The most frequent health concern raised by my clients over the years is lack of energy. Often, when I analysis those clients’ diets and lifestyle it’s easy to see why this can happen. Busy from morning to night and surviving on poor food choices and too many stimulants.
The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way!
Changing your diet, even with small adjustments, can make a huge difference to your energy levels and you will see the results quickly too!
The Food You Eat
The food you eat is the biggest single factor affecting your energy levels. Lack of energy and its associated symptoms such as fatigue, poor concentration, lack of focus, drowsiness and lethargy is often the result of poor dietary choices and lifestyle habits. A high-fat, high-refined food diet with little exercise combined with high levels of stress would be a good example of this scenario.
Eating for Energy
The energy that fuels your brain, nerves, muscles and almost all body functions is derived from the food you eat.
Your brain has a high requirement for blood glucose as a fuel. However just eating glucose would be a bad idea:
- To release the energy from glucose you need essential vitamins and minerals. These are found in abundance in wholefoods, and not in glucose.
- Glucose on its own gives a rush of energy which is then closely followed by a significant dip; a bit like a spike.
- Ongoing poor blood glucose balance can lead to a number of health problems.
Complex Carbohydrates & Glycaemic Index
The Glycaemic Index (GI) measures how quickly a food affects your blood glucose level when eaten on its own. Low GI foods help you feel fuller for longer because its takes your body longer to break down the food and release the glucose.
Our body’s favourite fuel is generated from complex carbohydrates, which contain complex sugars rather than the simple sugars found in refined foods. These complex carbohydrates, which are low GI, give a slow release of sustainable energy over a longer period.
The presence of protein rich foods also lowers the GI. Combining protein and slow release carbohydrate in a meal helps balance blood sugar further.
Small, but Very Significant!
So, we now have glucose ready to be released as energy. For glucose to be made available for the body’s use it requires the action of a series of enzymes. These enzymes are dependent on vitamins and some minerals to produce energy efficiently and effectively.
The most important of these micro-nutrients are Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Manganese, Iron and Co-enzyme Q10.
If you are low in any of these micro-nutrients you will not make energy efficiently no matter how much complex carbohydrate you eat!
Alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, stress and poor diet are all energy robbers, so try to minimise these and find suitable alternatives.
Exercise & Energy Production
Any exercise that increases your heart rate and blood flow releases endorphins and raises your energy levels.
Recent research (University of Georgia, USA, Feb. 2018) has shown that low intensity exercise may help increase energy levels in those suffering from fatigue.
Speak to a member of the Wellness Team who can advise on an exercise programme personally designed for you or have your current programme updated. Don’t forget this is included in your membership!
Your Energy Formula
- Eat slow sugar releasing carbohydrates combined with good quality protein
- Check your diet contains enough of the vitamins and minerals needed to optimise energy production
- Avoid stimulants and energy suppressors
- Include exercise in your routine on a regular basis