Overcoming the midday slump may not be as simple as reaching for that fifth cup of coffee. We all have ideas on how to get a little kickstart during the day, but how accurate are they? Leading nutritional biochemist Dr. Libby Weaver answers this by debunking several myths many people believe will boost their energy levels.
- I need coffee to get through the day.
Many of us turn to coffee in hopes that the caffeine will help give us renewed energy levels but you are better off without that cuppa. Weaver explains that caffeine and sugar can lead to dependency and will leave you feeling like you need more to get through the day.
“Often people are shocked by how much more energy they have without relying on caffeine,” Weaver wrote on her website. “Our bodies have an amazing ability to create extraordinary energy when our energy systems are supported by our lifestyle choices.”
The Australian expert recommended reducing the amount of caffeine you consume by half each week until you are not consuming any. After two weeks you should notice a difference.
- If my iron levels are fine, then nutrition isn’t an issue.
“Many people associate fatigue and tiredness with iron deficiency — and rightly so — however, there are also other nutrients that are critical for us to experience great energy,” Weaver wrote.
A vitamin B deficiency causes the pathways that are responsible for the conversion of food into energy to be inefficient. This often leaves us feeling sluggish and tired. Meanwhile, low levels of iodine in the body can lead to an underactive thyroid, resulting in poor energy levels.
“We are in fact, what we eat — so ensuring we are obtaining all of the nutrients we need is essential for us to experience great energy,” Weaver wrote.
- A quick sugar hit will boost my energy.
Sugar could give you a temporary kick but a crash in energy levels will inevitably follow. If that is not enough of a reason to avoid reaching for that chocolate bar for a quick energy boost then consider this: Sugar is devoid of other nutrients and therefore does not support our body’s energy systems.
“Including more good quality fats from whole foods will typically provide more lasting, sustained energy and help to prevent the cravings for more sugary foods and drinks that can arise when our energy dips low,” Weaver advised.
- Watching TV at night helps me to relax.
Wrong! Weaver pointed out that the light from back-lit devices such as TV screens, laptops, tablets or phones can disrupt our circadian rhythm, cause interrupted sleep and actually lead you to feel zapped of energy.
“Light destroys melatonin, our sleep hormone, so too much bright light too close to bed can be highly disruptive to what your body naturally wants to do,” Weaver explained. “An overactive or stimulated mind that has trouble winding down can be made worse by looking at screens, leading to many people getting into bed only to feel that they are ‘tired but wired.'”
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