Are you fed up with feeling tired all the time? The stresses and pressures of modern life have left many of us feeling exhausted, overwhelmed and with little time or energy to take care of ourselves. And it’s our bodies that are beginning to pay the price. When were stressed and tired it’s easy to reach for a quick boost of energy. Sure, that chocolate bar or cappuccino might make you feel great for about five minutes, but after that quick high wears off, you’ll crash and burn and feel even more drained.
Tips for Boosting Daily Energy
So what’s the secret to long lasting energy and keeping sluggishness at bay? In this article, you’ll discover six fatigue fighters that will help to put a spring back in your step. You’ll find out out more about what they are, how they work and what they can do for you.
Eat a nutrient rich diet
The first step to boosting your energy is a healthy, nutrient rich diet. Your body needs nutritious food as fuel to work efficiently.
That means filling up on lots of protein and whole grains, which take longer for your body to break down, ensuring you have a consistent dose of energy throughout the day.
Eating protein (meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, tofu, lentils, chickpeas, beans, nuts and seeds) is also a great way to stabilise blood sugar levels. Pair this with leafy greens and cut back on starchy carbs (white potatoes, white pasta, white rice and white bread) for a new, improved energised you.
Stable blood sugar levels are important for consistent enegry throughout the day. When you have problems stabilising our blood sugar there will be times when your bood sugar levels are too low (hypoglycaemia) and too high (hyperglycaemia). Swings from low to high blood sugar can have debilitating effects on your day-to-day life. With symptoms ranging from lying awake in the early hours and craving sweets, starchy foods and stimulants with low blood sugar levels, to frequent thirst and unintended weight loss or gain in the case of high blood sugar levels.
Don’t fruit bomb your snack time
When we’re trying to be healthy, it’s easy to think that knocking back tons of fruit will do a world of good. But while you need some naturally occurring sugar in your diet (as opposed to ‘added sugar’, which is in EVERYTHING), fruit bombing yourself at snack time could actually make you more tired. This is because the older we get, the harder it is for our bodies to break down the fructose in fruit, which, unmetabolised, stays in your system and slows it down, making you feel lethargic.
To avoid this, pick one piece or serving of high water content fruit, like watermelon or blueberries.
While on the subject of sugar, filling up on sugary treats when you’re tired won’t do you any favours either. It will however, send your blood sugar levels sky high followed by an inevitable crash, which will leave you feeling worse than ever. Avoid it as much as possible and your body (and sanity) will thank you!
Focus on vitamins and minerals
Some vitamins and minerals are particularly useful when you want to boost your energy levels, because they help you get a handle on stress. And as anyone feeling stressed out will know, emotional exhaustion can be just as crippling as physical tiredness. As well as making you feel low, anxiety and depression drains your energy and affects your sleep patterns, making you feel more tired when you’re awake. Counteract the fatigue by
stocking up on the following:
B Vitamins are fundamental to energy production, particularly.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
Vitamin B1 is really important. You simply can’t get energy from food without it. And it’s particularly crucial for turning carbohydrates into energy. Anyone exercising regularly (and relying on carbs for fuel) will need more. Alcohol deplete B1 so frequent drinking increases need too. And it’s only stored in the body for a short time so you need to consume it regularly. B1 is found in Pork, fish, nuts & seeds especially sunflower seeds & flaxseeds) navy beans, green peas, asparagus brown rice and mussels.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Vitamin B2 is another tiny helper needed for the body to convert into energy. It’s particularly important for energy production in the heart and muscles and has important jobs as an antioxidant. This means vitamin B2 not only helps your body to make energy, it protects these highly fragile processes against damage too. Alcohol and exercise both increase reqiurements for vitamin B2. B2 is found in eggs, meat (especially organ meats such as kidney and liver), fish, natural yoghurt, milk, spinach, almonds, avocado and mushrooms.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
This ‘energy’ vitamin joins the line-up for heling to transform your food into energy. It’s also involved in antioxidant and detox, and is needed to make hotmoones such as thyroid hormones too. Tiredness is a common symptom that can arise when thyroid hormones are low. If there’s not enough B3 in your diet, you maly start to feel tired. The best food sources of vitamin B3 are tuna, chicken,, turkey, salmon, beef, pork, sardines, Portobello mushrooms, peanuts, avocado, green peas, sweet potatoes and brown rice.
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)
Vitamin B5 is essential for food into energy. And like vitamin B3, it’s also involved in making hormones including ones that help you respond to stress. Ongoing stress can be a real drain on all nutrients, especially the B vitamins, and it’s important to priortise B5 during these times. It’snaturally present in many different foods but often lost during food processing. Many people eating a typical Western diet may not be getting enough. The best food sources of vitamin B5 are in Mushrooms (especially Shiitake), salmon, avocado, chicken, beef, sunflower seeds, whole mil, sweet potato and lentils.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Another vital nutrient that’s intricately involved in the complex process of turning your food into energy. Vitamin B6 also helps the body to access and use stored energy which means athletes or anyone exercising regularly are likely to need more. The best food sources are banana, sunflower seeds, potato, spinach, salmon, chicken, beef, turkey, tuna and pistachio nuts.
Magnesium is probably one of the most hard working minerals in the body. It has a vital role as a nutrient cofactor for over 300 metabolic process and physiological functions. Because of it’s indemand ststus in the body we need fairly high amounts of the mineral for normal functioning and strtess and busy lifestyle can increase our your body’s need for this mighty mineral. HWile magnesium can be taken as a supplement it is important to get as much as possible for the foods we eat. Magnesium rich foods include nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, chickpeas, green leafy veg and wholegrains
Vitamin E plays a protective role in the body. It’s key antioxidant role makes it an important nutrient to protect from a number of common degenerative conditions in modern society such as heart disease, tumours and joint disease. Vitamin E also helps to support healthy ageing, cognitive, immune and skin health too. Good sources of vitamin E include sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, swiss chard, avocado, asparagus and peanuts
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient, it’s an antioxidant, involved in cardiovascular health, wound healing, the formation of collagen and its acts as an antihistamine and helps to balance the stress response. We’re unable to make vitamin C and we can’t store it so your body relies on you taking this vitamin in through your diet. The top food sources of vitamin C are peppers (red, green, yellow, chilli), dark leafy greens, guava and papaya, citrus fruits, peas, broccoli and kiwi fruit.
Swap ‘energy’ drinks for invigorating herbs
Want to feel more energised? Brace yourself – it’s time to ditch the coffee, Diet Coke and energy drinks. Caffeine taxes the adrenals (the glands which produce
hormones that help the body control blood sugar, burn protein and fat, react to stressors like major illness or injury and regulate blood pressure).
Instead invest in some ashwagandha (Whole Foods Online, Amazon etc.), an Ayurvedic herb and adaptogen, which helps us handle stress better by cutting back on the adrenaline the body produces and reducing the ‘fight or flight’ response we get when we’re anxious. It’s also been known to help relieve depression (a big drain on energy), stabilise blood sugar and reduce inflammation.
Eleuthero is another clever herb that not only helps the body use what energy it has more effectively, it also boosts stamina, reduces tiredness and is a powerful antioxidant. Take it twice a day, but avoid it near bedtime as it could cause insomnia.
Avoid eleuthero if you have high blood pressure.
It’s obvious, right? If you haven’t slept well, you’re going to be tired. And when
your sleeping patterns are off the natural circadian rhythm (your internal body clock), it puts stress on the adrenals, which can lead to brain fog and more serious health problems. Sleep is when the body restores itself and produces melatonin, which sets the circadian rhythm, so aim for seven to eight hours a night if you can.
If you’re struggling to fall or stay asleep, filling up on foods with melatonin can help. Add bananas, pineapples, rice and oats to your diet. Introduce a bedtime routine to calm the mind ready for sleep – that means switching off all electronic devices ideally an hour before bed, practice some meditation, write down any worries so they won’t keep you awake or read a few pages of a good book. You’ll soon find your eyelids getting heavy and you’ll drift off into the Land of Nod.
Take a Digital Detox
When we’re feeling tired and drained, it’s harder to take proper care of ourselves.
We tend to isolate ourselves from the things and people that make us feel good, we stay in more and become more insular, spending hours glued to the TV, our phones and tablets.
But digitally disconnecting from the real world can actually make us feel worse and even more tired! So while you might not feel like leaving the comfort of your sofa and going out, it’s one of the easiest ways to boost your mood and feel energised.
Ask yourself: Am I looking after my emotional health? Am I eating more junk food, drinking alcohol and not exercising? Am I spending excessive time online instead of seeing people?
It is easy to reverse these lethargic behaviours and feel better. You just need to switch off the Netflix and put down the wine glass, phone and/or tablet. Only surround yourself with positive people. When you feel in control of whom you invite into your world, you feel less out of control with your body, mind and emotional health.
Ready to Feel Better
If you feel you’re doing everything right and yet you’re still exhausted, we’d love to help to get your life and your health back on an even keel. There can be many reasons why you’re struggling to get through the day. At The Thrive Practice, we work with clients just like you to get to the root of the problem and help them put in place the diet and lifestyle changes they need to experience a real breakthrough in their health. Book a free Wellness Breakthrough Call to discover the first steps you can take to get back on track. Alternatively, sign up to MetaMorphosis for a personalised approach to balancing your blood sugar, boosting your energy and managing your weight.