5 Energy Boosting Hacks - No Sugar or Caffeine Needed!

We’ve all felt the draining effects of an energy slump - the brain fog, heavy eyelids, body aches and complete lack of motivation. At these times, it’s easy to reach for a hit of sugar or caffeine for an immediate pick-me-up - but after a quick high comes a crash, and you’re often left feeling even worse and with even less energy than before.

The real fix? Look at improving some simple lifestyle habits for a lasting solution to keep yourself energised and at the top of your A-game for the long run. With a lot of us stuck at home in isolation - now's the perfect time to nail the basics, invest in our bodies a little more and improve our energy levels to make sure we're ready for a comeback when life picks up again. 

1. Get more sleep - it seems like an obvious tip, but it’s one a lot us struggle to achieve! A lack of sleep can leave us feeling lethargic, fatigued and unmotivated, while on the flip side, a night of quality sleep leaves us feeling refreshed and energised. Aim for 7-8 hours of good quality sleep per night, and try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.

2. Stay hydrated- having enough water in our system means we can transport nutrients to the body and brain as a fuel source, keeping us energised and fighting off the fatigue often associated with dehydration. Quenching your thirst with some cold water is also likely to fill the gap you may mistake for hunger - another reason we feel extra tempted to reach for a sugary snack when we’re tired.

3. Set yourself up with a decent breakfast - eating a balanced, healthy breakfast can improve concentration, mood and maintain energy levels throughout the day. Opt for a breakfast high in protein, healthy fats, fibre and low GI carbohydrates, and continue to pick nutritious options consistently for the remainder of the day. Setting yourself up with good dietary habits and balanced meals will also safeguard you from reaching for sugar as a pick-me-up, because your body will be getting the fuel it needs from more adequate and beneficial nutrient sources instead.

4. Get moving - this may seem counterintuitive when you’re already feeling tired, but regular exercise and increased activity levels throughout the day can actually boost your energy levels and leave you feeling more alert and refreshed. Exercise assists in the circulation of oxygen throughout the body , releases an influx of feel-good hormones - which contribute to a more energised state - and it improves your overall mental alertness. A simple 10 minute walk is enough, though you’ll likely find you can keep going for longer once the positive effects start to kick in!

5. Go outside - Research has shown that just a few minutes outside in the fresh air or sunshine can improve your sense of vitality, enhance mood and give your brain an energy boost. Connect with nature by opting to eat your lunch outside in your lunch break while you work from home, take a walk before or after work, or plan your daily exercise to be an outdoor physical activity like running.