Can the dopamine diet *really* make you happier?
Food doesn’t just power muscular function: it can also be used to target the brain’s neurotransmitters, nudging them into emitting bursts of happy hormones. That’s the thinking behind the dopamine diet, which encourages followers to feast on high-protein, high-fat sources such as omega-3-rich fish, dairy, nuts and eggs.
The amino acids in these foods are essential to the synthesis of the feelgood chemical dopamine. But before you raid the wholefood aisle, find out whether a nutritionist actually recommends this style of eating…
Enhance physical and mental performance with this balance-building workout
Improving your balance is one of the best things you can do for your physical and mental health. Yes, it boosts your ability to perform in single-leg sports like running or yoga (and helps you pull off a mean flamingo impression). But working on your coordination also has huge long-term benefits: studies show that being able to balance on one leg for 20 seconds is one of the key indicators of good cognitive and cardiovascular function.
If that’s your goal, this workout delivers the goods. Rather than racing through sets, it’s all about concentrating on movement: controlling every twist and turn to challenge your stability and feel each muscle working. Starting with a full-body dumbbell circuit, Strong Women Club trainer Janine George takes you through three rounds of Russian twists and butterfly crunches – because a strong core is key to building that balance.
This tennis kit won’t promise a grand slam title, but it will help you feel a little more Emma Raducanu
MAAREE / £49
Twist, jump and lunge to the ball with confidence in a sturdy, high-impact sports bra that supports you in all the right directions
Girlfriend Collective / £55
Made from recycled fabric, this chic tennis skirt hides a pair of stretchy, sweat-wicking shorts
Nike / £110
Tactically placed lacing supports during quick, lateral movements, while cushioned soles protect on hard-surfaced courts
Prince / £69.99
Beginner or frequent-match-winner, this racket promises big shots thanks to the vibration-reducing materials
H&M / £9.99
Make like Raducanu in a thick-strapped tank top. This seamless version limits irritation as you serve and backhand
Adidas / £55
Out-play September chills in these lightweight trousers. Too hot? Pull them off without untying shoes thanks to ankle zips
This harissa-spiced falafel burger packs in all the nutrients your body needs
Summer may be over, but our love for burgers is still going strong. And cooking them in the kitchen, rather than on a smoky grill, doesn’t have to result in sad and flavourless patties. Proof: this recipe that packs a spicy punch while still being high in fibre thanks to gut-loving chickpeas. The plant-based protein in these falafel burgers supports muscle function and growth – and when paired with a wholemeal bun, they’ll nail all nine essential amino acids your post-workout body needs.
What else are you craving now autumn’s arrived? Immunity-bolstering vitamin C, of course. That comes courtesy of harissa (made from roasted red pepper) and fresh, green herbs including parsley and coriander, which also deliver hot, bright and fresh flavours. Top with avocado mayonnaise and a sweet and sticky homemade carrot chutney, and you’ll forget all about grilled meat.
In partnership with Craghoppers
Fight the weather, help the planet
Summer might be in the rear-view, but that doesn’t mean we’re about to kick our outdoor exercise habit just yet. With a whole heap of British countryside yet to be conquered, we’ll be getting our hike on all the way through autumn, but with the elements unlikely to play ball, it pays to make sure you’re fully weather-proofed. That’s where the Craghoppers Dynamic Jacket comes in. Fully waterproof, it’s made from eco-friendly AquaDry polyester, keeping you dry while giving new life to 70 recycled plastic bottles that would otherwise have ended up in landfill.
Packing a whole heap of tech into its sleek silhouette, the jacket comes lined with Dynamic 12000 technology derived from six naturally found minerals, which reflects naturally-produced infrared rays back into the body, stimulating cell regeneration, which has been noted to improve circulation of oxygen-rich blood and support faster healing of deep tissues. Better performance for you, without denting the environment? Sounds like a win-win.
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Image credits: Strong Women; Getty; Instagram
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