How To Have More Energy, According To The Experts
How To Have More Energy, According To The Experts

How To Have More Energy, According To The Experts

If you rely on caffeine and sugar to get through the day, then you’re doing your energy levels no favours. The secret, according to the experts, is to ditch temporary fixes and take a long-term approach to get your mood and brain power back on track. Here’s what they recommend…
By Tor West
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Image: DUET POSTSCRIPTUM/STOCKSY UNITED

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Take A Break To Eat

“Eating whilst stressed impairs your energy. If you’re stressed when you eat, the body struggles to digest and absorb nutrients – instead, blood leaves your gut and is directed to your arms and legs, ready for ‘fight or flight’ mode. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take ten minutes away from your screen or phone to eat. This will give your gut a chance to do what it was designed to do. Plus, when we’re stressed, we tend to reach for quick fixes that give us a temporary boost and a perceived burst of energy, which is then followed by a drop in energy, often leaving you feeling even worse.” – Dr Simoné Laubscher, PhD, WelleCo formulator & founder of Rejuv Wellness

Don’t Over-Exercise

“Over-exercising can have a negative effect on your energy levels, especially if you’re not fuelling adequately. Embrace exercise – it should leave you feeling uplifted and energised. If you’re going through a stressful time, be kind and move your body in a loving way, and think twice about cutting calories or carbs from your diet. This will lead you to feel over-hungry and make poor diet choices, which has a knock-on effect on energy levels.” – Simoné

Move Your Body

“Don’t underestimate the power of walking when you’re lacking in energy and feel flat and anxious. Walking forces your amygdala – the part of your brain linked to emotional processes – to quieten down, while cross crawls (bringing together your opposite elbow and knee) can shift you out of a low-vibe, stressful state. Any movement will help, so don’t overthink it. Dancing, star jumps or jumping on a trampoline will shake off low energy.” – Simoné

Hydrate

“I see clients drinking two litres of water every day but who are still dehydrated. This is because water flushes out your system if your mineral levels aren’t optimal. To hydrate at a cellular level and improve energy, add lemon or lime, sea salt, ginger and cinnamon to your water.” – Simoné

Studies show those who regularly take COLD SHOWERS report increased energy levels and BETTER MOOD.

Stand More

“Chairs, and how much time we spend in them, are by far the biggest energy zapper in our modern lives. From the moment we wake up, we sit on a train, sit at a desk, and then go back home to sit on the sofa and then head to bed. This corresponds to poor posture and a lack of strength, which impacts how we breathe, which in turn affects our emotions. Throughout the working day, change your computer position – sit on the floor with your legs crossed or in a squat pose, or half pigeon pose, or lie on your front to keep the spine supple. Seek opportunities throughout the day to relax and soften the body. Yoga is a great way to relieve tension – no more wasted energy on tight muscles and hunched shoulders.” – Nick Higgins, co-founder & lead instructor at Hotpod Yoga.

Spend Time With Friends

“While ‘me-time’ is important for our mental and physical wellbeing, too much of it can have an adverse effect on our health. Social isolation can cause low mood and tiredness, and studies have found those who are less social are also unhappier and don’t sleep as well. Instead of streaming TV shows or scrolling on your phone, get out of the house and meet up with friends. A conversation with another person will stimulate your mind and help you to feel energised.” – Dr Naomi Newman-Beinart, nutritionist & specialist in health psychology.

Be Careful With Caffeine

“Sources suggest 400mg of caffeine per day – equivalent to four cups (945ml) of coffee – is safe for most healthy adults, but this varies significantly between individuals. Caffeine does improve alertness and concentration, but it also stimulates the adrenal glands to work harder and release more adrenaline to keep you from feeling sleepy, which can create havoc with the body if you’re already stressed. Caffeine can also influence the production of your sex hormones, which can worsen PMS and menopausal symptoms, and disrupt the body’s insulin sensitivity, leading to imbalanced blood sugar. For a natural alternative, try a cordyceps supplement. Studies show this medicinal mushroom can increase the uptake of oxygen in the body, improving brain power and athletic performance.” – Naomi

Prioritise Sleep

“It’s a common misconception that our bodies can learn to get by on little sleep without negative side effects. We spend one third of our lives asleep, and it’s during this valuable time that our body repairs damaged cells and creates new ones, so we can run at an optimum level. Quality sleep is vital for mental and physical health, and studies show getting less than seven hours of sleep on a long-term basis plays a role in reducing energy and concentration levels.” – Naomi

Top Up Your Energy Bank

“If you make a withdrawal from your energy bank – whether it’s tackling your to-do list, catering for your kids’ needs, caring for ageing parents or dealing with a stressful deadline – also think about making a deposit. If you don’t respect this basic law of nature, we get depleted and run-down. Break the habit of working through tiredness and low energy at your desk and don’t rely on shots of sugar or caffeine to perk yourself up. Instead, give yourself a more restorative break so your brain can reboot itself. Get out of the habit of thinking off-time is wasted time – we can only be fully ‘on’ if we also allow ourselves to be fully ‘off’. If you’ve been staring at your screen for hours and everything feels harder and slower, take this as nature’s cue to take a break. Stretch, get outside, or tackle a task that’s easy on the brain, like tidying. You’ll come back with a brain that’s newly refreshed.” – Suzy Glaskie, functional medicine health coach.

CAFFEINE prompts the body to release adrenaline, which can CREATE HAVOC with energy levels if you’re already stressed.

Pick Your Company Wisely

“Energy is contagious, so be mindful who you spend your time with. Avoid energy vampires who leave you feeling drained, and instead, surround yourself with high energy, positive people whose good vibes will rub off on you.” – Suzy

Use Box Breathing

“It’s surprising how many of us are shallow breathers and only use a small percentage of our lung capacity. Box breathing is a simple and effective way to boost energy. Breathe in for a count of four, hold for a count of four, breathe out for four, and then hold for four before repeating several times. This is a great tool to do when you wake or during the day when you feel fatigued.” – Dr Reuben Chen, expert in traditional Chinese medicine

Eat Within An Eight-Hour Window

“If you graze constantly throughout the day, your body uses energy metabolising the food you eat. But, if you restrict your eating to a window of time and don’t snack, your ATP – aka the energy produced by your cells – increases. Try eating all your meals within an eight-hour window followed by a 16-hour fast for a simple way to reset your system and kickstart energy levels.” – Andy Daly, nutritional therapist at Dr David Jack

Take A Cold Shower

“Finishing a warm shower with a burst of cold water is a great way to enhance energy. When you expose your body to hot water, your blood vessels dilate, allowing for increased blood flow to the skin and muscles. Conversely, cold water causes blood vessels to constrict. This repeated expansion and contraction of blood vessels may improve overall circulation, which can help transport oxygen and nutrients more efficiently throughout the body. Better circulation may lead to increased energy levels as the body receives more oxygen and nutrients. Studies show those who regularly take cold showers report increased energy levels and better mood.” – Andy

Chew Gum

“The act of chewing gum intensifies cerebral blood flow, particularly to regions such as the prefrontal cortex, which is associated with attention and decision-making. This increased blood flow makes it easier for oxygen and nutrients to reach the brain cells, helping you to feel more focused and energised.” – Carolina Goncalves, superintendent pharmacist at Pharmica

Cook From Scratch

“Poor-quality diets can be a huge energy zapper. Busy lives mean many of us don’t have time to cook from scratch and instead reach for ultra-processed foods for convenience. Packaged and ready-made food is stripped of nutrients like fibre, and is loaded with sugar, which puts our energy levels into a spin. Fibre is essential for consistent energy levels – it slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream, keeping us fuller and more energised for longer. Don’t be afraid to snack if you feel your energy dipping but practise smart snacking by pairing two of the following: protein, fat and fibre. This could be hummus and crudites, Greek yoghurt and fruit, or a boiled egg.” – Lucy Jones, nutritionist

Supplement With B12

“A B-vitamin deficiency is a very common cause of tiredness, especially among women and those following a plant-based diet. The problem is many of us know little about our nutrient intake and are unaware of a deficiency, so test your nutrient levels to understand your requirements. If you’re feeling run down and lacking in energy, you may need more vitamin B12, which plays a key role in energy metabolism.” – Naomi

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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