Here are three of my favourite hacks to rapidly boost sustainable energy for almost everyone!
- Train your body into metabolic flexibility. This is not the easiest hack – but it’s the most transformative. I find that if clients can train their bodies to switch from burning sugar as a fuel to burning fat as a fuel, their energy levels move to a whole new level. In fact you may find that you have twice the energy than what you would have had when burning sugar as your fuel. (And it’s a superb way to get into shape, too.)
This is because each gram of fat contains 9 calories, aka energy that your body can use. Compare this to a gram of sugar which contains a mere 4 calories. When your body switches into burning fat, your sleep patterns tend to improve and you wake up brighter in the morning. It also trains your body in the long term to be able to switch more readily from sugar to fat burning “at will”. It might not be an easy switch the first time around, but over time it gets much easier, with the switch happening faster…this is what we call metabolic flexibility.
So, to do it…Focus on a good, strict, high fat diet for 8-10 days. (The High Fat Diet). Following that, you can move into more of a medium fat/low-GI way of eating and consider intermittent fasting. It’s that initial high fat diet stint gets your body into burning fat as a fuel. From there, moving off it and onto a more “normal” way of eating, most will find they can switch more readily from burning sugar to burning fat as a fuel. What this means in real life is steady energy without the highs and lows, especially if you haven’t eaten, energy stays steady through the afternoon in the afternoon and is also higher in the morning on waking. It also becomes much easier to fast, with energy staying steady and no feeling of hunger.
- Do 60 seconds of squats, as many as you can, in one minute. My favourite is this around 3PM-4PM every day because that’s when her energy slump occurs.
Stand in one position, go as low as you can – or simply sit down & stand up from your chair or sofa, repeatedly for the minute! Do as many as you can, building up over time. It will get your heart rate going, your circulation pumping, help release your natural growth hormone which in turn can help stabilise insulin. Most important of all, for your energy levels, your oxygen uptake will increase. Your mental and physical energy will improve immediately carrying you through into the evening, while your stamina & endurance will improve generally.
- This one takes even less time! If you have a physical job, or you train and just want to keep going for longer and recover faster, or if you feel that age is catching up with you and your muscle strength isn’t what it used to be… then Pure Creatine is a must. A protein-based supplement that occurs naturally in fish and meat, it impacts both your power and stamina when training as well as your memory and brain function.
Your body uses Creatine to create your energy molecules, called ATP. Your body uses these ATP energy molecules when you’re doing any form HIIT, whether in a gym or simply running for a bus. As oestrogen levels drop during perimenopause and menopause, our brain relies more on ATP, making Creatine more important for memory and brain function. In fact, research shows this benefit in all older adults as well as vegans and vegetarians.
So ,what to do? Just add a teaspoon of the powder in any drink, or yoghurt, protein shake or smoothie. If adding Creatine to tea or coffee just make sure it’s warm rather than hot. If you want a more emphatic boost, then simply take a teaspoon twice a day for about 5 days, which will build up the Creatine in your cells. After day 5, reduce back to just 1 spoon of Creatine per day - ample for increasing both daily endurance and stamina.
3b. Finally Hack 3 Part II! Consider iron levels. If low, or “suboptimal” it is almost impossible to have the energy you should have. When we talk about iron we’re really talking about haemoglobin. Please note that medical tests can often show a range that is “normal” but there can be a bit of a “no man’s land” between medical normal and optimal health. If the iron is on the lower end of the optimal health scale, you’ll usually find that you can sleep 8 hours every night and still need to sleep more; you may just nod off on the sofa during the day, and likely you will feel slightly light-headed or dizzy when you stand up suddenly from sitting or lying down.
This latter sense is one of low blood pressure and is simply the result of not enough blood circulating. There are lots of reasons our iron may be low: a 20-year old male or female who trains hard can be low as it’s needed to make new cells. Equally tannic acid present in tea can affects iron absorption, while monthly periods can deplete quite dramatically in some.
So, the solution is simply to increase levels through your diet or fast track by supplementation. Increase red meat (grass fed or organic will always be best), or organic free-range eggs. Also consider more deep green vegetables, which are packed with chlorophyll - which in turn has a capacity to boost blood iron levels.
Alternatively, 2 of my favourite supplements - Haemoglobin Iron and good old-fashioned desiccated liver! The latter is superb for sustainable energy, naturally high in iron and B-complex, as well as nucleic acids. Unfortunately we don’t currently stock these in Strong Nutrients however if looking for sources for desiccated Liver, always go “hormone free” and if possible grass fed options, while haemoglobin Iron, I currently only know of one source which is www.educohealth.com
These supplements will not only get your iron levels back up – you’ll especially notice the desiccated liver’s effect on your skin, hair and nails, as well as the fabulous energy boost!
There you have it. No excuse to feeling tired even if days or short and evenings are long! Just pick one and give it a try – it will get you back to feeling “more you” in no time!