Getting an energy boost that can keep you going all day often means sacrificing good nutrition. Few foods give you the kick that a cup of coffee, a can of cola or a sugary candy bar can.
If you’re watching your weight, the challenge is finding foods that can not only give you a boost, but are good for you as well.
The goal in planning your daily diet is to focus on meals that are low in fat, high in fiber, contain protein and have complex carbs. This ensures a slow breakdown of sugars and regular energy throughout the day.
Having a good breakfast is the first and most important step in building up your energy stores to get through a busy day. Even if you aren’t particularly hungry, you should eat within four hours of waking.
What you eat for breakfast should account for about 25 percent of the day’s calories, so go for low-fat, high-fiber cereal and mild or a complex carb such as a bagel with juice. Avoid foods with a high level of simple sugars; the sudden energy boost will be quickly canceled out by a crash in energy later in the day.
Staying hydrated can also help. Drinking at least six glasses of water a day can keep you from feeling sluggish and tired.
In addition to water, another source of energy that’s good for you is Hair of the Dog, which comes in carb-free and sugar-free versions. Hair of the Dog is an energy beverage that contains 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C, milk thistle extract and patented detoxifiers, which protect the liver from the damage caused by toxins such as medications, pollutants and alcohol
Snacks can also provide the body with the energy it needs. Just be sure to choose wholesome snacks rather than those loaded with sugar or fat. Go for fruit, a few baby carrots, some cheese or a handful of nuts, a glass of milk, a few whole grain crackers or even a low-fat granola bar. Snacks that fit in your purse or can be stored in a desk drawer for easy access will ensure you get the quick boost you need when your energy starts to flag.
B12 is also a great option for those needing an energy boost. You can take a B12 supplement or eat foods high in B12 such as
- some fortified breakfast cereals.
- Control stress. Stress-induced emotions consume huge amounts of energy.
- Lighten your load. One of the main reasons for fatigue is overwork.
- Exercise. Exercise almost guarantees that you’ll sleep more soundly. It also gives your cells more energy to burn and circulates oxygen. And exercising can lead to higher brain dopamine levels, which helps elevate mood.
- Avoid smoking. Smoking actually siphons off your energy by causing insomnia. The nicotine in tobacco is a stimulant, so it speeds the heart rate, raises blood pressure, and stimulates brain-wave activity associated with wakefulness, making it harder to fall asleep.
- Monitor your sleep. Lack of sleep can cause a lack of energy but oversleeping can cause fatigue the next day. Try to get a full 8 hours if you can.
- Use caffeine to your advantage. If you are feeling an afternoon lag – try a cup of joe or even tea to boost yourself back up.
- Limit alcohol. The sedative effect of alcohol is especially strong at midday. Similarly, avoid a five o’clock cocktail if you want to have energy in the evening. If you’re going to drink, do so in moderation at a time when you don’t mind having your energy wind down.
With these tips, you can take on the day – full of energy 🙂