4 Nutrition Tips for More Energy
Boosting your energy is about more than just battling daytime fatigue.
Low energy can impact your performance at work or at school, and it can also mean that you have less bandwidth for things like exercising, cooking healthy meals, and being present for your friends and family. Even worse, it can go in a cycle, with a lack of energy throughout the day leading to poor eating, exercise, and sleep habits that make it difficult to ever find the balance you need to feel your best.
Fortunately, there are things that you can start doing right now to feel more energized and break the cycle—and that includes easy changes to your diet. Below, we’re sharing four tips on how you can improve your energy levels through what you eat (and what you don’t eat). Here’s what to know.
1. Skip the Energy Crashers
They may seem like a quick fix, but you’re better off ditching, or at least minimizing, your consumption of caffeinated beverages with added sugars, such as soda, sugary coffees, and energy drinks.
While these sorts of products might provide you with a short boost in energy, it’s often followed by a caffeine crash, which can in turn lead to poor sleep, irritability, and an inability to focus.
Instead, drink lots of water , which will help you stay more hydrated (and thus more alert). To mix it up, you can also try low-calorie flavored water (we love LaCroix!) or unsweetened tea. If you’re set on coffee, limit yourself to no more than 200mg per day, and make sure not to drink it too close to bedtime.
2. Eat Regularly
Your overall diet is key for maintaining energy, and it usually requires that you eat something balanced and healthy every three to four hours, as opposed to relying on two or three heavy meals a day. Doing so will help fuel your metabolism, and will also ensure that you’re not lacking in any key vitamins or nutrients.
As a good rule of thumb, always have healthy snacks available and don’t let yourself get overly hungry before you eat. While you’re at it, honor your hunger and fullness cues, and aim to eat intuitively rather than just on a set routine.
3. Eat right
What you eat has as much of an effect on your energy as when you eat it. To stay alert, incorporate more energy-boosting foods into your day, including whole grains, lean proteins, and fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. And make sure to limit your consumption of the types of food that will only drag you down, including processed foods, greasy foods, and foods with refined ingredients and high amounts of added sugar.
Snacking often gets a bad rap, but it’s important to distinguish between the type of snacking that will improve your energy and the type of snacking that will zap it.
Snack smart, focusing on foods that provide you with a combination of protein and fiber-rich carbs. For example, low-sugar granola bars, unsalted nuts, whole grain crackers and hummus, or some Greek yogurt with fresh berries. Not only will you be less likely to indulge in the foods that work against your energy levels, you’ll also feel more satisfied throughout the day—a good recipe for optimizing your overall well-being.
Want more healthy living tips? Check out our blog, where you’ll find plenty more inspiration for feeling better, eating better, and living your best life.