Published: 26th July 2021
E-Canteen Fundas: The energiser bunny in you needs a refresh too
Pro Tip: Physical energy is fundamental to performance. It is impacted by our breathing and eating rhythms. To increase physical energy measures, small changes in food, sleep and hydration help
We were speaking about the importance of physical energy in energy management last week,’ said Rinku, ‘How do we go about it, bhaiyya?’
‘Physical energy is the fundamental source of fuel for work, mental and physical,’ said Rakesh. ‘This physical energy is derived from the oxygen-glucose interaction in our bodies. It means that our breathing and eating patterns affect our energy. Small improvements in our breathing, food habits, exercise, hydration and sleep patterns lead to significant changes in the physical energy available to us.’
‘Breathing, bhaiyya?’ asked Rinku.
‘Yes,’ smiled Rakesh. ‘Deep rhythmic breathing increases physical energy and improves concentration and performance, while shallow breathing depletes energy rapidly. Extend your exhalation to twice your inhalation period, a three-second inhalation followed by six seconds of exhalation, and notice the difference. Longer escalation helps maintain a healthy work-recovery ratio.’
‘Wow,’ asked Rinku. ‘Does food also have a work-recovery ratio?’
‘Yes,’ said Rakesh. ‘Our body’s hunger clock is set for about 90 minutes, so 90-minute work-recovery intervals are optimal. Since the quantity and quality of our food impacts our physical energy, we benefit by choosing the right foods, eating more calories earlier in the day and fewer in the evening, and eating five to six small, low-calorie and high-nutrition meals at 90-minute intervals. The key is never to feel too hungry or too stuffed.’
‘And what about exercise, bhaiyya?’ asked Rahul.
‘About 30-40 minutes of continuous exercise thrice a week, at 60-85% of our maximum heart rate capacity is good,’ said Rakesh. ‘Use interval training and work on physical energy measures like strength, endurance and resilience. Everything adds up. Physical exercise increases energy levels, boosts fitness, improves concentration, lowers stress and contributes to better emotional states. So go for it.’
‘That should be enough to manage energy, right?’ asked Rinku.
‘Most people take hydration and sleep lightly but they are vital,’ said Rakesh. ‘Research shows that 3per cent dehydration causes a loss of 10 per cent strength and 8 per cent speed. It’s recommended that we consume two litres of water a day. Similarly, adequate sleep improves mental performance, helps with recovery, while inadequate sleep leads to errors and health issues. About eight hours of sleep a day is recommended and a nap of 30-40 minutes every four hours helps recovery. Now, get going.’
‘Thanks, bhaiyya,’ said Rahul. ‘I’ll begin working on all my physical energy regulators.’