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Achieving all-day energy does not have to be a myth, writes Teri Lichtenstein.
When you focus on eating for optimal health, take the right supplements when required and have enough rest, long-lasting energy can be attained. According to Australian-made nutraceutical line Entity Health, 68 per cent of Aussies feel drained at least once a week, and of those, 24 per cent lack energy daily. Usually, downing three cups of coffee is not the best solution to keep us going.
Instead, it’s more important to address the underlying health and wellbeing issues that may be contributing to low energy levels.
With the year winding down soon, take the time to set up some new positive habits for a more energy-filled new year. Here are my top tips to get all-day energy that will keep you going for longer.
Avoid reaching for the lolly jar for a quick pick-me-up
If you find yourself going after some sweets to beat the three o’clock slump, you’re not alone. Although it’s a fast-acting rush, it’s often short-lived and won’t necessarily get you through the rest of the day. As sweet treats lack nutritional value, you will often find yourself feeling even more hungry and tired, resulting in a drop in blood sugar levels. Swap out the lollies for more energy-boosting whole foods like nuts, fresh fruit or natural yoghurt.
Tailor your meals to your individual requirements
Whilst all Australians should be aiming to eat five servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit each day, your individual requirements are much more. The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend eating key food groups according to your age, gender and life stage. For example, a woman aged 19-50 should eat five serves of vegetables, legumes and beans, while a male in the same age group should be having six serves. Consider speaking to an Accredited Practising Dietitian to better understand how much and what type of fuel your own body needs.
Incorporate an energy-boosting supplement in your diet
A well-balanced diet and exercise are key to maximising energy potential. However, there may be times when an energy-boosting supplement can help if you are experiencing low energy levels. Look for supplements that specifically address lack of energy and have the key ingredient of nicotinamide. It is known as the “molecule of youth” and has been shown to boost energy levels. And remember, if you have a medical condition, speak to a health professional first before taking any new supplements.
Get enough sleep
We tend to take sleep for granted and sacrifice crucial hours, but getting enough sleep is key to getting the energy you need to function throughout the day. Maximise your sleep cycle by getting your body to switch off as soon as you hit the hay. This can be done by reducing the use of blue-light technology before bed and avoiding caffeine and sugar at least two hours before you sleep.
Embrace the ‘good’ carbs
Not all carbohydrates are equal – in fact, some types provide greater nutritional value. The wholegrain variety is the type with energy-inducing nutrients, as wholegrains release a steady supply of glucose into your bloodstream to provide sustained energy. Try incorporating a variety of grains such as quinoa, brown rice or farro into your diet, as well as wholegrain bread, muesli and oats – you’re likely to feel a big difference in energy levels.
Get moving for at least 30 minutes every day
From commuting to work and sitting in front of computers, to unwinding on our couches, many of us find ourselves sitting down for large chunks of the day. Relaxing over a Netflix binge may sound like a good way to restore your energy levels, but exercising will actually do the trick. Get the blood flowing by exercising at least 30 minutes each day to kickstart your body, and enjoy the benefits of endorphins clearing your mind.
Teri Lichtenstein is a consulting dietitian at Entity Health.
First published on Wellness Daily.