Energy yield is essential for productivity and overall quality of life, as there is a direct correlation between physical and psychological well-being and how high your energy levels are. When energy levels are low you will tend to feel lethargic and your mood will be compromised as a result. This is often the cause of coffee addiction: people seeking an acute energy boost, and ultimately lifting mood and ability to get things done. Although I myself am an advocate of coffee, there are also other ways to boost energy levels asides from solely relying on caffeine intake.
Reduce inflammation within the body
The build-up of inflammation affects many people, however you can be totally oblivious to this as it is all taking place within the body. Inflammatory response is triggered in order for the body to fend of foreign organisms that have the potential to cause serious damage. There are some preventative measures you can take and also some changes you can make to your lifestyle choices to help reduce existing inflammation.
Common causes of inflammation include lack of rest; poor dietary habits and consumption/exposure to toxins, including alcohol and smoking. With regards to poor dietary habits, omega-6 and high-glycaemic carbohydrates in particular can cause the build-up of inflammation in the digestive tract, leading to lack of nutrient absorption and ultimately less energy. A great way to combat this is by consuming more omega-3 fatty acids, this will improve the omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, leading to increased energy production.
Increase your fibre intake
Fibre is a crucial macronutient, responsible for digestive health. This is crucial for sustaining high-levels of energy as it reduces the speed in which we digest food and therefore allows for better energy distribution over a prolonged period of time. Think of a time when you’ve ate incredibly sugary food, such as candy; how did you feel 20 minutes later? The likelihood is that you felt pretty bad, again because energy levels were compromised.
To maximise the effects of fibre, aim to kick start your day with a breakfast packed full of proteins and fibre: both of which delay the digestive process and will set your day up with maximal energy. You should also apply this rule to your snacking habits; cut out the candy and crisps and instead eat nuts, seeds and fruit.
Dehydration can lead to many dysfunctional symptoms including tiredness, hunger and headaches. People will often attribute these symptoms to other causes, such as lack of sleep, lack of food and stress, however the cause is often far simpler and more avoidable than they think. Ensuring your fluid intake is regular throughout the day and consuming 1.6l-2l of water per daywill maintain optimal cognitive and muscular function throughout the day. The amount of water intake may need to be increased if you also consume tea/coffee and exercise.
Assess your calorie intake
If you’re in a major calorie deficit in a bid to quickly lose weight, then it is expected that energy levels will be compromised, however if weight loss is the aim then going into a major calorie deficit is not advisable as it’s incredibly hard to sustain this kind of dietary regime. Furthermore, with this dieting strategy you will also sacrifice muscle mass: tissue responsible for burning calories, along with being constantly psychologically and physically fatigued. Instead be methodical with your weight loss plans, and limit processed carbohydrates and simple sugars, whilst gradually making calorie reductions.
Reduce alcohol intake
As previously mentioned, alcohol increases inflammation within the body, which can lead to digestion issues. However another issue with alcohol is that it prevents the body going into REM sleep: also known as stage 4 of the sleep cycle, this is the deepest phase of sleep responsible for cellular rejuvenation and hormonal regulation.