The winter blues can be hard to shake off but if you’re ready to spring forward full of beans into a new season, we’ve put together our 5 top nutrition tips to help boost your energy.
Kick the habit – it’s tempting to reach for stimulants like caffeine and sugar for a quick fix when low energy strikes but unfortunately these will leave you flagging. Although they provide an instant boost, this is often followed by a crash which leaves you feeling worse. This is due to the disruptive effect on blood glucose levels and stress hormones. Stay balanced by choosing slow energy releasing foods like wholegrains and fibre-rich fresh fruit and vegetables, and combine with a source of protein – meat, fish, eggs, or a simple handful of nuts and seeds can help to keep energy levels steady.
Soothe your stresses – stress is demanding on our bodies by using up important nutrients such as B vitamins, vitamin C and magnesium. Many of us are exposed to long-term chronic stress, which over time can deplete our stores and take its toll on energy levels. It’s important to recognise that stress is not always emotional or mental, but other factors such as a diet high in processed foods or even a lack of sleep can be stressful for the body. Exercise is a great tool to combat stress but don’t overdo it and deplete yourself further, try yoga or get outdoors and boost your immune system by being in nature.
Magnesium – is one of the most important minerals in our body, not only is it essential for energy production, it is actually a component of every single cell and involved in over 600 chemical reactions – so it’s understandable how feelings of low energy may indicate that you’re not getting enough. As well as this magnesium, is also known as ‘nature’s relaxant’ and can help to ease feelings of stress and anxiety.
Load up on dark leafy greens like spinach and kale, avocados, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds and wholegrains and treat yourself to some dark chocolate! It’s packed with magnesium (and a host of other minerals and antioxidants), even better enjoy a few squares in the bath – bathing in magnesium salts is one of the best ways to absorb this vital mineral.
Switch on your energy ‘powerhouse’ – mitochondria are tiny structures found inside every single one of our cells and are known as our very own energy production factories. When we eat, food is broken down into its constituent parts, and through a process called the ‘Krebs Cycle’ provides us with ‘ATP’ – our energy currency. There are many different nutrient co-factors required at each step, including B vitamins (animal products and wholegrains), co-enzyme Q 10 (primarily meat and fish), l-carnitine (meat), malic acid (fruit), lipoic acid (spinach, broccoli, meat), magnesium (green leafy veg) and taurine (animal products), you might also like to top up with some Get More Vits goodness.
Up your antioxidants – to function as best they can your mitochondria need protecting! Churning out energy for us every day results in potentially damaging by-products, so make sure your diet contains lots of brightly coloured fruit and vegetables which are naturally packed with antioxidants – the more richly pigmented the better, eat a rainbow!
To get a boost of a whole lot of vitamins in one go you could try our Multi Vits Sparkling Lemon & Lime drink which is now available to buy in Asda!