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47 energy boosters DOCTORS use when they’re tired

Drained doctor what DRs do when theyre tired healthista main

A tired doctor is not the kind of doctor we want around – which is why when they get tired, they need to pep up in smart ways. We quizzed a bunch of medics on how they beat fatigue 

Dr Preethi Daniel, GP

What supplements do you take for energy? 
I take ginseng, vitamin C with zinc and vitamin D daily. Panax Ginseng is known to boost your natural response to fatigue and stress. There are several studies that show positive, albeit limited evidence for its effects. It certainly makes me feel good. Vitamin C boosts your immunity and increases your chances of fighting the common viruses. Vitamin D is my happy sunshine in a pill. It combats fatigue, aches and pains and is known to even lift your mood.

Go-to trick for instant energy? 

I get moving! If I feel fatigue creeping in and my eyes feeling heavy, I get up and move. Stretch it out. Go for a walk or a short sprint. Another favourite trick of mine is drink a large glass of water. Boosting your hydration gives an instant brain lift. I do it daily during busy work days when one can’t power nap.

Any other lifestyle measures for energy?

Eat regularly. Don’t skip breakfast. Snack little and often. A cup of joe does help in energy levels, however it tends to be transient. As does good dark chocolate.  Nuts and seeds such as chia in particular help massively.  Keep alcohol to a minimum. It is a natural depressant even though initial euphoria is fun.  In an age where all of us work in front of a screen all day, I try to limit my exposure to blue light from iPads and screens in the evening especially before bed time. Lastly, I open my curtains.  No matter how grey it is, some natural light is vital to maintain a healthy circadian rhythm (body clock).

Dr Preethi Daniel practices at The London Doctor’s Clinic

Dr Sarah Brewer, GP

Dr Sarah Brewer What DRs do when theyre tired healthista headshotWhat supplements do you take for energy? 

For energy I take Healthspan’s Ubiquinol (£35.95 from health  which was designed by a cardiologist, and supplies 100mg ubiquinol plus B vitamins, a fish oil and a small amount of magnesium. To top up the magnesium and B vitamin, I also take Opti-Magnesium (£7.95 from which includes bioavailable magnesium plus B vitamins. I like this form of magnesium as it is better absorbed and less likely to cause a laxative effect. And as a dose is two tablets, you can always just take one tablet if you are sensitive to the laxative effect of oral magnesium (or you could use magnesium skin spray, or magnesium bath flakes).

Go-to trick for instant energy?

This may sound a bit weird, but I use an ancient Chinese technique called the Inner Smile. It works every time and can be performed any time, any place, anywhere to help bring energy and calm. The Inner Smile was used by the ancient Chinese to strengthen their constitutional energy, or Jing Qi, which they believed is seated just beneath the navel. Here’s how to do it:

•           Sit (or stand) comfortably, with your back straight and your arms relaxed at your side.
•           Imagine something or someone that makes you smile.
•           The smile does not have to be visible to anyone else, but let it shine out of your eyes.
•           Let the smile travel inwards to spread all over your body, before concentrating around your navel.

As the smile radiates within, you will feel relaxed and calm and may also notice a warmth or vibration in the pit of your stomach (supposedly as your Jing Qi is boosted). I do this several times a week – whenever I feel in need of an inner boost.

Any other lifestyle measures for energy?

I have two lovely mugs of coffee every morning (using a bean to cup machine) to energise me for the day. I don’t have more than two as I am sensitive to the effects of caffeine and too much makes me jittery.

Dr Meg Mehta, psychologist

Dr Meg Mehta What DRs do when theyre tired healthista headshotWhat supplements do you take for energy? 

I take Vitamin B Complex (£5.95 from Healthspan) to stave off fatigue and boost mental performance, particularly as I am prone to multitasking! Research has shown that Vitamin-B complex not only improves energy and cognitive performance, but can also lift mood so I feel it’s a good supplement for all-round physical and mental health.

Go-to trick for instant energy?

I use ‘energy imagery’ if I’m ever feeling a bit worn out. Imagery is often used for relaxation but I find it can also boost energy. My technique is to first bring to mind a time and place where I felt particularly energetic. For me this tends to be holidays. But this could also be a particular moment of excitement, perhaps when your partner surprised you out of the blue. The key here is to recall the event so that its energy and vigour washes over you again. Think of exactly what you saw, heard and even smelled or tasted. The more detail, the more powerful this mental exercise is. Then I turn up the volume – metaphorically – and make the colours, aromas and sensations even more intense. Once this image is at its peak, gently come out of the memory and back to the here and now by taking a deep belly breath in through the nose on a count of three, and exhale. An even easier way to do this is through sounds and smells so if you have a song that reminds you of a spectacularly lively, positive time, or a scent that brings back a moment of excitement, keep these nearby for emergency energy boosts. I use this as needed but with practice it becomes less necessary to think in detail as simply triggering the process can lead to the same effects. The last time I did this was on a long journey home to sustain me on the way.

One more trick that I love is lighting and mirrors – I’ve found that if I see myself looking drained I will immediately feel more tired. So if you can, avoid harsh down-lights when looking in the mirror as this visual feedback is an easy mind hack. There’s a very good reason why stores invest in sympathetic lighting in dressing rooms.

Any other lifestyle measures for energy?

I’ve found going for a walk in the morning, rather than the afternoon as was my usual time, has improved my sleep quality and lifted my daily energy levels. I only drink two cups of caffeinated tea a day and both before 1pm.  My snacks are always protein packed and usually nuts rather than sweet treats.

Also, saying ‘no’ has helped my energy massively.  Moving from Ms Perfect to Ms Good-Enough (tricky but worth it) and communicating more effectively with my partner about my needs have really helped my energy levels.

Dr David Bull, MD and broadcaster

Dr David Bull What DRs do when theyre tired healthista headshotWhat supplements do you take for energy?

No, I don’t really. The key to having energy is to make sure you get enough sleep. It’s often overrated. I always make sure I get at least eight hours. If I have a massive decision to make I try and get even more. I always eat breakfast and make sure I  have a breakfast with slow release energy like oatmeal topped with fruit. Coffee is a must at this time for me. The only supplements I take are vitamin C and Zinc.

Go-to trick for instant energy?

I tend to cat nap if I am absolutely zonked. After a ten minute nap I feel a different person. I can use exercise in the same way.

Any other lifestyle measures for energy?

Distraction, eating, laughing and taking your mind off a problem for a while allows you to come back and re-focus. Turning on some good music can completely change your mood. I don’t let myself sit at a desk for more than an hour.

Dr Suchitra Badvey, dermatologist

Dr Suchrita Badvey what DRs do when theyre tired healthista headshotWhat supplements do you take for energy? 

Yes, Vitamin C in the form of Camu Camu. I take one teaspoon a day which has 60 times for vitamin C than an orange (Green’s Organic Camu Camu Powder £18.95 from Healthista Shop). I also take a teaspoon of barley grass powder in a glass of cold water in the morning (Creative Nature Barley Grass Powder £12.49 from Healthista Shop)

Go-to trick for instant energy?

Green tea with a dash of ginseng (Pukka Matcha Green Tea with Ginseng £2.49 from Healthista Shop) or ginseng tea (Higher Living Morning Mojo Tea £2.49 from Healthista Shop)

Any other lifestyle measures for energy?

I’m a pescatarian / vegetarian mostly however I do occasionally eat red meat. I eat a balanced diet rich in fibre and antioxidants and make sure I eat natural foods which aren’t processed or genetically modified. I also take a good probiotic supplement, a tasty way of acquiring your daily intake of probiotics is drinking a shot of kefir which tastes similar to buttermilk. It is an acquired taste for some though.

For a quick energy pick up, something I have done since I was a young teen is sprint at top speed in quick bursts, followed by walking briskly for a few minutes, repeating this cycle for 10-20 minutes a day. I make sure I run outside in the fresh air though if it’s too cold in winter I have to take cover in the gym as I don’t have a penchant for braving the elements.

Pranayama or yogic breathing exercises help clear my mind for focus, and concentration and help create an alert mind while de-stressing mw simultaneously. The extra oxygen delivered to the brain helps give me that extra burst of energy I often need in the middle of the afternoon.

Dr Badvey practices at 25 Harley Street 

MORE: 7 breathing techniques for any emotional problem 

Dr Uchenna Okoye, dentist

doctors energy boosters by healthistaWhat supplements do you take for energy? 

I take vitamin D as being dark skinned and working inside my levels were low last year so I was put a high dosage but now I just take the recommended 10mg but take it all year round. (Healthspan Vitamin D3 10mg £9.45 from

Go-to trick for instant energy?

I have gotten up everyday at 5am for years and now I have a baby it is often earlier.  But my ultimate go to energy instant fix is my morning  vegetable smoothie which is kale and spinach, spirulina powder and cucumber, plus goji berries or banana to sweeten. (Naturya Organic Spirulina Powder £11.99 and Alara Organic Goji Berries £2.99 from Healthista Shop)

During the day at work it’s about  fragrance. I use various fragrances to energise myself and this especially helps at work.  I find certain scents such as orange, lavender and jasmine plus,  keeping hydrated as  I often forget to drink water some days when working so drinking water energises me.

Any other lifestyle measures for energy?

As a dentist I hunch over a great deal so having a massage and a good stretch really help energise me plus nothing like a good laugh with friends to instantly energise me.

Dr Okoye practices at London Smiling

Dr Dawn Harper, GP and TV presenter

Dr Dawn Harper what DRs do when theyre tired healthista headshotWhat supplements do you take for energy? 

I was never one for routinely supplementing and have always believed that most of us should be able to get all the vitamins and minerals we need from a well balanced diet, and we should. The problem is life gets in the way. Most of the time I practice what I preach when it comes to diet and we eat healthily at home with lots of home grown vegetables, but sometimes when I am away filming or busy with back to back meetings, it is more difficult. I also know that over 50 we are less efficient at extracting all the goodness from our food so I take a Healthspan’s Multivitality 50 Plus (£12.95 from Healthspan) daily to keep me topped up and feeling well.

Go-to trick or technique for instant energy?

Exercise and fresh air energise me. I live in the Cotswolds and love cycling around the country lanes. I don’t always feel like going out on my bike (today is a case in point – it’s very grey and wet out of my office window), but I am always glad when I’ve been. I try to get out several times a week even if it is just for an hour. It is more difficult in the winter so I rely on a static trainer inside but there’s nothing quite like the combination of exercise, fresh air and a fabulous view to leave me feeling positive and energised.

Any other lifestyle measures  for energy?

I am a huge fan of probiotics and recommend them to lots of my patients. I start every day with live yogurt with inulin and probiotics, with added mixed seeds and oats. It gives me a great tank of fuel to face the day.

Dr. Maryam Zamani, anti-ageing doctor and surgeon

Dr Maryam Zamani What DRs do when theyre tired healthista headshotWhat supplements do you take for energy? 

I take a calcium with vitamin D3 daily, and a B-Complex daily to keep my energy levels up.  When I need an extra boost, I use Restore me by Gabriella Peacock, which is a mix of superfoods, vitamins and minerals to sustain a busy lifestyle (£55 from

Go-to trick or technique for instant energy?

I don’t actually drink coffee ever but when I need a little energy I go for a quick aeorbic workout to get my blood going. I use this almost daily, I work out quite late, and then spend a few hours getting back to work.  It clears my mind and if I don’t have the time for 30 minutes, I just go outside and walk around the block a few times.

Any other lifestyle measures for energy?

I try to have little snacks throughout the day to keep my blood sugar stable and to prevent that afternoon slump.  I have nuts, a piece of fruit….and I always drink plenty of fluids all day long, water and herbal teas mostly.

Doctor Zamani is the founder of MZ Skin and practices at the Cadogan Clinic, London 


Dr Chidi Ngwaba, physician

What supplements do you take for energy?

My go-to supplement for energy is vitamin D3. This ‘sunshine vitamin’ is both an energy and mood booster as it’s important in both the production of Testosterone, our natural anabolic steroid and Serotonin, our natural ‘Happy Drug’. I take 10,000iu per day, everyday. Try Healthspan Elite Vitamin D3 £19.95

Go to trick for instant energy?

For instant energy, I drink freshly squeezed lemon and lime in water. This rapidly provides the electrolytes essential for our cells to make energy. It solves the problem of dehydration too, which is a common cause of low energy. The sharpness of the lemon lime is also like a natural slap in the face to wake me up.




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