When it comes to fighting that morning grogginess or afternoon slump, millions of us wash back a cup of coffee or grab an energy drink. Whatever the beverage of choice, we’re all looking for that magical ingredient caffeine, and the power it instills in us to tackle the day. Sadly, that feeling only lasts for so long until we’re back trying to get our next fix. There’s also a growing segment of energy bars or so-called “power bars.” Packing a decent amount of protein, fiber and carbohydrates, they’re designed to give you an energy boost on the go. However, unless you’re an athlete or train heavily, they add an unnecessary amount of calories to your diet. From The National Council on Strength & Fitness: “The bars may be used as a meal replacement for individuals on the go and may be a better snack choice than a donut or candy bar, but for the average person consuming them, as a supplement to a normal diet, it probably is no better than a daily vitamin.” While caffeine in natural forms such as coffee or green tea can be beneficial for energy levels in moderation, it alone is not a sound strategy. Here are five foods that can help:
Eggs are not only a good source of protein, but they also feature nutrients such as iron and B-vitamins, both essential for healthy energy levels. Two to three eggs at breakfast will make for a great start to the day, and if you’re worried about the fat content, it’s okay to have one whole egg followed by a few egg whites. You can also pack hard-boiled eggs in your lunch, and depending on your preference, they taste delicious with salsa.
Fresh Whole Fruit
Fresh fruit is a wonderful solution to your energy woes, and extremely convenient. Here’s a quick list to choose from:
The cartoons of Popeye becoming big and strong after eating spinach may be a bit farfetched, but it along with other leafy green vegetables, can help keep you buzzing along thanks to a high iron content. If spinach isn’t exactly your cup of tea, you can also opt for kale, broccoli, cabbage and romaine lettuce for example.
Nuts like almonds pack a lot of nutrients in a rather small package, and are also a great source of heart-healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. A couple handfuls is enough, and it’s worth noting that eating too many can definitely add up in the calorie department, which is easy considering how tasty they are. Try to get unsalted almonds if you can, and stay away from those with added sugar.
According to a report published in June 2013, nearly ¾ of Americans are dehydrated, and not getting the recommended eight to 10 cups of water per day. Water is not just important for optimal organ function, but a major ingredient in ensuring nutrients are delivered throughout the body. Hamper the ability for nutrients to be delivered and that leads to fatigue. With every flavor of soda imaginable, it can be tough drinking more water. However, you can make water more enjoyable to drink by adding a squirt of citrus juice such as an orange or lemon.