22/01/2014 06:19 GMT | Updated 23/03/2014 05:59 GMT

Fuel Up to Feel Good on January Mornings

Is there ever a sound more unwelcome than the cutting shrill of your alarm? Especially when, surely, it's still the middle of the night?! And no, the fact that you can personalise the sound to a cockerel, a frog, or even your favourite Robbie Williams song (or is that just me?) does not make it any easier! On a cold, dark January morning, when the pull of a warm bed requires every ounce of willpower to resist, we all need to find a little extra something to help us start the day. And where is there a better place to start than to look at what we are putting into our bodies? Just like a car, our bodies need to be well fuelled to run efficiently. A car with an empty tank of petrol is going nowhere! Make your mornings count, and follow these top tips to accelerate you out the front door:

Breakfast like a king

A well balanced, nutritious breakfast will provide you with the kick start and energy boost you need for the day ahead. Not only this, a growing body of studies shows that it can lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

The temptation may well be to spend that extra 10 minutes in bed, and grab your latte & pain au chocolat on the way to the office. However your body won't thank you for it, come 11am when the sugar/caffeine effect wears off and you're left craving another. What you eat first thing is important for setting your blood-sugar pattern for the rest of the day. Avoid relying on caffeine and sugar, and instead opt for a combination of protein and complex carbohydrates.

Porridge is a highly nutritious breakfast choice that fills these criteria, providing a source of sustained energy that will keep you full all morning. Unleash your creative talents and add some pizzazz to your porridge. Experiment with different types of milk (oat, coconut, and almond are all good options), add some sweetness and extra vitamins with colourful fruits and berries, and boost your protein with different types of nuts and seeds.

Maca powder

This nutritionally dense superfood may offer a great boost for those with low energy. It is bursting with B vitamins which are required for energy production in every cell of our body. Start with a ½ teaspoon a day, and work up to a teaspoon or two a day over the course of a few weeks. Add to smoothies, or sprinkle over your porridge.

For an energy-boosting breakfast, try this delicious smoothie:

Banana & Blueberry Breakfast Booster

1 frozen banana (sliced)

½ cup blueberries

1 cup milk/ almond milk

4 tablespoons oats

½ - 1 teaspoon Maca powder

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon chia seeds

Blend all together and enjoy!

An Extra Boost

First thing in the morning is the optimum time to take some of your supplements. B vitamins and vitamin C are both important for energy production and revving up the metabolism, and should be taken with breakfast. Of equal importance to your energy levels is ensuring you get a good night's sleep. Calcium and magnesium, when taken in combination, have been shown to help relaxation and aid sleep.

A few simple changes to your daily routine really can make all the difference to your tempestuous relationship with your alarm clock. Cock-a-doodle-do!