As I have said many times before, I love summer. However, I also find it one of the most demanding and tiring times of the year. Between being busy at work and making the most of every sunny day I am off, I find I can be tired and start to feel stressed.
My solutions are a combination of improving my diet, getting plenty of exercise (Glengarriff ParkRun - I promise you will see me every week!), getting plenty of sleep, drinking plenty of water and taking some select supplements. And of course topping up my vitamin D levels with plenty of sunshine - which is going well so far this year!
From a diet perspective - for me, it’s all about fresh fruit and vegetables in the summertime. When I’m eating at work this is easy (lucky me!) but if I’m at home I have to really focus not to just have a sandwich. Often I make a huge salad - leaves, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, grated carrot, maybe some tuna or a boiled egg, some seeds and some fresh herbs. With a lovely garlicky dressing it really hits the spot and I feel great afterwards.
On exercise - I think we all know what we need to do! Find something that suits your life and your body and stick to it. Do it often, not too much, and you will see (and feel) the benefits.
I find I need to get enough quality sleep to help recover from the increased busyness of the long summer days. This might mean making sure I am taking time to wind down at the end of each day and also checking I am getting enough magnesium - if I stop taking my supplement I find my sleep becomes patchy within a week or so. A bath with a handful of Epsom salts is a good way to catch up if you’ve forgotten to take magnesium for a while.
Theanine is an amino acid that can help with sleep. I like it as it’s not a sedative and won’t leave you feeling drowsy; rather, it improves sleep quality and should help you feel more rested in the morning.
The best source of theanine is tea, but there’s a Catch-22: Since most teas also contain caffeine, a cup last thing at night probably won’t improve sleep quality. White tea tends to have less caffeine than green or black tea, so white tea could be a relaxing way to get some theanine before bed, but personally I like to take it in a capsule - the optimal dosage for improving sleep is between 150 to 200 milligrams, taken 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime.
Another supplement that is widely studied in relation to sleep issues is CBD. I will write a whole article about CBD soon, but for now let me say CBD has the ability to reduce anxiety, which can be helpful in reducing sleep difficulties and improving sleep quality. CBD may increase overall sleep amounts, and improve insomnia, according to research. CBD has been shown to reduce insomnia in people who suffer from chronic pain. If you aren’t sure what CBD is and you are intrigued, call in to Organico or look up our blog on www.organico.ie where we have a couple of articles on the supplement.
Even after you have focussed on improving your sleep, you may still find certain days are energy draining, or simply very demanding. Supplements for energy that are hugely popular in Organico include Revive Active, made by a Galway based company, contains 26 different active ingredients but the main 2 are CoQ10 and L-Arginine. These 2 ingredients are among the most widely researched and best documented supplements we have on our shelves; and researchers into both CoQ10 and Arginine have been awarded Nobel Prizes for their research into the important health benefits. These benefits are mainly in the area of Heart Health and circulation; however there are some interesting spin off benefits such as memory improvement, energy increase, and increased immune function. Revive can be taken as needed to boost your energy over the long summer days!
As an on the go pick me up, I also find Oxylent excellent as it contains added amino acids, vitamins and minerals so really helps rehydrate and replenish the entire body; it’s a replacement for a multivitamin and I really do feel an energy lift shortly after drinking it. Oxylent and Revive are both powdered, and you add them to a large glass of water, which has the added benefit of increasing hydration. Good for adding to water bottles if you are going hiking for the day.
Overall, eat well, rest well and enjoy the sunshine - and long may it continue! Don’t forget to make sure you get some sun without sunblock - even the fairest amongst us can manage 15 minutes a day. It really is SO important, for bone health as well as energy and mood.
If you are anywhere near Bantry or Glengarriff, the ParkRun is on every Saturday at 9.30 AM (meeting in the Nature Reserve Car Park). Kids are welcome and it’s free of charge! It’s 5K and you can run or walk - it sets you up for the whole weekend!