Recently I've been really interested in figuring out ways I can get the most out of my body. One of these "experiments" has involved boosting my energy levels so as to avoid the dreaded 3pm crash (or in my case 12pm). Here is what I've found to work:
Eat Throughout the Day
Snacking or "grazing" isn't bad as long as you eat the right types of foods. And its no mystery and doesn't take a "secret diet" to eat well. Simply aim for foods with low GI. Low GI foods take longer to break down in the body, therefore keeping your blood sugars nice and steady. High GI foods will spike your blood sugars and subsequently lead to a crash.
If you're a diabetic your Doctor will basically force you to eat a Low GI diet, but we should all really be eating like this. And its simple as well - just try and avoid as much processed food as possible.
I don't stick to strict diet - i'm drinking a Red Bull right now, which will definately lead to a crash (but hopefully when i'm asleep)
Whatever you do, don't stop eating and even more importantly don't go on one of those "cleanse" diets. Did you know there is no empirical peer reviewed research that supports any claims of these cleanses? None at all! They do however make the crafty entrepreneurs who sell them, rich.
10 minutes a day is all you need. And no, meditation is not just "touchy feely bullshite". In the scientific community there is debate as to how effective it is, but what is known is that mediatation will alter your heart rate, blood pressure and metabolism in much the same way sleep does. This means you can actually gain some of the benefits of sleep without actaully....well sleeping.
So unlike the Red Bull im drinking, Green tea has no sugar (pratically) and much less caffiene. It gives you more of a relaxed feeling as opposed to a jittery alertness. Green Tea also has lots of those good antioxidant thingys which people keep telling me are good for you.
Drink Lots of Water
Now I'm probably sounding like your mother - but seriously Water is essential to keeping you energised. If you're even slightly dehydrated your body will let you know by giving you a headache, dry skin and you will lose your appetite. You don't need to drink an excessive amount of water - as it won't be of benefit, instead drink as soon as you feel thirsty. Try keeping a drink bottle on your desk and have a regualr sip. Remember caffiene is diuretic, so that cup of coffee doesn't count.
Exercise releases adrenaline and other stimulants which will naturally perk you up. After intense game I often have trouble sleeping and definitely feel very alert. Of course excessive exercise will have the opposite effect and cause you to crash.
I usually spend 30 minutes or so walking each day, which keeps me going and gives a nice boost of energy right when I need it.
Take a Deep Breath
A now for quick tip you can do right now. Take 5 deep breaths. How do you feel now. There are actually a number of special deep breathing exercises you can do, but that would take another post to explain, and im also no expert. What I do know, is taking a few deep breaths will give you a boost.
So thats what I do - what works for you?
Photo By - kwerfeldein