Tips for becoming more alert
Most of us sometimes feel that our energy isn’t at its peak, and this can be for short and long periods of time. In this article, you will get tips on how to become more alert both in the short and in the long term.
- A nutritious diet
- Vitamins that perk you up
- Mineral-rich foods
- Mental attitude and lifestyle
Most of us sometimes feel tired and lethargic and have difficulty concentrating at work or school. Feeling more tired than usual on certain days is completely natural and may be due to poor sleep or anxiety. If you are more tired than usual for a long period of time, it is probably due to something other than poor sleep. Stressful periods can be extremely trying and make you feel tired, but so can being careless about food, sitting still too often or not being active enough in your free time. In this article, you will find tips on topics and activities that can help you regain energy and become more alert.
A good night's sleep makes you both more alert and gives you the energy to keep going all day.
A nutritious diet
Diet plays a significant role in how we feel, and being careless with what we eat often leaves its mark, for example in the form of fatigue and lack of energy. The idea is that the food we eat should give us energy so that we are able to work and keep going, but it’s important not to eat too many fast carbohydrates. Although these provide a quick energy boost, it doesn’t last very long. In addition, you may feel even more tired when your blood sugar levels drop again, which in the worst case scenario leads to you eat even more fast carbohydrates (such as sweets, white pasta or cakes). This creates a vicious cycle that makes it hard to maintain your energy for an entire working day.
But it’s not just sugar that can cause energy levels to fluctuate. Lack of vitamin and mineral-rich vegetables can have devastating consequences in the long run. Therefore, it’s a good idea to combine slow carbohydrates with some vegetables, and preferably avoid large amounts of meat in the middle of the day. Meat takes a long time for the body to break down - but should you eat meat, choose fish, chicken or turkey.
Make a tasty salad packed with vitamins.
It can also be a good idea to switch some of your meals to vegetarian options. Some people find that they get more tired when they eat a lot of carbohydrates, and if you are one of them, you can choose to cut out carbohydrates in the form of potatoes, pasta and rice and eat vegetables and protein instead. The best idea is to try out different things and find out what that suits you. However, eating a large meal with a lot of meat, fatty sauces and large amounts of potatoes for lunch is seldom a good idea if you want to avoid the so-called food coma.
To avoid getting too tired during the day, it can be a good idea to eat a snack, such as fruit, quark, cottage cheese or chia pudding. By replenishing energy if there is a long time between meals, you reduce the risk of cravings for sweets and throwing in a piece of chocolate on the way home to satisfy cravings and hunger. Snacks are often good for keeping the blood sugar curve at a steady and stable level throughout the day.
Fast and nutritious snacks:
- Fruit and nuts
- Quark or cottage cheese
- Chia pudding with berries
- Protein bar
- Protein shake
Vitamins that perk you up
In addition to eating a good, healthy diet without excessive portions and heavy, hard-to-digest foods, it is also important to get all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals you need. In order for the brain to function normally, it is important to get enough omega-3, which is found in fatty fish, chia seeds and flax seeds among other things.
When it comes to vitamins, it is especially vitamin D and the various B vitamins that are interesting. Vitamin D is formed naturally in the skin with the help of sunlight, but during the autumn and winter it can be difficult to get enough of it due to the climate in the Northern Hemisphere. If you do not eat fish often enough, you may need to take a supplement of this vitamin, as deficiency can lead to symptoms such as fatigue. The B vitamins are important for our energy metabolism, hormone balance and for our skin, hair and nail quality. The B vitamins are found in several different types of foods, including dark green leafy vegetables, eggs and meat. One of the most talked about is vitamin B12, which vegetarians and vegans in particular may suffer from a deficiency of.
A supplement of multivitamins can be beneficial if you have a deficiency of several important vitamins and minerals in the body. Today, multivitamins are adapted to both sex and dietary habits as the recommended daily intake is different for men and women. Even vegans and vegetarians can’t get enough vitamins and minerals through their diet, which often come from animal products, which is why a multivitamin supplement from vegetable sources can be a good idea.
foods rich in minerals
When it comes to minerals, it is of course important to get enough of them all, but magnesium, zinc, selenium and chromium have been shown to be of particular interest when it comes to fatigue. Magnesium is found in dark green leafy vegetables, almonds and chickpeas, while zinc is found in oysters, pumpkin seeds and meat. Selenium is an antioxidant and is found in shellfish and Brazil nuts and chromium is also found in shellfish as well as in whole grain products, eggs and chicken.
If you eat a healthy, varied diet, the risk of developing a deficiency of any nutrient is low, but during periods of stress, for example, it’s easy to neglect food to make room for work or leisure activities. During stressful times, however, it is even more important to eat a good, healthy diet, and it doesn’t have to be boring, tedious or time consuming to cook healthy food that the whole family can enjoy. A salad is the best fast food! Mix in an exciting fruit with tasty beans or maybe a little quinoa to make it more filling.
Of course, there are also some substances that have an invigorating effect, of which caffeine is perhaps the best known example. A cup of coffee can have stimulating effects in the short term, but is unlikely to cure the underlying fatigue. Guarana also contains caffeine and is a common ingredient in energy drinks. Other common anti-fatigue products are Rhodiola rosea and ginseng. Many people find that the Rhodiola rosea helps them to be more alert and less tired. Ginseng has been used for a very long time and is one of the most popular substances to fight fatigue. Rhodiola rosea is a so-called adaptogen, which means that the body does not become accustomed to the dose. This means that you can take the same dose for a long time and still get the same effect.
Mental attitude and lifestyle
There are many things in our daily lives that steal our energy and several lifestyle factors can contribute to us feeling tired. Stress is an example of such a factor, and during periods of high stress, it is natural to feel tired. Often, reducing stress is a good way to become more alert.
5 tips for a perkier everyday life:
- Get a good night's sleep
- Exercise regularly.
- Eat colourful and nutritious food
- Talk a walk outside in the fresh air
- Drink enough water
- Lack of sleep is, of course, a reason to feel tired, and perhaps the most obvious one. Making sure you sleep well every night is therefore a first step in becoming more alert. Turning off the TV, computers and putting away phones before going to bed can make it easier to unwind and relax, which in turn can make it easier to fall asleep. It can also be an idea to try meditation to really relax and learn to unwind. Most people need 6-8 hours of sleep every night, and making sure you get the sleep you need should be high on your priority list.
- Make sure to exercise regularly. Exercise activates muscles you don’t activate at work and endorphins - chemicals that make us happy - are released when we exercise. Getting your heart rate up and working up a sweat often makes you feel more alert and full of energy when you leave a workout. Perhaps a short workout at lunchtime could help you get through the afternoon a little easier?
- Go for a walk when you get the chance. Instead of sitting down in the coffee room, you can go out and take a short walk during your coffee break. Go out into the fresh air and feel re-energised. Or why not spend 15 minutes of your lunchtime on a walk outside? Your walk doesn’t have to be long, 10-15 minutes is enough.
- If you get tired at work, you can also raise your desk and stand up to work for a while. Changing position in this way can make you wake up and become a little more alert. Standing up and working also has ergonomic benefits, so if you have a height-adjustable desk, it’s a good idea to take advantage of it.
- Be sure to drink enough water during the day. Feel free to squeeze a little lemon into the water, as lemon can really help perk you up. Drinking cold water often feels invigorating, and drinking enough water is also important from a health point of view.
To become more alert, it is important to find out what it is that actually makes you tired. Is it stress, lack of sleep or poor nutrition? Depending on the cause, you can then remedy the problem, and hopefully the fatigue will disappear with it. Everyone has days when they feel extra tired, and on days like this, it’s good to have a few tricks up your sleeve, such as coffee, short walks, lemon water or perhaps loud music?
NB! If you are very tired or have felt tired for a long time, you should see a doctor to rule out an illness being behind the problem.