Fatigue is no fun. It makes you look ropey, feel rubbish and struggle sloth-like through the day. Sometimes serious insomnia is to blame, but if you feel like you’re flagging despite getting relatively sufficient shut-eye, a few diet and lifestyle shifts can make the difference between exhausted and energised.
I spoke to nutritional therapist Gabriela Peacock about the diet and health switches that can restore your mojo, a topic that, as a former model, is close to her heart. Looking hot and winning jobs despite jet lag is no mean feat.
1. Eat a balanced breakfast every day; never underestimate the positive effects of a filling, healthy meal first thing. You’ll bound into the office, attack workouts with gusto and won’t be tempted to resort to quick fix energisers (Diet Coke and a custard cream is not breakfast). Check out these speedy, tasty breakfast ideas .
2. Switching from caffeinated tea and coffee to decaffeinated varieties might actually leave you with more energy than you might expect. If you’re not quite ready to drop the C word completely, get a gentle buzz along with a serious antioxidant hit from a cup of matcha tea .
3. On the subject of a brew, fatigue can be a symptom of dehydration. Stay hydrated by drinking decaffeinated liquids throughout the day. I know it can be boring, so give H2O the edge with these refreshing ideas .
4. Try to include a source of protein at every meal to sustain energy released from food. Handily, we have your ultimate guide to protein right here .
5. While rest is important, so is exercise! You are likely to find you have more energy afterwards, despite feeling like you’ve been hit by a steam train beforehand. Check out Susannah Taylor ’s guide to getting motivated for fitness first.
6. Try magnesium . Magnesium deficiency can cause anxiety , headaches, insomnia and fatigue so it’s certainly a mineral to watch if you are feeling tired all the time. Fatigue and muscle spasm are two signs of magnesium deficiency which affects a large proportion of adults. Epsom salts in the bath are a great way of relaxing while getting a magnesium fix as the mineral is absorbed through the skin.
It’s also possible to boost your intake through diet. Dark, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, seaweed, and dark cacao chocolate are all great sources. Aim to eat five servings a day, and if this seems like a lot, make it easier by adding a few extra handfuls of spinach and some dark cacao powder to your next green juice.
7. Try to limit sweets and sugary foods and avoid alcohol, caffeine, and chocolate in the evening. If you need an occasional nighttime fix, bake these cookies and enjoy with a warm glass of almond milk. Almost better than Ben & Jerry's.
8. Lastly, it’s obvious, but... make sure you are actually getting enough sleep . Don’t overlook it and try your best to get at least seven hours a night to maintain peak, perky ‘you’.
For more advice or to book a private consultation with Gabriela, visit her website .
Follow her on Twitter @GP_Nutrition