5 top tips to boost your energy

Keen to increase your energy levels? Try these expert suggestions from performance nutritionist, James Collins, from tailoring your food intake each day to strategic caffeine intake.

A woman lacing up her running shoes

James Collins, author of The Energy Plan, shares his top five tips to help boost energy levels throughout the day...

1. Get your daily dose of exercise

Aim to exercise once a day. This may mean hitting the gym or even just getting outside and increasing your step count – whatever works for you. However, it doesn't need to mean hours in the gym – the latest research has shown you can get an effective workout done in just 13 minutes!

2. Fuel to your daily demands

It makes sense to tailor your food intake on different days as your body's needs will vary, depending on what you're doing. More active days, either at work or exercising, increase your body’s fuel requirements. This means increasing the amount of low-GI carbohydrates with meals and snacks. Alternatively, less active days stuck behind a desk at work, require less fuel.

Find out exactly what to eat if you exercise in the morning or in the evening.

3. Use caffeine strategically

A cup of coffee with coffee beans

Caffeine can improve alertness and physical performance. Having a coffee 45 to 60 mins before your workout allow levels to peak in the blood for training. Effects can be long lasting (up to five hours or more), but can also disrupt sleep, so intake should be reduced later in the day. A flat-white containing two shots of coffee contains around 150 mg caffeine, but be warned, the amount of caffeine in different high street coffees varies dramatically. 

4. Recharge effectively

A good night’s sleep is crucial for memory consolidation and learning, weight management and for muscle regeneration. Foods containing protein (particularly an amino acid called tryptophan) may enhance sleep, whereas as an energy deficit (e.g. following a weight loss diet) can reduce sleep quality.

5. Check-in weekly

Take 15 minutes each week to take time out and reflect on your past weeks nutrition (how you feel, your energy levels) and then to plan the week ahead, what you will eat, when you will exercise – this ‘check-in’ is the glue that allows you to keep refining your energy plan. 


James Collins is the author of The Energy Plan, published by Penguin. For more information and to find a stockist, visit www.penguin.co.uk.

James Collins is recognised as a leading Performance Nutritionist through his work with Olympic and professional sport. Over the last decade he has worked with Arsenal FC, England and France national football teams and Team GB. Previously elected President of the Royal Society of Medicine’s Food and Health Forum, he has a private practice in Harley Street where he sees business executives, performing artists and clients from all walks of life: www.jamescollinsnutrition.com.

All health content on bbcgoodfood.com is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact  your local health care provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.

Comments, questions and tips

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mirjambrady
5th Feb, 2019
Please do not use research out of context, it's misleading for the general public - 13 mins of exercise is not enough. It was enough for a small group of already-fit men to maintain muscle density.
JOE peeer's picture
JOE peeer
10th Feb, 2019
excellent comment
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