Put down the energy drinks for a moment and consider what you’re putting into your body. While you may feel that great boost to your energy for the rest of the day, it often comes at the price of high amounts of added sugar and chemical ingredients you can’t even pronounce. If you can find an all-natural energy drink with no processed sugars or ingredients, drink up; but wouldn’t it be easier (and less expensive) if you could eat your energy the way nature intended? Instead of one big boost mid-way through the day, eating smart foods all day long for one constant stream of energy is a much more efficient way to fuel your body. After all, food is meant to be fuel for us. Try these strategies and incorporate these powerful foods into your everyday meals and you’ll be working through that three o’clock slump with no trouble at all.
Super-Charged Grains for Energy
Get a natural and sustained energy boost from whole grains at the beginning of the day. These are slow-burn carbohydrates that break down gradually to help you stay alert and active until bedtime. Be careful, however, as processed grains and white rice/bread won’t do the trick.
– Brown rice offers much more energy than white rice, helping you feel full for longer. It also offers benefits to those fighting stress and digestive problems as well.
– Organic whole wheat, which is not treated with pesticides.
– Oats are high in calcium, magnesium, vitamin E, potassium, B vitamins, and protein to help you with tiredness, as well as skin problems and stress.
– Quinoa, a popular choice for gluten-free eaters, provides the body with fiber and protein to stay full and energized for longer. It also offers amino acids and B vitamins to the body.
– Popcorn (yes, popcorn) is another energy-boosting grain. Be sure to stick with the air-popped variety when possible, as the movie theater and microwave versions are often loaded with salt, butter, and other additives.
Energy-Boosting Fruits & Vegetables
Think of all the vegetables wasted on your dinner plate as a child—that was energy just waiting for you to eat it. Now that you’re an adult, you can choose the best energy-boosters to add color to your plate at breakfast, lunch, and dinner time. Opt for cancer-fighting broccoli for a great boost, plus other benefits like fiber, folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and more. Spinach is another powerful energy booster, offering extra iron to your diet as well. In the fruit category, try adding apricots, either fresh or dried, as a snack during the day for a quick boost. Finally, apples are nature’s version of an energy drink, so whenever you’re dragging, take a bite of a juicy apple for a quick pick-me-up.
Add Seeds, Legumes & Nuts for Energy
Plan ahead for a day free of sluggishness and fatigue by packing seeds, lentils, and certain nuts into your diet. If you have tree nut or legume allergies (like peanut), be careful with this section and follow your allergist’s instructions. However, if you’re allergy-free, eat up and discover how much energy you can unleash with these powerful foods.
Starting off with seeds, sesame and pumpkin are your best bets. Pumpkin seeds contain protein, lots of healthy fats, and the much-needed fiber to keep you full for longer. Sesame seeds are another great source of energy, plus they’re easy to sprinkle onto the foods you already enjoy or to find on bagels and breads. For legumes, edamame or soybeans are just what you need. They’re high in valuable nutrients like copper, phosphorous and B vitamins, along with being a perfect high-energy food. The two most energy-boosting tree nuts are almonds and walnuts, also a source of omega 3 fatty acids, zinc, and iron. Last but not least, make friends with lentils for as many meals a week as you can; these natural energy boosters are delicious, packed with vitamins, and an incredible source of protein and fiber to keep you going throughout the day.
Other Great Energy-Boosting Foods to Eat
Whole grains, produce, seeds, nuts, and legumes offer so much in the way of energy, but there are still more foods we haven’t discussed. Find ways to add these into your snacks and meals throughout the day and you’ll never be reaching for those energy drinks again:
– Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated throughout the day is very important when it comes to having energy. If you’re dehydrated you’re much more likely to become less energetic and will get tired much more easily. So keep a glass of water by your desk to remind you to take sips and keep your body hydrated at all times.
– Eggs, full of B vitamins that help convert food into energy, as well as vitamin D to aid in bone strength and protein.
– Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, gives you protein and carbohydrates for a sustained release of energy all day long. Watch out for yogurts that contain high fructose corn syrup or high amounts of added sugar, as these will counteract that energy boost.
– Fish and shellfish should be part of your diet for their myriad health benefits, like omega 3 fatty acids and powerful amounts of iron. Start adding fish to your dinner menu once a week at first; in no time, you’ll want to have it as often as possible.
– Dark chocolate is good for you too, thanks to the quick boost of energy it can give you without the sugar crash of processed or milk chocolate products. It also has a powerful antioxidant called flavanol, which has been shown to improve heart health. When your heart is healthy, of course, your whole body is healthier.
– Coffee is not the energy-sucking vampire it has become known as, not if you know when to stop drinking it. In fact, in the right amounts coffee is a powerful booster that not only gives you energy, but can improve your performance during exercise. Limit yourself to 8 ounces to reap these benefits.
It Starts & Ends with Your Water Consumption
All of these foods can do amazing things for the body, but if you’re not well-hydrated, everything about your health can suffer. When you’re dehydrated, you may suffer from a wide range of symptoms, including headaches, muscle fatigue, and low energy, among others. Drink water before, during, and after your workouts to make sure you’re getting the energy you need to power through. Even on days when you don’t exercise, drink your eight 8-ounce glasses a day for the minimum amount of water you’ll need. Some doctors advise 2.2 liters, or about 9 glasses, for women and 3 liters, or about 13 cups, for men. Discuss proper hydration with your doctor to determine what the right amount is for you and your body. The health benefits and natural boost to your daily energy will pay off as soon as you get started.
Energy Boosts after Surgery
Many patients often report feeling fatigued or low on energy after a surgical operation of any kind. The body uses a lot of fuel to heal itself and recover from any cosmetic surgery procedure, so it needs a little help. In fact, eating smart, healthy foods that can naturally boost your energy is a great way to help the body recover more quickly and keep your own energy up while you do. Talk about this important part of your post-operative recovery at your consultation with Dr. Paul Vitenas, a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and the founder of the Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery clinic. Known for his skilled, natural-looking results, Dr. Vitenas has been achieving excellent results for his patients since 1990. Call (281) 484-0088 today to schedule your first consultation at Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery, located at 11914 Astoria Boulevard #470 in Houston, Texas.