Modern lifestyles need a lot of energy just to keep up with the daily demands. In order to have the energy to function optimally throughout the day we need to be well-rested and eat the right foods to help our bodies power up.
The biggest energy-sapping culprit that affects many busy people today is fatigue from not getting enough rest. Fatigue can wreak havoc on our bodies by breaking down a person emotionally and physically.
Fatigue can also negatively affect the immune system, increasing your chances of getting sick. Fortunately, there are foods you can eat and things you can do to fuel your body throughout the day.
It’s not a secret that regular exercise, effective stress management and getting adequate sleep are great ways of combating fatigue. What you eat also plays a major role in your energy levels because after all food is fuel for the body.
Try Eating Nutrient-Rich Foods
For the human body to perform optimally, it requires plenty of vitamins and minerals. Each individual cell in the human body is capable of unlocking its true energy potential provided it is fuelled with the right foods.
When the body doesn’t receive enough nutrients, this triggers “sub-optimal circular energy metabolism”, which could leave you feeling sluggish and tired.
The best way around this is to opt for foods that offer a lot of nutrition per calorie (nutrient-dense food). Foods like seeds, nuts, beans, vegetables, whole grains, and lean animal proteins are great options.
Foods rich in iron also help with providing your body the energy it needs throughout the day like dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale.
On the other hand, refined foods such as breads, fatty fried foods, desserts, sweets such as pastries, and highly processed snacks can offer a lot of calories, but very little nutrition.
Get Plenty of Omega 3
Repeated studies have shown that Omega-3 fats are effective in enhancing the memory and overall mood, as well as quick thinking, energy and focus.
Try to ensure that you get at least one good source of Omega 3 fats daily, which could include hemp oil, hempseed, flax oil, flaxseed, fish like salmon, and even walnuts.
Choose Foods High in Antioxidants
Antioxidant foods are great for clearing out damaged chemicals inside the body that are known to tax energy levels, ultimately leading to fatigue, and in more serious cases, illness.
There are plenty of foods high in antioxidants including dark leafy vegetables like broccoli, collard greens, kale and spinach as well as and fruit like berries.
Don’t Drop Calories Drastically
Quite often daily diets can deprive the body of vital nutrients and calories (energy) when people drop their daily calories drastically. It can leave your body in a worse off state if not careful which could not only lead to low energy but other side effects such as dull skin, foggy brain, dry skin, and brittle nails.
By dropping your calories too drastically you are essentially decreasing your metabolism because the body by its very nature tries to conserve as much energy as possible. If you are starving your body, it will hold on to every calorie you eat which could result not only in weight gain but sap you of energy because your body isn’t getting the nutrients to feed its cells that it needs.
It’s quite normal for individuals dieting to feel tired and lethargic, and if you couple this with a slower metabolism, the body burns even fewer calories, meaning even slower or nonexistent weight loss plus lack of energy.
It’s always best to nourish your body throughout the day with enough fuel to keep your energy levels as high as possible so you can perform normal functions of daily living. This practice will actually keep the metabolism stoked and constantly burning fat.
This stoked metabolism ultimately results in sustainable and healthy weight loss.
Never Skip Breakfast
You’d be surprised how many people actually attempt to go about their day without fueling their body with a hearty healthy breakfast. Some people think that by skipping breakfast they are saving on calories, and this could help them to lose weight.
In reality, breakfast is good for your metabolism because it gets it going for the day, and leaves you satiated until it’s time for your mid-morning snack.
Cut out processed breakfast foods like pastries, bagels, sugary cereals, and donuts and replace them with healthier options such as eggs, uncured bacon, vegetables, whole grain bread toasted with raw nut butter spread, and fresh fruit.
Snacks Aren’t Always a Bad Thing!
Eating at regular intervals through the day is beneficial for stabilizing blood sugar levels as well as energy. Allowing yourself to get too hungry can not only cause your blood sugar to drop but possibly cause you to reach for the closest and most convenient food in the vending machine or drive through which tend to be lowest in nutrition.
When I say snacks, I mean the healthy type; therefore it’s important to make wise decisions in this regard.
Try to combine carbs, proteins and fats and this will ensure long-lasting energy. Protein and fat keeps you fuller longer and causes the slow release of sugar into the bloodstream.
This ultimately prevents energy deficiencies at any point, and keeps you from overeating. Protein is also an essential building block for rebuilding damaged tissue.
Ideas for snacking include mixed nuts, fresh fruit, string cheese, dried fruit (mega-rich in magnesium), plain yogurt mixed with no-sugar-added granola, air popped popcorn, or whole grain crackers coupled with baby carrots and maybe hummus, as you can see, the list goes on…
Drink Plenty of Water
Adequate hydration is one of the best ways of sustaining energy levels. The body is made up of 70% to 80% water so by its very nature requires water for it to function properly.
Forget all the fancy waters such as energy drinks and vitamin waters. They tend to be full of unnecessary sugar. Keep a bottle of freshwater with you at all times and try sipping on it regularly through the day. Target to drink at least 74 oz of water a day.
This might not be what you want to hear, but alcohol is actually a depressant, and it is known to deplete energy levels. Interestingly, alcohol can act as a stimulant when it’s freshly consumed, but these effects are extremely short lived.
Regular alcohol consumption can disrupt the sleep cycle, leaving a person fatigued the next day. If you like to sip on a glass a night to help you fall asleep, try cutting back the amount you consume gradually and you will notice more energy the next day.
Cut down on Caffeine
Although it is true that immediately after drinking a coffee, you might feel energetic and really alert. These effects are extremely short term, and when they wear off, the body suddenly realizes it has no energy, and this usually leads to exhaustion and extreme hunger, often satisfied by binge eating.
Power Foods are your Best Bet
I’m a firm believer in power foods. My preferred choice of power foods is as follows:
- white beans
- soy beans
- sea vegetables
Heed these tips and see your energy begin to skyrocket.
What do you eat or drink for energy?