Ask The Fitness Expert

Q. Lately I can’t seem to stay awake towards the middle of the afternoon. I drink coffee but still feel sluggish even though all I’ve done is sit at my desk all day. What’s worse is I can’t stay asleep through the night, despite how tired I am when I lay down. My productivity is suffering, and anything “fun” is out of the question due to lack of energy. Is there anything I can do to boost my energy?

A. There are a couple of things to consider: activity and nutrition. Exercise is a proven energy-booster, especially in the morning. When you exercise, your body responds by releasing endorphins and adrenaline— these work together to boost mood and energy. Revving your metabolism through exercise will keep you going all day. Secondly, if your “fuel” comes processed, sugared, or frosted, then you’re on a dangerous roller coaster. High sugar intake results in energy slumps. Your pancreas has to secrete a lot of insulin to take in all of the sugar and blood sugar levels plummet due to the high insulin. You’re left feeling dead tired—along with having another sugar craving! Beat the slump by exercising and having protein-rich snacks throughout the day.

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