Are you in the midst of a long, seemingly endless day (or night) of transcribing? Are you in the middle of pulling your hair out while trying to identify 10+ speakers in a noisy focus group? Are you desperately trying to stay awake for an overnight transcription or rush transcription job? Have no fear; our resident nutritionist is here with some priceless recommendations that will make even the most difficult of audio recordings seem less daunting and give you the energy you need to push your way to the finish line.
1) Opti-MSM Flakes and Molybdenum - Far and away our number one recommendation, Opti-MSM Flakes may taste bitter, but they won't leave you feeling bitter. After a 5 mg dose, it feels like your brain "turns on," giving you the energy to accomplish difficult, tedious work like transcription often is. How does MSM do this? MSM is methylsufonylmethane, an organic sulfur compound naturally derived during the earth's rain cycle, and sulfur is an essential mineral the human body needs. Unfortunately, the cooking process quickly destroys sulfur, leaving most people sulfur deficient. MSM energizes the body a number of ways, the primary one being that it increases the permeability of our cells. In doing so, MSM detoxifies the body, allowing toxins and metabolic waste to move out of the cell, while nutrients, hydration and oxygen move into the cells. By removing waste products within your cells, MSM accelerates recovery and healing, thereby relieving pain and soreness. It also remarkably breaks up the bad calcium that lies at the root of many degenerative diseases. With increased cell permeability, less energy is necessary for digestion and toxin accumulation.
For best results and increased absorption, you should combine Opti-MSM Flakes with whole-food Vitamin C, such as the type available in the adrenal cocktail discussed below in item number two, along with the mineral molybdenum, which assists with sulfur metabolism. If you decide to purchase MSM, we strongly recommend you buy the flake form, not the encapsulated version. The flakes are more readily absorbed and allow for a higher dose. In addition, we strongly recommend purchasing the MSM Health Solutions brand or the Sunfood brand. Some brands contain fillers and even heavy metals, so we urge you to choose one of these two brands for purity and effectiveness.
2) Whole-Food Vitamin C and Celtic Sea Salt - Adrenal fatigue is often at the root of most chronic fatigue problems, and the adrenal cocktail remedies this with one-half tablespoon of whole-food vitamin C and one-quarter to one-half teaspoon of Celtic sea salt. The sour taste of acerola cherry powder combined with the saltiness of Celtic sea salt may be an acquired taste, but the salt is crucial to relieving overstressed adrenals. Caffeine, sugar, processed carbohydrates, overtraining/overexercising, chronic stress, lack of sleep, food intolerances, gut infections, brain inflammation and unmanaged autoimmune diseases all place heavy stress on our adrenal glands. Healthy adrenals allow our bodies to meet the demands of everyday stress, and we know just as well as you do that transcription can be a very stressful career.
3) Coconut Oil - Well known for its moisturizing properties when used externally, coconut oil also boosts thyroid function and energy levels when taken internally. Start with one teaspoon per day and gradually build your way up to one to two tablespoons per day. Coconut oil has countless benefits, and it works effectively as both an antiviral and antifungal. It may even relieve constipation for some, but be sure to work your way up slowly, as you may experience mild cramping if you swallow two tablespoons in one sitting on your first try. An additional perk: coconut oil decreases appetite, so you won't be distracted by hunger pains during a seemingly endless transcription with an impending deadline.
4) Maca - Maca is a Peruvian adaptogen that balances hormones and boosts energy levels, and the HealthForce brand of maca is perhaps the most potent and unique maca blend available in the world. Maca can cause bloating at high doses, so we recommend starting with one teaspoon per day. You can work your way up to two to three teaspoons per day if you feel the need for more, but one teaspoon is often enough to give you stable energy minus the crash that too often comes with caffeine.
5) Yerba Mate - Yerba mate is a cleaner alternative to coffee, as it provides the body with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals as well as energizing caffeine. Boasting 150 mg of caffeine per glass bottle, yerba mate can give you a nice caffeine buzz. We strongly recommend the Guayaki glass bottles over the canned varieties though, as the canned versions contain excessive amounts of sugar. We personally prefer the mint terere flavor, but it's available in raspberry, peach and pomegranate as well. Just be careful not to overdo it, as these all contain a lot of caffeine, though the peach flavor has the unique benefit of only containing 80 mg of caffeine per bottle.
6) Magnesium - It isn't often you see magnesium included on a list of energy hacks, as most people associate magnesium with relaxation, calm and sleep. However, this misconception is dangerous when we don't fully understand the importance of magnesium and the full array of benefits that it provides. While magnesium does relax the body, magnesium deficiency will also cause fatigue. Magnesium is essential to the health of our thyroid and adrenal glands, both of which almost entirely determine how energetic we feel. If you're drinking caffeinated beverages to stay energized, you're further depleting your magnesium stores, so it's critical you replenish your magnesium after a cup of coffee or yerba mate. Magnesium will also kick that pesky anxious feeling that comes with too much caffeine.
7) A standing desk - Contrary to popular belief, standing all day can surprisingly make you feel more energized. In coming blog posts, we'll be discussing how standing desks can work for all office professionals, even transcriptionists. We'll also offer some tips on minimizing the discomforts of standing for a long period.
What do you think?
Do you have an energy "hack" that gets you through some of the toughest transcriptions?
Share your tips for staying energized in the comments below. Happy transcribing!