8 Foods to Boost Energy

Photo credit: Vi Cult CC-BY-SA-3.0

The saying, “You are what you eat” rings so true for many of us, and who doesn’t want more energy on a daily basis? This article highlights 8 readily available foods to keep energy levels up and spirits high.

WATER

Though technically not a food, water is our number one essential life force! Did you know that at the first moment of thirst, our bodies are already in dehydration mode? Thirst is the body’s signal of a desperate need to hydrate. Water helps to carry nutrients to your cells, and many of us are lacking hydration on a daily basis. At the first sign of sluggishness, drink a large glass of water. Chances are, you’ll perk up! You will always feel best when you are properly hydrated.

FRESH FRUIT

Fruits contain carbohydrates and sugar, both of which turn to glucose and all of which have gotten a bad wrap in recent years. But in proper doses, they are essential for your body to function energetically. Glucose is easily metabolized into quick energy, making fruits a great pre-workout snack. Some great choices include bananas, grapes, apples, citrus fruits and dates.

NUTS

Nuts contain great healthy protein, fats and fiber that help keep you full. They contain an array of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, and are high in omega-3s. Nuts also contain magnesium, which helps the body convert nutrients into energy.  A small handful (about ¼ cup) packs a powerful energy punch.

EGGS

There’s a reason why eggs have been a staple breakfast food for centuries. Eggs are full of amino acids such as leucine, which plays an integral role in how muscles use glucose. Eggs also contain B vitamins such as riboflavin, folate, B12 and B6, vitamins all essential for energy production. Because of this, eggs are said to be helpful with endurance training.

Having a proper breakfast also jump-starts your metabolism for the rest of the day, so eat those eggs!

QUINOA

Quinoa is one of “nature’s perfect foods” and boasts itself as one of the most protein rich foods that we can eat. It is a complete protein on its own, meaning that it contains all 9 essential amino acids. Quinoa is high in Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), which helps in the production of energy within our cells. B2 also improves energy metabolism within brain and muscle cells, and helps cells release energy from carbohydrates, fats and proteins.

DARK LEAFY GREENS

Green leafy vegetables are true nutritional powerhouses and are some of the most nutrient-dense foods in existence. They are packed with vitamins and minerals that contribute to stable blood sugar levels that in turn help maintain energy levels. Dark leafy greens are also full of iron, which is essential in maintaining red blood cell health throughout the body. Red blood cells are full of oxygen, and iron allows for them to move around at maximum potential. Greater oxygen distribution leads to more alertness and higher concentration capabilities. Popeye was definitely onto something!

KOMBUCHA

Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that has amazing detoxifying and probiotic properties. These detoxifying effects allow for your body as a system to function to its greatest potential. This means that on a cellular level, things are running smoothly and your body can use its energy sources efficiently. In short, this means more energy for you!

DARK CHOCOLATE

We’re talking the good stuff here. In small amounts, dark chocolate with higher cacao content can have some positive effects on your energy levels. Besides containing a small (and safe) amount of caffeine, it contains vitamins and a stimulant similar to caffeine called theobromine. When choosing a bar, the darker the better. If you can also keep the ingredient list to a minimum, this ensures whole ingredients that are less processed and easier for your body to process and reap the benefits.

Beachbody

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About Robin R.
I’m an AFPA certified personal trainer & nutrition consultant, NASM certified corrective exercise specialist, NASM certified youth exercise specialist, online fitness coach and freelance writer specializing in health and fitness. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health. I specialize in weight loss, functional strength training, total body toning, aerobic conditioning, plyometric training, nutrition planning, and home-based boot camp style workouts for women. My goal is to make every personal training session fun and effective for my clients. My services include both in-home personal training and online fitness coaching.

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