If you often find yourself feeling lethargic and tired, here are some tips to help boost your energy levels.
1. Regular meals
It is important not to skip any meals. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are needed to meet your daily energy requirements. Spread your calories out throughout the day. If you consume most of your calories after work or at dinnertime, you are going to be tired during the day. Certain diets such as the intermittent fasting diet (5:2 diet) can cause tiredness, especially on the 2 days when you are consuming minimal calories.
2. Choose low GI carbohydrates
Low GI carbohydrates (or low glycaemic index carbohydrates) refer to those carbohydrates that get digested more slowly in the blood and keep you fuller for longer. These include wholegrain breads and cereals, fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and low-fat dairy products. High GI carbohydrates are often found in processed foods like white bread and soft drink. Consuming these will drive up your sugar level, leaving you feeling energy deprived and hungry.
3. Add protein with your low GI carbohydrate
If you have wholegrain toast in the morning combine it with eggs to feel full for longer. Protein helps control your appetite.
4. Stay hydrated
Even mild dehydration levels can negatively affect your energy levels. Dehydration can sometimes go unnoticed but it has a major effect on the body. We constantly lose water through urinating, defecating, breathing and perspiring. When this lost water is not replaced it leads to dehydration. Women need to drink around 8 glasses of water a day and men need around 10 glasses. Thirst is the obvious and first sign you need to drink more water. When you ignore this and fail to replenish lost water you start feeling the symptoms of dehydration. Plain water is the best source of hydration. However, coffee, tea, milk, broth, fruits and vegetables also count towards your hydration status.
5. Check your nutrient status
Chronic fatigue can often be a result of iron deficiency. However, it could also indicate a folate or vitamin B12 deficiency. It is important not to self-diagnose. If the cause of your fatigue is folate deficiency and you take iron supplements, the fatigue will only be prolonged.
6. Adequate sleep
Your body needs time to rejuvenate and regenerate itself. The recommended sleep time for an adult is 7 hours and it is important not to compromise on this. Some tips that can help improve sleep include:
- Going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day so that your body gets into a rhythm
- Ensuring you don’t eat too close to bedtime
- Avoiding caffeine too close to bedtime
If you are experiencing chronic fatigue, it is important not to ignore it and to visit your doctor for a check-up.
Contact us for results focused nutritional advice
This article was written by our dietitian and nutritionist Juhi Bhambhaney. If you have any questions regarding health and nutrition, make an appointment with one of our dietitians. We‘ll provide you with a simple and effective routine targeted to your concerns. Contact us today.