If there was a healthy magical supply of energy that we could reach for whenever we needed a pick me up, we would be grabbing at it with all possible hands, right? Well, then this next read is for you - how to get energised whenever and wherever. Before the gym, in the middle of your workout, in the morning before work, important social occasion after a full day of work? I’ve got you covered.
We all know that our food and drink play a huge role in our energy levels, we’ve all felt that need for caffeine on an early start or midway through a long work day. Or that sugar craving for a mood and energy boost in the afternoon. But because we want to be healthy we try our best to avoid too much caffeine and too much sugar. So how do we summon enough energy to get up early and get to the gym or go workout after a long day at work without ruining our nutritional goals? Well, I’ve got my top 3 tips for naturally boosting energy for you right here.
Eat yourself energised
We can eat energising foods without falling victim to the sugar rush and crash that comes with that afternoon cookie we eye up from time to time. Try switching your mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack for some of these:
Bananas (sing it with me b a n a n a s) possibly the best energy boosting food we have, our yellow friends are bursting with healthy carbohydrates, potassium and vitamin B6 which naturally raise energy levels in the body. Because they have so many wonderful effects you can reach for a banana at any time of day - breakfast on the go, instead of your 11am coffee, post workout, pre-workout, whilst you cook dinner...any time you like reach for a banana and feel the lift!
The other rainbow fruits - Apples, Strawberries, and Oranges. It’s the antioxidants in these fruits that help fight fatigue and the natural sugar is an instant mood lifter without the negatives of refined sugar. For a quick burst of energy before a HIIT workout Strawberries are my go to. If a longer workout is on the cards I’ll be reaching for an apple which has a higher carbohydrate content and can release energy slower for more sustained levels. And, if you’re going for a long day or an even longer workout then Oranges are the fruit for you. Combating fatigue with antioxidants and boosting energy with vitamin C Oranges can keep you going right through the day.
Make your meals do the work
It’s not just snacks that can give us a quick lift, our main meals can be engineered to provide us with ongoing energy all day long.
Try adding some of these into your daily meals and see yourself pushing harder through those long days or those difficult gym sessions.
The whole grains: brown rice, quinoa and oatmeal (probably not together) the whole grain family will promote long-lasting energy as they release their carbohydrate content slowly throughout the day providing you with sustainable energy. Oatmeal for breakfast with some of the delicious rainbow fruits from above and your breakfast is set to wake your morning right up!
Get your fats in - avocados or fatty fish e.g. tuna and salmon are great ways of managing the healthy fat levels in your body which is essential for the absorption of nutrients, they also store well naturally in the body and can be used as an energy source later on. Fatty fish in your diet will also help reduce inflammation which is a big source of fatigue in the body plus maintains your iron levels which is paramount for increasing energy.
Eggs, a valuable source of protein which will provide your body with the energy it needs to do all things, all our bodily systems use protein for energy and it helps keep us feeling fuller for longer so we don’t experience energy dips.
Add one energy boosting or maintaining food into every meal and every snack each day and you will soon find yourself pushing past the need for that extra coffee and smashing through those big workouts.
Don’t forget to breathe
Sounds simple enough right? Breath-work is becoming more and more visible on the fitness and health industry right now and for good reason. The way we use our breathing can have a huge effect on our health, energy, feelings, mindset, workouts and more. Getting your breathing right for the activity or mood of the moment can really help you achieve better results. If you’re looking for a quick re-energising trick then try this breathing hack.
Find yourself space for a 3-minute energy boosting breathe, simply take a long deep breath in through the nose and then try to breathe out through the mouth quickly with no effort at all, just let the air fall straight out your lungs. Use the slow in breathe to imagine your body filling up with energy, let it surge through your veins and over each part of your body and then, let go, let the air just easily, effort-free escape from you.
For the next few minutes try and increase the length of that in breath by 1 or 2 seconds at a time. Always allowing the out breath to be completely effort free. Instantly you will feel your body full of energy, your lungs, heart and the systems that they work with inside your body will have a renewed burst of energy. This is my go to pre-workout activity, find yourself a quiet spot on your way to the gym or in the studio before class and give your body the breath of energy that it needs to wake you up before your session. Or, instead of snoozing your alarm use this hack to wake you up for the day.
Water water everywhere
Dehydration can be a big source of fatigue and cause dips in energy. Plus, water is essential for all cellular function in the body so staying hydrated all day is your best bet for a sustained feeling of energy. Feeling tired and thinking of reaching for that coffee? Try a glass of nice cold water and feel the boost of energy that comes with it, wait a few minutes and you’ll feel just as energised as you would with the coffee, without the hyperactive spike and the post-caffeine crash. Try to keep up your water intake steadily through the day and keep all of your body hydrated to keep it energised.
There you have it, 3 top tips for feeling more energised all day, avoiding those energy pitfalls or just boosting your energy levels at the last minute for something important.