10 tips for amazing energy

Aug 18, 2014

A lot of the people I see in clinic, if it’s not their main goal, will ask me at some point, ‘How do I get more energy?’ or when we talk about their life day to day they tell me they wake up feeling shattered, even after a good nights sleep and they coast along throughout the day relying on sugar or caffeine pick me ups to keep them going. They are surviving but not thriving so I’d like to dedicate this post to giving you more energy because who doesn’t want more of that?!

Energy is created from within and involves so many bodily systems from your digestive system and adrenal glands through to your individual cells, all 50-100 trillion of them. The lifestyle, exercise and food choices you make on a regular basis directly reflects your energy since our health is a reflection of what we consistently do so listen up if you want to crank up your energy levels….

1). CONSUME MORE ENZYME-RICH FOODS

Food can totally differ nutritionally and depending which option you go for on a habitual basis, one of two situations can happen; food can either naturally be packed full of enzymes and nutrients which feed into your body’s natural pathways, indirectly giving you more energy or it is void of enzymes and lacks nutritional goodness which zaps your energy in order to break the food down, which can leave your body undernourished and drained.

I dropped the enzyme bomb just now and you may not be familiar with what they are, where to find them or what their roles are in the body, so let me explain briefly as they are so directly involved in ensuring we have zippy energy.

There are three classes of enzymes:

  • Metabolic enzymes, which run our bodies, organs and tissues
  • Digestive enzymes, which digest our food
  • Food enzymes, from raw, uncooked food, which start food digestion

In short, life could not happen without enzymes. They are required by every single reaction that goes on in your body, from breathing, thinking and blinking, to making new bone, nerves and muscles. They really are the do-ers in our body so if you want all every functions in your body to happen more efficiently, consuming foods which naturally add to your enzyme count rather than take away from it is a wise move.

Enzymes also help to break down our foods into tiny structures capable of supplying our body with nutrients and they are responsible for converting proteins into usable energy, so again, if we want more energy, we need to subsidize our own enzymes by eating foods naturally containing enzymes. Any guesses as to which foods these may be?? If you guessed raw plant foods you guessed right. Anything that is capable of growing or photosynthesizing contains enzymes to do these processes, so anything that has roots and grows in the ground i.e. greens, fruit, nuts and seeds should make its way into your mouth.

2). BREATHE 20 LONG, SLOW DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHS DAILY

Breathe in through the nose so your tummy expands, exhale through the mouth until your tummy shrinks right back in. Repeat 20 times throughout the day whenever your energy lulls. Why? It helps to oxygenate your lungs and send oxygen round to your extremities i.e. your brain to power productive thoughts and your limbs to run around should they be required to do so.

3). GIVE COFFEE A BREAK FOR 2 WEEKS

4 weeks would be even better if you’re really going for it. After the initial getting your head round the idea and maybe dip in energy at first, you may be stunned at how great you feel and how much more mental clarity you have!

This is the opposite of what you expect as you’re probably thinking ‘but doesn’t coffee give you energy?’ In answer to this, it does temporarily, but this energy is only short lived. Coffee is a stimulant, and the nature of stimulants is to stimulate your nervous system to produce adrenaline and cortisol, two stress hormones which put your body on high alert, as if it was in danger. Unfortunately your body mounts the same reaction to food as it does to external emergencies and everytime you use up one unit of adrenaline, you use up magnesium, vitamin C and B vitamins which are all requited by your cells to produce energy for your body. So the more nutrients are used up, the fewer there are available to go round other functions such as your energy production. By regularly consuming stimulants you take the edge of your energy, so give it a break for a short while to see if it makes a difference. You will be able to tell fairly quickly!

4). REBOUND OR DANCE 

Put uplifting music on and dance around your living room as if you are 3 years old!! If you are too self conscious for that, then get a rebounder (mini trampoline) and bounce on it doing high knees for the duration of your favourite song which you can have playing in the background. This will raise your heart rate and get you pumped full of oxygen.

5). EXERCISE BEFORE BREAKFAST

Starting your day with some form of exercise leaves you feeling AMAZING and so smug in the morning as you bound into work having done a workout whilst your colleagues dozily slink to their desk. It sets your metabolic rate up strong for the day. I love a H.I.I.T class at 6am or a TABATA workout at 5:30am when I get up but that’s just me, find what works for you.

6). LEMON WATER ON RISING

Start your day with the juice from half a squeezed lemon in warm water. It’s the quintessential liver cleanser and gives your digestive system a warning to let it know it is about to receive food so it can prepare for the task.

7). EAT 5 SMALL MEALS PER DAY

Eating large meals is taxing on the body and send your blood flow to your gut to get to work on digesting what was on your plate. Your brain will be blood deprived and you won’t feel the most sprightly. So small and frequent does the trick!

8). CUT OUT REFINED SUGAR

When you consume refined sugar (think biscuits, crisps, fizzy drinks, white breads and pastas, chocolate etc.) your energy will peak, but this peak will be short lived and you’ll then enjoy a huge crash in energy with a subsequent craving for more sugar, zapping your energy. Instead stick to whole foods that naturally grow on our planet that have had as minimal processing as possible. If you follow my Jessipes I’m looking after you in this department!

9). DRINK 2 LITRES OF WATER DAILY

Drink a minimum of 2 litres of water per day throughout the day. Herbal teas, soups and homemade green juices all have a high water content so they count too if you’re someone that struggles to drink this much water alone. Alternatively, check out my post on vitamin infused waters to naturally flavour your water up using delicious fruit and herb combinations. Sounds odd, but it truly works.

10). TAKE UP YOGA OR PILATES

Any movement that encourages you to focus on your breath and stimulate your para-sympathetic nervous system is a winner since this part of your nervous system is involved in orchestrating rest, repair and healthy digestion in your body. So watch some Youtube videos on deep breathing or attend a class or two on yoga or pilates, they’re so fun and you’ll feel so blissed out afterwards.

So I hope this post has taught you a think or two about how to naturally enjoy an energy pick me up. What is the main learning point for you?

All the healthy best,

Jess xx

Hi, I’m Jess! Nutritional Therapist  & Personal Trainer, sharing workouts & nutrition made simple from my island home in Menorca. My mission? To educate & inspire people to achieve & sustain their personal health & body shape goals. I love to hike, cook, and bring inspiring people together.

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