Give me strength!

By Drum Digital
10 July 2014

The right diet and supplements can boost your energy levels if the school holidays are leaving you feeling drained.

Do you sometimes feel you need a holiday when the kids return to school? Facebook moms told us what they do to survive, from taking multivitamins to getting a caffeine fix by drinking several cups of coffee a day. But what’s the best way to keep up your strength?

Start by looking at what you eat, Johannesburg registered dietician Lila Bruk says. Although supplements might help, it’s a good idea to eat properly if you want to give your immune system and energy levels a boost after a busy few weeks. “Focus on low-GI carbohydrates such as seed loaf, brown rice and fibre-rich cereals to keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable,” she says. “Try to have between five and seven portions of fruit and vegetables a day to ensure you get enough antioxidants. Also be sure to eat enough low-fat protein such as fish, chicken, eggs and beans.” The protein also helps to keep your energy levels stable and protein is the building block for new cells.

“Drink at least two litres of water a day as sometimes being only a little dehydrated can cause you to feel tired. Avoid caffeine and sugar – they work like short-term stimulants but your energy levels can take a drastic dip after they’ve worn off,” Bruk warns.

Exercise is important, she adds. “Work out at least three times a week. It helps to improve your mood naturally. Even if you think you’re too tired you’ll see an improvement in your energy levels after only one session.”

Quick tips for busy moms

What if you don’t have time? Here’s what Bruk suggests:

  1. Fortunately drinking two litres of water a day is easy– keep a bottle in your bag.
  2. Getting the recommended amount of exercise – three sessions a week of 30 minutes each – doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym. You can do speed walking in a shopping centre or play ball with your kids.
  3. If you battle to eat the recommended number of portions of vegetables each day, ensure your main meal contains more than one kind of vegetable. When you cook, freeze extra vegetable portions if you know you won’t have time to cook later in the week.

- Dalena Theron

Sources:; regist ered dietician Lila Bruk,

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