Healthy Lifestyle Tip: 8 Reasons You Have No Energy
Stuck in a midday slump? Here are 8 energy-zapping habits which you can change today.
1. You’re eating too much sugar. While sweet treats are the obvious culprit, refined carbohydrates like white bread, white rice, crisps, and cereal are a major source of sugar too. This type of simple sugar is digested quickly by the body, causing a dip in blood sugar level which will leave you feeling fatigued. Be sure to replace refined carbs with whole grain varieties for a lasting energy boost.
2. You aren’t exercising enough. It may seem counterintuitive that exerting energy will actually increase it, but adding a workout to your daily routine will give you a short-term energy boost. Plus, regular exercise improves sleep quality, which will ultimately leave you feeling better rested.
3. You’re skipping breakfast. “It’s important to give your body good fuel to start the day after an extended period of fasting. Try to combine healthy carbohydrates, like fruit, veg, and whole grains, with a protein source, such as eggs, nuts, or dairy. The carbs give you an initial boost, and the protein helps sustain you until your next meal,” says Johannah Sakimura, MS and Everyday Health blogger.
4. You’re spending too much time sitting down. Not only is sitting for prolonged periods of time harmful to your health (just one hour of being seated affects your heart!), but it’s a major energy zapper as well. Standing up and moving, even for just a few minutes, increases the level of oxygen in your blood and helps get it moving around your body, ultimately sending more oxygen to your brain; which increases alertness.
5. You’re drinking too much caffeine. Whether it’s a can of soda or constant refills of your coffee mug, many of the drinks we reach for when we feel tired are packed with caffeine – a stimulant that will give you a quick jolt, but can also leave you ‘crashing’ soon after if you ingest too much. Plus, if you’re drinking caffeinated drinks into the afternoon they may start to have an effect on the quality of your sleep. If you’re a coffee drinker, switch to water late-morning and replace soda with sparkling mineral water for a bubbly afternoon pick-me-up without the ‘crash’.
6. You’re dehydrated. We are all aware of the importance of drinking enough water – even mild dehydration can have adverse effects on your energy level, mood, and concentration. Aim for at least one glass of water per hour while sitting at your desk, and be sure to drink even more if you’re doing strenuous activity or are outdoors in high temperatures.
7. You have poor posture. A study found that slouched walking decreased energy levels and exacerbated symptoms of depression. The good news: Simply altering body posture to a more upright position instantly boosted mood and energy, while enabling participants to more easily come up with positive thoughts. So sit up straight!
8. You’re not snacking smart. If you’re running to the vending machine for a quick afternoon snack, your selection – most likely high in simple carbs and sugar – will take your energy levels in the wrong direction. Instead, choose a snack which has a combination of protein and complex carbs for an energy boost that will last throughout the afternoon. Think trail mix, carrot sticks and hummus, or peanut butter on whole meal toast.