Maybe you are overworked and stressed, or perhaps you went out dancing all night and woke up with a pounding hangover; we all turn to coffee, thinking it will wake us up, and it does, but only temporarily. The glucose in our system, our basic source of energy, is still asleep. In order to “refill”, you need protein, some fat, and crucially, composed carbohydrates. Make a dynamic start to the day with cereals, peanuts and raisins which all contain potassium, necessary to convert glucose into energy, and magnesium, whose absence can lead to a build-up of lactic acid, resulting in fatigue.
As the day goes on and you become thirsty, a cup of green tea with some sugar will help your metabolism and prevent dehydration. Are you hungry? Don’t settle for quick cheese pies and sandwiches; a fresh juice or fruit salad contain carbohydrates that will be slowly absorbed into the bloodstream, releasing energy gradually. Good choices of fruits are apples, bananas, oranges, kiwis, plums, grapefruits and strawberries. Don’t forget that the brain constantly uses glucose for its functions, therefore it is necessary to eat multiple, small meals throughout the day, as the brain requires 2-3 hours to convert food into energy.
For lunch, try to include a source of Omega-3 fatty acid, such as a salmon fillet or other fatty fish; this will increase the activity of red blood cells, assisting with blood circulation, and provide your system with more oxygen for the production of energy. A chicken salad, ham, turkey and lots of olive oil and vinegar, and even traditional, Greek, white beans, will also fill you with the necessary energy; olive oil slows down the digestion of proteins and carbohydrates, stabilizing glucose levels in the blood and keeping your energy levels high.
At times of particular weakness, natural supplements can offer additional help. Panax ginseng eliminates stress and fatigue symptoms, guarana (also known as Brazilian cocoa) increases energy levels, the Chinese root Huang Qi helps the circulation of energy in the body and royal jelly arouses both appetite and mood.