The B vitamins that is! Needed for energy production by cells, a broad spectrum B complex is the go-to supplement when your energy levels hit rock bottom. Take it with breakfast though, rather than later in the day to avoid overstimulation in the evenings. CoQ10 is also great for flagging energy - needed for cellular energy production, levels of this vital nutrient tend to drop off with age. Not enough omega 3 in the diet will also cause fatigue, so oily fish or flax is a must too.
Our brains need glucose and so do our cells, but if you are struggling with energy levels and constantly craving carbs, sugary foods and drinks for an instant hit, chances are your blood sugar control is out of whack. After the craving comes the collapse, where energy levels drop through the floor, often leaving you feeling worse than before. Cutting down on sugar can be the single best thing to pep up your energy levels. Struggling to quit? Then make sure you have some chromium to hand which is integral to blood sugar control.
Whatever you do, don’t skip breakfast. Forget sugary cereals or fast release toast and jam - what the body and brain needs now is a slow release feast. Think scrambled egg and wholemeal toast, a protein based shake, or a seed porridge to keep you energised until lunch.
Don't underestimate how much of an energy sapper stress is. Yoga, meditation and T’ai Chi are all great if you can squeeze them in, and of course you should, but to set you on the right track add an adaptogen like Rhodiola rosea to your morning routine, to help support overworked adrenal glands which produce stress hormones. Add in theanine too to help boost GABA levels - the neurotransmitter or brain chemical which makes you feel chilled out.
Caffeine has its place, but if you find you are reliant on it to feel even remotely normal in the morning, or to get through the day, it's a habit that needs to go. Whilst it does give you a lift, too much caffeine upsets blood sugar control and tires your adrenal glands, much like sugar. In order to have more energy, rein back the caffeine, and yes - for a short while you will feel worse, but stick to the plan and you will reap the longer term benefits - more wide awake, natural energy.
Mood low? If so, your energy levels probably are too, so intertwined is the mind/body connection. Tyrosine really comes into its own here, as it is needed for making dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with alertness, concentration, pleasure and motivation. If you are feeling apathetic, then tyrosine is most definitely for you. If your mood starts to slide during autumn you might also benefit from 5-HTP, the building block to the ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter serotonin.
Not enough water on-board? Cue feeling sluggish and tired as blood flow to the brain and muscles quite literally diminishes.
Obvious it may be, but poor sleep leads to poor energy levels and brain function. Sleep is the way your body and brain repair and re-charge after a busy day. If you are missing out on your 8 hours, reduce evening screen time so that the brain is ready for sleep, stick to a routine bedtime and try the herb Valerian.
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