One in three of us feels pretty worn out most of the time, according to Mintel market research. It’s a stat that doesn’t surprise nutritional biochemist Dr Libby Weaver at all. “So many women share with me that they’re tired, but they’re also often wired,” reveals the author of The Energy Guide. “This can be the result of trying to be Superwoman – juggling work, family and a social life – and doing it all perfectly. It’s having an immense impact, not just on energy but on health generally.”
All-day energy can feel as elusive as kilojoule-free chocolate, but it is out there. Don’t believe us? Trust our energy squad – an army of experts in fitness, food, sleep and health.
The Nutritional Biochemist
Dr Libby Weaver, nutritional biochemist, speaker and author of 11 books @drlibby. Weaver’s top energy hacks:
Build muscle. More of this means more energy-producing mitochondria (the power plants in our cells).
Close open tabs, aka unresolved tasks, emails and jobs. We walk around with so many tabs in our brains (like the ones on computers and phones) – no wonder we feel drained and flat.
Write a list of what makes you feel energised and also what saps you (i.e. your “energy vampires”). Work on doing more of the former and less of the latter.
The Exercise Physiologist
Drew Harrisberg, exercise physiologist and diabetes educator who was diagnosed with type 1 at 23 @drews.daily.dose. Harrisberg’s hacks:
Do “exercise snacks” – short, sharp moves between long periods of sitting. Go outside, do 20 squats, step-ups and bench dips, then walk back to your desk. Done.
Instead of scrolling through social media in your break, invite a colleague for a walk. Instagram can zap you of energy, especially if you follow accounts that make you feel bad about yourself. On that note, unfollow!
Get early sunshine with a dose of movement. Both are vital for ensuring you maintain a healthy circadian rhythm.
Chloe McLeod, accredited practicing dietician and sports dietician@chloe_mcleod_dietitian. McLeod’s top hacks:
Drink two to three litres of water to keep you hydrated. (Ed’s tip: Keep a Consol bottle on your desk, next to your bed and in your gym bag for easy access. From R42 at Faithful To Nature.)
Choose low-GI carbs, fresh vegetables (aim for at least half of two of your meals each day to be veggies or salad), fruit, lean protein and healthy fats. These provide the nutrition our bodies need to perform.
Avoid heavy, high-saturated-fat meals, which can leave you feeling tired and lethargic.
The Sleep Specialist
Dr Michael Breus, sleep specialist who has worked with Arianna Huffington and Oprah @drmichaelbreus. Breus’ top hacks:
Consistent sleep (especially wake-up times, including on weekends) helps the body function better.
Pace caffeine and avoid it before bed as it affects sleep quality. (Ed’s tip: Try Pukka Night Time Tea – a blend of soothing herbs, including oat flower, lavender, chamomile and valerian root, which helps your body and mind unwind – R99 at Faithful To Nature.)
Magnesium supports deep sleep by helping maintain GABA, a sleep-promoting neurotransmitter. Eat dark leafy greens, seeds and nuts or ask your doc about a supplement.
Will Shannon, naturopath, president of the Australian Complementary Medicine Association and owner of Pinnacle Clinic @thewillshannon_. Shannon’s top hacks:
Remember where energy comes from: oxygen is vital. Diaphragm breathing, especially first thing in the morning, is very important.
Digestion takes a lot of energy, so go for fresh veggie juices, which your body deals with quickly.
I have a very successful friend who starts the day with steamed broccoli. My point? Don’t let yourself be tied to cultural traditions such as, say, muesli for breakfast.