Tired of being tired? Believe it or not, what and when you eat can play a big role in your energy levels. Here are 4 foods to boost your energy:
1. Green tea – You’ve heard it a million times, but I’m going to say it again. Green tea is full of antioxidants and caffeine that is much less acidic than coffee. If green tea is a little too “grassy” tasting, try Matcha Tea. I’ve used matcha tea in protein bars, smoothies, lattes and muffins too. Check out my website for my recipes- http://www.strive-365.com/matcha-tea-recipes/
Matcha tea is:
- a mood-enhancing, antioxidant powerhouse
- a natural weight loss aid, pH balancer and detox agent
- a sugar-free coffee substitute without the jitters
2. Protein – This is the ultimate blood sugar stabilizer and should be eaten several times throughout the day. Do you usually have an energy slump in the afternoon? You probably didn’t have enough protein in your lunch. Try adding chopped, cooked chicken or tuna to your salad or bringing leftovers from the night before. It’s the carb-y lunches of pasta or fruits and veggies without a side of protein that will put us in that slump. It’s also a reason to pack a protein rich snack for the afternoon, like Greek yogurt or hummus and veggies.
3. Water! – If you are dehydrated, you are going to drag your butt. It’s true! Stay hydrated with 6-8 cups of water every day and see the difference that it makes.
4. Iron-rich foods – We need iron to produce hemoglobin, the main component of red blood cells. Hemoglobin acts by transporting oxygen to cells in your body, where it is used to produce energy. If your iron stores are low, your red blood cells can’t supply as much oxygen to the cells, resulting in poor energy. There are two sources of iron in food:
- Heme: The most absorbable form of iron. Found in red meat, organ meats and eggs.
- Non-heme: A less absorbable form of iron. Found in iron-enriched cereal, dark green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and some dried fruit. To increase the absorption of non-heme iron, eat with vitamin C-rich foods; add strawberries to cereal or have it with an orange.
Another important thing to consider is how you eat, more specifically how often you eat. You know how you feel after a big turkey dinner? A full tummy and eyes that just want to close? If we eat smaller, more frequent meals, our energy levels stay high. The trick is to keep those meals small (around 200-400 calories each) and include a source of lean protein at each meal. Eat often, re-fueling with the right foods and drink you water and your energy will return in leaps and bounds!