Energy drinks, caffeinated drinks and sugary treats are a usual go-to for a pick-me-up. Although they may give you an initial boost of energy, you’ll shortly crash and feel more drained than before.
Try these eight energy boosters instead.
1. Go nuts
Nuts are packed with magnesium, folate and folic acid – nutrients that are essential for energy production. Keep some almonds or peanuts in your bag or work drawer and have a handful when you need some energy.
2. Skip the alcohol
Do you need a drink to get through the day? Think again. Alcohol has a sedative effect that will lead to a slump come mid-afternoon. Skip the lunchtime and after-work drinks to keep your energy levels up. If you don’t want to cut out drinking altogether, try to do it in moderation, stick to weekends and don’t drink after 8pm. Hydrating is also important, so you don’t have disturbed sleep.
3. Move more
The more you exercise, the more energy you’ll have. When you work out, oxygen-rich blood surges throughout your body, brain and muscles. Even if it’s only a few minutes a day, try to move more. Take a walk during your lunch break, take the stairs, walk your pet or round up your friends for a jog after work.
4. Do some yoga
Known for helping you to zen out, yoga and meditation could also increase your energy levels. It works by promoting a state of calm, decreasing stress and boosting your mood. When you feel good, you’ll also feel less fatigued and will be able to concentrate better. Join a yoga class or go online for easy yoga moves for beginners.
5. Munch on dark chocolate
Antioxidant-rich cocoa has been shown to have many health benefits. For example, it increases blood flow through your body which helps oxygen reach your brain and muscles. Dark chocolate contains more cocoa than regular milk chocolate, so have a few blocks to beat a slump.
6. Stick to wholegrains
Limit simple carbs like biscuits, sugary drinks, white bread, pasta and processed foods. Though they give you a fast boost of energy, they’ll leave you feeling sluggish in the long run. This happens because simple carbs spike your blood sugar and then drops it. Choose wholegrains like nuts, oats, legumes and sweet potatoes which give you sustainable energy.
7. Up your B-vitamins
Also known as the energy vitamin, Vitamin B12 is one of the best vitamins to perk you up. It helps your body with energy production and keeps your blood cells healthy. Your body can’t make Vitamin B12 on its own so the best way to get it is through your diet. Try sardines, beef, fortified cereal, tuna and dairy products to get a healthy dose.
8. Sip on tea
Coffee isn’t the only drink that can keep you going; tea can do the trick too. Herbal tea can provide you with energy without the risk of processed stimulants. Green tea and rooibos tea are particularly good choices. Both help to fight fatigue, increase feelings of relaxation and are loaded with antioxidants.