Energy boosters are perfect if you are fed up with feeling tired. Try these easy DIY pick-me-ups to restore your get-up-and-go.
1. Get moving
Exercise is probably the last thing you feel like doing when you’re tired, but exercise is one of the body’s best energisers, thanks to the feel-good chemicals triggered when you get moving.
Energy boosters: Get active. It doesn’t have to be anything too taxing or for too long — a brisk, 20-minute walk will work wonders. Research from the University of Georgia found that light exercise for 20 minutes three times a week reduced fatigue by 65% and increased energy by 20%.
These convert food into energy. “Without them, our brains can’t make the chemicals for mood, brain function and healthy sleep,” adds psychotherapist Mike Dow, author of The Brain Fog Fix.
Energy boosters: Eat more green leafy veg, legumes, organic eggs and fish. Ask your pharmacist about taking a supplement.
3. Hold the booze
This is especially important before bedtime because alcohol interferes with sleep quality. It encourages deeper sleep, reducing time spent in lighter sleep stages which refresh us and increases the number of times you wake during the night.
Energy boosters: Have a warm, milky drink instead of a nightcap and keep your alcohol intake at healthy levels throughout the week.
4. Sleep more
Enough sleep – ideally seven to eight hours – is essential for physical and mental alertness.
Energy boosters: Establish a good bedtime routine. Dr Irshaad Ebrahim, Medical Director of The London Sleep Centre, says “go to bed and get up at roughly the same time each day, save your bed for sleep or sex only and wind down properly — no screens for an hour before bed, cut out caffeine in the afternoon and don’t exercise too hard (or eat a meal) too close to bedtime.”
5. Increase fluids
If your body uses more fluid than it’s taking in, dehydration could be making you tired. Other symptoms include feeling dizzy or lightheaded, having a dry mouth, lips and eyes and needing the loo fewer than four times a day. It’s more likely if you’re elderly, diabetic, taking diuretics or are suffering from diarrhoea.
Energy boosters: Drink enough water to ensure that your wee is a clear, pale, straw-like colour.
6. Could you be depressed?
Psychological causes of tiredness are much more common than physical ones. They include stress, anxiety, depression and emotional shock.
Energy boosters: See your GP, who can help you to make Lifestyle Changes to address these problems or perhaps prescribe medication or talking therapies. Mental health charities for ‘Mind’ can also offer advice and support.
7. Ditch the coffee
Caffeine is a stimulant, the odd cup can perk you up, but too much can trigger a rollercoaster of highs and lows, leaving you more fatigued over time.
Energy boosters: Choose herbal drinks and decaf tea and coffee. If you drink a lot of coffee, reduce your intake gradually to prevent withdrawal headaches.
8. Check your iron levels
Iron defiency is a common cause of tiredness and is worsened by heavy periods. A lack of iron means your body has to work hard to get the energy it needs, leaving you feeling tired and weak.
Energy boosters: Ask your GP for a blood test, as you may need iron tablets and eat more iron-rich red meats, dark-green veg, pulses and dried fruits.
9. Check your thyroid
An underactive thyroid means your thyroid gland isn’t making enough of the hormone thyroxine. It’s a surprisingly common cause of unexplained fatigue, especially in middle-aged women. If you also feel cold a lot of the time and have gained weight recently, get checked.
Energy boosters: Ask your GP for a blood test. You may need medication to correct the problem.
10. Reduce Sugar
It’s tempting, but eating a sugary snack to help with that mid-afternoon energy slump isn’t the answer. Although it’ll make blood-sugar levels rocket, giving you a quick boost, they’ll soon come crashing back down, making you feel worse again.
Energy boosters: Eat nuts, fruit and seeds as a snack and reduce your sugar intake generally by checking labels for hidden sugars in soups, yogurts and sauces, ditching fizzy drinks and halving the sugar quantity in your home-made cakes — they’ll be just as tasty!
11. Get more daylight
Being cooped up all day with no natural sunlight can send your body into sleep mode and exposure to the artificial light from screens also has a negative effect on the release of the sleep hormone melatonin, affecting the quality of your night’s sleep.
Energy boosters: Get outside into natural light during the day. Sunlight – even through cloud – is needed for vitamin D production, which is closely linked to mood and energy levels. Dim the lights in the evening and have a strict cut-off time for technology at least an hour before bed.
E333 – Energy Boosters for Diabetics DIY Easy – www.diabetic.today