Lights, decoration, and carols, but also darkness, low temperatures, and stress. While Christmas means joy for a lot of people around the world, it comes with winter tiredness and a tirade of responsibilities. Finding the best present for everyone, preparing the house for the guests, cooking unforgettable meals, and dealing with indigestion can drain your energy levels.
Want the good news? There are solutions. Feeling tired and depleted of energy happens more often than you think, and in today’s fast-paced, hyperconnected society, the reasons why this occurs are many and varied, yet most of them are related to lifestyle, nutrition, and habits. We have compiled all the information you need so that you can understand what is going on with your body and know what to do to increase your energy levels this Christmas.
What causes tiredness in winter
Snowy landscapes are beautiful, but winter also means fewer days with sunlight, which results in us not getting enough vitamin D, and that may contribute to winter tiredness. As our body identifies this deficiency, our brain may[EA1] produce more melatonin than usual, which is the hormone that stimulates sleep all year round.
There are other factors that can affect our energy levels, too, such as stress, or screen time, but none of them play such an important role in winter tiredness as lack of vitamin D. So, our first advice is: make sure you keep sufficient vitamin D levels in your body.
Vitamin D & energy correlation (vitamins to help with energy)
Low energy or fatigue is a common symptom of vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient, contributing to a normal immune system. It supports important functions within the body and helps us regulate the absorption of calcium. Keeping a sufficient amount of vitamin D in our body is important for normal growth and development of our bones and teeth.
Just like sunshine, food can contribute to about 10% of our vitamin intake levels. Aim for egg yolks, oily fish, red meat. However, the nutritional content of our modern diet might not have enough vitamin D. Make sure to get your levels checked on a regular basis to determine if you need to compensate with supplements during periods of the year. ZinoShine+ is an all-natural, vegan vitamin D3 boost in its most bioactive form, using wild-harvested lichen and broad-spectrum magnesium.
Other ways to increase your energy levels during the day are vitamin C, vitamin B (B2, B3, B5, B6, B12), calcium and other nutrients like fiber and iron. Keep reading to find out how to include them in your diet.
What you eat and drink matter, and not just during the festive season. Aim for an energy-boosting diet, which really is nothing more than a healthy, balanced diet. What kind of food should an energy diet include?
- Five different fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Legumes, like chickpeas, or lentils.
- Proteins, which can come from legumes, fish or meat (preferably white and unprocessed).
- Healthy fats, like avocados, extra virgin olive oil (R.E.V.O.O) and nuts
- At least 55% of carbohydrates like potatoes, rice or pasta, preferably whole grain.
- Avoid simple sugars, trans-fats, and processed food.
Foods that give you energy
There are many natural foods you can include in your diet to get that extra boost you need in winter.
When it comes to fruits, bananas are rich in vitamin A, B6, C, potassium and fiber and are a great energy snack. Berries (rich in vitamin C and manganese), avocados (which contain folate, magnesium, potassium, vitamins B2, B3, B5, B6) or oranges (vitamin C) are also a good natural energy source. Continuing with vegetables, spinach (vitamin C, iron calcium, magnesium) and sweet potatoes (vitamin A, B6, C, potassium, and fiber) can also provide you with the antioxidants and nutrients you need throughout the day.
Other foods that can give you energy are nuts like walnuts, almonds or peanut butter. They contain protein, unsaturated fats, fiber, and minerals like calcium and magnesium. But remember to pace your intake as they have many calories. In addition, legumes like lentils and chickpeas, and beans like soybeans will help you maintain muscle mass as they contain protein, folate, iron, fiber, and phosphorus. Finally, some foods of animal origin that may increase your energy are natural yogurt, oily fish, or eggs, which are rich in protein.
It can be a challenge to include everything in the list, and even more so at Christmas! Explore the Zinzino range of test-based, scientifically proven food supplements such as Xtend+ (which contains 22 essential vitamins and minerals), Protect+ (containing vitamins D3 and C), or BalanceOil+ (containing Omega-3 fatty acids and extra virgin olive oil) can help you cover what you don’t get from your diet.
Hydration & energy correlation
There is a correlation between hydration and energy, too. We are made of water (60% of our body), and we need to recover the water we lose during the day to stay hydrated. Something as simple as forgetting to drink enough water can make you feel tired because of dehydration. Make sure you drink between 1.5 and 2 liters per day to get that hydration energy.
Sleep & energy correlation
Good sleeping habits are key to recharging your batteries. Try to aim for around 8 hours per night.
Our advice here is to set up your own wind-down routine one hour or two before going to bed and to try to stick to a regular sleep schedule. Reducing screen time at night will also help you fall asleep. Turn off notifications on your phone to minimize your exposure to the blue light that will keep you awake. Also, avoid the brightest mode on your TV during movie nights.
Staying up later than normal on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve is a tradition, but in general, try to stick to the same sleep routine to save your energy.
Exercise for energy
Finding an exercise routine is easier said than done, that is why we will begin by telling you what good will come out of it (which is much!). Working out has many health benefits. Moreover, it makes you feel active and energized, and this also helps your sleep. On top of that, you will feel happier as your body produces endorphins when exercising. In fact, research has shown that sport and physical activity can ease symptoms of anxiety and depression.
If you are unsure how to start, visit a gym with a friend and set up an exercise routine together. Check several options, gyms tend to have Christmas special offers on memberships and that always helps! Talk to the gym staff to find out which activities would suit you and how many days you should aim for.
Don’t forget to rest between your workout sessions to prevent muscle fatigue or injuries.
Remember, starting new routines in life takes time and it is a process that requires patience and perseverance. Begin by following the steps we’ve given you here. Your body and mind will thank you!