Who couldn’t use more energy? Especially throughout the Summer heat (at time of writing currently 40 degrees, hence feeling a bit jaded!) Most of us don’t have enough energy, and when we’re feeling especially low, our go-to foods and drinks tend to be high in carbohydrates, especially from sugar and/or caffeine. Those things will give us a temporary boost, but it’s often followed by a crash.
So what to eat to improve our energy levels?
We actually have a lot of options that are healthier than what’s found in most vending machines, and the list probably includes a lot of foods you like but didn’t know that could, in fact perk up in that morning and/or the mid-afternoon slump.
We do need certain nutrients to feel healthy and energized. That’s not because they’re stimulants, like caffeine, but because our body uses them to produce energy at the cellular level. That’s what really fuels rather than just speeding things up artificially for a little while.
Some of these energy-producing nutrients include;
* I have included “what they do for us” just for information!
A B complex vitamin usually delivers eight of the B vitamins, B complex vitamins help the body make energy from the food we eat, form red blood cells, and play an essential role in certain bodily functions.
Carnitine is a substance found in the cells of the body, mostly in the skeletal muscles and heart muscles. It’s necessary for energy production because it transports long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria to be burned for energy. *Mitochondria are the working organelles that keep the cell full of energy.CoQ10 Coenzyme Q10 is a compound found naturally in your body. Known to have antioxidant effects, it is essential for the proper functioning of your cells; one of its main jobs is to aid in the production of energy
Creatine is a naturally occurring substance made from amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Creatine is produced in the liver, kidneys, and pancreas; 95 percent of it is found in muscles, with the rest located in the brain, heart, and testesIron is necessary for producing haemoglobin and myoglobin, two proteins that carry oxygen in the blood.
Magnesium is a major mineral that is needed for so many things, including muscle and nerve function (including the heart muscle), energy production, healthy blood sugar levels, and bone health.
Protein Our bodies use protein to build just about everything. Skin, hair, muscles, organs, even the haemoglobin in blood is made of protein.
Potassium The bulk of our body’s potassium is found inside cells. Life, as we know it, would not be possible without potassium, and not just to the functioning of the human body.
Potassium, in fact, is necessary for normal function of virtually all living organisms.
When looking at fatigue fighters, we also have to look at carbohydrates and protein;
Carbohydrates, which come from sugary foods and grains; gives that quick energy burst, but then your tank runs dry again before long.
Protein and the other nutrients listed above, on the other hand, are better for endurance—long-lasting energy. So the best thing to do is combine carbs with these nutrients. That way, you get an immediate boost but can keep going for the long haul instead of plunging back into sleepiness once you burn off the carbs.
Part two to follow, where we will look further at the best types of foods that will help with fatigue, we will take a look at each one and see which foods have high levels of the vitamins and minerals that give you energy so you know what the best options are, not just for afternoons when you’re fading, but to keep you from fading in the first place!