Life seemingly gets busier and busier each year, balancing work with family, social commitments and other stresses means low energy levels simply aren’t an option. Staying energised is easier said than done, so we’ve put together a few of the easiest natural ways to boost your energy levels- without having to rely on caffeine!
1. MAKE SURE YOU’RE GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP!
Sleeping your way to higher energy levels seems like the obvious answer, but did you know one-third of Australians aren’t getting enough sleep? A study by the Sleep Health Foundation showed that nearly half of adults (48%) complain of sleep-related difficulties, and these issues carry over into our day-to-day lives with a whopping 45% of adults complaining of “daytime consequences” such as feeling tired at work or suffering from low energy levels during social situations.
With this in mind, try your best to get a full 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night to ensure you’re functioning at your best during daylight hours. If you’re struggling to fall asleep and find yourself paying for it come morning, try to avoid bright screens (yes – that includes your phone!) in the hour before bedtime. The light these devices emit stimulates the brain and tricks it into thinking that it’s daytime. Try to slowly wind down and implement a relaxing evening routine to ensure your sleeping habits are as healthy as possible and reap the benefits of more energy come daylight.
2. INCREASE YOUR VITAMIN D LEVELS
If low energy is a persistent problem for you, it’s worth having your Vitamin D levels looked at. Vitamin D has been proven to have a serious effect on fatigue and energy levels. Confused as to how you can stay sunsafe AND keep your Vitamin D levels up? Australians only need around 10 to 15 minutes of “casual sun exposure” each day, which can mean anything from going for a walk to doing a bit of gardening – not necessarily sunbaking! If your Vitamin D levels are seriously deficient, you can pick up Vitamin D supplements over the counter to get that energy boost.
3. MOVE YOUR BODY!
Maintaining a regular exercise routine will help reduce fatigue and increase energy levels through out the day. The main reason for this is it increases the blood flow to your body and improves your cardiovascular health and fitness and therefore allows more blood and oxygen to get to the cells to work more efficiently and give you more energy to do work.
Suffering from a mid-afternoon energy slump? Rather than grabbing a coffee or reaching for a sugary snack, the solution can be as simple as moving your body. If you’re in the office, in a meeting (or even in the car at the traffic lights!) you can engage a gland called the “thymus,” which is located in the centre of your chest, just below your collarbone. For an instant energy boost, you can just gently tap on the thymus for 20 seconds – when tapped, it releases T-cells and boosts energy!
Breathing deeply and stretching can also help to increase those energy levels. Focus on inhaling for 6 counts, holding for 3, exhaling for another 6 then continuing in that rhythm. If you’re able to, hop up from your desk and stand in a doorway with your feet facing forward. Then, grab the sides of the doorframe with your fingers. Push your chest forward to stretch your back and torso to stimulate the sympathetic nervous system and increase your energy. Keeping up from your desk in general is a great way to boost energy as it will increase your heart rate and make you feel more energised almost instantly.
4. STAY HYDRATED
Did you know water plays a big role in keeping your energy levels up?
Your body needs water to perform basic bodily functions such as eliminating toxic substances, regulating body temperature, producing digestive enzymes, maintaining healthy skin, hair and organs, and to help your body absorb essential vitamins, minerals and natural sugars.
The ideal percentage for adult women will fluctuate between 45 and 60%, while the ideal percentage for adult men will be between 50 and 65% of the total body. For the real athletic body types it is even recommended to have 5% more body water than the average adult range.
Dehydration can lead to feelings of pretty intense fatigue, muscle cramps, dizziness or other serious symptoms, so keep your body hydrated to avoid these and ensure everything is functioning the way it should be. You don’t need to go overboard! Just ensure you’re drinking the recommended 8 glasses of water a day to keep yourself feeling awake and alert.
5. BLEND UP SOME SUPERFOODS
Can’t get rid of those sugar cravings? Shun the office cookie jar in favour of some energy boosting superfoods. Chia seeds are really easy to blend into a smoothie (or bake into some bread or healthy biscuits if you’re handy in the kitchen!) and they’ve been proven to improve your energy in the same way a sugary sports drink can, minus the sugar crash afterwards! Some other great superfoods that you can work into your everyday routine to curb your cravings and improve your energy are raw cacao, coconut and goji berries.
6. FUEL YOUR BODY WITH CLEAN INGREDIENTS AND WHOLEFOODS
Eating the wrong foods could be as simple as picking high-sugar snacks that lead to an inevitable crash, or as complex as a food intolerance.
Fresh organic produce at the greengrocer may be as clean as it gets, and when you start to pick up more processed foods, these can be deemed unhealthy when nutrients are removed and artificial sweeteners and flavours are added. This is super common with many snack foods, prepackaged dinners and takeaway meals, so your best bet when it comes to eating clean is to cook your own meals using the freshest produce you can find, and look for snacks that involve as little processing as possible.
Try cutting out sugary foods and drinks and see how you feel. Excess sugar can be a major cause of fatigue. If we fuel our bodies with sugar, we deliver ourselves a quick energy spike followed by an even quicker crash, leading to exhaustion.
Opt for products with no added sugar, that are made without any genetically modified ingredients and contain as few synthetic or artificial ingredients, colours and flavours as possible. Still sound a bit confusing? If you turn the package over and don’t understand what the majority of the ingredients are, pop it down in favour of a simpler option.
Our Stamina State Snacks are designed to help you avoid that dreaded crash. Our snacks are sugar-free, as well as all-natural, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free and vegan, so switching out your usual afternoon snack for a packet of our snacks might be a quick solution. You can shop the range here.
- SUPPORT YOUR GUT HEALTH
Our bodies are so amazing! Each of us has good microflora bacteria in our gut which helps break down foods that are not digested immediately. Foods that are high in fibre promote this process, which improves digestion by increasing the level of probiotics in the gut and in turn promotes and improves overall health in the body.
The simplest way to describe prebiotics is they are the food for the healthy bacteria found in our gut.
A healthy body starts with a healthy gut supported by prebiotics but a 2016 Australian Bureau of Statistics report from the Australian Health Survey (AHS)1 has revealed that more than 96% of Australian are not eating enough vegetables and legumes which provide the high fiber prebiotics. Not getting enough fiber can lead to bad bacteria taking over which leads to inflammation in the body, contributing to a range of health issues such as heart disease, diabetes and bowel cancer.
“Probiotics are the actual bacteria, so the prebiotics are what provide the food that help keep the probiotic healthy, which in turn helps keep our gastrointestinal tract healthy,” said accredited practising dietitian and sports dietitian, Chloe McLeod.
High fibre prebiotic foods include legumes (like chickpeas, lentils and kidney beans), wholegrains (barley rice and quinoa), onion, garlic and asparagus.
Even more reason to snack on our Chibbs and maintain your gut health while fuelling your body and mind with a clean healthy high protein and high fibre snack.