Improve Energy Levels-Ten Tips for Busy People
Managing your energy is the key to unlocking your performance potential
Understanding how to improve energy levels in a corporate world that can be so relentless and exhausting is essential. If you learn to take care of your energy you will increase performance in every area of your life.
Top Tips to Improve Energy levels..
1.‘High energy’ foods:
Keep these to hand and around you (ie in desk drawer, glove compartment, handbag). Foods high in fibre and healthy fats such as nut bars, protein balls, mini popcorn packets will give you a lift when you get sluggish but not knock you off balance with your healthy eating programme.
Sitting slumped at a desk for hours can cause a host of problems including chronic fatigue, poor digestion and reduced concentration. Set your phone for every 15 minutes and 4 times an hour train yourself to sit well. Eventually this will become the norm and you will benefit greatly in terms of energy and focus.
3. Go steady on the carbs:
Too many carbs (especially at lunch!) can contribute to the dreaded 3pm energy slump. Protein and fat rich foods have the opposite effect and help to boost the neurotransmitter dopamine and increase focus and concentration during the afternoon.
4. Cut the caffeine:
Try to cut coffee after 1pm; there are many help benefits to caffeine but the caffeine can stay in the body for up to 6 hours. Caffeine also acts as an adenosine receptor antagonist and blocks the very receptors that help you feel sleepy for bed.
5. Ginger & ginseng tea:
Try these as an alternative to coffee; these herbs have properties to positively impact the biochemistry of the body and help reduce stress. Ginger is great for the kidneys and help detoxify the body after a stressful day.
6. Prep your meals in advance:
Meal prep has become popular because it has so many health benefits. Choose foods you can cook in bulk, and which mix and match well (ie./ chicken/pasta or turkey/rice/broccoli) and distribute them into meals for each day. Add some extra nutrition right before you eat by adding some walnuts or seeds for healthy fats.
Exercise for small gains; research some HiT fitness clips on youtube and do them frequently. Get into a rhythm with them so you know them well and you have a selection you can vary. Keep your work out kit handy so it’s quick and easy to get on and you’ve no excuses to slip in a 10 minute workout each day.
When we are dehydrated our brain doesn’t work as effectively as it can (even mild dehydration can make the brain work 15% slower) and this means a task that could take minutes can last for hours. Procrastinating when we don’t feel motivated elongates our to do list like no other. Sipping fluids at regular intervals throughout the day helps you feel bright, alert and focused.
9. Learn how to switch off:
Sleep is crucial for physical and mental wellbeing yet a recent UK survey showed that 61% of people are unhappy with the quality of sleep they get. Apps such as HeadSpace and SleepCycle help create a peaceful mind before bed and new habits to ensure sleep is restorative and you wake refreshed.
10. Laugh – a lot!:
Laughter really is the best medicine. Feel good chemicals called endorphins are released when we laugh (belly laugh) and these help to promote a sense of wellbeing and even temporarily reduce pain. As an added bonus we even burn calories when we laugh – around 40 calories per 15 minute giggle.
Published: Friday 15 March
Written by: Jeannette Jackson Biochemist & Sports Scientist