Five foods to boost your energy

Foods for energyPic: Getty

We'd all like to wake up bright eyed, bushy tailed and ready for the day ahead, but let's face it, that's often not the case. Busy lives, not enough sleep and the day-to-day stresses and strains can all make us feel lethargic and worn out.

However, there is evidence to suggest that eating the right things could help to boost your energy levels as well as your mood, so if you're feeling the strain, here are the items to stock in your kitchen cupboards.

Whole grains
Carbohydrates have a bad reputation among dieters, but they're one of your body's major sources of fuel. Whole grains in the form of bread, brown rice or cereal are slowly absorbed by the body, which in turn slowly releases energy, keeping your blood sugar levels stable without the highs and lows of their sweet carb counterparts. You'll also get a healthy hit of serotonin, the feel-good chemical.

Few of us consider how much magnesium we're getting on a daily basis, but research has shown that if you're not getting enough, it could be part of the reason you're lacking in energy. Magnesium works by converting sugar into energy, and it's in ready supply in nuts. So grab a handful if you start flagging. For an extra boost, pick Brazil nuts. They contain selenium, which is thought to be a natural pick-me-up if you're feeling blue.

Okay, so it doesn't have to be beans - the key ingredient here is fibre. By slowing the digestion, it provides a steady flow of energy day, keeping you stable and able throughout the day. Whole fruits and veg, as well as whole grains are all sources of fibre, but with beans and pulses you also get iron, magnesium, protein, zinc and potassium, which should stand you in good stead.

When you feel tired at the office it's tempting to reach for a coffee. But all too often it's our lack of hydration that's causing the problem and caffeine in coffee only makes things worse. Drink more water - you might just be surprised at the difference it makes to your energy levels.

Lean protein
Lean meats such as skinless chicken and turkey contain a helpful little amino acid called tyrosine, which boosts the levels of dopamine and noradrenaline in the body. These are chemicals in the brain that can help to keep you alert and focused on the task ahead... and if that means you finish the pile of work on your desk by the end of the day, your mood will undoubtedly improve too!

Have you changed your diet to increase your energy levels? Leave your comments below...