Below I have listed 5 of the fastest ways to boost your energy with food, and here’s a tip: If your energy is so low that you can’t imagine trying to fit in 5 new things then just start with one. After you have that one new habit established then add in another. Before you know it you will have many go-to options for staying energized.
The simplest way to get a boost, ever! Hydration is key to avoiding energy crashes. This makes sense when you think about the fact that water is responsible for transporting all nutrients that we use for energy in the blood, as well as getting rid of waste build-up that leads to fatigue. Adding lemon transforms plain water into a natural energy drink that is packed with electrolytes.
The bottom line is that when we don’t have enough water in our body, we cannot efficiently metabolize the food we eat into fuel, causing us to feel sluggish and fatigued. For more info check out this study which found that even mild dehydration impaired mood and energy.
#2 Trail Mix
Nuts and dried fruit are a terrific combination of healthy fats, fiber and protein, and are an ideal energy sustaining food.
In order to avoid excess sugars and highly processed oils that can be added to many store bought trail mixes, the best option is to make your own. Combine all your favorite raw nuts such as pistachios, cashews, almonds, or walnuts, with seeds, peanuts, and dried fruit.
Cashews, almonds, and hazelnuts are high in magnesium, which plays a key role in converting sugar to energy!
All dark leafy greens are a wonderful source of energy; however, let’s keep things simple by focusing on one of the most popular greens, broccoli.
Not only does it have the properties found in all dark leafy greens such as helping to improve circulation, naturally detoxifying the body, and strengthening the immune system, but it’s also touted for its incredible cancer-fighting qualities. In addition it’s packed with fiber, folate, vitamins A and C, potassium, and B2 which fuels metabolism and has cell-protecting antioxidants.
If you’re looking for a delicious new way to prepare broccoli check out this recipe for Roasted Broccoli with Lemon and Garlic.
Quinoa is a great energy boost for a few reasons. First, it’s a gluten-free grain; this is good news for people who find that gluten causes brain fog and makes their energy take a nose dive. It also contains more protein than any other grain or rice and is so rich in amino acids that it is considered a complete source of protein. And last, it comes packed with folate, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese, making it a nutrient dense source of carbohydrates which supply long-lasting energy.
Dark chocolate is a perfect example of how making healthy choices doesn’t have to mean deprivation! It contains the natural stimulant theobromine, which is similar to caffeine and boosts your energy, your mood, and even improves brain function in the short term, as well as tryptophan—a precursor to serotonin and a compound that helps you feel calm.
For optimal benefits, select dark chocolate over milk chocolate because the darker the chocolate is, the higher the cacao content and the lower the sugar content. Two of my favorite dark chocolates (at least for the moment!) are Chocolove’s Strong Dark and Theo’s Dark Orange.