How to eat for lasting energy

Do you wake up most days feeling like you want to pull the covers over your head and sink straight back to sleep? Check out these six steps to help get your energy back.

If you’re tired all the time you’re not alone – life is busy!

A study this year by The University of Sydney says Australia is in the middle of a fatigue epidemic – with poor sleep, missed meals and lack of exercise sapping us of the energy we need for everyday activities.

Dietitian and exercise physiologist Joanne Turner says for those lacking their usual get up and go, eating well can be the first step to getting energy and vitality back.

“Falling short of key nutrients can easily make you feel overly tired and rundown – that’s when you need to optimise nutrition,” she says.

Joanne’s top tips to fuel our bodies and regain stamina 

  • Start the day right: Eating a nourishing breakfast sets you up both mentally and physically to start your day.
  • Power up the protein: Include high-protein foods at mealtimes to meet your protein needs.
  • Boost your B-groups: Foods with B vitamins help your body metabolise and release energy from food. Eat green vegetables, lean meats, fish, and eggs throughout the week. Choose wholegrain versions of breads and cereals. Nuts and seeds are great too but stick to only a small handful (30gm).
  • Pump up the iron: Roughly one in four women do not consume sufficient dietary iron, which can leave you feeling tired and lethargic.
  • Snack smart: Small, regular meals help keep your blood sugar levels stable, releasing energy gradually across the day.
  • Go low GI (Glycaemic Index): Charge up with slow releasing carbohydrates for longer lasting energy.

food for energy

Why are slow releasing carbs better for us?

Joanne says while carbs are an essential part of our diets because they are the body’s preferred source of energy, not all carbohydrate foods are equal.

“Low-GI foods release their energy slowly to keep blood-sugar levels stable helping to provide sustained energy,” she says, tipping we should look for the low GI label on foods.

Eat fresh where possible

“Of course fresh food is best, but sometimes it can be challenging to eat well to meet our nutrient requirements,” Joanne says.

In that case, a nutritionally complete supplement containing vitamins, minerals and protein can help.

This post is brought to you by Nestlé Health Science, makers of Sustagen® Hospital Formula Active.

*Nutritional supplements can only be of assistance where dietary intake is inadequate. Please seek advice on your individual dietary needs from an Accredited Practicing Dietitian or your healthcare professional. Sustagen® Hospital Formula Active is a formulated meal replacement and cannot be used as a total diet replacement. Consume as part of a varied and balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.