Simple tips to boost your energy levels:
Energy reserves can be zapped for many different reasons such as illness, lack of sleep, stress and bad diet. Depleted energy levels could have a negative effect on your body, both physically and mentally. When you are tired and stressed, your digestion slows down and nutrients from your food are not absorbed as efficiently as they should. By reviewing your diet and lifestyle, you can make the necessary changes which can help boost your energy levels.
Here are some simple tips to boost your energy levels:
Eat small but regular meals. This helps to keep your blood sugar levels steady and to give you sustained energy throughout the day.
Snack between meals. Choose healthy snacks which contain protein and carbohydrates such as hummus with veggie sticks, fruit with plain white yoghurt or brown rice cakes with low fat cottage cheese.
Check your iron. Iron is a vital nutrient which carries oxygen in the blood. Depleted iron levels can cause exhaustion and fatigue. Women with heavy periods are especially vulnerable. Vitamin C aids in the absorption of iron and also helps to boost energy levels. Iron can be found in foods such as spinach, red meat (choose free range / organic where possible), green leafy vegetables, beans and lentils.
Note: You should only supplement with iron if you have been diagnosed with iron anaemia.
Get your daily dose of B-vitamins. B-vitamins, especially riboflavin, aid the conversion of carbohydrates to energy. Vitamin B6 is essential for energy metabolism and vitamin B12 is required for forming red blood cells which, like iron, carry oxygen throughout the body. B-vitamins are also essential for a health functioning nervous system which helps to reduce stress. Foods to include are whole grains, rolled oats, pulses, eggs and fish.
Avoid energy zapping foods and drinks. Although caffeinated drinks, sugary drinks and other energy boosting drinks boost your energy, it is only temporary and the exhaustion felt when your energy dips again is more severe than before. Especially avoid sugary foods, including cakes, biscuits and chocolate which have a similar effect to energy boosting drinks. Avoid alcohol in large quantities as this drains the body of energy. Also, avoid simple carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, white rice, etc. as these cause your blood sugar levels to de-stabilize.
Exercise. This may be tough to start with but exercise is well-known for its energy boosting and mood boosting effects. Start a regular exercise program and stick to it! You will soon see the positive results.
My name is Megan, I'm a non-practicing Nutritionist. I live in Cape Town with my husband and two crazy dogs. Read more.