Fancy springing out of bed in the morning feeling refreshed, motivated and ready to take on the day? Follow these simple steps to help reclaim your get-up-and-go.
It may sound a bit obvious but a good night’s sleep is vital for maintaining energy levels and waking refreshed. To help you get your quota, avoid exercising too late in the evening and stay away from caffeine for at least six hours before bed. Whilst alcohol might help you get off to sleep, it disrupts sleep patterns, causing you to wake up again in the small hours so try cutting down to help get a peaceful and rejuvenating night.
Studies have shown that electronic devices, such as a laptop or mobile phone, emit a blue light that tricks the brain into thinking that it is daytime. So switch them off a good hour or two before bed to help encourage all important melatonin release, the hormone triggered as it gets dark to make the brain feel sleepy.
Poor blood sugar control triggers stress hormone release, which can cause you to wake with a start in the early hours. If this sounds familiar try cutting down on sugary foods and drinks, include protein with each meal and add in a chromium supplement to help with stabilising blood sugar levels.
If you need extra support then magnesium is your go-to mineral, and great taken in the evening as art of your wind down routine. The amino acid 5-HTP is also a favourite. Try taking it 45 minutes before bedtime for maximum effect.
If you’re tempted to cut out breakfast, think again. Starting the day with a nutritious breakfast such as muesli, scrambled eggs on wholemeal toast or perhaps a delicious smoothie with added seeds and nuts helps to start the day with stable blood sugar levels. Providing much needed fuel after the overnight fast, this also helps stop the roller coaster of sugar highs and lows which makes for even energy but also mood.
To continue to support balanced energy throughout the day, limit fast releasing sugary foods including cakes, sweets and biscuits and caffeinated and switch white rice, pasta and bread to wholegrains like oats, brown rice, whole wheat and quinoa which release their sugars more slowly. Include healthy protein, such as fish, chicken, eggs, nuts, seeds, beans and lentils, in every meal and snack as this also slows down the rate at which glucose is taken into the bloodstream
Don’t forget to increase fibrous fruits and vegetables too, which also help to keep blood sugar steady and keep the bowels moving.
B vitamins are particularly important for energy production in the body and for supporting the adrenal glands which produce stress hormones and nervous system. Even if you eat a healthy diet filled with vegetables good quality protein and wholegrains, if you have a hectic and demanding lifestyle or just need an extra boost, you may be wise to invest in a high strength B complex. You can also add in CoQ10 whose production declines as we age but is vital for cellular energy production in the mitochondria or cells powerhouses.
Brain fog and fatigue are both signs of dehydration, so be mindful of these triggers and drink plenty of fluids throughout the day if you find yourself flagging. Water and herbal teas are ideal but soups, smoothies, fruit and vegetables are also water rich and count towards your intake. If you’re not sure if your hydrated enough try looking at your pee which should be pale straw coloured if you are hydrated. Effervescent vitamins and minerals can be a great way to take your daily nutrients and increase your fluid intake.
Finally, don’t forget to exercise. Moderate exercise can boost energy levels, getting the blood pumping and oxygen flowing. It’s also a great way to rise levels of serotonin, the neurotransmitter that makes you feel happy.
Follow these tips and you will soon be full of beans!