With the busy lives we lead, we often think that feeling tired and lethargic is ‘normal’, but it doesn’t have to be like that. What we eat and our lifestyle choices can make the difference between us having endless energy or feeling tired and lethargic.
Balancing our blood sugars is really one of the most important things to think about when trying to improve energy levels. Eating a diet that is rich in complex carbohydrates (fruit, vegetables, whole grains), decent proteins (fish, lean white meat, eggs, seeds, nuts and legumes) essential fats (oily fish, nuts, seeds, olives, avocado) is so important. Equally a diet that is low in refined carbohydrates and sugar helps your body to get the fuel it needs without having to rely on hormone production to regulate systems.
Eating the right foods regularly and not allowing yourself to go long periods without eating gives your body the fuel it needs to keep going throughout the day. We wouldn’t expect our car to drive if we don’t give it petrol, but we often expect our body to work without eating breakfast, or skipping lunch.
Vitamins and Minerals are vital for energy production. For endless energy, we need a whole range of vitamins and minerals, but particularly important is an adequate intake of; B Vitamins (eggs, wholegrains, lean meat, grean leafy veg, nuts), Magnesium (green leafy veg, nuts, brown rice, wholegrains, fish, lean meat), Vitamin C (broccoli, strawberries, citrus fruits, kiwi, bell peppers), Potassium (bananas, pulses, nuts and seeds, shellfish), Zinc (Lean meat, shellfish, seeds, dairy foods, wholegrains) and Iron (red meat, dark green leafy veg, wholegrains, beans, apricots). So you can see that it's important to eat a varied diet.
If you want stable energy, it really is worth cutting out the caffeine which gives you that immediate pick-me-up but then can leave you feeling tired, headachy and grumpy shortly afterwards. Caffeine is a stimulant, which stimulates our adrenal glands to produce Cortisol (our main stress hormone), something that we probably already do enough of with the stressful lives we lead.
Dehydration may also be a contributing factor for fatigue. So stay hydrated to improve energy. Aim for 1-1.5ltrs of non-caffeinated fluid daily: water, fruit and herb teas and very diluted fruit juice all count, but remember that ‘normal’ teas and coffees dont.
Triggers to unbalanced energy levels
· Inadequate protein intake
· Blood sugar imbalance
· A diet rich in sugar & refined carbohydrates
· Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
· Poor digestion of food
· Stimulants (caffeine, alcohol, nicotine)
· Hormone imbalances
Blog written for Leg Up For Talent. www.legupfortalent.com