Are you suffering from a mid-winter energy slump? You’re not alone. In fact, each season can have an impact on our energy reserves. Here are 8 natural ways you can help yourself, to boost energy.
1. Get off the blood sugar roller coaster
Did you know that consuming just two 300ml sugary drinks each day would end up as a huge 22 kilograms of sugar in one year? Whilst it may be tempting to rely on high-sugar options to improve alertness, many options can result in blood sugar highs and lows. Low blood sugar can lead to energy slumps, lack of concentration, and irritability may stimulate further cravings for sugary ‘quick fix’ foods.
Instead opt for snacks, which keep blood sugar stable and provide sustained energy. By combining protein, fibre and a little healthy fat with your carbohydrate source, you can slow the rate at which sugar is released into the bloodstream.
- Wholegrain toast (carbohydrate + fibre) and poached egg (fat + protein) = slow-release energy
- White toast (carbohydrate) and jam (carbohydrate) = fast-release energy
2. Opt for wholegrains and fibre-rich carbohydrates
Our brain runs on sugar to function and uses as much as 20% of all energy required by the body. All carbohydrates break down to sugar, however, the slow-release and fibre-rich carbohydrates provide us with more sustained fuel all day long. Opt for wholegrain carbohydrates such as brown rice, brown bread, brown pasta, oats as well as beans, lentils, chickpeas, quinoa, and leave the skin on your potato.
3. Avoid the food coma at lunch
Sometimes afternoon drowsiness can simply be down to eating too much at lunchtime. If you struggle with that post-lunch slump, opt for a balanced lunch and be mindful of portion sizes especially when it comes to carbohydrates and fat. Aim to fill half the plate with rainbow vegetables, a quarter with carbohydrates and a quarter with protein and healthy fats.
4. Swap your morning coffee for yerba mate
Yerba mate is a tea brewed from a plant native to South America. Unlike coffee, yerba mate is a source of theobromine as well as caffeine. Whilst they are both in the same class of stimulants, they work in different ways. Theobromine offers longer-lasting, more relaxed energy without the spike and crash that may come with too much caffeine (1).
Try Hello Day’s Vitality Boost
5. Harness the power of plants
Turn to nature to enhance your energy. Siberian ginseng is a small woody shrub native to northeastern Asia. The root is the most widely used part of the plant as it has the highest concentration of biologically active components. Research suggests that Siberian ginseng may help fight stress and enhance physical energy (2). Rhodiola rosea is another power plant, with extracts under research for fighting mental stress and fatigue.
Try Hello Day’s Vitality Balance
6. Don’t forget to hydrate
Dehydration can result in low energy, headaches, poor mood and lack of concentration. Research has shown that even mild dehydration, can reduce short-term memory and impact cognition test scores (3,4). If you want to feel and perform at your best then staying hydrated can really set you up for success! The average adult requires 1.5-2 litres of fluid per day, however checking the colour of your urine is a great way to monitor your hydration status so you can personalise your fluid needs. Our urine should be a pale straw colou, if it is dark yellow or orange we need to drink more. *Supplements containing the B vitamin riboflavin can change the colour of your urine to yellow.
If you struggle with plain water, then try infusing water overnight with fresh berries, ginger, lemon or mint. Fruit and herbal teas all count to your daily water intake.
7. Energy nutrients
Low levels of certain nutrients can leave us feeling tired, lacking in energy, and more susceptible to infections. If you’re concerned, a simple blood test with your GP can give insight into your status of the nutrients below:
Iron – red meat, fish, eggs, beans, lentils, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, tofu, nuts, seeds, dried apricots, fried dates, dried dates
Vitamin B12 – meat, fish, eggs, some fortified breakfast cereals, yeast extracts, and fortified yoghurt & milk
Vitamin D – during winter, those living in countries in the Northern Hemisphere may be at risk of deficiencies, due to the lack of sunlight and the fact that food is not the most reliable source of vitamin D. The current UK guidelines are to consider supplementing with 10 µg vitamin D per day between Oct-April.
Try Hello Day’s Immunity Support
8. Get plenty of SLEEP!
It’s a no-brainer that good quality sleep will aid with optimal energy and productivity throughout the day. Late-night eating, heavy meals, caffeine, and alcohol are all components, which will reduce the quality of our sleep. Engage with good sleep hygiene and minimise screens (blue light) before bed.
Try Hello Day’s Sleep Rest + Prebio