Energy

Nutrition
Nutrition

Discover ways to maintain consistent energy levels, to help prevent drastic fluctuations in glucose and keep your mood steady.

Image for Trying to avoid feeling tired at work? Our tips on staying awake

Trying to avoid feeling tired at work? Our tips on staying awake

‘Fess up. At some point in your adult life, you probably feared falling asleep at work, imagined what it would be like to have a job where you could take a nap, or simply felt too tired to focus. For one reason or another, some days, you simply feel tired and must find ways to avoid falling asleep at your desk. Those factors might make you think about reaching for a sugary pick-me-up or another cup of coffee or tea. It's time to break the cycle of a quick sugar fix followed by extreme highs and lows in your glucose levels or relying too heavily on caffeine. These short-term solutions won’t give you the sustained energy you’re looking for. You can experience better energy at work through not only what you eat but also how you manage your lifestyle. Read our tips below on how you can avoid feeling tired at work. Why staying awake at work can be difficult There could be a few reasons why you’re dragging during the day. Here are some potential causes of why you feel sleepy at your desk: Poor sleep: How well you sleep (quality) matters in addition to how much you sleep. Even if you think you got a full eight hours, if you have a condition like sleep apnoea or woke up repeatedly through the night, it can leave you feeling tired the next day. Also, eating a carb-heavy meal close to bed can negatively affect your sleep and subsequent energy levels the next day. (1) Allow a few hours between your last meal and when you plan to fall asleep. . Not getting enough sleep: If you didn’t get into bed at a time that allowed you to get the NHS’s recommended seven to nine hours of sleep, it could be why you’re falling asleep at your desk. Your breakfast wasn’t satisfying. You may have skipped a morning meal, which can leave you feeling zapped of energy. Or your breakfast could have been lacking enough protein to keep you satiated or had too much sugar or simple carbs. When you eat primarily simple carbs with little to no protein in the morning, such as buttered toast with marmalade or a bowl of cereal, this often causes a glucose spike. This can lead to a crash, which leaves you feeling sluggish and hungry soon after. You’re not properly hydrated. Lethargy is a common sign of dehydration. Without enough fluids, blood volume shrinks and your heart has to work harder to pump oxygen-saturated blood all over the body. (2) You likely won’t notice that it’s working harder, but that additional effort makes you feel sluggish and tired. You’re stressed. Both acute (short-term) and chronic (ongoing) stress can cause you to feel tired throughout the day and interfere with a good night’s sleep, perpetuating the problem. Sure, worries alone can cause you to toss and turn, which could impact sleep and make you feel tired. But mental fatigue can cause feelings of overwhelm which leave you feeling drained and unmotivated throughout the day. It’s different from physical fatigue which is usually gone once you’ve gotten rest. Stress sends your body into flight-or-fight mode which ramps up your heart rate, can cause faster breathing, result in a rush of energy, and increase muscle tension due to a rush of the stress hormone cortisol. When cortisol stops surging, you’re more likely to feel tired and depleted. Stress can also lead to a glucose spike, and a subsequent crash can drain your energy. (3) Practical tips: Staying awake at work Avoiding falling asleep at work is crucial for job performance and overall safety. Plus, maintaining steady energy throughout the day can benefit your health and well-being. Here’s how to stay awake at work: Start the day with a balanced meal: Individuals following a low-glycaemic diet have reported feeling significantly less fatigue than those following a high-glycaemic diet. (4). Choosing a high protein, low glycaemic breakfast will start your day off on the right foot for steady energy. Opt for something with at least 30 grams of protein and some healthy fats and fibre, such as an egg omelette with veggies and a side of lean sausage, Greek yoghurt with berries, or a whey protein shake. If you’re reading this after eating an unbalanced breakfast, you can still turn things around. A smart lunch choice can help improve your energy levels and mood so you don’t get sleepy and grumpy around your colleagues in the afternoon. (4) Try a tuna and avocado wrap, grilled chicken salad with an oil-based dressing, a buffalo chicken salad sandwich, or a salmon and veggie bowl to keep you full, steady your glucose, and give you energy. Snack wisely: It’s important to keep some healthy snacks on hand so you won’t be tempted to grab a sugary, carb-heavy convenience snack when the need to nosh hits during an energy slump. Try eating about a handful of pistachios (40 grams), a hardboiled egg with raw vegetables, oats with almond butter, a scoop of high-quality protein powder, or some full-fat Greek yoghurt. Manage your stress: Unmanaged stress can cause glucose spikes and crashes. If you’re feeling stressed at work, take a short break (block off some time on your calendar if you can) to sip some chamomile tea, do some stretches, or call a friend. Deep breathing exercises might also help relieve stress and boost energy. (5) Retool your environment: Exposure to sunlight in the morning can kick-start your circadian rhythm, helping you feel more awake and energised. (6) On days when it’s challenging to get natural sunlight, find ways to set up your workspace to avoid falling asleep at desk. You might want to try using a light therapy lamp or light box to help you feel more awake and help with mood on cloudy days. Ensuring your office is well-lit and has good air circulation and isn’t too warm or too cold can ward off feelings of sleepiness at work. Bring in the green: Surrounding your workspace with a little bit of nature such as nice-smelling fresh-cut flowers or living indoor plants can help perk you up. (7) Get regular exercise: Routine physical activity helps support steady glucose (and steady energy) by improving insulin sensitivity. (8) The NHS recommends doing at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity each week (30 minutes, five days a week) or racking up 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise each week (25 minutes, three days a week). Going for a 10-minute walk on your work break can help keep glucose steady and energy levels high by stimulating circulation of fresh oxygenated blood and nutrients to your muscles and brain —all of which will help you avoid falling asleep at work. Stay hydrated: When the body is dehydrated, you’re likely to feel tired. To stay properly hydrated, plan to drink about three litres of water each day. You can also opt for other no- or low-sugar beverages that are hydrating, such as sparkling water and caffeine-free herbal tea. A good rule of thumb is to get at least half of your daily hydration from plain water. Establish good sleep patterns: Getting seven to nine hours of high-quality sleep sets you up for having more energy the next day so you are more likely to exercise, make better food choices, and can concentrate better. (9) Practice good sleep hygiene tips like turning lights low, stopping screen time one to two hours before bed, and taking a warm bath or shower to wind down. Good sleep also helps your body regulate glucose. (10) A final note from Lingo To feel more awake during the day and decrease your risk of falling asleep at work, manage energy levels through a balanced diet that keeps glucose levels steady. It’s also important to try to get regular exercise and increase your movement throughout the day to feel energised. Finally, start a proper sleep hygiene routine to help you wind down for bed and prioritise getting around eight hours of sleep a night.

 
Image for Boosting your energy levels with glucose management

Boosting your energy levels with glucose management

Do you often find yourself feeling low on energy, even if you’ve gotten enough sleep the night before? There could be several reasons why you feel sluggish, and you are probably looking for ways to get an energy boost. If you want to improve your energy, start by investigating your diet. What you eat has a direct impact on your energy levels. Especially if you are eating simple carbohydrates that spike your blood glucose. During an energy slump, it can be tempting to reach for a sugary snack for an energy boost since simple carbohydrates can provide quick energy. While it will give you a very short-lived burst of increased energy due to a fast rise in your blood glucose levels, the spike will not last long, and may leave you feeling drained of energy after your blood glucose levels dip again. What you want is sustained energy and balanced glucose. For this you should fuel yourself with a balanced meal with enough protein, healthy fats, and fibre to keep you full for at least three hours. If you find yourself getting hungry or experiencing cravings soon after eating, you might want to assess your previous meal — it’s likely you didn’t eat enough or your macronutrients weren’t balanced for sustained energy and steady glucose. Feeling tired right now? Try these steps When you’re feeling tired or sluggish, you’re probably looking for a quick way to boost your energy levels. One surefire way to get an energy pick-me-up is to engage in a quick burst of physical activity. Bonus points if you do this outside in natural sunlight. These “exercise snacks,” such as climbing stairs, going for a brisk walk, or jumping jacks and air squats for about a few minutes at a time give you an energy boost by getting your heart rate up, which brings fresh blood and oxygen to your cells. These short, yet highly effective sessions have been shown to reduce the negative impact of sitting on cardiometabolic health. (1) If you spend most of your day in front of screens, taking a screen break may also give you some energy. Take a few minutes away from all screens and engage your mind with another activity like journaling or just let yourself daydream and get lost in your thoughts. (2) Another way to take an energising break? Try breathing exercises. These may help you feel more awake and alert. For a quick energy boost, stand up and take a deep breath while simultaneously raising your arms over your head slowly. Exhale as you lower your arms, working through this three times. (3) Finally, watch a funny video or joke around with a friend. The act of laughing can give you energy because it increases heart rate, respiratory rate and oxygen consumption, helping you feel more alert. Additionally, laughing can help reduce stress hormones, which may have the additional benefit of helping to maintain steady glucose. (4) Adding these small actions into your day can help you feel more energetic if you start to feel tired, especially if you got a full night’s sleep the night before. If lack of sleep is the source of your energy slump, you could try to take a quick nap of less than 30 minutes (5) and should focus on getting a full 7-9 hours each night. 8 tips for better daily energy levels Looking for ways to improve energy levels? Maintaining stable energy levels is possible with these eight tips. Tip #1: Stay hydrated. A common sign of dehydration is low energy levels, also known as lethargy or sleepiness. Take frequent breaks to get up and refill a reuseable water bottle frequently throughout your day. A glass of water can perk up your energy levels and contribute to hydration in between meals. Tip #2: Get your body moving. Research shows adults who regularly engage in moderate-intensity exercise have meaningful improvements in fatigue, energy levels, and feelings of vitality. (6) According to the NHS Physical Activity Guidelines, adults should do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity. This can be easily achieved with 30 minutes of a moderate-intensity activity like tennis or brisk walking five days a week, or 25 minutes of a higher-intensity activity, like HIIT, three days a week. Additionally, adults should also do two or more days of muscle-strengthening activities of moderate or greater intensity. (7) Tip #3: Eat a protein-packed breakfast Energy slumps can happen after a sugary or high-carbohydrate breakfast like toast with jam or cereal. For sustained energy and balanced glucose, it’s a good idea to choose a protein-packed breakfast with at least 25-30 grams of protein to steady glucose levels and set the day up for success. Adding in fibre and fats can also help you feel full and give you more sustained energy. (8) For a more protein-packed breakfast, consider eating eggs, beans, protein powder, or unsweetened Greek yoghurt. Tip #4: Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation is an obvious cause of feeling tired. Not getting adequate sleep also impacts glucose levels and has been found to lead to insulin resistance after just one night of sleep deprivation (less than 7 hours of sleep). (9) Adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep, according to the NHS. If you are having trouble achieving quality sleep, check out our tips for getting better sleep. Additionally, short naps less than 30 minutes have been shown to boost energy and can be a quick way to give your body a refresh when you are feeling sluggish. (5) Tip #5: Don’t skip meals. Whether you’re busy with work or tend to skip meals out of habit, it might be making you more tired. Skipping meals can cause low blood glucose levels followed by spikes when you finally fuel your body, which causes your energy levels to rollercoaster. However, it’s important to listen to your body; some people find success with intermittent fasting (IF) where they eat within an 8- or 10-hour window and often skip breakfast. Just be sure to break your fast with a meal that's high in protein and healthy fats for stable glucose and energy levels. Tip #6: Limit alcohol. Alcohol has sedative properties that can make you tired. Additionally, it has been found to disrupt your sleep cycles and decrease sleep quality. (10) Alcohol is also linked to an increased risk of insomnia, which increases daytime sleepiness. Plus, some types of alcoholic drinks like sugary cocktails and high-carb beers can spike your glucose, which can leave you feeling sluggish after. Tip #7: Avoid overeating. Indulging in a large meal (one that is especially high in carbohydrates) can spike your blood sugar, which may lead to a crash and cause you to feel tired. Besides impacting energy levels, overeating has also been shown to lead to an increased risk of diabetes and obesity. (11) Pay attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues to make sure you are eating enough to be satiated and have balanced energy levels, but not eating too much to leave you feeling tired. Tip #8: Reduce stress. Stress, especially chronic stress, can zap your body of energy. An increase in the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol can cause dysfunction and disruptions in energy availability in the body, leaving you feeling drained. (12) Engaging in stress-reducing activities like meditation, muscle relaxation, or breathing exercises can help. (3) A final note from Lingo One key way to stop feeling tired and increase your energy levels is by managing your blood glucose levels, especially if lack of sleep isn’t the culprit. Experiencing blood sugar spikes and crashes can lead to increased fatigue. To boost your energy naturally, maintain a balanced diet, get in regular exercise, stay properly hydrated, and prioritize sleep. Using a continuous glucose monitor like Lingo can help you understand your habits and patterns and work towards creating habits that will give you more sustained energy. Lingo is not a medical device and not designed to treat or diagnose any disease or illness. If you have medical questions or concerns regarding your glucose, please contact your doctor.

 
Image for Why do you get so tired after eating?

Why do you get so tired after eating?

Feeling sleepy after eating has a scientific name: postprandial somnolence, better known as a food coma. (1) One cause of getting tired post-meal is sudden changes in glucose as your body works to digest your food. Your glucose may be higher or lower after you eat, depending on a number of factors, which can cause after-meal drowsiness. Below, we explain what’s going on in your body and how you can avoid that tired feeling after eating. What are the causes of tiredness after eating? To understand why you may feel tired after eating, let’s break down the process of food digestion. When you eat, your body breaks down carbohydrates into glucose. This glucose is absorbed from your gut into the bloodstream, where it can be shuttled into your cells (with the help of insulin) and metabolised for energy. (2) This is the normal process every time you eat carbohydrates, and the rise in concentration of glucose in your blood depends on the amount and type of carbohydrate you’ve consumed. If the carbohydrates you eat result in a large glucose spike, you may feel tired soon after. The sleepiness is partially due to an increase in compounds called cytokines that are released after eating foods that are high in carbohydrates (1), making you feel tired. If this sounds familiar, the first thing to check is your diet. Meals consisting of typical “Western” diet foods (think foods high in carbohydrates and fat, like processed meat, fast food, and soft drinks) have been shown to cause sleepiness after eating. (1) Certain drinks are also linked to tiredness. Alcohol causes sleepiness due to its effect on neurotransmitters in the brain. (3) You may also feel sleepy after imbibing because alcohol blocks the liver from making new glucose, making you more susceptible to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Normally, the liver makes glucose between meals and as you sleep. Alcohol disrupts this process. (4) There may also be other causes of sleepiness after eating, including skipping breakfast. While you may wake up not feeling hungry for that first meal, skipping breakfast and waiting a few hours to eat lunch may make you feel sleepier because your body’s blood flow has to work harder to digest it later in the day. (6) Other causes of sleepiness after eating include already being sleep deprived and having low blood pressure (called postprandial hypotension). (6) Specific nutrients in food like tryptophan (an essential amino acid) (7) and foods that increase melatonin production (a hormone that helps regulate the circadian rhythm) may also make you feel sleepier after eating. (8) Tips for avoiding tiredness after eating Trying to avoid feeling sleepy after eating? Here are a few things to keep in mind: Foods to eat and avoid : The same study that found Western diets led to sleepiness after meals found that diets rich in vegetables and healthy fats (like olive oil and dairy) resulted in less post-meal sleepiness. (1) Additional foods to consume to avoid feeling tired after eating include fruits, whole grains, and lean protein. Go for a walk after eating: Rather than lying down on the couch after you eat, get your body moving. Taking a walk after a meal improves glucose metabolism, preventing you from feeling tired. (9) Avoid eating too late: Timing your meals is important for promoting quality sleep when you do need it. Aim to have your last meal two to three hours before bed for optimal sleep. (10) Stay hydrated: Hydration is essential for all metabolic processes, including using glucose. You may notice higher glucose levels when you’re dehydrated as the blood becomes more concentrated. (11) To avoid it, you should aim to drink 2.7 litres daily (for women), 3.7 litres daily (for men). (12) Are there any ways to track my body’s glucose response to food?  Using a continuous glucose monitor like Lingo can help you understand your habits and patterns and work towards limiting glucose spikes.   A final note from Lingo Sleepiness after eating is a common phenomenon known as postprandial somnolence. One of the main causes of getting tired after eating is due to the types of foods you choose to eat. Eating large amounts of carbohydrates causes glucose to spike and create an inflammatory response. Instead, eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fat can help you avoid feeling tired after eating. Using a continuous glucose monitor like Lingo can help you understand your habits and patterns and work towards limiting glucose spikes.   Lingo is not a medical device and not designed to treat or diagnose any disease or illness. If you have medical questions or concerns regarding your glucose, please contact your doctor.

 

Metabolic change is possible

Sign up and receive scientifically proven tips, strategies, and insights to supercharge your metabolism.
Email me personalised regular news, content and exclusive offers. I will receive an email from Lingo to confirm my email address. I consent to the use of my personal data for marketing purposes. Please refer to the Lingo Privacy Notice regarding your rights and for additional details.