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 - Far and away our number-one recommendation, Opti-MSM Flakes may taste bitter, but they won't leave you feeling bitter. After a 5 to 10 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 Vitamin C non-acidic sodium ascorbate powder. We recommend 10 to 30 mg per day. 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) Vitamin C Non-Acidic Sodium Ascorbate Powder - Adrenal fatigue is often at the root of most chronic fatigue problems, and high-dose vitamin C is critical to nourishing your adrenals, balancing hormones and warding off viruses. While other forms of vitamin C are difficult to consume in high doses, the sodium ascorbate form is non-acidic, gentle on the stomach and provides the sodium needed to nourish your adrenal glands. We recommend 1/2 to 2 teaspoons per day, though be careful — we’ve found this form of vitamin C to be so effective it does induce insomnia at high doses. We also recommend hydrating yourself after consumption or you may feel slightly nauseous.
3) Celtic Sea Salt - Society has villainized salt, but that’s because traditional table salt doesn’t have the nourishing minerals that Celtic sea salt does. Adrenal fatigue is often at the root of most chronic fatigue problems, and human adrenal glands love Celtic sea salt. Any time you start feeling tired, try chugging a teaspoon or two of Celtic sea salt, and you’ll notice an instant surge in energy levels. The salt doesn’t taste good of course, but you can chase it with cold water; then follow it up with a popsicle, some fruit and/or some flavored carbonated water. Real salt, such as Celtic sea salt or Himalayan pink 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.
4) 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.
5) Hiball Energy Drinks - Hiball is a cleaner alternative to coffee, as it provides the body with B vitamins as well as guarana, ginseng and caffeine. Boasting 160 mg of caffeine per can, Hiball can give you a nice caffeine buzz without calories or sugar. Hiball comes in five flavors: grapefruit, lime, peach, vanilla and wild berry. Our least favorite flavor is vanilla, and our favorite flavor is the wild berry. However, the lime and grapefruit flavors have the most natural-tasting flavors. Just be careful not to overdo it, as these all contain a lot of caffeine. If you do get the jitters from too much caffeine, a 5 mg scoop of Opti-MSM Flakes combined with a half teaspoon of Vitamin C non-acidic sodium ascorbate powder can knock out that jittery feeling without making you feel tired.
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. Magnesium also comes in many forms. We find the citrate form to be energizing, while the glycinate form to be more relaxing. We recommend taking three to four teaspoons of magnesium citrate in the morning, followed by a teaspoon or two of Celtic sea salt to balance your mineral levels. Start slowly though; magnesium citrate does loosen stools. However, in doing so it also helps detox your system.
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!