Energy Boosting Foods
How to Keep Your Motor Revving
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We have all experienced that sagging of energy in the mid-afternoon. A nice power nap would be great, but there is too much work to do... and someone might say something when you unroll your sleeping bag on the desk.
What you choose (or not) to eat could be the root cause of your lack of energy. Skipping breakfast, or grabbing something high carbohydrate along with a cup of coffee, can be a major contributor to the energy problem.
Carbs give a momentary jolt of energy, but this fades very quickly and leaves your body craving more nourishment.
Most fast-food carbs spike your blood sugar, but quickly leave your body calling out for more. When you don't eat properly, you energy lags.
Instead of looking at a candy bar to recharge your batteries, you should consider redefining your entire menu. The best approach is to eat a number of small, nutritious meals during the day.
Here is a list of foods that will boost your energy levels for the whole day (and night):
- Oatmeal - A great breakfast or midmorning snack. Oats are high in fiber and low on the glycemic index. You get a flow of energy that lasts a long time, rather than a quick spike.
- Coffee - The second most popular beverage in the USA. Caffeine is what gives it the boost. One or two cups it the recommended dosage, as more will be counter productive, often producing a mild withdrawal symptoms and fatigue.
- Lentils, Navy Beans, Chickpeas and Kidney Beans - These legumes provide good carbs and protein and are a great source of fiber. They are low in fat and calories. If your metabolism isn't used to beans, start with a small portion to avoid flatulence.
- Water - Your body needs water to generate energy by allowing the digestion and absorption of nutrients. When you are dehydrated your cells are less efficient in processing nutrients for energy.
- Bananas - Easily digested natural sugars. Also they provide potassium that helps maintain nerve and muscle function. Other fruits also make good, energy-boosting snacks; apples, grapes, peaches and pineapples.
- Sardines - These little fish are loaded with the amino acid tyrosine. When ingested it helps your brain to manufacture chemical "uppers" that give you better brain function.
- Chocolate - The semi-sweet varieties can help boost energy with their sugars, but also improve anemia, aid in digestion and increase sexual appetite. The latter characteristic may help keep you alert.
- Steak - You carnivores will love this. Red meat has the most readily absorbed iron, an element necessary to good cellular function. Avoid that Big Mac, however, and go for a small sirloin and a nice salad.
- Healthy Fats - from almonds, avocados, seeds and nuts. Good fats provide essential fatty acids (Omega 3 and Omega 6) that will produce an alert mental state.
- Yogurt - Magnesium rich yogurt can provide an energy boost. Magnesium activates enzymes that help metabolize protein and carbohydrates. Other low-fat dairy foods are good; cheeses, cottage cheese, skim milk and kefir.
In summary, we need to have a diet of lean meats, good carbohydrates and lots of water.
A little caffeine in the form of coffee or tea, but restrict it to a couple of cups a day. Eat a number of small meals during the day and don't skip breakfast.
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