Eating the right foods will give you the energy you need to face a busy or challenging day, whether at work or at home.
If you’re into sport, then eating well will also mean you’ll be able to train and compete better, and for longer.
Eating well will also help your mind stay sharp.
Four top tips to keep up your energy levels
1. Don’t skip breakfast
By the morning, your body has been without food for many hours, so no wonder it needs refuelling. Your body is a bit like a mobile phone – it needs recharging regularly.
Eating breakfast will help stop your stores of energy – your blood sugar – from dipping during the morning. Research has shown that people who eat breakfast perform better at work or school.
Eating breakfast boosts your energy levels and set you up for the day ahead.
So try a few of these ideas
√ fruit smoothie
√ a bowl of breakfast cereal (try to choose one that is high in fibre, but low in fat, sugar and salt) with semi-skimmed milk and a glass of fruit juice
√ boiled egg with wholegrain toast and a banana
√ multi-grain bagel with peanut butter and fruit juice
√ porridge made with semi-skimmed milk and topped with fresh or dried fruit
2. Eat regularly
Try to make sure you eat three meals every day and top up with healthy snacks;
√ banana smoothie
√ fruit – small bunch of grapes or a small bag of dried apricots
√ drinking yoghurt or soya milk
√ yoghurt or fromage frais
√ cereal bar
√ slice of fruit loaf or malt loaf
3. Choose foods with a low glycaemic index (GI)
Energy should come from foods high in carbohydrate, such as bread, pasta, potatoes and breakfast cereals.
Some of these foods have a low glycaemic index (GI) which means they release they energy slowly into the bloodstream and stop blood sugar levels from dipping causing you to feel tried and hungry. These foods are good to have at meal times.
Medium GI foods
Grapes, oranges, fresh dates, mangoes and kiwi fruits; raw carrots, sweetcorn, peas and potatoes (apart from mashed); white and wholegrain pasta; porridge and oatmeal; wholegrain rye bread (including pumpernickel); brown and white rice.
Low GI foods
Apples, pears, peaches, grapefruits, plums, cherries and dried apricots; avocados; green, leafy vegetables and most other vegetables (but see above); lentils and beans; soya products.
Foods with a high GI such as fruit juices, bananas, and dried fruits, give you an instant burst of energy, so they are useful when you need that extra boost or to take before or after exercising.
4. Keep well hydrated
When you’re really rushing about you can lose body water through sweat and may not have time to drink, you can easily become dehydrated and this can make you feel tired and lacking in energy before you even feel thirsty.
By the time you feel thirsty, it’s too late, you’re already dehydrated. To avoid this, drink little and often throughout the day. Regular sips of water are more effective at preventing dehydration and keeping you feeling alert.
Most people need between 1-2 litres (6 to 8 glasses) of fluid every day If you’re very active or the weather is hot, you need to drink even more.
Best drinks include:
√ semi-skimmed milk
√ fruit juice
√ fruit smoothie