Tired all the time?
Constantly reaching for pick me ups?
If you're about to go skiing and keen to keep your energy up on the slopes there here are my top 10 tips:
Much of our energy control is to do with our blood sugar:
Your body can only deal with one to two teaspoons of glucose in the blood at any one time. Every time we eat the levels of sugar in our blood rises. This triggers the release of a hormone called INSULIN. Insulin’s role is to regulate blood sugar levels by taking sugar out of the blood and into the cells.
The more sugary the food the higher the blood sugar level will rise. So, if, for example, you drank a bottle of Lucozade, (which has 21 teaspoons of sugar) the sugar in the blood would rise steeply. The problem with rapidly rising sugar levels is that they will come down at an equal speed. The initial energy rush that the sugar will give you will be followed by an energy slump as the sugar levels come crashing down which is when we start to experience many physical and mental symptoms such as dizziness, faintness, headaches, nausea, blurred vision, sweating, palpitations, cravings and irritability. This happens about an hour after the sugary or refined food has been eaten. This can also happen when we skip meals.
The usual response is to reach for more sweet foods or stimulants such as tea, coffee and chocolate to boost energy levels. However this only raises blood sugar levels again which adds to the roller coaster of high and low blood sugar levels.
Balancing your blood sugar levels is key to maintaining your energy levels. If you can keep blood sugar levels on an even keel throughout the day you are more likely to have better energy levels.
Top tips for balancing blood sugar levels (and have loads of energy)
- Eat regularly! Don’t skip meals!! Especially not breakfast (4-5 times per day = 3 meals and 1-2 snacks)
- Eat protein at every meal and snack – especially breakfast.
- Eat low sugar (low GI) foods such as wholegrains every day as apposed to refined foods such as white bread, cakes, biscuits etc
- Eat fresh vegetables at least twice daily. Soups and salads are the best way to do this - especially on the mountains ;-)
- Stick to light meals throughout the day rather than one to two heavy meals.
- Snack on foods high in protein such as protein bars or nuts which are easy to pack in a bag or pocket.
- Avoid refined sugary foods and snacks such as cereal bars, sweets and chocolate as these will give you a crash later in the day.
- Make sure you get at least 7-8 hours per night to feel refreshed and ready to go.
- Try to take time out each day to rest and take stock.
- Take effective supplements each morning with breakfast before you start your day such as a B vitamin complex.