutes of movement can help increase oxygen levels, and give you a much-needed spike in energy. According to a study in the journal Personality and Social Psychology, you'll feel more energetic for up to two hours after just a 10-minute power walk. Some other ideas: March or dance in place for a few minutes or climb some stairs. My personal favorite? A few minutes of T-Tapp “hoe-downs,” which I can do almost anywhere. Learn how to do a T-Tapp hoe-down in this three-minute instructional video from Teresa Tapp on YouTube.

Man taking a sip of water.

Drink some water

One of the most common reasons we feel tired is because we’re dehydrated. Water helps oxygen to circulate. The next time you’re feeling pooped, chug a big glass of water. And make sure you’re getting enough water throughout the day on a regular basis to help ward off fatigue.

Cup of coffee and coffee beans.

Grab an energy drink

There are times when a coffee, cappuccino, espresso, or tea can provide a much-needed, fatigue-fighting caffeine infusion. Green tea has less caffeine but can provide some added energy. If caffeine is not your thing, try ginseng tea, which can improve energy without making you jittery. (Be careful about overdoing the venti coffees, and Monster, Red Bull, and other "energy" drinks. Overdosing on caffeine can make you jittery, elevate your heart rate and blood pressure, and trigger heart palpitations.)

Pouring a scoop of powder into a glass of water.

Reach for the D-ribose

D-ribose is a natural sugar that is available in powdered supplement form. Noted hormonal health and fatigue expert, Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., author of the book “From Fatigued to Fantastic,” conducted a study of the effects of d-ribose on energy. He found that two-thirds of the patients he studied had an improvement in energy of about 45 percent on average when taking several scoops of d-ribose daily. It took about two weeks for the full effects to be felt.

Woman enjoying a sunny fall day.

Go outside

Exposure to natural light can help reset your body’s circadian clock, balance melatonin levels, and increase your energy. When you’re feeling especially draggy, try to get outside in natural light. (Take off those sunglasses for a few minutes, or you will interfere with the benefits!) Even moving from an artificially-lit room to an area with an outside window can help.

Mary Shomon
Meet Our Writer
Mary Shomon

Mary Shomon is a patient advocate and New York Times bestselling author who empowers readers with information on thyroid and autoimmune disease, diabetes, weight loss and hormonal health from an integrative perspective. Mary has been a leading force advocating for more effective, patient-centered hormonal healthcare. Mary also co-stars in PBS’ Healthy Hormones TV series. Mary also serves on HealthCentral’s Health Advocates Advisory Board.