Diet for Increased Energy
One of the biggest problems getting in the way of us working out and excelling in our training programs is a lack of energy, so in this article we are going to look at ways to change our diet for increased energy.
With increased energy we can not only work out harder but we can have the mental will-power to overcome any junk foods that are attempting to break our waist-line and make all our hard efforts go to waste.
To gain a better understanding of energy let’s first look at the fundamentals.
Diet for Increased Energy:Fundamentals
It’s pretty obvious, the body produces energy through the food we consume and our muscles and organs use that energy depending on our activity level for that day.
The body obtains energy in a few different forms: natural stimulants, sufficient calories, pushing the metabolism to burn more fuel, and also exercise and sleep.
The foods laden with fats, refined grains, excess simple sugars and high caffeine content beverages spike our blood sugars and then result in a crash leaving us tired sometimes within just a couple hours.
On the other hand, fruits, veggies, sprouted grains, and healthy fats (example: olive oil and omega 3’s) provide a whole host of benefits including amplified energy.
To help your energy stay at a consistent level, it is recommended that you eat 5-6 small meals a day, this way your blood sugars are always stabilized.
Most importantly, breakfast is the key to maintaining a healthy weight and optimal balance in the body. This is because it simply sets the pace of your metabolism for the day and also prevents overeating between morning and noon.
Superb choices for increasing energy can be found in the following food lists:
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables lend a helping hand in different areas when it comes to energy, but these should be amongst your top picks for a source of energy. They assist in curbing inflammation, which causes the body to work harder and break down fat for energy. Moreover, fruits and veggies that contain lots of water content also provide substantial energy and clarity through the vitamins and minerals they supply.
- Blueberries are particularly high in fiber, manganese, and vitamin k. They enhance the cardiovascular efficiency of the heart. They are also a first rate antioxidant which boosts the body’s ability to rid itself of free-radicals (which cause cellular and tissue damage) as well as balance protein in the body.
- Watermelon has outstanding electrolyte content. It also contains vitamin C, lycopene, potassium and iron, all which work together to fight exhaustion.
- Citrus Fruits are fundamental energy enhancers. Additionally they contains minerals and dietary fiber. Some superior choices of citrus fruit are; grapefruits, oranges and lemons.
- Spinach is a great source of vitamin B (provides increased efficiency in energy metabolism), and folic acid (helps in muscle and tissue growth).
- Sweet Potatoes aid in energy production with their abundant amounts of vitamin c and a, as well as folic acid.
The secret to staying full longer after eating is eating a sufficient amount of grains with high fiber content and complex carbs. This nips overeating in the bud and provides you with first-rate nutrients.
- Oatmeal (the raw unprocessed kind) would be number one when it comes to grains. It satisfies and provides good energy. A perfect food for breakfast combined with nuts and some fruit. The B vitamins it holds convert the carbs into energy.
- Flax is a good choice to throw on salads, smoothies and even oatmeal. Its cholesterol busting powers and cleansing properties aid in proper digestion, which makes us feel lighter and more energetic. Just make sure to grind it to get the most use out of it since if it is in seed format it is hard for our digestive system to break down.
Meat and Alternatives
Meat and alternative protein sources offer high quality and quantity of protein which is used to rebuild and repair muscles and aid in function. The list contains foods that both have a good amount of protein and healthy fats.
- Yogurt is a very nutritious food with an adequate supply of: friendly bacteria, vitamin B2, B5, B12 and protein. Minerals that is possesses are; calcium, phosphorus, iodine, and zinc. Just make to check sugar content as some non-fat yogurts are culprits of having gut-busting corn sugars (see my article on Corn Sugar: Health Alert)
- Salmon and tuna are a great source of lean protein (amino acid-tyrosine). They’re filled with omega 3’s to offer excellent mental function and clarity.
- Nuts are very high protein and soluble fiber, which digests slowly giving you satiety and stable energy throughout the day.
Sure you might think that you can get all the nutrients from eating healthy all the time but it is in fact the sad part is that most of our foods have some sort of processing along the way and their freshness can be compromised (especially with fruits & veggies which are usually picked when they are not ripe so that by the time they get to the grocery store they have not gone bad.
Here is a list of supplements you can include in your diet to hit all the above points:
- High quality lean protein with no artificial sugars or preservatives (Try: Optimum 100% Natural Whey)
- Green tea extract for high quality antioxidants to prevent cell and tissue damage (Try: NOW Green Tea Extract)
- Multi-vitamin specific to gender as men and women require some different minerals (Try: Optimum Opti-Men or Optimum Opti-Women)
- Omega 3’s for optimal cardiovascular function (Try: NOW Ultra Omega-3)
- Natural fiber to promote digestive regularity and feeling of fullness (Try: Psyllium Husk Powder)
- Zinc, Magneisium and Vitamin B’s for optimal energy regulation and sleep (Try: NOW ZMA)
Have you had success with any of the tips above? Please leave a comment below to let me know what has worked best for you!