Top tips for optimum nutrition
Follow these simple but effective tips to make nutrition work for you.
- Wake up to natural light with a glass of water to drink on waking – drinking water is one of the best things you can do first thing in the morning; it fires up your metabolism, hydrates you and helps your body flush out toxins.
- Break your fast – and always eat breakfast/brunch – the body wants to be energised when it awakens so eating breakfast/brunch gives your body a jump-start and gets your metabolism going. Not eating breakfast starts the survival process and compromises energy and engagement.
- Always include protein in your breakfast/brunch ie eggs, yogurt, nuts, seeds – you will feel more satiated, have fewer sugar cravings and longer lasting energy.
- Base your lunch around protein and vegetable for longer lasting energy – aim for at least 25% of your plate to be protein and 50% vegetables, this will give you a good balance of nutrients and sustainable energy.
- Keep hydrated – use an insulated water bottle. Try and drink up to half an hour before food and an hour after food – Staying hydrated supports the brain and maintains mental energy. Aim to drink sufficient water to stay hydrated. This means your wee should be the colour of straw and no darker. Herbal and fruit teas and fruit juice all count towards this total. Don’t wait until you are thirsty, by then you’re already starting to dehydrate.
- Stop drinking caffeine at 2pm – this will help improve the quality of your sleep at night and also stop the roller coaster effect of energy highs and lows in the late afternoon.
- Pack a snack in case you get hungry – natural foods only ie fruit, nuts, hummus, veg, cold meats, boiled eggs; this will prevent low blood sugar levels which can lead to poor concentration and alertness and low energy levels.
- Plan your evening meals in advance – we often make better food choices in advance than we do in the moment when we might be tired and/or hungry!
- Eat a meal slightly higher in carbohydrates in the evening to aid sleep – carbohydrates are easier to digest than protein, therefore a higher carbohydrate meal allows your body to focus on sleep rather than digestion.
- If drinking alcohol also match with equal amount of water – this will help keep you hydrated and will help to prevent a hangover in the morning!
If you wish to discover more about our thoughts on nutrition and our leading nutritional experts please visit our nutrition section.
Published: Friday 29 June
Written by: Jenny Tschieshe