It’s tempting to grab an energy drink from the fridge when you hit that afternoon slump. Although energy drinks wake you up, they contain a lot of things that just aren’t good for you. Get energy the natural way by eating these five foods instead.
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Starting your morning with fresh fruit is a great way to have sustainable energy throughout the day. For example, the fructose in an apple beats out the caffeine in a cup of coffee to give you energy for the whole morning. While coffee fights drowsiness, it doesn’t actually supply your body with energy. The fructose, fiber, and Vitamin C in apples provide energy to the body. Other fresh fruits that promote energy include peaches, apricots, guava, dates, lemons, and limes. Start your day with a bowl of fresh fruit and track it in an app like Lifesum to kick-start your morning with a healthy habit.
Maca root is indigenous to Peru but is quickly growing as a top superfood in the United States. It has a lot of benefits, such as hormone balancing and mood elevating, but it also provides a natural energy boost. You won’t get the highs and lows you get with caffeine. Many people use Maca before or after the gym because it also has muscle-building properties. A little goes a long way to get the energy you need with this superfood.
Quinoa, a South American superfood, also boasts the ability to give you a natural boost. This grain is considered a complete source of protein because it’s so rich in amino acids. Quinoa also is high in magnesium, folate, lysine, and phosphorus. Eat it after your workout to help build muscle and fight fatigue. Quinoa is also perfect to replace simple carbs like rice and pasta. You may find quinoa tastes better, and you won’t get the sugar spike and crash you get from simple carbs and white flour.
There’s a good reason Popeye always ate spinach. It’s high in magnesium, iron, and potassium, which help to fight fatigue and can also give you more energy. It’s also light and low in calories, so it won’t make you feel bogged down. Throw some spinach in your morning smoothie, make a spinach salad for lunch, or steam it on the side for dinner. You’ll have more energy, and you’ll enjoy the many other benefits spinach provides.
Eggs are a great way to start your day because they’re high in protein. They also are full of Vitamin B, which converts food to energy. Many people use egg whites as a protein source in their post-workout shake, which is good since egg whites also have a lot of Vitamin D, which helps to maintain strong bones. Eggs are somewhat calorie dense, but don’t ditch the yolk. You’ll lose out on a lot of nutrients that way. Instead, make an omelet with one whole egg and a few egg whites to get the full effect without all the calories.
Energy drinks boost you up high and then drop you down low. You’ll inevitably crash from the rush of sugar and caffeine. Skip the energy drink and try getting energy from your food instead.