5 Quick Energy Boosts
If you often feel tired and sluggish, try these five tips to increase your energy levels and bring some oomph back into your life.
A well-balanced diet with lots of natural whole foods such as fruit, vegetables and whole grains will improve your body’s energy production. Eating foods with a low glycemic index will release energy slowly, avoiding the energy slump that often accompanies foods high on the glycemic index which are absorbed quickly. Avoid unhealthy processed foods and eating too much which can make you feel sluggish.
Vitamin B12 is essential for the body’s energy production processes. Eat foods rich in vitamin B12 for an energy boost, such as liver, sardines, beef, tuna, salmon, eggs, milk and cheese. For vegetarians and vegans, try a B12 supplement, or fortified cereals and non diary milk.
How you eat can also affect your energy levels -small frequent meals will keep your energy levels up without over working the system. Eat your last meal at least 2 hours before bed to improve your sleep quality.
Drinking plenty of water helps the blood carry nutrients around the body. If you drink less than a litre of water per day, increasing your water intake can decrease fatigue and sleepiness.
Caffeine in the form of tea and coffee can have energising effects in moderation. Avoid carbonated ‘energy’ drinks as they are mostly full of sugar and will actually make you feel worse once the effects have worn off.
Limiting alcohol intake can improve your sleep and decrease the depressant effects .
Research has shown that a brisk 10 minute walk can have a revitalising effect, enhancing energy for two hours *. Although it feels counter- intuitive exercising has been proven to boost your energy levels and mood. People with sedentary lifestyles have higher levels of fatigue compared to their more physically active peers.
Exercise improves your cardiovascular health, giving you greater endurance, so you don’t feel so tired at the end of the day.
Lack of sleep will obviously leave you feeling tired throughout the day. Making the changes to the way you eat, drink and exercise as described above can all help improve your sleep quality. Ideally you would stop looking at any screens at least two hours before bed. The blue light from screens tricks the body into thinking it is daytime and reduces hormones like melatonin which regulates your body’s sleep cycle.
Just think of all the energy you would save if you stopped stressing out! Relaxation therapies such as meditation and yoga can help reduce your stress, as can simply going for a walk, switching off, or talking to a friend or relative.
* Energy, tiredness, and tension effects of a sugar snack versus moderate exercise. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology