Are you somebody that finds themselves exhausted all of the time no matter what you do?
Do you find that sluggishness sets in mid-afternoon, and you struggle to stay alert?
Could your energy levels just do with a boost?
Studies tell us that the average Briton spends more than seven-and-a-half years of their lifetime feeling tired. This equates to more than 20 hours each week feeling drained and low in energy.
The reasons people give for being tired include:
Before reaching for that extra cup of coffee, what can you do to banish fatigue, increase mental alertness and start each day fresh and ready for anything that it brings?
Reduce carbs and increase healthy fats
Although they are thought of as the ‘energy’ food, foods that are high in carbohydrates can leave you feeling sluggish. But not all carbs are created equal, and the main villains in this piece are the refined carbohydrates like sugar, biscuits, bread and pasta. Substituting complex carbohydrates into your diet such as vegetables and wholegrains can sustain energy levels for longer. For example, ditching the potato and switching to a sweet potato will boost you for longer.
Healthy fats from oily fish, avocados and olive oil provide the body with a long-lasting energy source and have the added benefit of omega-3 fats which help the brain stay mentally alert.
Before thinking that another coffee will do the trick, make sure that you’re well hydrated by drinking enough water. One of the first signs of dehydration is feeling tired and exhausted.
You should aim to be drinking between 2.5 and 3 litres of water a day, but if you are exercising intensely you may need to increase this amount, adding some electrolytes which are lost when working out.
Improve your sleep hygiene
Sleep hygiene is a term that covers your bedtime rituals and nightly habits. Getting this right is key to increasing your energy levels during the day.
These simple dietary and lifestyle changes can go a long way to improving energy levels, but keep in mind that low energy may also be a symptom of other conditions including thyroid problems, depression or anaemia. If fatigue persists consult with your doctor to determine the best method of treatment.