5 ways to boost your energy levels

Heading back to the office? Here are 5 ways to boost your energy levels to help you stay sharp throughout the day.

As pandemic measures ease, your company may require you to return to the office more often. Your body may not be used to commuting back and forth or staying in the office all day. If you find it difficult to shake off lethargic vibes, try these practical tips to stay alert and energetic all day long.

1. Start your day with an energy-boosting breakfast

If you’re getting ready for a full day’s work in the office, it’s a good idea to fuel your body with a healthy breakfast for a boost of energy.

Eating a healthy breakfast sets you up for the day and helps you make smarter choices throughout your work hours. Instead of reaching for a ready-to-go breakfast that may not be nutritious, try a balanced breakfast that contains carbohydrates, fibre, and protein, such as:

  • A fruit and vegetable smoothie
  • Wholegrains like oats, barley, and quinoa
  • Cereals with low or no sugar
  • Congee
  • Yogurt
  • Eggs

2. Reduce your sugar intake where possible

Sugar gives you a quick burst of energy, but it also causes a sudden dip in energy levels.

While fruit and vegetables contain natural sugars, they also contain fibre, which means they’re less likely to cause an energy slump. Fibre reduces your risk of sugar crashes because it slows the absorption of carbohydrates, which helps to control your blood sugar levels.

You should watch out for added sugars that are found in sweets, cakes, biscuits, sweet drinks, and even breakfast cereals. Additionally, excessive amounts of sugar are bad for your teeth and your health.

If you find it difficult to reduce your sugar intake or don’t know where to start, try replacing processed foods with whole foods instead.

3. Simple stretches can go a long way

Sitting all day is bad for your back, but did you know it’s bad for your energy levels too? The lack of blood flow can reduce creativity, energy, and efficiency of your bodily functions. If you’re stuck in your seat all day and don’t have time to get up to walk around, seated desk stretches can still help.

Studies have shown that sitting for extended periods of time can increase your risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and even your risk of death.

It can also stiffen your joints and tighten your hip flexor and hamstring muscles, which may cause balance and gait problems.

4. Take a power nap or go on a lunch break walk

You don’t have to spend the entire work day with your head on your desk – a 15 to 20-minute nap will do the trick. Research has found that power naps can promote alertness, reduce sleepiness, and improve cognition performance. Here are some tips to help you get a power nap:

  • Take naps at the same time every day. 1pm to 3pm is a prime napping window.
  • Remember, it’s a power nap. Keep your nap below 30 minutes so you don’t wake up groggy.
  • Turn off the lights. Blocking light helps you to fall asleep faster. If you’re unable to turn off your office light, you may want to bring an eye mask to work.

If you’re not working from home or can’t take a nap in the office, opt for a walk during your lunch break instead. Getting some fresh air, looking at greenery, and moving your body will do you good.

5. Drink up to keep yourself hydrated

If you’re feeling exhausted and don’t know the reason why, you may be dehydrated.

Water is essential for bodily functions such as lubricating joints, delivering oxygen throughout the body, regulating body temperature, flushing waste, maintaining blood pressure, making minerals and nutrients accessible, and improving digestion. This is why it shouldn’t come as a surprise that dehydration makes us slow and sluggish.

Not only does dehydration decrease your energy levels throughout the day, but it also impacts your sleep. Dehydration can affect melatonin – the sleep hormone – which affects your circadian rhythm and makes it more difficult for you to enjoy a deep sleep.

If you strongly dislike drinking plain water, try water with a slice of lemon, unsweetened coconut water, milk, fresh orange juice, unsweetened herbal tea, or aloe water instead. They’re all extremely hydrating and are healthier than fizzy drinks. Here’s to a more energetic and productive day at the office!