Natural Energy Boosters To Keep You Productive
Are you exhausted from dawn until dusk? There are so many factors that can contribute to fatigue – stress, sleep, nutrition and lifestyle are just a few. But there are some natural energy boosters you can incorporate to counteract fatigue.
Make your meals and snack low GI
The simplest dietary change to make for all-day energy is choosing low GI meals and snacks.
Why low GI? Low GI foods will feed a slow and steady stream of energy into your body. This is because the other nutrients – protein, fibre and/or fat – slow down the absorption of glucose from the broken-down food. Foods that tend to be lower in GI are wholefoods – vegetables, low-sugar fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, wholegrains, eggs, meat and seafood.
On the other hand, high GI foods will give you a quick burst of energy, but then you’ll crash in an hour or two. Processed foods such as white bread, white pasta, most commercial cereals, white rice, sweetened yoghurts, lollies and milk chocolate are high in GI.
Looking for ways to tweak the GI of your food? Try:
- Adding nuts, cheese or nut butter when you eat fruit for a snack
- Including an extra serve of veggies with each meal
- Switching processed grain products for wholemeal options
Drink more water
Have you had enough water today? If you can’t say yes for sure, the answer is probably no. Very few people get sufficient water every day. But even mild dehydration of 1-2% can impact on your concentration, alertness, short-term memory and brain function. This can leave you feeling mentally exhausted.
Small steps are best for increasing water intake. Start with adding one cup of water when you feel fatigued. Give it an hour or two, see how you feel, and then add another. Even if dehydration isn’t the only cause of your low energy, it can’t hurt to include another cup or two!
Not a fan of plain water? Make sure you include plenty of fruit-infused water, herbal teas and water-rich foods to help you stay hydrated with additional tips found here.
Move your body
This might be a surprise, but one of the best ways to address fatigue is with exercise. When you sit for long periods of time, circulation can be impaired, reducing the flow of blood to your brain. This means your cells can’t get enough oxygen to work efficiently.
But even a couple of minutes of movement can get the blood pumping again. Here are some quick and easy movement ideas to get you started:
- Do a full body stretch for 1-2 minutes. Stretch out your neck, shoulders, arms, back and legs. If anywhere feels particularly tight or sore, spend an extra minute or two gently stretching that spot
- Go for a walk around the block
- Head to the mailbox to check the mail
- Get up and move around on your break instead of scrolling through Facebook
- Do some quick on-the-spot movements like jumping jacks, jogging on the spot or squats for 30 seconds providing you do not have any injuries.
- Other exercise ideas for those who are time poor may be found here
Schedule a time-out
Sometimes, you’re tired because you just need a break already! You might not have hours to spare, but even 10 minutes can reboot your brain and energy levels.
Some good ways to give yourself a time-out throughout the day include:
- Going for a walk around the block
- Having a short nap
- Taking 10 minutes to sit or lie down in silence
- Take your lunch break away from your desk in a park or open air and breathe in the refreshing atmosphere
Adequate sleep can aid in increasing energy levels. This may include good sleep hygiene, going to bed at the same time every night and ensuring you have 7-8 hours of good sleep every night. For more information check out my blog for simple tips for a good night’s sleep.
Low energy can have many nutrient-related causes. If you’ve had chronically low energy levels, call me on 0416 016 388 or book in for a consultation to see how to get the best version of you.