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5 Foods to Fight Fatigue: What to Eat for Energy (Vegan Friendly!)

We have all experienced those dreaded bouts of overwhelming tiredness and fatigue. Mindfulness is important in all areas of our lives, including what we eat. To fight fatigue, it can help to be mindful of what’s on your plate. A health report at Harvard stated that what and how you eat can retain “mental sharpness”. To keep your energy up, consider eating more of the following foods:

#1 Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables that are in season are picked once they ripen naturally, so they are more likely to contain all those good nutrients. Fruits are high in natural sugars which can be absorbed by our bodies and transformed into energy. Vegetables are a fantastic source of dietary fiber, a type of carbohydrate that can improve vitamin and mineral absorption in the body, which could raise your daily energy levels. Some of my favorites include dark leafy greens (like spinach and kale) and beets. Did you know you can eat both the beetroot and the leaves? They’re perfect for salads and side dishes!

#2 Bananas

One of my favorite foods and something I eat almost every day are bananas. They are high in potassium (needed to synthesize protein and metabolize carbohydrates!) and are perfect for that much needed energy boost. Bananas are also good for more than fighting fatigue. Other health benefits include increased muscle performance, lower blood pressure, and improved bone health.

#3 Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes deserve a special shout-out as a helpful food to fight fatigue because they are high in various vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, and vitamins C and A. Vitamin C is required for our bodies to transport fat into the cells, where they are then burned off to provide us with energy. Vitamin A supports the immune system and is an essential vitamin for growth and development.

#4 Complex Carbohydrates

Choosing whole-grain foods and complex carbohydrates instead of processed, refined foods means that your body gets the full benefit of the added fiber and nutrients.

For example, oats are one of the best sources of slow-releasing energy because they are high in low GI complex carbohydrates. These types of carbs release energy much slower than high GI complex carbohydrates (like white bread and puffed cereals).

Another great complex carbohydrate is brown rice, one cup of which contains the daily requirement of manganese, a trace mineral that helps the body regulate energy.

#5 Nuts and Seeds

These powerhouse foods are some of the best to beat fatigue and give you that energy boost you need to get through the day. Try some brazil nuts (one brazil nut contains the daily recommendation for selenium) or pumpkin seeds (high in plant protein) for the perfect afternoon snack.

Bonus #6 Soybeans

Soybeans are high in calcium, potassium, and plant protein (over 16 grams of protein per 100 grams of soybeans!). They are a great energy-boosting addition to any meal. Soybeans are also high in magnesium (which helps increase the quality and duration of your sleep), improve blood circulation, and support heart health.

Our diet directly relates to how our bodies perform and how we feel. Fueling ourselves with the right foods can help increase our energy levels and fight off that fatigue. Support your body with those energy-boosting foods and support your mind with neuro-training on the Rewire App. Rewire’s Neuro-Training protocols are backed by over 10 years of scientific research and have been shown to create a cognitive adaptation that reduces your rate of perceived exertion (RPE) when under physical and mental load thereby increasing your capacity to perform at your best.

Sources

Harvard Health. (n.d.). A Guide to Cognitive Fitness. [online] Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/a-guide-to-cognitive-fitness.

Harvard Health Publishing (2019). Eating to boost energy – Harvard Health. [online] Harvard Health. Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/eating-to-boost-energy.

Porter, M.P. (n.d.). 7 Foods That Will Boost Energy Fast. [online] The Beet. Available at: https://thebeet.com/eat-these-7-healthy-foods-for-long-lasting-energy/ [Accessed 8 Apr. 2022].‌

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Optimize Sleep

How to Optimize Your Sleep for Recovery.

Over the years, it has become clear that sleep is a vital physiological function crucial to athletic recovery. Sleep deprivation has been shown to adversely impact many aspects of athletic performance including reaction times, accuracy, vigor, submaximal strength, and endurance (Vitale et al., 2019). Because of this, athletes must optimize their sleep as a key foundational element of their training system.

So what can we do to optimize our sleep so that we can experience better recovery and performance?

Top tips for better sleep:

  1. Establish a regular bedtime routine. Having a routine each evening before bed will help you relax. Some examples we love are reading for ten minutes, taking a warm bath, and limiting screen time one hour before bed.
  2. Optimize your sleep environment: Make sure that your bedroom is quiet, dark and cool. 
  3. Incorporate meditation and brainwave entrainment. Rewire’s mindset recovery and binaural beats are perfect for this. 
  4. Reduce mental fatigue. Recovery from exercise should not only focus on muscle recovery, reducing mental fatigue and strain from other external stressors in life is just as important for healthy sleep. Read more about becoming mentally strong here.
  5. Optimize your nutrition. Consuming foods higher in carbohydrates, proteins and foods containing naturally occurring melatonin (e.g. tomatoes, walnuts, raspberries) at night may improve sleep. Try to avoid caffeine and alcohol if possible. More better energy during the day, check out our article on foods to fight fatigue here!

Sources
Vitale, K. C., Owens, R., Hopkins, S. R., & Malhotra, A. (2019). Sleep Hygiene for Optimizing Recovery in Athletes: Review and Recommendations. International journal of sports medicine40(8), 535–543. https://doi.org/10.1055/a-0905-3103

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Athletes like Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, Simone Biles and others taking time off due to mental and physical stress & burnout

Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, 6-time cycling world champion, has ended her 2021 season early.

Less than a month after retaining her European title in cross-country mountain biking, the Frenchwoman shared an emotive post on social media as she announced the end to her racing for the year.

“I feel deeply tired, mentally and physically. I don’t have energy and my body is clearly not recovering from training. I decided to stop my season before I make too much damage to my body.

“I’m happy with my decision because I know it’s the best one. I will come back stronger next year.”

After leaving top-tier road squad Canyon-SRAM at the end of 2020, the 29-year-old had produced some strong results in the year to date.

Starting the season with mountain bike team Absolute Absalon-BMC, Ferrand-Prévot secured bronze in a sprint finish at the inaugural Short Track Cross-country World Championships, and sits third in the World Cup standings for cross-country even after her withdrawal from racing at the fifth round in Lenzerheide, Switzerland.

The versatile cyclist, who has previously won world titles in three different disciplines, joins a host of athletes recently in opening up about struggles surrounding their performance at the top level, with mental and physical fatigue often leading to further issues.

Such was the case at the Tokyo Olympics, when strongly-favoured American Simone Biles felt unable to compete in the team final of the gymnastics, with mental health her primary concern. A quadruple gold medallist the Olympics prior, the Texas-based athlete only returned for the final of the balance beam, winning bronze to equal the record for medals won by a US gymnast.

With an extended five year Olympic cycle in the lead-up to the Games, Biles was the poster child of the event for many at home. Expected by many to equal or improve on her medal haul from the Rio Games, the Ohio-born gymnast was philosophical after her withdrawal.

“We have to protect our minds and our bodies and not just go out and do what the world wants us to do… We’re not just athletes. We’re people at the end of the day and sometimes you just have to step back.”

Despite the mental effects of sport being at the forefront of debate for the first time in recent years, such topics have been present for a significant period of time.

6-time snooker World Champion Ronnie O’Sullivan, whose experience of burnout and stress has been well-documented, has abandoned matches and skipped tournaments due to the demands sport has placed on him.

More recently, four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka withdrew from the 2021 French Open after winning her first round match, refusing to participate in press conferences throughout due to the strain on her mental health.

Despite taking a break from competition and skipping the Wimbledon Championships, the 23-year-old announced a hiatus from tennis after an early loss at the US Open, stating that, “[W]hen I win, I don’t feel happy. I feel more like a relief. And then when I lose, I feel very sad.”

No matter the level of competition, participating in sport creates fatigue, both mental and physical, with training placing significant demands on the body, and stressors from all areas adding to the cognitive demands involved.

We created Rewire to help athletes that are looking to combat mental and physical fatigue in and out of competition.

Whether it is assessing readiness for competition or training, or training the brain to cope better with mental fatigue, the Rewire app has you covered.

Start free with Rewire today to maximise your potential, and improve your resilience to mental fatigue.

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