Tired. Lethargic. Fatigued. Drained. Dead. However you want to put it, we all get to that point in the day where we just want to collapse into bed and never get up again – but unfortunately that’s not an option for most people as work and social responsibilities get in the way. So if you’re taking this new year as an opportunity to re-energise – whether that be because you overdid it at the Christmas or New Years party or you’re generally feeling sluggish then the tips and foods included below are sure to leave you feeling energised.
- Get Enough Sleep I’m not being patronising when I say this but getting a good nights sleep really will help in combating that niggling feeling of fatigue. Aim for around 6-8 hours of high quality, undisturbed sleep per night and if you struggle nodding off try a warm bath, yoga flow or bedtime tea beforehand and aim to stick to a regular sleeping pattern.
- Eat Breakfast Commonly referred to as the most important meal of the day, breakfast is essential for restoring the bodies glucose levels after a night of fasting whilst also helping to boost metabolism. Think of it this way; if you’re not fueling your body in the morning, then it’s pretty much running on empty which will lead to fatigue as well as negative effects on your performance – aim for a breakfast rich in complex carbs, fiber and protein.
- Eat Regularly Eating 5-6 times a day has been proven to help fight feelings of fatigue as it helps to avoid dips in blood sugar levels, ensuring that the brain has a steady supply of nutrients so try to avoid skipping meals.
- Move More Physical activity can improve mental health by alleviating feelings of stress and anxiety but it’s also been proven to help boost energy levels too and those who lead a more sedentary lifestyle are surprisingly more likely to suffer from feelings of fatigue. Yoga is thought to be especially beneficial, as it has been shown to lead to an increase in energy, confidence and overall well-being and there are even flows created specifically for giving you an energy boost!
- Food is a major factor in our lives which can have a detrimental effect on our health and although that you may not realise it, the types of food that you’re eating may be the reason why you’re feeling so tired. Moreover, when you’re tired, you’re more likely to make poor food choices (unfortunately that’s just how humans are) and temptation may lead you to reach for foods higher on the glycemic index such as sugary energy drinks or chocolate – and although these may supply you with an instant boost of energy, you’re also sure to suffer from that dreaded sugar crash shortly after. By making some simple swaps and including the 10 fatigue fighting foods below, you’re sure to feel energised all day long.
- Chia Seeds were used centuries ago by both the Aztecs and Mayans in order to improve endurance and performance and it’s no wonder seen as these mighty seeds are packed with the perfect ratio of protein, fiber and healthy fats in order to stabilise blood sugar levels and boost energy levels. Plus, they boast a wealth of vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants such as quercetin – which has been proven to aid in athletic performance and recovery.
- Melons are around 95% water and with dehydration being one of the major causes of tiredness, they’re the perfect snack to leave you feeling energised.
- Bananas are renowned for their energy boosting properties thanks to their high levels of potassium – so why not whizz one into your morning smoothie or slice one over the top of your oats.
- Speaking of Oats, this fiber rich grain is the perfect energy boosting breakfast due to its high carbohydrate content. Carbohydrates spend the least amount of time in the stomach, which means that you get a quick boost of energy, whilst the high fiber content keeps you feeling fuller for longer thus, preventing overeating throughout the day which can lead to sluggishness and fatigue. Fiber is also crucial for healthy digestion; the soluble fiber in oats feeds the beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract and prevents constipation which in turn can leave you feeling lethargic.
- Beans are an incredibly underrated superfood as they contain the perfect trio of fiber, carbs and protein meaning that they’ll stabilise blood sugar levels, provide the body with energy and fill you up. Plus they’re also rich in an array of minerals such as potassium, copper, iron and magnesium – all of which contribute to energy production.
- Nuts are packed full of healthy fats, protein and fiber. Fats stay in the stomach longer than carbohydrates and proteins, but this means that they provide slow-burning fuel for long-lasting energy. Nuts are rich in healthy fats (yes, fats can be healthy) – especially Omega-3s which help maintain healthy cells and have been proven to help slow digestion, which results in a prolonged feeling of fullness and therefore preventing extra snacking that can lead to weight gain, a common contributor to fatigue. Nuts are also a great source of minerals and vitamins such as magnesium, which helps fight muscle fatigue and tryptophan which promotes sleep and battles emotional fatigue.
- Sweet Potatoes have a high fiber content and are rich in potassium – an essential mineral which balances electrolytes for maximum hydration whilst also lowering blood pressure and therefore lessening the levels of stress in the body which could potentially lead to fatigue.
- Quinoa has dramatically risen in popularity over the past few years and contains a wealth of protein and fiber, whilst also being a rich source of plantbased iron; a mineral which is essential for warding off anemia – an iron deficiency which can lead to increased fatigue.
- Green Tea possesses a myriad of health benefits from boosting metabolism and improving brain power, to warding off certain types of cancer and in terms of overcoming fatigue, this superfood also contains the powerful amino acid L-theanine which calms the central nervous system and helps to improve alertness and attention. If you’re a coffee addict, then opt for a matcha latte instead – you’ll still get a small caffeine boost but without the jitters and a whole host of other benefits too! Just be sure not to drink it too close to bed or else you may just find yourself awake all night.
- Water is more powerful than you may think; not only does it boost your immune system and contribute to clearer skin, but drinking at least 2 litres of water throughout the day is also sure to ward off dehydration which is a major contributing factor to tiredness and fatigue as it leads to headaches, decreased concentration and can cause irritability.
What are your top tips for fighting fatigue? Leave them in the comments below and have a happy, healthy and energised new year x