Would you like more energy?

Monday, May 23, 2022

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Some days we have more energy than others. After all the challenges of the last couple of years, pre-pandemic busy-ness is creeping back in. Dealing with the competing demands of work, family, school, study, volunteering – whatever it is that takes your time – leaves many of us feeling sapped for energy.

How can you get more energy in your day?

Firstly, are you drinking enough water? Next time you’re feeling tired, instead of looking for a snack, try a glass of water first. The simple act of getting up and going to the kitchen for a drink of water gets the blood flowing, which moves oxygen around your body, which makes you feel more alert. Water helps the blood flow, which helps move the oxygen. So – are you drinking enough water?

What else might impact your energy? You’ve probably heard the terms sugar rush and sugar crash.

For most of us, our main source of energy is glucose (a form of sugar). Glucose comes from carbohydrates –found in bread, pasta, rice, flour, grains, fruit and vegetables. When glucose enters your bloodstream, it travels around your body and is picked up by various cells needing energy. Insulin, a hormone released by our pancreas, facilitates this. Our blood glucose levels are tightly regulated. When we eat something containing lots of glucose, our body quickly sends out insulin to move the glucose into our cells.

White bread, biscuits, pastries, cakes, plain crackers, potato chips etc. are high in carbohydrates and therefore glucose. We get a quick hit of energy when we eat them (a sugar rush). However, when our bodies act quickly to move that glucose out of our bloodstream, we run out of energy – the sugar crash. Sugar crashes are often accompanied by feelings of irritation, fatigue and headaches.

What can you do instead? Pay attention to what you eat and when. Are you having three meals, nicely spaced throughout the day? Does each meal include a source of protein (e.g., meat, cheese, eggs, nuts, legumes), complex carbohydrates (e.g., wholegrains, vegetables, fruit) and healthy fats (e.g., extra virgin olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocado)? The process of digesting protein and healthy fats helps to slow the breakdown of carbohydrates into glucose, slowing its release into your bloodstream, so that you have longer-lasting energy.

Do you need snacks to get through the day? Everyone is different. Snacks are not always essential. Some days your body needs more fuel than other days – maybe you’ve exercised, been busy running around all morning or afternoon. Before you reach for a snack because it’s morning or afternoon tea time – check in with yourself. Are you really hungry? Do you need a glass of water? Did you have enough protein with breakfast or lunch? If you do need a snack, combine protein or healthy fats with some carbohydrates, rather than reaching for the quick fix. Cheese and wholegrain crackers or fruit and nuts, rather than a handful of potato chips, will give you a much better supply of energy to get you through till dinner time.

If you are eating balanced meals and drinking water throughout the day, you should have a consistent energy supply (assuming you had enough sleep – but that’s a whole different topic). If you’re not sure whether your meals are balanced or right for your needs, get in touch with me. Book a free 15 minute chat via the Consultations page to see how we might work together so you can have more energy to do all the things you want to do.

 

Photo by Peter Conlan on Unsplash. 

Develop a positive relationship with food