Do you need a boost a few hours after lunch? Are you dragging through your workout, unable to get through those final sets? Everyone needs a little pick-me-up at some time or another. Many opt for sugary treats, which only boost your energy for a short time. There are healthier foods for energy that will keep you going at peak performance longer and some drinks that may surprise you. Focus on more than just your snack. The food you eat at meals also plays a big role throughout the day. You need all the essential nutrients to function your best.
Have a banana or apples on your oatmeal and you’ll be functioning at peak energy all morning.
Oatmeal stabilizes blood sugar levels by slowing absorption of carbs via the soluble fiber. It has manganese, iron and B vitamins which helps the body maintain a uniform level of energy release. Apples and bananas do have sugar, but also fiber. Bananas have other nutrients like vitamin B6 and potassium to make it last. Natural sugar isn’t as bad as added sugar when it comes to blood glucose spikes. Make some overnight oats and take it to work in a mason jar, adding bananas or other fruit when you need a snack.
Make a tuna salad, a dish of brown rice or hard-boiled egg for a quicker picker-upper.
Fatty fish, like tuna, are good sources of both omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12. B12 helps produce red blood cells and improves the functioning of iron. Both are important for more energy. Omega-3 fatty acids help lower inflammation, which often is the cause of fatigue or exhaustion. Brown rice contains loads of magnesium, which helps breaks down both protein and carbs for energy. It’s also filling, but low on the glycemic index. Eggs are high in B vitamins and protein, especially leucine. Protein creates more sustained energy, leucine stimulates the production of energy and B vitamins are necessary to produce energy.
Drink more water or grab a cup of coffee or tea.
Most people automatically think of coffee when they want a lift, because of the caffeine. Black tea has almost as much caffeine. While green tea has half as much as a cup of coffee, it has potent antioxidants and also L-theanine that reduces some of the side effects of caffeine. Just plain cold water is another great energy booster. Even mild dehydration can leave you sluggish and tired. Try drinking a glass of water then next time you’re exhausted, even if you don’t feel thirsty. You’ll be surprised at how well it works.
- Sweet potatoes are high in fiber and also high in sugar. That’s the perfect combination for sustained energy. The fiber keeps a steady source of energy to be released so there’s no spiking or dipping.
- Sometimes, a little chocolate is in order, but make it dark chocolate. Just a small amount is all that’s necessary to improve brain functioning and boost blood flow. Chocolate also contains caffeine.
- Quinoa is high in protein, dietary fiber and carbohydrates. It also is nutritious, with loads of vitamins and minerals. The fiber levels out the release of the energy from the carbohydrates to sustain you longer.
- Make a yogurt parfait. Yogurt has natural sugar for energy, but also protein that slows its digestion. Put a layer of berries that fight inflammation, provide fiber and carbs and top with a layer of walnuts, almonds or cashews for more protein, omega-3, fiber and vitamins and minerals that boost energy.
For more information, contact us today at LIV Fitness