Wednesday, 14 March 2012

8 Natural Ways to Boost Your Energy... Caffeine Free!!


Today, Starbucks UK ran a promotion offering their latest caffeine-fuelled product for free to customers before 12pm. A free latte (which now has an extra Espresso shot in there for the UK market). According to Twitter, this went down a STORM!

Having never been a coffee or tea drinker, I didn't get what all the fuss was about. Nor do I get the urges of self-proclaimed "caffeine addicts" who apparently "need" a coffee.

Personally, I can't imagine depending on something for energy, nor having something like this as an irreplaceable pillar of my diet. With this in mind, here's 8 ways that you can tweak your lifestyle and help to boost energy levels without that little paper cup...

1) Exercise...(it was always going to be #1!)
Might sound counter productive to some. "I don't have any energy so I need to do more?" The lack of energy is probably caused through a number of factors; all of which are bad habit. You're often lethargic rather than tired! Get moving, get active and feel better in yourself physically and mentally. You don't have to become a gym buff; including a little more activity can be part of your everyday. Walk more, ride a bike, leave the car at home on the way to work, go for a brisk walk on your lunch break or simply jump off the train a stop early and get moving each morning. No matter what your age or abilities, we can all probably be a little more active during the day (not just at the gym).

2) Sleep more...
OK so the first 2 are obvious. But if it's that obvious you do it then right? Probably not. One study at Loughborough University simply stated that the amount of sleep a person needs varies from person to person. The way to determine if you need more sleep is easy, "The amount of sleep we require is what we need not to be sleepy in the daytime". (money well spent I'd say!). So if you're tired, you need to sleep more in the evenings.


3)Avoid highly caffeinated drinks...
Yeah you heard! They make you feel "perky" and alert right? Well if they're so wonderful, why do some people rattle through 5 or more each day? Note the people around you who drink excessive amounts of coffee. They probably don't look the picture of health, bad skin, tired eyes and a temper or mood swings to match. Caffeine IS a stimulant correct, and used correctly, is a great "pick-me-up" for a short duration of energy and a boost for your metabolism. But to rely on caffeine for "energy" is a bad idea. you'll get your boost in energy, but as with everything in the body, a steady, regulated level is much more desirable. Following this peak in energy, you'll get a "crash". A low in energy, below your original state. Time for cup of coffee number two...

4) Plan B...
"B" is for "B vitamins" - a great energy booster and a favourite among supplement kings and queens around the world. But, before you go racing to your local health shop, try and get as much B Vitamins from your food as possible. Aim for broccoli, cabbage, sesame and pumpkin seeds, eggs and mushrooms (to name a few).

5) Drink more...
Water! Not coffee! Water is a basic bodily need, essential in a number of bodily functions and key to excreting waste products that we naturally generate. Effectively, without taking water on board, you're running your car exhaust straight back into the car (and we all know what happens there!)
Aim for at LEAST 2 litres a day.
TIP: If you have it, you'll drink it. Don't keep popping back to the tap/water fountain and filling a cup, you won't reach your target. Instead, buy a large, 1.5litre bottle of water and carry it with you; you'd be surprised how much more you get through.

6) CoQ10...
No, it's not a spelling mistake. C0Q10 is widely regarded as a natural way to boost your energy levels. Also available in a tablet form, try to include it in your diet through food. Spinach, mackerel, sardines, walnuts and peanuts will be a good start.

7) Low GI, Complex Carbs and Low Sugar...
The body likes to keep most things regulated and under control. Heart rate, blood pressure, food intake, daily activity levels - a healthy you, is a creature of habit. the same can be said for carb and sugar intake. Eating high GI food or simple carbs or foods high in sugar will cause a spike in your bodies insulin levels followed by a steep crash in both insulin, blood sugar levels and energy. Pick your food wisely to avoid these peaks and troffs in blood sugar and insulin in order to discourage fat retention and maintain a steady and productive energy level.
To keep your energy levels steady...
Go for: cherries, apples pears, broccoli, cabbage, long grain rice, buckwheat, yoghurt, tomato juice, sweet potato,
Avoid excessive amounts of: Dates, pineapples, parsnips, short grain rice, ice cream, cranberry juice, baked potato, fries, and sugary treats
Here's a more comprehensive list...
8) Protein...
This was always going to appear. It's not just an aim of guys trying to bulk up, EVERYONE needs protein! Try to aim for at least 1g of protein for every KG of body weight you have every day! This will help to regulate your metabolism, maintain steady energy levels and avoid the peaks and troffs in insulin mentioned earlier, help to repair each day, maintain your immune system and also help to maintain whatever muscle you have to make every day living that much easier. Look for white meats such as turkey and chicken, or fish. not meat eaters can still consume protein through lentils, pulses and quinoa (to name a few options).

So if you need energy NOW, it's probably a result of a number of things that you're doing to yourself day in, day out. Don't rely on coffee, instead, make small adjustments to your lifestyle and reap the benefits of a naturally, energy fuelled life.

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter (@MichaelD_PT)  and subscribe to my YouTube channel

1 comment:

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