Fed up of always feeling as though you never quite have enough energy? Do you often find you get more tired as the days go by and as you get closer to the weekend? Or maybe you always get caught out by that afternoon slump?
There are ways you can ramp up your energy levels, you know. We’re not saying you have to go all-out Duracell bunny mode, but there are certain things you can do to help give you a bit more of a spring in your step.
The good news is, we’re going to share some of the most effective energy-boosting methods with you here, over the next few paragraphs. So, sit back, get focused and enjoy these energy encouraging pearls of wisdom:
Eat foods high in energy
There so many foods out there that can boost energy! And you can feel the benefits of these foods, simply by making a few tweaks here and there to your diet – either by taking some things out and adding some other things in.
Ideally, you want to be eating more:
BananasBananas are said to be one of the best foods to boost energy levels. They’re packed full of carbs, potassium and Vitamin B6, which are all said to work wonders for energy levels. In fact, according to one study in particular, eating just one banana before a 75km cycling trial is just as effective as drinking an endurance-boosting carbohydrate drink. Just one banana, who’d have thought it, hey?!1
ApplesYou know how they say, ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away?’ Well, biting into an apple can reportedly help your health and actually provide your body with a dose of energy because they’re high in fibre and nutrients.2
StrawberriesWhile they may be a fruit that most of us associate with summer and Wimbledon, strawberries can pack a real energy punch too. This is mainly because they’re a good source of minerals, Vitamin C and phenols, that may help the body produce energy in our cells.3
Chia seedsThey may be minute, but these teeny tiny seeds can really help fuel your day. Simply sprinkle them on top of cereal or yoghurt or pop some in your smoothies and feel more energised. What’s more, the beauty of these seeds is that they provide stable energy because of their ratio of protein, fats and fibre.4
Tuna and salmonAs we all know, oilier, fattier fish, such as tuna and salmon, are excellent sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. According to some studies that have been carried out, taking Omega-3 supplements can decrease fatigue.5
Sweet potatoesSweet potatoes are seriously powerful when it comes to giving people an energy boost! Not only do they provide a steady supply of energy because of their fibre and complex carbs make-up, they contain manganese, which helps break down nutrients to provide the body with energy – yey!6
Eat a healthy, balanced diet
It’s important to focus on individual foods and making sure we eat certain things over others. But most of all, it’s important we make conscious decisions about what we are choosing to eat every day.Overall, in order to feel more energised, it’s essential we put the right type of food into our bodies, i.e. eat a healthy and balanced diet. According to NHS guidance, this involves:7
- Eating at least 5 portions of fruit and veg a day
- Choosing wholegrains over carbohydrates
- Consuming lower fat and lower sugar alternatives of dairy and dairy alternatives
- Eating some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other protein (this includes two portions of fish a week, one of which should be oily, as we mentioned above)
- Choosing unsaturated oils and spreads and eating them sparingly
- Drinking six to eight glasses of fluid a day
Also, you may or may not have heard this before, but eating breakfast is key to giving your body the energy it needs to get you through the day. A healthy, balanced breakfast can help keep you going until lunchtime. However, despite this, up to a third of us regularly skip breakfast according to the British Dietetic Association (BDA).
Consume drinks high in energy
Food aside, there are also certain drinks that are great for boosting energy levels too. They include:
WaterAhh, yes, water. It’s essential for life and makes up to 60% of our body weight, which is one of the main reasons why it can influence energy levels. If we don’t drink enough, then we can get dehydrated, which can then lead to us feeling lethargic and tired.8
Green teaGreen tea’s renowned for having lots of positive properties. Among many other things, it contains something called L-theanine as well as small dose of caffeine, that’s reported to give us a boost. Interestingly, many people are said to have more stable energy and be more productive when drinking green tea over coffee9, which is the next drink on our list…
CoffeeThere are lots of discussions out there over whether coffee actually gives us an energy boost or not. On the whole, it’s said to make us feel more energised, because of its caffeine content. Caffeine is a mild stimulant that speeds up the messages between our brain and body. When consumed in small doses, and as part of a healthy diet, it can help us feel more alert.10
Vitamins, minerals and botanicals to take for energy
So, we’ve covered energy-giving foods and drink, but there are also vitamins and supplements to add to the mix too. Let’s take a look at some of them:
AshwagandhaDon’t be put off by the unusual name. Ashwagandha is thought to increase energy levels by enhancing the body’s resilience to physical and mental stress. One of the ways it does this is by reducing cortisol levels, which is a hormone that’s present in our bodies that can rise when we get stressed.11
Vitamin B12Fatigue can be one of the first signs of having a B12 deficiency. Since Vitamin B12 helps make red blood cells, a dip in production means there’s less oxygen to keep your cells going, which can lead to people feeling tired and weak.12 It’s mainly found in animal products and green leafy veg, wholegrains and mushrooms, but if you’re finding you’re not consuming enough of it, ideally 2.4mcg a day, then you may want to give your levels a boost by taking a supplement.13
Our bodies naturally need to produce haemoglobin, which is a protein that’s found in our red blood cells that’s responsible for transporting oxygen from our lungs to the rest of our body. If we don’t have enough of it, then this means our red blood cells aren’t as effective at supplying our organs and tissues with the oxygen we need to function.As a result, people can wind up being anaemic – one of the main signs of anaemia is feeling tired and weak.14 Ideally, men need 8.7mg a day of iron (over the age of 18), women (between 19 and 50-years-old) 14.8mg a day, and women over 50, 8.7mg a day.15
The bottom line is, if you’re feeling tired, don’t ignore it. Ask yourself, are you eating the best food for energy, drinking the best drinks for energy and/or taking the best vitamins for energy? Hopefully, by reviewing these areas, you can help boost your energy levels – once and for all.
Last updated: 9 July 2020