Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Have you ever noticed that you have a lack of energy and/or that your energy levels are not allowing you to lead the lifestyle you want to lead? The lack of energy can be due to various causes, such as a poor diet, lack of sleep, a sedentary lifestyle, stress or a deficiency in certain vitamins and/or minerals. It is very common, especially when we get back into our routine, when the cold weather arrives or when the days are no longer as sunny as they were in summer.
If you feel identified with this situation, we want to help you face your everyday life in an active way with some tips and adjustments to your routine that will help boost your energy.
1. Follow a balanced diet
Good eating habits are essential to get all the nutrients our bodies need to function properly. What we eat and how we eat it has a big impact on our energy levels.
Our diets should not be lacking:
- Complex carbohydrates: these are absorbed more slowly than simple carbohydrates and allow us to maintain a low glycaemic index, avoiding the harmful effects of spikes in blood glucose. This type of carbohydrate is found in vegetables, nuts, legumes and wholegrain cereals, among others.
- Vegetable protein: although animal protein is more complete, as it contains all the essential amino acids, eating meat on a daily basis is not the most recommendable, as it has pro-inflammatory effects. Vegetable protein is not as complete, but if combined correctly (for example, legumes with cereals) it does provide all the necessary amino acids, as well as extra nutrients and fibre. For this reason, we recommend prioritising vegetable protein. Now you will surely understand why our grandmothers cook lentils with rice or chickpea soup with rice.
- Essential fats: healthy fats are a must in our diet, mainly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, which are very important for maintaining good cardiovascular health, as well as having neuroprotective functions. These fats can be found in oily fish, seeds and olive oil.
- Vitamins and minerals: among many other functions, micronutrients contribute to maintaining adequate energy levels. For this, it is important to eat plant-based foods on a daily basis, the WHO specifically recommends eating 5 servings of fruit and vegetables every day.
2. Keep your body well hydrated
Staying well hydrated is extremely important. Especially since our body is made up of a very high percentage of water (around 60%).
Good hydration enables the body’s vital functions to be performed normally and helps to maintain good health. Water is involved in essential metabolic processes such as body temperature regulation and transportation of nutrients and oxygen to our cells, and it is crucial for turning the food we eat into energy. This is why if we are dehydrated we feel weaker or fatigued.
Your water intake will depend on certain factors such as your body structure, age, the climate you live in, physical activity, etc. If you are a healthy person, we recommend that you drink only if you feel thirsty, this is the best indicator, because if your body needs water, it will make sure to send you a signal.
3. Do physical exercise
Continuous fatigue, generalised pain, apathy and sleep disorders decrease as a result of physical exercise. The more sedentary you are, the more tired you will feel. Physical activity helps our cells make better use of oxygen and nutrients, which makes it easier to obtain and use energy.
Having an active lifestyle strengthens your immune system, improves biochemical parameters, reduces stress and boosts your mood. Physical activity releases endorphins and neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, known as “happiness hormones”. It also activates longevity-promoting mechanisms, such as synthesising more mitochondria, cell organelles responsible for creating energy.
4. Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep is a very common reason for tiredness and lack of energy in our daily lives. In addition to all the health problems that can be caused by not getting enough sleep, our mood worsens, making it harder for us to develop a good attitude. If you are at a stage where you need to improve your sleep, you can read our blog post where we give you some tips that will help you regain your sleep.
5. Avoid tobacco and alcohol
We all know that smoking is bad for our health for many reasons, but one very good reason is that tobacco contains substances that affect our energy levels. Nicotine is responsible for this effect, a chemical that releases “happy hormones” in our brains, leading to a sense of pleasure and a temporary mood improvement. But this stimulation also affects our bodies: it speeds up our heart rate, increases blood pressure and stimulates brain wave activity associated with wakefulness, making it more difficult to fall asleep and depriving us of proper energy levels.
Alcohol has sedative effects (nervous system depression), so when you drink alcohol it makes you feel relaxed, your movements slow down and your reflexes slow down. It can also cause a drop in your blood sugar, which can lead to fatigue and weakness. Avoid alcohol whenever possible, especially during the day, as it can make it difficult for you to carry out your daily activities.
6. Manage stress and invest time in yourself
Work out, read, watch your favourite series, cook, draw or go out with your friends. Prioritise your most important tasks and invest your time in what you think will help you disconnect from your routine and keep your stress levels under control. From Zenement, we also recommend that you introduce mindfulness into your routine. It is a very popular practice that is part of the so-called “third generation therapies” in psychology. It combines meditation and relaxation in order to reduce anxiety, making it an effective strategy to reduce stress.
7. Try to keep a positive attitude
The way we perceive and interpret life’s situations has a particular influence on our bodies, both physically and mentally. This is why keeping a positive attitude helps to strengthen the immune system and fight depression. Thinking positively also helps our brains to perceive our happiness. In response to this stimulation, our brain releases serotonin. In our blog post “Improve your emotional state with Griffonia Complex” we explain how to increase your levels of this “happiness” neurotransmitter.
8. Take nutritional supplements if you need them
In addition to a good diet and lifestyle, you can take food supplements, also called dietary supplements, as an extra help to boost your energy levels. They can give you an extra supply of vitamins and minerals or other active ingredients such as plant extracts, which will help improve some of the issues listed above.
Here are some recommended supplements (vitamins, superfoods, adaptogens and sleep regulators):
|Increase energy levels||Improve physical performance||Improve sleep quality||Improve mental function and/or reduce stress|
|Vitamin B Complex / Vitamin B Complex MAX||X||X|
|Maca root extract||X||X||X|
|Tribulus Terrestris and Black Maca||X||X|
|L-Tryptophan with Melatonin||X||X|
|Did you know…?|
That B vitamins play a key role in energy synthesis in our body, contribute to nervous system and immune system functions and are involved in red blood cell formation. In the case of a strict vegetarian or vegan diet, it is very important to supplement with vitamin B12, as it is only found in animal protein foods such as meat, eggs and dairy products. Vitamin B12 deficiency causes debilitating symptoms and can lead to anemia, cardiovascular and nervous system problems.
In short, good eating habits, physical exercise, doing what you enjoy and having a good attitude are essential daily practices for maintaining vitality and adequate energy levels. If the feeling of tiredness persists, consider including some kind of supplement in your daily routine.