By Nutritionist, Samantha Gemmell
Reaching for the sweet treats might seem like a good idea at the time, but the truth is, it's doing more damage to your energy levels. When we eat something high in sugar, it causes a spike in our blood sugars, and then a plummet. When it plummets, so does our energy levels.
Instead, choose more wholesome snack options that will energise you for longer. If you want to indulge your sweet tooth, have some fresh fruit – it's full of fibre to balance your energy levels. Raw nuts and seeds can be a good option for when you want something crunchy.
Fats used to be the scapegoat, but now we know they are full of good nutrition. They also help to balance out blood sugar levels, giving us longer lasting steady energy throughout the day.
Incorporating in good fats is easy – just add some to each meal and snack. This might mean avocado with breakfast, a tin of salmon at lunch, and nuts and seeds for snacks. The upside is, you'll also feel fuller for longer.
If you're cooped up inside all day, it's no wonder why you feel fatigued! Our bodies are designed to take cues from the sunshine, as well as soaking up some vital Vitamin D. It's time to get out into the fresh air.
Even if it's just 10 minutes on a tea break, every bit of sunshine adds up. For extra points, see if you can also get out into nature. This powerful combo will leave you feeling invigorated.
When we're glued to our desks all day, our circulation gets a little sluggish. This in turn can make us feel sluggish and weary. The solution? It's simple – move more. Incidental movement and activity can make a big difference in energy levels.
You don't have to go overboard. Think about how you can move more. Maybe you can take the stairs down to the cafe on your break. You could go for a walk in the sunshine at lunch time. Even walking over to talk to someone instead of emailing across the office can get the blood pumping again.
If you're exhausted during the day, there's a fair chance that you're not sleeping so well at night. Getting a good night's sleep is crucial for our bodies to repair and re-energise for the day to come. Unfortunately, many of us are sleeping far too little, or are getting poor quality sleep.
Aim for at least 7 hours per night, or as many as 8 or 9 is even better. If you're finding you're not tired at night, you might need to minimise your exposure to technology and screens for an hour or two before bedtime. This is because blue lights from screens can block production of our sleep neurotransmitter melatonin. Try banning yourself from technology after 8.30pm and switch to reading a book or winding down with some mindful colouring.
Hydration is one of the easiest ways to keep ourselves healthy and energised. Yet it's also one of the most neglected habits – many struggle to even remember a few glasses of water per day.
Remember that it doesn't have to always be plain water to count. Herbal teas, including cacao tea, are great options for chillier days. Water infused with herbs or berries can be a fun option for the warmer weather, or you can even chuck a few ice cubes in your favourite herbal tea. Aim for at least 1.5L per day to feel full of beans.
Many people experience what's commonly known as the 3pm slump. There's many theories on what causes it – fatigue, lack of movement, post-lunch digestion, blood sugar levels and stress hormone levels are just some ideas. However, the outcome is the same – you get tired and grumpy, and reach for junk food or energy drinks.
Instead, why not try for something a little more nourishing? 3pm is the perfect time to enjoy a cup of cacao tea. The theobromine and chocolatey flavour will give you the boost you need, without large amounts of sugar or caffeine. It also gives you an excuse to step away from your desk and have a mental break.
Do you have any secret tips to boost your energy?
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