How to Increase Stamina and Get More Energy

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Stamina is the capacity to sustain energy for physical exercise and other day-to-day activities. Fortunately, healthy lifestyle habits and challenges can help build and improve stamina, such as increasing exercise, adding certain nutrients to your diet, exploring taking supplements, and practicing positive mental techniques.

This article provides an overview of how to improve stamina through exercise, diet, supplementation, and more, offering tips on factors that may be lowering levels.

What Exactly Is Stamina?

Some researchers describe stamina as having staying power to maintain a physical or mental effort. Similar descriptors include having vitality, vigor, pep, or lasting energy to perform an activity that involves the body, mind, or both.1

When you have low stamina, you may feel tired or burned-out after exerting just a little energy—like walking up a set of stairs or completing a work task that requires mental effort.2 This experience of fatigue can lead to a lack of motivation and issues with concentration.3

Taking steps to increase your stamina can help you feel more energetic and complete your daily to-do list with less struggle.

A Word From Verywell

Addressing a sudden decrease in stamina requires a comprehensive approach. Consultation with a healthcare professional, such as a physical therapist, is crucial for personalized assessment and guidance.


Increasing Stamina Through Exercise

Exercise is a main way to help you increase stamina and energy, defined as the ability to put forth maximum physical effort over a given period.4

Studies show that participating in a workout program can have the following benefits:5

  • Reducing fatigue
  • Decreasing stress levels
  • Boosting overall well-being

As one example, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts—which involve short bursts of intense activity like sprinting followed by several seconds of a low-impact activity like walking—can be effective.6

Yoga and meditation, when practiced regularly, can decrease stress levels, improve well-being, and bolster stamina by helping you to relax and restore.7

If you’re already physically active, experts recommend switching up your exercise routine to help boost stamina. This could include “pushing yourself” by:

  • Increasing weights
  • Increasing the intensity and time during workouts, like sprinting
  • Reducing rest time in between exercises or reps
  • Mixing up intense exercise and recovery

Just as physical activity is important, allowing your body to rest and recover is, too. Listening to your body and taking rest days in which you don’t physically exert yourself with an intense workout allows your body, mind, and muscular system to repair and rebuild.8

Increasing Stamina Through Diet

Focusing on foods that offer sustained energy is key for increasing stamina through diet. This involves finding a balance with your nutrition habits, particularly elements that support energy.

If you’re already incorporating exercise into your routine to help increase stamina, consider adding a combination of carbohydrates and protein. These nutrients help replenish lost glycogen stores (stored sugar in cells) and amino acids (building blocks of protein) needed to provide energy to the body and build new muscle.910

Carbohydrates like grains, cereals, and starchy vegetables could be coupled with protein options like hard-boiled eggs, plain Greek yogurt, hummus, and more. Consuming these pairs shortly after a workout can be effective for reaching the physical stamina gains you’re aiming for.11

Couple this with staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Hydration is key, as not getting enough fluids in your system can limit your body’s muscle recovery process—which can interfere with a stamina-boosting plan.12

In addition, because caffeine is a natural stimulant, including small amounts of it in your diet—in moderation—can help increase the heart rate and provide a temporary boost in energy when you’re feeling particularly tired or fatigued.13

Increasing Stamina (Safely) With Supplements

Supplements that anecdotally increase energy and stamina have gained popularity. Some research shows that almost one-third of people who report taking supplements use them for the potential energy benefits.14

The amino acid tyrosine may help fight fatigue as a dietary supplement.15 Some research suggests that this substance could be beneficial for increasing mental stamina and cognitive function, particularly in situations that are considered to be of high stress.16

Ashwagandha, an herb used in alternative medicine, has also been thought by researchers to help combat stress, decrease fatigue, and improve aspects of physical performance, including strength and power, endurance, and recovery.17 In at least one other small study, ashwagandha was shown to increase energy and cardiovascular endurance in some athletes.18

Creatine is a chemical naturally produced by the body. It is also a popular synthetic ingredient used for exercise performance. Because this substance helps provide energy to the muscular system, athletes often use it in supplement form to build muscle.19

Keep in mind that dietary supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the way prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications are.20 Be sure to read the product’s Supplement Facts label for a list of active ingredients.

Always check with a healthcare provider before adding any new vitamins or supplements to your daily routine. They may interact with medications or other supplements and may be inappropriate for your unique health and personal situations.21

How to Work on Mental Stamina

Having mental stamina is like having mental strength and the ability to handle stressors, perform under pressure, and maintain focus through distractions.22

Experts use a “four c’s” model of mental toughness to help describe this concept, which is:23

  • Control of your life and emotions
  • Commitment to your goals despite difficulties
  • Challenge as an opportunity instead of a threat
  • Confidence in yourself and your ability to succeed

Some ways you can build mental stamina include:23

  • Setting goals and maintaining an optimistic attitude about tracking progress
  • Focusing on the “why” to maintain motivation toward achieving a goal
  • Considering outside support mechanisms, including coaches, friends, family, or like-minded individuals, to continue pursuing your intentions
  • Practicing mindfulness techniques like breathwork, relaxation therapies, yoga, and meditation to help improve stress levels, patience, and overall well-being7

What Lowers Stamina?

A variety of lifestyle and risk factors can affect your energy and stamina levels, including:24

  • Diet: An unbalanced diet full of fatty, sugary, or processed foods doesn’t give the body enough fuel or nutrients to function properly, leading to more inflammation and less energy.
  • Activity: Not getting enough physical activity and remaining sedentary increases the risk of developing health diseases, weakens muscles, and raises stress levels.
  • Sleep: Experiencing sleep disturbances or a lack of quality sleep can greatly impact physical and mental activity levels.
  • Substances: Smokingdrinking alcohol, and using other substances have impacts on the nervous system and inflammation in the body, leading to issues with sleep, energy levels, and overall health.

Other risk factors include having a health condition such as chronic fatigue syndrome (or CES), which is a chronic illness that affects multiple systems in the body, making it difficult to perform daily tasks.25

Autoimmune conditions (in which the immune system attacks the body), cancer, metabolic disorders (such as diabetes), and heart disease can also trigger low stamina and extreme exhaustion.


Stamina is the ability to sustain enough physical or mental energy to perform a challenging activity or task. It’s possible to build or increase stamina—and support your overall health and well-being–through a combination of exercise, diet, supplements, and mental adjustments.

Check with a healthcare provider before incorporating any new elements into your routine, particularly if you have a health condition or are concerned about low stamina and energy levels.


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  10. Kwon YJ, Lee HS, Park JY, Lee JW. Associating intake proportion of carbohydrate, fat, and protein with all-cause mortality in Korean adultsNutrients. 2020;12(10):3208. doi:10.3390/nu12103208
  11. Kerksick CM, Arent S, Schoenfeld BJ, et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: nutrient timingJ Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017;14:33. doi:10.1186/s12970-017-0189-4
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  13. Goods PS, Landers G, Fulton S. Caffeine ingestion improves repeated freestyle sprints in elite male swimmersJ Sports Sci Med. 2017;16(1):93-98.
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  17. Bonilla DA, Moreno Y, Gho C, Petro JL, Odriozola-Martínez A, Kreider RB. Effects of ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) on physical performance: systematic review and Bayesian meta-analysisJ Funct Morphol Kinesiol. 2021;6(1):20. doi:10.3390/jfmk6010020
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Important Notice: This article was originally published at by Cristina Mutchler where all credits are due. Medically reviewed by Theresa Marko, PT, DPT, MS


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