Step count vs time spent exercising | Summer running kit | How to avoid an afternoon energy crash after drinking coffee

What's more important: time spent exercising or your step count?
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5 expert-backed tips for avoiding an afternoon energy crash after drinking coffee

When we think of crashing energy, we often put it down to our blood sugar levels. We're obsessed with eating savoury breakfasts, pairing carbs with protein and avoiding that 3pm crash at all costs.

But what if it's not your sugar or carb intake that's causing your energy to plummet? Caffeine can also cause a spike and subsequent dip. So, why does that happen and who's at risk? Is that crash dose-dependent (e.g. by drinking too much coffee in the first place)? Dr Rupy Aujla, Exhale's medical and science advisor, and Alex Manos, coffee brand Exhale's chief wellness officer and nutritionist, explain why mistimed caffeine can make you feel even more tired than you were before and how to avoid those slumps.

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The best healthy breakfast places in London to start your day off right
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From trembling legs to sweaty palms, can you ever learn to control the physical symptoms of anxiety?
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All the recent rain has meant grass looks verdant and fresh – so why not channel that energy into your June workouts?  
Merrell / £125
No doubt there'll be more rain this summer, so a water repelling, wind-resistant running jacket will come in handy again and again
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MAAP / £18
A good pair of sweat-wicking socks is crucial to avoiding blisters. This pair boast permanent antimicrobial properties
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On Running / £210
Bounce your way to a PB with maximum cushioning. These are so cool, they're as acceptable in the pub or office as they are on the road
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Osprey / £65
Inject a bit of colour into your long runs with this green vest – complete with extra large pockets, zips and a safety whistle
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Sweaty Betty / £35
This bright, best-selling cropped workout top is stretchy, sweat-wicking and contains bacteria-minimising silver ions
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Nike / £32.99
Perfect for post-office gym sessions, weekends at the lido or speedy away trips, this little holdall has a separate compartment for soggy kit
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In partnership with Warburtons
This lunchtime staple has had a high-protein makeover

Ah, the beloved bagel. Delicious toasted with a generous slather of butter but destined to host all manner of tasty fillings, especially when you're after a speedy lunchtime bite to eat. And if you thought this humble baked good couldn't get any more appealing, think again. With 8g of plant-based protein, Warburtons' Protein Thin Bagels are a super-easy and delicious way to get more protein into your diet.

Soft, sliced and sprinkled with seeds and pulses, we love filling them with a classic chicken, bacon and tomato combo or a cheeky sundried tomato, mozzarella and pesto fusion for the perfect protein-packed lunch. But if you prefer something on the sweeter side, a peanut butter and banana creation will satisfy your cravings. How are you having yours? Click the link below to find out more about your newly elevated lunchtime staple.


17 women on their most embarrassing period story
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Sophie Ecclestone is the world number one bowler, a member of England Women's cricket team and Manchester Originals. Tickets to catch Sophie in both these competitions are available from ECB and The Hundred

The first thing I do in the morning is… pick up my phone and check my messages, but I actually love to play Monopoly Go. It's a good way to wake my brain up, rather than just scrolling on Instagram.

My go-to breakfast is always… quick and easy in the morning. I'm a huge fan of Weetabix, as it's so filling, nutritious and delicious. It has plenty of carbs, protein, fibre and nutrients; I usually add some berries or chopped banana on top for something sweet.

I probably spend 50% of my time doing strength and conditioning… It's really important for us to look after our bodies, particularly when we're in the cricket season. Having that base of strength and fitness helps with injury prevention and improves our technique. We typically have three group training sessions a week where we do a mixture of cricket-focused drills and strength and conditioning. As a bowler, I work a lot on mobility of the upper body, as well as a lot of core exercises like isometric holds.

Meal timings are really important to me… as is trying to stick to unprocessed foods and making sure to get protein in before and after training. During matches, we always make sure to stay hydrated, especially playing a lot in summer. All of us flavour our water and my go-to is orange, although I have to admit that I do like a Pepsi Max as a treat after a tough training session.

High pressure situations and stress are part and parcel of representing your country… You always want to do everyone proud! I just try to think about the next moment and look ahead. Surrounding myself with the other players before a game really helps; it can get tough out there on the field, so it's good to know that I've got the rest of the team behind me. Before every game we listen to music in the changing rooms which helps massively too. We like to get the throwback tunes on – some early 00s songs we can sing along to.

Sleep is so important… and something I prioritise massively. I can really tell if I've not got my eight hours so I make sure it's on the top of my priorities, particularly during competition time. I try to cut down my screen time before bed, otherwise it's easy to stay up and scroll.

To wind down after a game… there's nothing I love more than enjoying a round of golf. A lot of the players love golf, so when we're away on tour and get a break, we'll get out on a local course. I recently got the opportunity to play on the Old Course at St Andrew's which was unreal.

Just Curious: "Why do some headaches seem to be resistant to painkillers?"
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Make these vegan egg and cress sandwiches for your next protein-packed lunch

Whether you're fully vegan or simply trying to cut down on your intake of animal products, egg is often a tricky food to substitute. It's full of important omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients, as well as being versatile and delicious, but there are issues in the production chain that many non-meat-eaters feel uncomfortable about.

This egg and cress sarnie recipe from vegan charity Viva!, however, proves that you can get all the taste, texture and nutrients of scrambled egg… but vegan. It's made using tofu (a fermented soy product that's packed with protein), as well as gut-loving probiotics, calcium and manganese. There's also some evidence to suggest that tofu could be really handy in the management of menopause symptoms; it's packed with isoflavones, which attach to oestrogen receptors in the body and weakly mimic the effect of the hormone. A perfect WFH lunch.

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Image credits: Stylist; Getty; Strong Women; Merrell; MAAP; On Running; Osprey; Sweaty Betty; Nike;; Niki Webster
© The Stylist Group Ltd


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