ENERGY: How to Get It, Have It + Keep It
ENERGY – GET IT, HAVE IT, KEEP IT with Brooke Benson, Clinical Nutritionist.
If, like me, your day is spent running from meeting to meeting and the concept of sitting down for lunch is a distant school-time memory, chances are your body is suffering from some level of fatigue, stress and exhaustion. The disease is ‘the daily grind’.
But never fear (and put down that Red Bull!) – here are 7 ways to keep both body and brain energised throughout the day to maximise performance, personality and professionalism.
- Eat for energy.
Start the morning with protein and healthy fats to maximise energy for the day ahead. Protein is essential for starving off fatigue and healthy fats make you feel fuller for longer and allow your blood sugar to remain stable – balancing energy levels. Eggs and avocado, a protein shake with coconut oil, greek yoghurt with nuts and seeds – all great sources of the powerful protein/fat combination.
- Single task.
We know that texting while driving isn’t a great idea, and that blowdrying your hair in the bathtub doesn’t work, but we still attempt to multitask throughout the day. Our brain is only designed to do one thing at a time, and the more we multitask the less we are able to learn, memorise, concentrate or be nice to people (scientific fact!). When we multitask we are also raising levels of stress hormones which cause fatigue and tension. Choose to perform one task at a time for greater performance.
- Supplement wisely.
A cupboard full of vitamin bottles is not the goal here, although I do recommend a high-quality magnesium powder 30 minutes before bed to promote restful sleep, muscle recovery and soothe an overactive nervous system. Adding select superfoods to your meals is a much better way to boost nutrition and increase energy levels, and bee pollen is one of the best. Bee Pollen is rich in protein, amino acids and B vitamins – all essential for stamina and vitality, and a teaspoon a day is all you need. Sprinkle on yoghurt or salads but avoid it if you have a bee allergy.
- Inhibit information.
Thanks to technology, we all have access to too much information. Our brains have a daily capacity and if you fill it with details of the latest Kardashian marriage breakdown, you are leaving less room for the important stuff. Endless access to new information easily overloads our working memory and when we reach cognitive overload our ability to transfer learning to long-term memory deteriorates. Focus on information that is relevant to your cause and filter the rest.
- Be social.
Interacting with others makes us happier and more satisfied, and most importantly, decreases stress levels. The benefit is even greater when you are laughing with others; researchers have found that a daily laugh with colleagues increases energy levels and performance for the remainder of the day, whilst a deep and meaning full conversation increases levels of oxytocin – our happy anti-stress hormone.
- Use the 2:1 ratio.
For increased energy and focus, alternate two cups of green tea to one cup of coffee. L-theanine, a constituent found in green tea provides calm clarity and alertness for hours after ingestion, while caffeine provides an immediate reaction. In a 2:1 ratio they provide a consistent and calm focus for hours at a time, boosting performance.
Meditation isn’t just about sitting cross-legged on a velvet cushion chanting. It is about a mindful and self-aware focus that can be achieved through guided mediation apps like Mindfulness Daily, yoga practice or even surfing. Giving your brain time to recharge and reset is essential for peak performance and high energy. Daily meditation also boosts levels of DHEA (the ‘fountain-of-youth’ hormone) by up to 47%, so meditate daily for youthful skin, strong bones and the superpower of calm: 10 minutes a day is all it takes.
Follow these tips to boost energy, maximise health and increase performance.
Change your daily habits and change your life – it can be that simple!
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