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Put down your coffee mug, step away from the vending machine and give these functional eating strategies a try to skyrocket your energy levels

by , 31 October 2016
Put down your coffee mug, step away from the vending machine and give these functional eating strategies a try to skyrocket your energy levels
I get it - many of us rely on coffee or high-sugar eats to get through the day. If this includes you, it's time to change up your routine!

Of course, drinking down a few cups of coffee while also munching on a doughnut will give you an instant surge of energy, but by the time your hands stop shaking, you'll find that you're more exhausted than before!

It's time to ditch the coffee and sugar and give these super-simple, functional eating tips to revitalise right now a try…

Five dietary tips to increase your energy levels and keep them that way

#1: Have breakfast as soon as you wake up
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day! According to Lona Sandon, a registered dietician and an assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas in the US, during sleep your body uses its energy stores. Therefore, eating first thing in the morning is important for refuelling. For a super-satisfying breakfast that will keep your energy levels up until lunch-time, try a green smoothie, a slice of whole-wheat toast topped with almond butter and banana, or a bowl of oatmeal topped with fresh berries and chopped nuts.
 
#2: Sip water regularly
Staying hydrated throughout the day will prevent dehydration. For if you didn’t know, dehydration is a top culprit of tiredness and fatigue. According to Sandton, being dehydrated by just 1% - the point where you just start to feel thirsty – can make you feel sluggish. You should aim to drink 12 cups of water per day or. Not a big fan of plain water? Water infused with fresh fruit slices, berries and herbs is a refreshing, tasty way to upgrade your regular H20. Milk, tea, soup and juicy fruits like watermelon and orange can also help you up your daily water intake.

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#3: Sub in dark leafy greens
Dark leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach are brimming with magnesium, the mineral that your body uses to convert food into energy. According to a study compiled by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, people with low levels of magnesium become tired faster because their bodies have to work much harder to perform the same tasks. You should aim to eat between 310 g and 320 mg of magnesium every day – that’s around six servings of magnesium-rich foods like leafy greens, yoghurt, nuts and beans.
 
#4: Don’t ditch carbohydrates
Giving up white bread and pasta will help you lose weight, but it won’t do much for your energy levels. Santon says that eating carbs is the easiest, quickest way for your body to get energy. When you ditch carbs, you feel tired. You should try and eat 130 g – about six servings – of fibre-rich whole grains a day. If you’re sensitive or intolerant to gluten, you can get your fix by eating fresh fruit, sweet potatoes and beans.

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#5: Up your iron intake
An iron deficiency – no matter how slight – will make you feel run down, according to a Cornell University study. According to Sandon, men need around 36 g of iron a day while women need 18 g a day. While red meats like steak and beef are the most iron-rich foods, you’ll also get a great dose of iron by eating whole-grain bread, fortified cereal and beans. To help your body absorb iron better, pair your iron-rich eats with a vitamin C-rich food like a tomato or an orange.

PS: Go here to learn how to eat to support your body's six main detoxifying organs!

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