10 Energy Foods
Feeling sluggish? Get an instant boost with these natural and easy food solutions.
“High-fiber whole grain cereals slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream which ultimately translates to more consistent energy levels throughout the day. Sudden increase of glucose in the blood, which occurs after eating refined carbs like candy causes spikes in blood sugar, and excess insulin production from the pancreas,” Moskovitz says. “Insulin is responsible for getting the glucose out of the blood and into cells. When glucose levels get high too quickly so do insulin levels.” Energy Tip: Some fortified whole grain cereals are loaded with nearly all the important vitamins and minerals. Moskovitz recommends General Mills Fiber One. Look for a cereal that has at least 5g of fiber or more per serving. Pour over a glass of skim milk or nonfat Greek Yogurt for extra protein.
5. Trail Mix
“Nuts and dried fruit are the ideal combination of healthy fats, fiber and protein. While refined carbs that are void of fiber quickly break down into glucose for short bursts of energy, fiber helps slow down glucose-release so there is always a steady supply. Similar to fiber, protein also slows down metabolism of carbs and repairs muscle damage to prevent post-training soreness. Fats such as nuts, seeds and oils are notorious for providing long-lasting energy particularly for longer runs or swims over an hour. Since carbs are the first macronutrient to get used during activity, they can become easily depleted at which point the body relies on energy from fat,” Moskovitz says. Energy Tip: To avoid excess sugars and oils that can be added to many popular trail mixes get creative and make your own! Combine all your favorite raw nuts such as pistachios, almonds or peanuts with seeds plus dried fruit. Add in some whole grain cereal or pretzels to pack in more fueling carbohydrates.
One of the most important determinants of your energy levels is hydration status Moskovitz says. “Dehydration kicks in much sooner and harder than starvation. Water is responsible for transporting all nutrients in the blood that we use for energy as well as getting rid of waste build-up that leads to fatigue. Without enough water, we cannot metabolize the food we eat into fuel and ultimately cease to function properly. Always drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially before and during workouts.” Energy Tip: Divide your total weight by two to get the total fluid ounces recommended per day, Moskovitz recommends. Add an additional 20-30 ounces per hour of exercise to ensure adequate hydration. Think that sounds like a lot? “Most people need a minimum of 8-10 cups per day without exercise,” says Moskovitz.