One question which we commonly ask our clients is: how is your energy? Aside from being a polite greeting, we ask this question because energy is one of the most indicative measures of health. Your energy levels tells us much more than the number on the scales or your BMI rating. Energy is what tells us whether the lifestyle you lead, the food you’re eating, and the supplements you’re consuming are really serving you.
If we had to share our most common response to this question it would probably be “good but tired.” Why do so many otherwise healthy people have no energy? Do we write it all off to the busy lifestyles we lead or are there other factors to blame? Often it’s the little things we do daily that can make all the difference to restoring our energy.
Simple energy boosting tips:
- Ensure you’re getting restorative sleep. It goes without saying that a good night’s sleep is so important for having good energy levels throughout the day. Aim for 8 hours, ideally between the hours of 10pm and 6am. A magnesium supplement at night may help encourage a more restorative sleep.
- Cut the sugar and refined carbohydrates. While these foods often give us an immediate burst of energy, they leave us to crash and burn later on. This messes with our blood sugars giving us unstable energy and often leads to food cravings. If you experience intense sugar cravings or have trouble keeping your blood sugars stable, a chromium supplement may help.
- Eat more nutritious whole foods. Focus on adding a good source of protein, fibre and healthy fats to every meal. This can help to stabilise blood sugars and give your more sustained energy throughout the day.
- Hydrate! Water is essential for life and one of the most direct energy boosters. Water is required to transport nutrients around the body, eliminate toxins, encourage healthy digestion, and maintain mental function (among other things). Fill up a large water bottle at the start of the day and take it with you everywhere. Aim to get at least 2L, and more if you exercise.
- Get regular exercise. Exercise is a great way to get the blood flowing and the endorphins pumping. Engage in regular exercise which is at the right intensity and duration for you. Even walking can be a great energy and mood booster!
- Limit the caffeine. While our morning coffee is great for that get-up-and-go, too much caffeine can actually overstimulate our adrenals to produce cortisol and adrenaline, leaving us more wiped out long term. Try to limit the coffees to one a day, and remember to drink two glasses of water for every caffeinated beverage in order to rehydrate.
- Check your iron levels. Iron is a mineral which is critical for transporting oxygen throughout our bloodstream. It’s no surprise that people with low iron suffer from fatigue. We recently started selling iron testing kits so you can self-test for a potential iron deficiency at home! If your iron level is on the lower side, taking an iron supplement for a period of time may make a great difference in improving energy.
- Ensure your body is getting all of the nutrients it needs. While macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fat) contribute the calories which supply our energy, micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc) are important for the metabolic pathways that enable our bodies to utilise this energy. As well as eating a well balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables, a good quality multivitamin may be helpful to supply the nutrients which we may not be getting enough of. With the mineral-depleted soils we have in New Zealand, it can be difficult to get sufficient levels of the nutrients we need.
Disclaimer: This blog post is intended for educational purposes only. Please do not use this information to diagnose or treat any health concerns you may have. This information is not intended to replace the advice given to you by a qualified health professional. Get in contact with a Tonic Health consultant or a relevant health professional if you need guidance on your individual health journey.