How often do you wake up exhausted and have to drag yourself out of bed? If your answer is Monday through Friday, chances are you drink caffeinated beverages every morning to make it through the work day.
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While these drinks may give you a temporary energy boost, you’ve probably experienced the crash as well, which often makes you feel worse than you did beforehand. Luckily, there’s a simple way to prevent yourself from becoming tired in the first place: eating.
Well, it’s not quite that easy – you can’t just eat anything – there are specific foods that can provide a significant boost in your energy. The key is to eat them instead of items that are high in caffeine and sugar, especially coffee, soda, and so-called energy drinks. These products create a false energy, deplete minerals, and can even effect sleep patterns resulting in an endless cycle of fatigue.
However, since giving them up all together can be challenging, start by having them in moderation. The good news is that you’ll likely lose interest in them when you feel the natural effects of the following foods.
- Almonds provide essential fatty acids (omega-3s and omega-6s) that produce an alert mental state. They are also high in protein, which increases mental focus. Have a handful as a snack, mix them into your breakfast, or add them into your favorite dessert.
- Bananas contain a lot of potassium, an electrolyte that helps maintain normal nerve and muscle function. Since they are high in natural sugars, they give an instant and sustained boost of energy. Keep a bunch on your counter for a quick snack, pair with any breakfast item, or chop up into a dessert.
- Oats are low on the glycemic index, which means that your body gets a steady stream of energy as their carbohydrates flow into your bloodstream. They are also high in B vitamins, which help transform carbs into energy. Oats make a perfect breakfast (hot or cold) and can be found in many bars and granola.
- Coconut Water is full of electrolytes, which keep your body hydrated and energized, and is thought to enhance sports performance. It is available in juice boxes and cans at natural markets, and occasionally you can get whole coconuts cracked open at health shops and cafes. (Read our review on Zico All Natural Coconut Water)
- Water is crucial to every part of your body, including energy generation. It aids in the absorption of nutrients, regulates body temperature, and prevents dehydration. Without adequate amounts of water, your body will struggle and will therefore become fatigued. Keep a cup or reusable bottle full at all times and make it a habit to drink as much as possible.
Remember that energy is a result of a healthy body, so make sure that these foods are part of a balanced diet and an active lifestyle. Start out by adding the above to your meals; slowly incorporate other healthy fats, lean proteins, and whole grains; then reduce your intake of oily and sugary foods. Schedule shorts periods of cardio in your day, even if it’s just a brief walk around the block – keeping your body active will boost your energy and result in restful sleep.