Have the impending holidays sucked up all your energy? Sometimes even that normal mid-day slum gets to the best of us. We're going to go through six different foods that are great for increasing your drive so that you're awake and alert all day long! AND all of these options are healthy for you and don't include large amounts of caffeine or sugar.
This is a whole grain cereal that provides long-lasting energy. It is rich in both minerals and vitamins which include iron, manganese, and vitamin B. It also contains a soluble fiber that forms a thick gel when combined with water. This gel prevents the stomach from emptying as quickly and ensures that the nutrients are taken up by the blood.
They're an excellent source of carbohydrates, potassium, and vitamin B6, all of which are great for boosting energy levels.
Surprise, surprise... water, the essence of life, is super important. Water is super important for all cellular and bodily functions, so if you're not drinking enough and get dehydrated all of those functions won't perform. To keep your body functioning at it's highest level you NEED to be hydrating properly, when you do you'll have more energy and not feel as fatigued.
SPINACH & KALE
These leafy greens are high in iron, calcium, fiber, potassium, folic acid, and vitamins. Fatigue is a common symptom of iron deficiency so eating spinach and kale will boost iron concentration in the blood and vitamin C, also in these greens, will help the blood absorb it.
Green tea has a high concentration of powerful antioxidants that prevent inflammation and any oxidative stress. This is the one option that contains caffeine which will help boost energy. However, green tea also has L-theanine which moderates some of the effects of caffeine. It's great for energy before physical activity as it increases the breakdown of fat and releases the hormone norepinephrine.
Hummus is made up of chickpeas, sesame seed paste, oil, and lemon. Chickpeas are a great source of carbohydrates and fiber which your body uses for steady sustained energy. The sesame seed paste and oil are healthy fats which slow the absorption of carbs so you won't experience any blood sugar spikes and will promote throughout-the-day energy.
TAKE HOME MESSAGE
Energy levels can make or break your day and your productivity plans. Caffeine in coffee and energy drinks is a very well known source that will wake you up. However, if you rely on caffeine too heavily you can become addicted and require it throughout the day just to stay awake and avoid an energy crash. The options above are great health-conscious alternatives that will help boost your energy, and all but one have no caffeine. Make your foods work double duty for you – great for an energy boost and your health goals.