Coffee? Sugar? We all need an extra bit of energy at times but … what is the best way to get an energy boost?
Our natural body is very good at creating energy, and traditional energy boosters can disrupt this production. In fact, some of the things that we put into our bodies are likely to make us more tired in the long run. Here, we explore the biggest energy-boosting myths and bring to light the best ways to naturally help you feel regenerated.
Red Bull Give You Wax Wings
It’s an easy option if you’re looking for that extra kick to keep you going, but energy drinks such as Red Bull, Monster, and Rockstar aren’t all they’re built up to be. Like coffee, energy drinks contain caffeine. However, while the average cup of coffee has about 40mg of caffeine, energy drinks contain about 80mg of caffeine – doubling your intake immediately. Again, this can only lead to more fatigue.
Energy drinks also contain high levels of sugar. These sugars are the main source of calories, which in turn are expected to create energy for the body. However, the risks outweigh the benefits. A 250ml can of Red Bull can contain about 27g of sugar – the equivalent of seven teaspoons. This level of sugar has been associated with heart disease, diabetes, and oxidative stress. High sugar levels can also cause insomnia, leading to further fatigue.
The Lie Of The Land
For the traditional nine-to-five workers, the weekend is always a welcome break. You may even want to stay in bed for a few extra hours in an attempt to recover from lost sleep throughout the week. However, a lie-in may contribute to your tiredness more.
Deviation from your normal sleeping pattern can increase the perception of fatigue. This is because your body schedules melatonin in line with your normal sleep time. Melatonin helps us feel relaxed and tired in preparation for sleep. Deregulating this over the weekend means that your body doesn’t know when to prepare for sleep, meaning that during the week, you may find yourself facing sleepless nights, in turn causing you to feel more tired.
To combat this, you should try and stick to the same sleep schedule throughout the week and at the weekend.
Caffeine Can’t Cut It
The average coffee-drinking Brit consumes around two cups of the caffeinated drink every day. It’s the go-to beverage of the office, and often the first port of call in the morning to help us get going. However, while you may feel a short-term boost in energy, the effect of drinking coffee can actually make us feel more tired.
This is because caffeine blocks adenosine from reaching receptors in the brain. Adenosine makes us feel tired, so when it’s blocked, you can feel more active. However, this is only a temporary measure as caffeine does not completely stop the production of adenosine. Instead, as soon as the effects of the caffeine wear off, the adenosine floods the brain and can make you feel even more tired.
While a cup of coffee can be good for an early morning boost, continual use of the stimulant will detract from your intentions of feeling awake.
Get Proper Protein Power
Protein is a good source of energy, but sometimes the easier option isn’t the best. The market of protein bars promotes a quick and easy intake of the nutrient. However, while protein bars are measured against their fat and carbohydrates levels, sugar and alcohol may be used as a sweetener.
The high calorie levels of protein bars are intended to be used to give you energy before or after a workout. However, while they can give you a burst of energy, the high calorie value means that these sugary snacks are more likely to lead to obesity and heart disease than any long-lasting rejuvenation.
Instead, natural foods can provide great protein power while regulating sugar intake. Almonds, oats, eggs, and milk are great natural alternatives to the candy-bars-in-disguise.
When we’re looking for sustained energy supplements, your local pharmacy may offer a variety of options. However, many of the readily available supplements include the same ingredients that help coffee and energy drinks create a false sense of vitality.
Some energy tablets can contain around 50mg of caffeine, with the option to take up to eight tablets a day. This equals five times the amount of caffeine in an energy drink.
However, not all supplements are bad. One supplement, Coenzyme Q10 is often used to combat fatigue. Research suggests that people who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) have low levels of Q10 in their plasma and tissue. Additional research has shown that sufferers of CFS can benefit from a supplement of Q10.
Q10 is readily available and has rare, usually mild side-effects. The benefits of taking it in a supplement form can help fight tiredness with long-term advantages including heart health and blood sugar regulation.
We’re always being shown ways to help fight tiredness, and it’s easy to accept what we’re told immediately. However, although many readily available options can give us quick bursts of energy, they do not sustain a healthy lifestyle and can contribute to additional fatigue. Instead, searching for healthier and more natural food and supplement sources can maintain a feeling of rejuvenation.
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