5 simple tricks to have all-day energy
If you rely on a chemical pick-me-up to get you through the week, you could be in for a nasty shock. New studies in the journal Frontiers in Public Health have found that artificial energy drinks are adversely contributing to negative mental health effects, with high sugar and caffeine levels being linked to depression, headaches and irritability.
However, as we approach the middle of the week, there's no denying your energy levels are bound for a slump at work. Don't half-arse your output; instead, recharge your own batteries with our all-natural vitality hacks.
1. Three-thinking for all-day drive
Breaking food down into energy takes 2-3 hours. “Go longer than that without eating and your energy levels will fade,” says British Dietetic Association dietician Sian Porter.
Make your meals like a pygmy on prunes: small and regular. “Ensure a mix of fat, protein, fibre, plus a little sweetness,” says Porter. “A good energy meal is mackerel with rice and veg, then yoghurt for dessert.”
2. Subscribe to feeder's digest
As food hits your stomach, enzymes convert it into fuel, breaking proteins into amino acids, carbs into sugars, and fats into fatty acids. Useful, but no great dinner party anecdote.
“High-fat foods take more effort to digest, sapping your energy levels,” says Porter. Opt for lean protein – think grilled chicken – and only have the burger for lunch when you’re planning a siesta for pudding.
(Related: 8 surprising foods that will burn fat)
3. Upgrade to fuel injection
The food you eat is turned into glycerol by your liver, which becomes glucose in your bloodstream – body fuel in its purest form. “This is absorbed by our cells providing the energy they need,” says Sanders.
A sports drink with 6-8% glucose gives an ideal instant energy surge. High5, Boots Isotonic and Lucozade Sport all deliver the requisite hit. “If you can’t lay your hands on a sports drink, jelly babies and even white bread with jam will do,” says Ruth McKean, dietician at the Scottish Institute of Sport.
4. Lubricate your engine with high revolutions
Inside your body’s cells are tiny ‘engines’ called mitochondria which use glucose to produce the chemical adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP) and another called creatine phosphate. These are what your cells run on.
Mitochondria seize up with age, but youcankeep them revving by cycling for 90 minutes, three days a week, according to Mayo Clinic research.
(Related: How to build your body like a professional cyclist)
5. Signal a surge with your wrong hand
When you put demands on your body, your power grid responds: “Your brain’s pituitary gland signals your liver to release glycerol into your bloodstream to be delivered as glucose for energy,” says Tom Sanders, Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics, Kings College London.
Go fakie. Research shows that using your weaker hand for everyday tasks repairs damaged neural connections and builds brand new ones to improve energy transfer.
Video: Feeling Tired All the Time? Try These Natural Energy Boosters
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