Is there ever a sound more unwelcome than the shrill of your alarm? Especially when it’s still the middle of the night, surely? And no, the fact that you can personalise the sound to a cockerel, a frog, or even your favourite Lady Gaga song does not make it any easier!
As the mornings get darker and colder, and the pull of a warm bed even harder to resist, we all need to find a little extra something to help us start a day. And where is there a better a place to start than to look at how we are fuelling our body?
Just like a car, our bodies need to be well fuelled to run efficiently. A car with an empty tank of petrol is going nowhere! Make your mornings count, and follow these top tips to rev you up and accelerate you out the front door:
Breakfast like a king
A well balanced, nutritious breakfast will provide you with the kick start and energy boost you need for the day ahead. Not only this, a growing body of studies shows that it can lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
Include some protein
Eggs, yoghurt, nuts and seeds (chia, flaxseed, pumpkin, sunflower) are all fantastic sources of protein that should make up a large part of your breakfast. Protein not only keeps you satisfied, but provides you with slow released energy throughout the day.
Time your supplements correctly
First thing in the morning is the optimum time to take some of your supplements. Probiotics, which help to restore a good balance in your digestive system, are best taken upon waking on an empty stomach. B vitamins and vitamin C are both important for energy production and revving up the metabolism, and should be taken with breakfast. Of equal importance is ensuring you get a good night’s sleep.
Calcium and magnesium, when taken in combination, have been shown to help relaxation and aid sleep. Some research has even gone to suggest that having your vitamins and supplements during certain times of the day helps to improve their efficiency.
Don’t rely on a “coffee and croissant”
The temptation may well be to spend that extra 10 minutes in bed, and grab your latte & pain au chocolat on the way to the office. However your body won’t thank you for it, come 11am when the sugar/caffeine effect wears off and you’re left craving another.
What you eat first thing is important for setting your blood-sugar pattern for the rest of the day. Avoid relying on caffeine and sugar, and instead opt for a combination of protein and complex carbohydrates such as oats or wholemeal bread. Pass on the pastry- a slice of wholemeal toast with egg is a much better option!
This nutritionally dense super-food offers an amazing energy boost for those with low energy. It is bursting with B vitamins which are required for energy production in every cell of our body. Start with a 1/2 teaspoon a day, and work up to a teaspoon or two a day over the course of a few weeks. Add to smoothies, cereals, or even stirred into a glass of juice.
“But I don’t have time…”
If time is an issue, prepare your breakfast the night before- have some boiled eggs in the fridge, or make a bircher muesli in a Tupperware and take it with you!
A few simple changes to your daily routine really can make all the difference to your tempestuous relationship with your alarm clock. Cock-a-doodle-do!