It’s barely 1 pm – the minutes simply seem to be dragging by, and your body feels like a car that’s run out of gas. Do you remember what it felt like to leap out of bed in the morning when you were a kid, when you greeted each day with boundless energy and enthusiasm to spare? Just imagine how much you’d accomplish today if you had 50% of that energy.
Here are 5 fatigue fighters to help make you feel like you’ve just had a tune-up.
Lose the Snooze
Hitting the snooze button in the morning may delay the inevitable time when you do have to get up, but it’s probably doing you more harm than good. Sleep researchers agree that the teeter-totter effect of light dozing and waking tend to disrupt the brain-wave patterns of the normal sleep cycle and can diminish the restorative value of your night’s rest.
So time to overcome your addiction to the snooze button, place the alarm clock far beyond reach of the bed and wake up to a brighter day once your alarm goes off.
Fuel Up Right
For a quick and lasting energy boost, start your day right with a high-fiber, carbohydrate-rich breakfast.
In a study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, the high-fiber, high-carb meal was associated with the highest level of alertness between breakfast and lunch, as compared to either low-fiber, high carb or high-fat meals. To boost the fiber and carbs in your first and most crucial meal of the day, go for foods like wholemeal bread or high-fiber cereal.
To keep your sugar and energy levels up between lunch and dinner, eat a healthy snack containing protein and a complex carbohydrate such as a whole-grain cracker with low-fat cheese or a peanut butter sandwich on wholemeal bread. The combination of protein and a complex carb increases your blood glucose in an even and sustained way.
Fight Post-Lunch Slump with Multivitamins
We have all experienced the afternoon stupor, especially after a carb- and fat-loaded heavy meal. The food you have eaten is diverting your blood for the digestion process. The sugar rush further triggers your pancreas to release insulin. In turn, the insulin triggers tryptophan which gets converted into serotonin in your brain, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel sleepy.
To help you beat the midday Zzz attack better, take a multivitamin or B complex vitamin supplement after lunch to boost the metabolism and to keep brain chemicals in balance.
Load Up on ‘D’ Sugar
Unlike the usual sugar we have in mind, D-Ribose is a special 5-carbon simple sugar (pentose) found naturally in our bodies and a key building block of adenosine triphosphate (ATP, the cellular energy currency that powers the heart, muscles, brain, and every other tissue). Unfortunately, chronically stressed tissues don’t have the metabolic machinery needed to replenish D-ribose very efficiently; thus leaving one persistently energy starved.
Adding supplemental D-ribose (available in the form of powder or pill) to the diet has been shown to aid the energy recovery, recharge the cellular engines and provide a powerful oomph for those dealing with chronic or unexplained fatigue, fibromyalgia, coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure, or even older people, athletes, weekend warriors.
For an instant afternoon energy boost, step away from the computer and hit the hallways of your office or the road.
A 10-minute walk tunes up your energy and helps you overcome feelings of fatigue better than a sugar rush from a candy bar, according to a study by California State University. Walking kept the subjects energized for 2 hours, whereas the sweet snack provided an initial boost, but made them feel more run down after an hour.
– By Michelle Wenli
*This article has been selected Editor’s Choice for Feb 2012*