5 Tips to Maintain Energy Throughout the Day
Do you find yourself almost nodding off at your desk midafternoon or during meetings? Are these slumps turning into an all-day slump? If this is an all too common occurrence, there are things you can do to help sustain your energy levels throughout the day!
It’s vital to make sure your energy levels are maintained throughout the day so that you can remain as productive as possible and perform at your best.
The top way to put yourself in the best position to maintain energy levels is to have a healthy, balanced diet, consisting of good quality protein, and plenty of varied fruit and vegetables. There are also specific nutrients you should aim to include in your diet, such as magnesium, iron and B-vitamins, as they play a role in energy production in the body.
However, there are some additional factors that you should consider.
Here are our top 5 tips to help maintain energy:
1. Ensure you are consuming enough calories
How many calories we require depends on our total daily energy expenditure and our overall goal.
There are a few things which help work out your energy requirements:
- Basal metabolic rate: this is the amount of calories your body needs to function at rest. It is the energy you need to just keep your heart beating, your lungs breathing and fuelling your cells. Factors including age, gender, weight and height are used to work out your BMR.
- Thermic effect of food: this is the energy you need to digest and absorb nutrients from the food you eat.
- Physical activity level: this takes into account the energy required for all sorts of activity, including both exercise and non-exercise activity e.g. walking to work, fidgeting and typing. If for example, you are doing a lot of exercise each day, but are not consuming enough calories to support your expenditure, you will quickly feel fatigued and your energy levels will suffer greatly!
2. Give your carbohydrate intake some thought
Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. Without carbohydrates, your body struggles to function properly and you often end up feeling run-down and fatigued.
Carbohydrates consumed are metabolised into glucose. Those which are metabolised quickly, releasing glucose into the bloodstream rapidly, causing a quick rise in blood sugar levels, are known as simple carbohydrates. They are found in processed and refined sugars such as table sugar and syrups. On the other hand, carbohydrates that are digested at a slower rate, have less of an immediate effect on blood sugar levels and provide us with a prolonged, steady energy release are known as complex carbohydrates. They include quinoa, brown rice, sweet potato and whole-grain bread.
Our bodies perform at their best when blood sugar levels are kept relatively constant and so it’s important to understand the effect that different carbohydrates can have.
When it comes to lunchtime, try to make sure you have a combination of high-quality protein, plenty of veg and a good serving of whole grains. A well-balanced lunch will help to prevent a spike in blood sugar levels and will keep your energy levels sustained throughout the day.
3. Make sure you are hydrated
Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep you hydrated. Failing to do so, will lead to dehydration. This has a direct impact on our brain functioning and can make us feel mentally sluggish and low energy. It can also cause adverse symptoms such as headaches and dizziness.
If you find it tricky to stay hydrated, try some of the following:
- Buy a reusable water bottle – not only great for the environment but having a bottle to hand will also mean you will have water throughout the day when on the go.
- Refill your water glass when it’s empty- not only is getting up from your desk and moving good for you, but it will also encourage you to drink more regularly.
- Set a water intake goal – try setting yourself a small milestone of drinking 1L by 12noon or setting reminders if you really struggle to remember.
- Jazz up your H20 – if you find it difficult to just drink plain water add some citrus fruits, cucumber or mint to encourage you to drink more.
If you’re unsure as to how much you should drink each day, read our blog here.
4. Be cautious of your caffeine intake
Caffeine isn’t bad for you if enjoyed responsibly. However, if you’re finding you’re relying on it to get through the day or experiencing any adverse effects, it may be time to take a step back and assess when and why you’re reaching for a coffee and perhaps make some lifestyle changes instead.
A cup of coffee or tea can help you to stay alert, however, try to minimise your caffeine consumption during the afternoon so it doesn’t later affect your sleep, as this, in turn, will impact your energy levels. Switching to decaffeinated coffee later on in the day can be helpful!
5. Make sure you are getting enough good quality sleep
Sleep is key when it comes to maintaining your energy levels. Even one night of interrupted or suboptimal sleep can impact your energy levels throughout the day. As a result, it is extremely important to ensure that you put yourself in the best stead for a great night’s sleep each night. This can be easier said than done on occasions, especially with work deadlines, caffeine intake and stress levels!
A few small tweaks could make all the difference:
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evening.
- Wind down and relax – have a bedtime routine each evening e.g. prepare yourself for the following day, have a warm bath or read.
- Avoid using your phone or laptop right before going to bed. If you find it hard to be apart from your phone, switch it over to night mode to avoid the harsh light.
- Try not to use your bedroom as a workspace, (that includes checking your emails), as your body will begin to associate your bedroom with work, making it harder to unwind.
- Assess your bedroom setup – ensure it isn’t too hot, too cold, too noisy or too bright and make sure you have a comfortable bed. Investing in a good-quality mattress is priceless in the long run!
- Avoid snoozing your alarm in the morning – set it for 15 minutes later but get up straight away.
- Track your energy levels using our FFF App – this could help you identify patterns and behaviours which may need adjusting.
Our CEO Caspar has also given his take on it here.
There you have it, our round-up of the top 5 tips for maintaining your energy levels. If you have any questions regarding your own energy levels and how to improve them, book in for a call with our Nutrition Team here. You can also use code BLOG50 for £50 off a 5-day trial.