Are your energy pick-me-ups draining you?

Energy is what keeps us going – it gives us confidence, character and enthusiasm.

You might notice that when you feel drained you lose the ability to concentrate, communicate effectively, or do the things you want to do.

What do you do to wake yourself up? Do you head to the coffee shop? The vending machine? Your comfy bed? Unfortunately, some of the most common ‘pick-me-ups’ are actually energy drains in disguise. Check out the following…


It’s mid-morning at work, your warm bed is still fresh in your mind and lunch seems like hours away. What do you do to perk yourself up? Lots of people at this point would be tempted by the idea of a chocolate bar, or a packet of crisps. Surely a bite of something tasty along with a hit of sugar will speed the morning up?

According to Stuart Fischer, M.D., (founder of the Park Avenue Diet), opting for a carb-filled snack when you’re feeling drained is the worst thing you could do.

“A candy bar actually depletes energy in the long term,” he said.

Foods high in sugar pump too much glucose into the bloodstream too quickly, saturating cells and causing a sudden drop in blood-sugar levels, inducing fatigue.

Instead, opt for slow-release foods like nuts, cold meats and wholegrain crackers. These will stave off hunger pangs and give you a sustainable energy boost to last through to lunch.


Another temptation when fatigue hits is to head to the cafe for a big mug of coffee or tea. This seems justifiable, seeing as caffeine is a stimulant. However, after three cups, caffeine stops working. Too much caffeine can over stimulate adrenaline production and cause hormone depletion.

Combat this depletion by spreading your three cups over the whole day – try one in the morning, one after lunch and one in the late afternoon. Between these times, hydrate yourself with plenty of pure water – if you’re feeling foggy it might be because you’re dehydrated.

Not exercising

After a long day at work you’re unlikely to want to reach for your trainers when you finally get home. Surely if you’re tired the best thing to do is to relax on the sofa? Surprisingly, it’s the opposite. According to a 2008 study by the University of Georgia, people who complained of fatigue increased their energy levels by 20% after a programme of regular, low-intensity exercise.

Although exercise is tiring initially, over the long-term it does boost energy and prevent tiredness.

To find out how a life coach could help put the spring back in your step, head over to our Energy page.

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Written by Zoe Thomas
Written by Zoe Thomas
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