INSHAPE NEWS NUTRITION
Photo Credit: Kevin Dooley, 2008 – Exercise with Gloria –
Diana Robinson – Nutritionist
The year is well underway and if you’re as busy as I am, you may be starting to burn out already! But hold on, it’s only March! You’ve still got 7 months to go! So, how can we increase energy and prevent burn out?
By following these five simple rules, you’ll feel more energised:
# 1 Resist the urge to over-caffeinate. Caffeine stimulates the release of cortisol from your adrenal glands, giving you a pep in your step and increasing dopamine (Putting you in a better mood and making you feel more motivated and productive). 1 coffee, 2 max, a day is ok, but be careful with anything more than this. If you think of your adrenal glands like an orange, and coffee as your hand squeezing that orange to get the juice out, you can imagine, there is only so much juice you can squeeze before it dries up. Then, no matter how much you squeeze it (how much caffeine you drink) no juice will come out (no energy).
Caffeine can also affect your sleep, as it stays in the system for about 10 hours after ingestion, so even though you may feel tired and go to sleep quickly, caffeine in your system disrupts your melatonin production (sleep hormone) and interferes with the quality of your sleep. This brings me on to point 2…
#2 You need to sleep, and you need to sleep well. Invest in a good nighttime routine to promote a better quality sleep. When you sleep well, you should wake easily, and you should feel refreshed. Don’t do any stimulating tasks right before bed, and if possible, shut off all electronics and outside noise such as the TV off 1 hour before bed. Wind down in dim light, or even better, candle light, and drink a relaxing herbal tea. Do not eat too late (past 8 pm) as going to bed while you’re stomach is still digesting is not only bad for your digestion, but can also interfere with your sleep.
#3 Use adrenal tonics such as ginseng. Ginseng, in particular, Indian ginseng (also known as Withania or Ashwagandha) is a great adaptogenic herb that not only increases energy but also helps prevent the adrenal glands from burn out. If you have a busy lifestyle that sees you often feeling stressed and fatigued, supplementing with an adrenal tonic is highly recommended.
#4 Eat nutritious food and stay away from refined carbohydrates and processed sugars. Yes, I know I say this a lot, but it’s the truth. In every health condition, eating whole foods, plenty of vegetables and reducing sugar and refined carbs (white bread, white rice, biscuits, chocolate, etc.) will aid you in your health and vitality. Regarding energy, processed foods spike your insulin, resulting in blood sugar crashes, which further amplify your fatigue.
#5 Exercise! It may be difficult to start, particular if you are tried, but regular exercise is a great way to naturally increase your energy. If you are sedentary most of the day, get out for a quick refreshing job after work. It’s also a great way to distress and let go of the day. If cardio isn’t your thing, try and relaxing yoga class. Anything to get you blood pumping and energy flowing.
Diana Robinson is a Melbourne based nutritionist working in clinical practice with a special interest in food intolerance, fitness and mood disorders.
Diana graduated from Melbourne’s Endeavour College of Natural Health with a Bachelor Degree in Health Science – Nutritional Medicine. She is a firm believer in living life to the full and taking care of your body by feeding it healthy, nutritious food but not forgetting to nourish your mental wellbeing also.
Diana encourages patients to seek enjoyment from the food they eat rather than having a negative relationship with food. When you learn to eat right, you will learn that food is your friend and not your enemy.
You can follow her Instagram for inspiration and recipes @dianar_nutrition.
Disclaimer: The information published in this column are the author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion. This information and opinion are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have about any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.