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3 caffeine-free ways to boost your energy

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Springing the clocks forward this month means we’re inching closer to warmer weather and longer days. Unfortunately, it also means losing an hour of sleep that your extra cup of coffee won’t be able to replace. The effects of the time change, even if it’s just one hour lost, can result in lower energy and tiredness similar to the feeling of jet lag, which can last for days. So instead of trying to play catch- up on that lost hour of sleep, here are some easy ways you can get ready for the time change—ahead of time.

Move for fuel

Is just thinking about exercise tiring you out? Contrary to what it seems, exercise can actually help produce usable energy in your body. This occurs because exercise can help enhance the blood flow and carry more oxygen and nutrients throughout the body, improving its ability to produce more energy. In a study published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics in 2008, researchers found that inactive people who participated in low-intensity exercise experienced an increase in their energy by 20% and a decrease in fatigue by as much as 65%. Simple exercises such as yoga, interval training, crunches or rope skipping can help give you the energy boost you need. Not ready for the challenge just yet? Grab your headphones and head out for a 10- minute walk—it’s enough to give you energy for two hours![1]

 

Supplement your fuel

Vitamin B12 is one of the eight vitamins required to turn food into energy. Vitamin B12 on its own is one of the vitamins most people, especially those who do not regularly consume meat or animal products, find themselves deficient in. Low levels of vitamin B12 have been linked to fatigue, muscle weakness, low blood pressure and mood disturbances—all of which can significantly impact your energy throughout the day. Luckily, there’s an easy fix for that! Vitamin B12 can be taken in various forms, from dissolvable tablets to delicious sprays, for a quick and easy way to get the energy you need cross all those tasks off this week’s to-do list.

Tip: Look for a B12 supplement formulated with methylcobalamin; it will deliver the energy you need more quickly than other forms.

 

Eat for fuel

Look for foods that are high in complex carbohydrates, fibre, healthy fats and protein. These foods provide a slow release of glucose in the bloodstream for more sustainable and consistent energy throughout the day. Although processed and sugary foods are easy to grab during the day, these foods rob you of your energy by giving you a quick feeling of energy followed by a blood sugar crash. These nutritious and energy-boosting foods on the other hand, can easily be incorporated into any meal, including your midday snack. So put down that energy drink or that snack from the vending machine you just reached for and give these easy energy balls a try! They are packed with nutrients that will help fuel you for the rest of the day. 

 

Quinoa Energy Balls

Courtesy of Abbey Sharp from Abbey’s Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened toasted shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp natural almond butter
  • 2/3 cup flax seeds, ground
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/3 cup freeze-dried mango, minced
  • Pinch salt
  • Additional toasted unsweetened shredded coconut for sprinkling (if desired)

Instructions

Mix together the quinoa, coconut, almond butter, flax, honey, mango and a pinch of salt. Roll into 32 balls.

 

[1] http://web.csulb.edu/misc/inside/archives/vol_58_no_4/1.htm

 

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