Do you feel like your tank is constantly hovering just above empty?
It’s pretty common at this time of year to be dragging your feet to the finish line. I know I am! In a recent Facebook post, I laid out how close to burn out I was feeling with ALL the activities we had on.
Of course, I had not been taking any of my own advice *do as I say, not say as I do* Ha!
I had to take a step back and just get back to basics.
No need to be googling *best energy supplements*
If you’re dealing with low energy levels, I’ve put together some tips that will help boost your energy naturally.
Although we all know that it’s important to drink plenty of water, very few of us actually do it!
The body needs water for almost every function, so it’s no surprise that dehydration can tank your energy levels.
Over the cooler months, many people struggle to drink enough because it’s simply too cold to chug room-temperature water. This is where herbal tea is a great alternative. There is a herbal tea blend to suit everyone, whether you like your drinks fruity, floral, sweet or bitter.
You can also start your day off with a big glass of warm water with a slice of lemon and ginger.
Take away tip: If you usually don’t drink much fluid, start off slow. Add 1-2 cups a day of water or herbal tea for a few days, and slowly increase your intake from there.
Watch your caffeine intake
When you’re feeling drained, it’s easy to turn to coffee or energy drinks to keep you going.
But although they might give you a temporary kick of energy, they will also drain you more over the long term.
Drinks that contain caffeine can increase your cortisol levels, leaving you with that tired-but-wired feeling.
When combined with ongoing stress, caffeine can be a significant contributor to adrenal fatigue.
Over time, you can also become desensitised to caffeine’s effects, meaning that you need to consume more of it to get the same level of stimulation.
This doesn’t mean that you need to give up coffee altogether.
Take away tip: Best to stick to 1-2 cups per day.
Stick to low GI carbohydrates
Carbohydrates provide a lot of energy for the body. But more energy through your food doesn’t necessarily lead to feeling more energised.
The difference often comes down to the glycaemic index (GI) – how your food influences your blood sugar levels.
Simple carbohydrates that don’t contain much fibre are quickly broken down into sugars and absorbed into the bloodstream. This leads to a quick increase in energy, but is followed by a crash as the body stores the excess sugars.
On the other hand, high-fibre carbohydrates take longer to break down and absorb. Instead of a sudden spike of energy, the sugars are absorbed slowly, giving a steady level of energy over several hours.
Not sure what is low GI? Reach for the least processed and higher fibre options. Wholemeal or rye breads, brown rice, oats, quinoa, beans and lentils are a few examples of lower GI carbohydrate options.
Here’s five energy boost foods to bring your energy levels up.
Take away tip: If you do want to enjoy a serve of a higher GI carbohydrate, add a source of protein or healthy fats and a serve of vegetables. This will help to lower the overall GI of your meal.
Up your veggie intake
Another nutrition rule that we all know but many fail to follow through – eat your vegetables!
Vegetables contain many of the vitamins and minerals needed to produce a steady stream of energy for the body. They are full of beneficial antioxidants that support the body and help to protect it from fatigue-causing conditions such as infections and chronic illness.
If that wasn’t enough, vegetables contain plenty of fibre. Many contain prebiotic fibre that feeds the good bacteria in your digestive tract. An imbalance in gut bacteria is linked to chronic fatigue, so feeding the good guys is important for supporting healthy energy levels.
Take away tip: Don’t just think of veggies with dinner, include them in all meals! Aim for 4 to 5 serves a day.