Feeling sluggish every now and then is inevitable. However, when fatigue becomes a daily occurrence, it may negatively impact your productivity levels, mood and overall health.
Energy exhaustion may be caused by a combination of factors, including lifestyle and dietary habits. Instead of refilling your coffee mug every hour, tackle the fatigue with energy-boosting habits to keep you energized throughout the day.
Energy Hack 1: Less Sugars, More Wholegrains
Your diet has a critical role in energy production. Ultimately, the food you eat is converted to glucose, which is the main energy source that fuels the body. However, different foods may cause varied responses to blood glucose levels.
Consuming a healthy, balanced diet, rich in colourful fruits and vegetables, wholegrains and healthy fats will provide the necessary nutrients required to sustain your blood glucose levels. On the other hand, refined carbohydrates and sugars will cause substantial fluctuations in blood glucose levels, causing energy burn-out as glucose levels drop, which can trigger sugar cravings.
Energy Hack 2: Get Moving
Whether you decide to go for a light walk during your lunch break, or join an intense boot camp gym class, increasing physical activity positively correlates with your energy levels. Sitting for prolonged periods of time can contribute to fatigue and impaired cognitive performance1. Breaking up prolonged sitting with a quick short walk can help fight fatigue, according to a study conducted in Australia1. Taking a short walk to boost energy is more effective than drinking caffeine, as caffeine stimulates the central nervous system which ultimately creates more fatigue.
Exercise can also trigger the release of endorphins, which may promote the mood and enhance concentration levels. In addition, physical activity contributes to sleep quality2, which may combat fatigue caused by sleep deprivation.
Energy Hack 3: Give your body a nutrient boost
The consumption of a healthy diet may provide adequate levels of most nutrients. However, many individuals fail to meet certain micronutrient targets. Vitamins and minerals such as B-vitamins, magnesium, iron, iodine and vitamin C all contribute to energy metabolism.
Chronic deficiency of these micronutrients may negatively impact energy production, thus leading to tiredness and irritability.
Supplementing the diet with the mentioned nutrients may boost energy levels and reduce feelings of fatigue.
Energy Hack 4: Rest, Restore, Recover
Recovering after a long, energy-draining day will help you replenish your energy stores for the day ahead. Getting between 7-8 hours of quality sleep, establishing a ‘power down’ bedtime routine and taking a break from the screen will allow the body to recover adequately.
As well as prioritizing sleep, practising meditation and mindfulness may encourage positive psychological effects, such as increasing our mental energy and reducing stress and anxiety.
Energy Hack 5: Bust the Stress:
One of the largest contributors to fatigue is chronic stress and anxiety. Dealing with worry, pressure and responsibilities can be mentally and physically exhausting. There are a variety of ways to cope with stress. Figure out what coping mechanism works best for you.
Practicing deep breathing, exercising moderately and meditating daily can all reduce stress levels. Social connections also contribute significantly to emotional health and may reduce stress levels. Getting outside for some fresh air in natural surroundings can enhance positive emotions and cognitive performance, according to behavioural studies3.
Another way to prevent and manage stress is by planning ahead. Rather than allowing projects and deadlines to pile up, organise your to-do list by spreading out tasks over a reasonable duration. Not only can successful planning reduce stress, being organised is time-saving and can increase productivity.
Energy Hack 6: Visit a health store
Health stores offer an array of wholefoods, organics, raw foods, free-from foods for special dietary needs, supplements and much more. Speak to the friendly and knowledgeable staff about nutritional and lifestyle support for your individual needs. To find your nearest store of wellness, visit: www.findahealthstore.com
Author: The Nutrition Support Team at Viridian.
1) Wennberg P, Boraxbekk C, Wheeler M, et al. Acute effects of breaking up prolonged sitting on fatigue and cognition: a pilot study. BMJ Open 2016;6:e009630. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009630
2) I. Hartescu et. al Increased physical activity improves sleep and mood outcomes in inactive people with insomnia: a randomized controlled trial, Apr 2015, Volume 24, Issue 5 October 2015 Pages 526–534
3) Berto R., The role of nature in coping with psycho-physiological stress: a literature review on restorativeness. Behav Sci (Basel). 2014 Oct 21;4(4):394-409. doi: 10.3390/bs4040394.
The information contained in this article is not intended to treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a health practitioner. Please consult a qualified health practitioner if you have a pre-existing health condition or are currently taking medication. Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet.