We all feel energy drained from time to time, and while there may at times be medical reasons for this, there are numerous non-medical energy-drainers that patients should be aware of.

Most individuals experience a mid-afternoon slump in energy levels.

A patient might get out of bed in the morning full of energy and ready to take on the world – only to discover a few hours into their day, they lack energy and feel lethargic. For many, especially those with a busy, on-the-go lifestyle, these afternoon energy slumps can happen too often. Here are some easy suggestions you can give patients to help fight back against the daily energy drop.

SLOW DOWN ON SUGAR

When you eat sugar, it causes your blood sugar to spike. While this gives a quick energy boost, once the sugar goes into the bloodstream, your body is triggered to produce insulin, which in turn lowers your blood sugar level and makes you feel low on energy.

BE A BREAKFAST CHAMPION

The best way to fire up your energy in the morning, is to start your day with wholesome breakfast. Research reveals a good breakfast not only improves alertness and concentration, it can help shed weight by preventing you from overeating later during the day due to being hungry.

Skipping meals and snacks can cause your blood sugar to drop and drain your energy, affecting your concentration and energy levels. So, plan healthy snacks throughout the day to ensure your body isn’t without fuel for long periods of time.

Combinations of complex carbohydrates and lean protein such as low-fat cheese and whole-grain crackers, fruit and nuts, or a low-fat granola bar are fantastic snacks for energy.

HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE

Most of us are guilty of not drinking enough water. Just like a car, your body needs a certain amount of water to function optimally. When you’re dehydrated, you can feel sluggish as your bodily functions slow down and becomes less optimal. Water keeps everything in our system flowing, flushes out toxins, keeps us hydrated, and our energy levels up.

TAKE GOOD DAILY SUPPLEMENTS

The energy we need to keep us going is generated from the food that we eat – however, the food first needs to be converted into a form of chemical energy, which can be used by all the cells in our body. A chemical called adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the energy source for all our tissues.

Through the production of ATP, the energy derived from the breakdown of sugars and fats is redistributed as packets of chemical energy for convenient use elsewhere in the cells. Although a little ATP is stored in our muscles, most of it comes from good quality food and supplements.

Should a patient experience prolonged fatigue and sluggishness despite a well-balanced diet, sleep, and a good energy supplement, they should consult their healthcare practitioner.

GET GOOD SLEEP

According to the National Sleep Foundation, the average adult needs (but doesn’t get) roughly 7-9 hours of sleep per night. A good night’s sleep is a great energy ally. Adequate sleep helps your brain reinforce what you learned the previous day, assisting with better memory and mental alertness. The University of Rochester Medical Centre reports even getting an hour less of a sleep a day can cause slower mental functioning the following day.