Tired Of Feeling Tired? Here’s The Top 5 Energy Sources To Fuel Your Day
Whether you’re a 9 to 5 commuter who has that dreaded 3pm crash, a student who works through the night trying to hit a deadline, or a parent who hasn’t had a full night’s sleep in weeks – it can sometimes feel impossible to get through a full day without having an energy crash.
However, before you reach for that 8th cup of coffee (we’ve all had those days) check out our top 5 natural energy sources that you can easily introduce into your diet and daily routine. We’re convinced that these little beauties will help you power through the day feeling more energised and sustained.
SOURCE #1: COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES
Don’t worry, we’re not going to tell you to cut carbohydrates. In fact, quite the opposite. Carbohydrates are what provide us with energy and there are two types: complex and simple. Complex carbohydrates (such as whole grains, nuts, seeds and oats) release glucose into the blood gradually, providing the body with a steady supply of energy. These are the carbs to focus on including in your diet.
Brown rice is an excellent choice as it’s packed with magnesium, a mineral that helps release energy from a carb. Being such a versatile ingredient, it can be prepared in large batches and served with lean proteins and nutrient packed veggies to create an energy fuelling lunch or a satisfying dinner before bed.
SOURCE #2: SIMPLE CARBOHDRATES (BUT CHOOSE THE RIGHT KIND!)
Simple carbs come in two types: Natural or Refined. Refined carbs are made up of processed foods such as cakes, biscuits and sweets and are quickly digested, releasing sugar rapidly into the blood stream causing insulin spikes that lead to energy highs and crashing lows.
However, natural simple carbs come from the sugars in fruits. These are full of minerals and fibre, which are both essential nutrients that your body needs to work properly and can provide a healthy boost of energy when needed. So, instead of having that daily 3pm biscuit break, swap out your Kit Kat for a piece of fruit.
SOURCE #3: IRON
Iron is an essential mineral that transports oxygen to the bloodstream. Without efficient oxygen supply to our major organs, we can tend to feel lethargic and fatigued. Red meat, green vegetables and whole grain cereals are all excellent sources of iron that can be slotted into each meal. Here’s an example of an iron infused menu which shows just how easy it is to boost your iron intake. Try to avoid drinking caffeine with your meals, as this inhibits your body’s ability to uptake iron. Opt for a drink high in vitamin C instead, such as orange juice.
- BREAKFAST: Weetabix is both a complex carb and rich in iron. Perfect paired with a dollop of Greek yoghurt and fruit for a nutritious breakfast.
- LUNCH: A spinach salad with a cup of beans or lentils with sautéed beef. The leafy greens and beef are packed with iron, while adding the beans will bulk up your meal and leave you with an energizing source of complex carbs to fuel your afternoon.
- DINNER: Mushroom risotto with wholegrain rice includes complex carbs and almost 50% of your daily iron from the mushrooms – double up on portions for lunch the next day!
SOURCE #4: HYDRATION
How many times have you heard about the importance of staying hydrated? It can feel like a chore to drink three litres a day, but water helps carry nutrients and oxygen to our cells, and if your cells are in low supply of either of these it can lead to fatigue and nausea.
Top tip: drink half a litre of water with each meal. That’s already half of your daily intake!
But if you’re feeling peckish as well, why not try snacking on watermelon? 90% of watermelons weight comes from water, plus they fight fatigue whilst keeping you hydrated – much more beneficial for a mid-morning snack than a pack of biscuits with your brew.
OUR FIFTH AND FINAL SOURCE OF ENERGY – MAKE SURE TO EAT!
Hands up if you’ve ever been rushing for your train, skipped breakfast, put your head down to work, and come up to breathe at about 4pm remembering you haven’t eaten anything apart from that Belvita biscuit about five hours ago? Or been so busy trying to make sure the kids eat their three square meals a day that you don’t have chance to even have a coffee? No judgement here, it happens to the best of us.
Eating smaller meals more regularly will help regulate your blood glucose levels, as it ensures your body releases energy gradually instead of in one hit. Three light meals, with healthy snacks in between, is the ideal routine for most. Almonds are a great snacking option, as they’re packed with protein, and are handy to keep at your desk or in your bag.
At the end of the day, don’t worry too much about the specifics of the meals you’re eating and just make sure you’re eating enough throughout the day to give your body the energy it needs. Sometimes a little treat is just what the doctor ordered!
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