Are you tired of being tired?

Need an extra dose of energy? Try these tips to banish afternoon slumps and year-end fatigue.

12 November 2013
by Karen Nel

Stimulants

Stimulants are substances that temporarily stimulate your metabolism and central nervous system, thereby making you feel more alert and responsive.

  • Caffeine is probably the best-known stimulant and it has found its way into many energy formulations. It also occurs naturally in energy-boosting ingredients such as kola nut and guarana.
  • Ginseng is another popular energy booster. It has been used in China for thousands of years to help the body deal with stress and to strengthen the immune system. “It’s important to note, however, that ginseng is contra-indicated for hypertension, so make sure you avoid it if you have high blood pressure,” says Clicks pharmacist Louise Parsons.
  • Ginkgo biloba helps to increase alertness, but it should be avoided if you are using blood-thinning drugs, as it can increase bleeding tendencies.

Energy enablers

This group of substances does not stimulate your energy levels, but it is necessary to support the production of energy in your body. You’ll want to make sure you’re getting enough of these:

  • The B complex vitamins help to produce energy inside the cells in our body. Look for a supplement that includes as many of the B vitamins as possible, as they support each other in the energy production process.
  • Coenzyme Q10 is also vital for energy production in cells. It is particularly useful for those who are taking statin drugs, as statins can decrease levels of CoQ10 along with cholesterol levels.
  • Magnesium is necessary for the production of energy from glucose. If you have a magnesium deficiency then you are likely to feel sluggish or fatigued.

“The best way to ensure sustained energy levels is to make sure that you are taking a multivitamin containing a wide range of minerals and amino acids on a daily basis,” says Parsons. “Stimulant ingredients are good for giving you a quick, short-term boost, but if you want to feel good every day, a good multivitamin is a better choice.”

Other ways to boost your energy levels

  • Use your nose: Aromatherapy makes use of uplifting scents like cinnamon, peppermint, jasmine and citrus to help boost energy levels and concentration.
  • Get active: It sounds like a paradox, but it’s true: the more energy you use, the more you will have. Exercise increases your metabolism for hours afterwards, thereby helping you to feel revived and energetic.
  • Eat a balanced diet: By eating a wide range of foods, you’re less likely to suffer from vitamin or mineral deficiencies that can make you feel sluggish and tired. Aim for a good selection of low GI carbohydrates, proteins, fruit, vegetables and nuts.
  • Drink plenty of fluids: According to a recent study published in The Journal of Nutrition, even mild dehydration (1.5 percent loss in normal water volume in the body) causes headaches, fatigue and difficulty concentrating.

Clicks has a wide range of vitamins and minerals to help boost your energy levels. Ask a Clicks pharmacist for advice about a product to suit your needs.