Keeping up with your grandkids
Get your energy levels boosted naturally.
Keeping up with grandkids can be tiring. Want an energy booster? Ageless Online speaks to Watsons’ pharmacist Koh Jia Lei to find out how you can not only keep up with the little ones naturally but also do much more:
How can one increase one’s energy level naturally?
To boost energy levels naturally, it is recommended to take a two-pronged approach of lifestyle modifications – by increasing your physical activity such as exercising and making dietary modifications.
Exercise is often recommended for older adults struggling with fatigue. Light to moderate exercises such as walking, swimming or practising gentle martial arts like taichi are effective ways to increase your energy. The Singapore Health Promotion Board (HPB) recommends 150 minutes of physical exercise per week. This can be broken down to five sessions of 30-minutes exercise within a week.
It is important to keep hydrated before, during and after exercise as dehydration from excessive sweating can cause fatigue. Individuals with medical problems should always seek advice from their doctor(s) prior to the initiation of any exercise regime.
Dietary modifications include drinking sufficient water (eight to 10 glasses of water per day), having a balanced diet and eating regular meals, including breakfast. A healthy balanced diet comprises food from the three main food groups in the following proportions:
- Half a plate of fruits and vegetables.
- A quarter plate of wholegrains such as wholemeal bread, brown rice and oats.
- A quarter plate consisting of meat, eggs, beans, seafood and low-fat dairy products.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it provides our body with an immediate source of energy, i.e. glucose after an overnight fast. Research has shown that individuals who consume breakfast tend to have increased concentration and alertness as compared to their ‘breakfast-skipping’ counterparts. Additionally, consuming breakfast may help with reducing overeating and snacking for the rest of the day.
Moreover, if you drink, it is advisable to cut down on your alcohol intake to no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women; excessive alcohol may cause fatigue and dehydration.
These are simple yet important dietary changes you can make to give your energy an added boost.
Other ways to keep your energy levels up include:
- Going to bed at a regular time each day.
- Stop smoking if applicable.
- Stress management.
Any food that seniors can take to boost their energy?
Starchy foods rich in carbohydrates such as rice, bread and potatoes provide a good source of energy, besides a balanced diet as mentioned above. Opt for healthier options such as porridge (preferably with minimal seasoning), cereals and wholemeal toasts with low-fat spreads. For individuals with difficulty in eating a full breakfast, consider a high-fibre snack to eat on-the-go rather than snacking on high-sugar/high-fat food.
Although sugar and candies supply the body with a rapid source of energy, the effect wears out quickly and leads to an energy “crash” and therefore they should be avoided.
Any natural energy boosters that you would recommend?
Natural energy boosters may be generally classified into two main categories: Vitamins and herbs.
- Vitamin B complex supports the cells in energy production and metabolism, thereby producing the much-needed energy for our survival and to carry out our daily normal activities.
- Vitamin B3 known as niacin (or nicotinic acid) is one of the B vitamins that plays a key role in energy production. It is involved in a complex chemical process within the body, forming compounds central to the body’s energy production. As niacin is a NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) precursor vitamin and levels of NAD+ are known to reduce with age, boosting NAD+ levels via supplementation has been proposed to improve the energy levels of individuals under metabolic stress and promote healthy ageing. Although NAD+ is generally considered safe as a dietary supplement, further research needs to be done in humans to provide any conclusive clinical efficacy.
Ginseng supplements may be used to improve energy levels. It is an adaptogen that has been shown to enhance physical performance, promote vitality, and increase resistance to stress and ageing. As ginseng may cause insomnia especially in high doses, it is best taken in the daytime.
Patients who are on medications should consult their doctors or pharmacists prior to starting any supplements as they may have interactions with their existing medications.
** The above article has been vetted by Watsons’ Emelyn Wong, senior pharmacist. The information provided here is solely for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information for diagnosis or treatment of a health problem or disease. Always speak with your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional before taking any medicine or supplement, or adopting any treatment for a health problem. Under no circumstances will Watsons Personal Care Stores be liable to any person for damages of any nature arising in any way from the use of such information.
(** PHOTO CREDIT: Families for Life)