11 Tips For Better Energy
11 Tips For Better Energy

11 Tips For Better Energy

Whether you struggle to get going in the morning, are prone to an afternoon slump, or feel completely wiped at the end of the day, experts say even small tweaks to your lifestyle can make a big difference to your energy levels. From the benefits of morning light to why protein at every meal is a must, here’s how to get yourself back on track…
By Tor West
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Image: DUET POSTSCRIPTUM/STOCKSY UNITED
01

Open Your Blinds

“As soon as you wake up, open your blinds and avoid reaching for your phone for at least 30 minutes. If you can get outside for a walk or to enjoy a cup of tea, even better. Exposure to sunlight in the morning resets our circadian rhythm and supports the production of serotonin, which not only helps with sleep later but also improves mood and energy throughout the day. When it comes to your morning routine, also avoid fasted workouts and coffee on an empty stomach, both of which can wreak havoc with your energy levels.” – Hannah Alderson, registered nutritional therapist

02

Give Your Adrenals Some TLC

“The majority of women I speak to who suffer with consistently low energy are often running off their adrenals – the glands that make hormones like cortisol and adrenaline and help you deal with physical and emotional stress. This tends to be driven by a lack of protein and fibre-rich foods, skipping meals and grabbing sugar-laden foods for a quick energy fix. This has a dramatic effect on blood sugar levels, and manifests as low energy. Never be tempted to skip meals – you’ll pay for it later when your blood sugar crashes as there isn’t enough nourishment in your system to keep your energy up.” – Jess Shand, naturopathic nutritionist

03

Move Your Body

“Movement is a fantastic way to enhance energy levels, and can also help improve mood and aid sleep. Find something you love and do it daily; it doesn’t have to be long and strenuous. Even a short workout, running up and down the stairs, or bouncing on a trampoline are great ways to get the endorphins flowing, and release serotonin and dopamine to create a greater sense of wellbeing and enhanced energy.” – Dr Simoné Laubscher, WelleCo formulator & founder of Rejuv Wellness

04

Include Protein At Every Meal

“A lack of protein is one of the most common causes of low energy. In fact, upping your protein intake is a surprisingly simple way to naturally boost energy levels. Use the palm of your hand as a guide to how much to add to each of your meals. At the same time, incorporate more foods low on the glycaemic index – these foods convert slowly to energy in the bloodstream, helping you feel more balanced. Low-GI foods include berries, nuts and seeds. Complete protein sources include quinoa, buckwheat, tempeh, coconut yoghurt, eggs, hemp seeds, chia seeds and most protein powders. When combined, the following make complete proteins – beans and rice, porridge and nuts, nuts and beans, or lentils and rice.” – Jess

05

Cut Back On Caffeine

“Coffee is a double-edged sword – it can make you feel more alert and productive, but it can also leave you hyper, anxious and unable to focus. In fact, if you drink it late in the afternoon, chances are it’s one of the main factors sabotaging your energy levels. Caffeine also stresses the adrenals. It stimulates the nervous system and overdoing it can increase the production of both cortisol and adrenaline. If you’re already stressed, this will simply add to the long-term effects of stress on the body. It’ll interfere with your sleep, too. If you are struggling with your energy, reduce or eliminate your intake to give adrenals a chance to heal.” – Dr Naomi Newman-Beinart, nutritionist & chartered

06

Deal With Stress

“Don’t underestimate the role stress plays in fatigue. When you experience stress, your body’s natural response is to release hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, which can cause an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate, all of which require energy. While this response can be helpful in short bursts, prolonged stress can lead to a constant activation of the stress response, which drains energy levels. Chronic stress can also interfere with your sleep patterns, making it harder for your body to recharge and leaving you feeling fatigued. Furthermore, when you are stressed, you may feel mentally exhausted or overwhelmed, which can make it difficult to focus and concentrate, leading to a decrease in productivity and motivation. Incorporate deep breathing into your day – it will better oxygenate your body, moving fluid and toxins through the lymph system, helping you to feel more energised.” – Simoné

07

Snack On Healthy Fats

“Enhancing your three main meals – and using those meals as key opportunities in your day to support energy levels by packing in the nourishment – is a great first step. This will result in more balanced blood sugar levels, and therefore more balanced energy levels. If you are eating well-rounded, balanced meals, you shouldn’t feel the need to snack between meals, but nutrition isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, and some people feel better when they have a snack in the afternoon. If you do need to snack, reach for something high in both protein and healthy fats to keep you satiated – think full-fat Greek or coconut yoghurt with mixed seeds, crushed nuts and berries, or nut butter on seeded crackers.” – Jess

08

Stick To Warm Foods

“According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), some of the biggest energy zappers include chronic stress, lack of exercise, overstimulation, and irregular sleep patterns. Identifying and addressing these issues can support the body’s qi (energy) and promote more consistent energy levels. Eating foods that are warm in nature – such as soups, stews and cooked grains – are easier to digest and can help promote the smooth flow of qi. Cold foods, on the other hand, like salads and smoothies, can overstimulate the body and disrupt the smooth flow of qi. At the same time, mushrooms, nuts, seeds and dark leafy greens will also support healthy qi.” – Emilia Herting, TCM practitioner & co-founder of Escapada Health

09

Get Your Iron Levels Tested

“An iron deficiency is one of the most common problems I see among my female patients. I often see patients who struggle with low energy and fatigue that becomes worse around the time of their menstrual cycle, and this fatigue has a knock-on effect of hindering their exercise ability and performance. If you suspect you may be deficient in iron, get tested – brain fog, fatigue and immune problems are all symptoms. BetterYou’s oral spray is a great way to top up your levels – the tiny droplets absorb quickly into the bloodstream, providing fast, effective nutrient uptake. Ensure you are eating plenty of iron via the diet, too, especially during your period, and pair iron-rich foods with a source of vitamin C for optimal nutrient absorption – think spinach and tomatoes, black beans and red peppers, or kale and strawberries.” – Naomi

10

Up Your Omegas

“Low levels of omega-3 fatty acids – found in abundance in fatty fish like tuna and salmon – have been associated with chronic fatigue. Omega-3 not only supports brain function, attention levels, memory and alertness, but also acts as an anti-inflammatory, helping to renew cells and energy levels. Increase your intake of oily fish as well as healthy fats like avocado.” – Naomi

11

Make Sleep A Priority

“It’s no secret that getting enough rest is crucial for maintaining your energy levels throughout the day, but quality matters just as much as quantity. Sleep is designed to help us detox and repair after our day, and it has a direct impact on our physical and emotional health. For those of us who occasionally don’t drink enough water, or drink too much coffee, or miss the gym a little too often, we will produce more free radicals than others, making sleep even more important. Mindfulness rituals – such as journaling before bedtime and avoiding the news or stressful emails before bedtime – can help circumnavigate overthinking situations you have no control over, and tossing and turning all night. Avoiding blue lights on screens one hour or more before bedtime also helps to not overstimulate your pineal gland, supporting deep sleep.” – Naomi

For more from the experts, visit HannahAlderson.com, EscapadaHealth.com, WelleCo.co.uk, EatNourishAndGlow.com & follow @DrNaomiB on Instagram

 

DISCLAIMER: Features published by SheerLuxe are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programme.

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