We all know the definition of inertia…an object at rest tends to stay at rest; while an object in motion tends to stay in motion. So, tip number one…MOVE! That’s right folks, studies have shown that those who exercise at least 30 minutes a day tend to have more energy through out the day than those that don’t. So the next time you want to cancel on your trainer at the last-minute in deference to another hour or so of sleep, or because you need the rest, recharging by making you appointment will feel better than being charged for missing it!
Now, with the amazing landing of Curiosity just last week, NASA is exploring Mars looking for life. And what sign is most likely going to give them an idea that life is or has been on the Red Planet? Water. Exactly! So my friends, if you want to fuel up…drink up. I won’t go into much discussion here since I saturated you with this topic last week. But suffice it to say that being hydrated will keep you motivated!
Consuming potassium-rich foods like a banana, coconut water, broccoli or potatoes are another way to ensure sustained energy throughout the day. However, remember, boiling depletes potassium levels. For example, a boiled potato has almost half the potassium of a baked potato. So, in order to get more miles out of your potassium, eat fruits and vegetables raw, or roast or lightly steam them.
The next on the list is always a must. Fuel up as soon as you get up! That means eat your breakfast! However people, coffee “regular”, a “danish” or a “piece of toast” isn’t breakfast. Eating a meal high in fiber and carbohydrates produces the highest level of alertness between breakfast and lunch reports a study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. A half cup of Wheat Bran contains 14 grams of fiber (almost half your recommended dose for the day). Add a half cup or more of hot water…it, along with your energy level, cooks up instantly!
Make energizing snacks a part of your daily routine. A marco-nutrient combination of protein and a complex carbohydrate increases blood glucose levels for sustained energy. The low glycemic value of the complex carbohydrate allows its energy, as well as the added protein, to be absorbed at a slower rate, fueling the tank for later use. A satisfying…one tablespoons of reduced sodium peanut butter on a slice of Ezekiel bread (low sodium, please).
When I hear some of you tell me what you eat during the day, I am amazed how little of your daily food regime is comprised of protein. While the daily amount of protein recommended for each individual is based on age, gender, weight and activity level, experts agree at least 1 gram of protein should be eaten for every kilogram (pounds/2.2) of body weight. Not enough protein in your diet will result in not enough energy in your day. Some high-quality protein sources include; eggs (and their whites), fish, poultry, lean beef, shellfish and lean cuts of pork (if you a not kosher), milk, non-fat Greek yogurt (plain), non-fat cottage cheese. I am sorry people, cheese is not an “ideal” source of protein. It tends to have too much sodium, fat (9 grams per ounce) and cholesterol. Besides, the body has a very hard time breaking it up and utilizing its amino acids.
Sometimes it’s too little of something in your diet, the next one my list (Number 7) is a result of having too much of something. Yes, while coffee initially raises stress hormones and gives the body a rush of energy, ingesting several cups or more per day can lead to a caffeine crash; leaving you sleepy and lethargic. If you are drinking too much and feeling sluggish, try gradually cutting back to one cup a day. Don’t try to cut it out cold turkey. Believe me when I tell you, from personal experience, caffeine withdrawal is not joke!
Ever wonder why batteries are called alkalines? They are so because the acid contained in them produces the energy needed to make them work. Such is true for number eight on my list. No, I don’t want you to eat batteries. But I do want you to increase the amount alkaline-forming foods in your diet. They too will provide your battery with energy. Some figs, almonds, beets, dates, cantaloupe and celery are just a few to help give you a quick recharge.
That brings me to the last on the list. I know, I know. We’ve really only done nine so far and I promised you 10. But this one is so good, I’m gonna give it two slots. Are you ready? Please, if you want to increase your energy level, eat some…chocolate. There, I said it. I have said it before and here it is again, dark chocolate is not necessarily bad; especially in small amounts. Among its other healthful properties, such as providing as many antioxidants as blueberries, dark chocolate also contains a stimulant called theobromine which boosts your energy without the jitters brought about by too much caffeine. But be careful, you are only allowed one ounce a day. Ok Melissa? Too much will cause and energy surge and lead to an ultimate burn out.
There you have it my Soon-to-be Energizer Bunnies, in order to avoid a potential energy crash, don’t reach for that Five Hour stuff, fuel your body with the RIGHT foods, at the RIGHT times and in the RIGHT amounts and you’ll never be LEFT feeling out of sorts.