Supporting healthy energy levels requires a holistic approach. Getting enough sleep, exercising routinely, and managing stress are all key to helping your body function efficiently, even on demanding days. However, few things directly impact your energy stores as quickly and effectively as a proper diet. These food choices are great options that offer numerous health benefits while helping your body stay energized.
Carbohydrates get a bad rap these days, but this nutrient plays a vital role in supporting the cellular respiration process. Your body uses carbohydrates to manufacture ATP, which helps transport energy to your cells for storage and use. While simple carbs, such as sugar and white bread, only give a quick burst of energy, complex ones provide a steady supply because they take longer to digest and process. Oatmeal is an excellent type of complex carbohydrate that provides protein and fiber as well.
Another type of complex carbohydrate, bananas are rich in a variety of nutrients that help keep your body energized, even during or after an intense workout. They’re also rich in potassium, which helps support healthy electrical impulses throughout the body. Maybe it’s time to make the switch from “an apple a day” to a banana instead.
Full of energy-supporting protein, nuts are often a part of virtually every healthy diet out there. While they are relatively high in fat, these types of fats are important for energy storage and supply as well, but they’re much better for your heart than the ones you find in animal products. In fact, they can actually help support a healthy cardiovascular system.
Eggs are a popular food choice for many reasons. They’re versatile, economical, easy to find, and easy to prepare. They’re also a great source of protein, making them a wise choice if you want to maintain a steady flow of energy throughout your day. Eggs are one of the few natural food sources that are high in vitamin D as well.
When it comes to lean protein, few options offer such a nutrient-dense option in an overall healthy package quite like chicken. Go for all-white meat to limit unnecessary fats while still enjoying all the flavors of this excellent energy source. Grill or saute a large batch at the start of every week and add it to salads, sandwiches, pasta, or wraps throughout the week.
6. Caffeinated Beverages
While many people think caffeine is strictly a guilty pleasure, this naturally occurring substance can have numerous health benefits when consumed in moderation. It’s an excellent option for a quick burst of energy that also helps support focus and concentration. Drinking a small cup of coffee with breakfast or as an afternoon pick-me-up can be helpful. However, too much can have adverse effects and can even have addictive properties, so aim to keep it well under 400 milligrams a day.
7. Caffeine-Free Beverages
Caffeinated drinks can have their perks, but keeping your body hydrated is much more important. In fact, it helps keep your body functioning efficiently and can even fight fatigue. Aim to consume between two and three liters of water on a daily basis. Keep in mind that every caffeinated beverage should count against your water intake, not as part of it; caffeine works as a diuretic, so drink an extra glass of water when you enjoy caffeinated tea, coffee, or soda.
8. Brown Rice
Another complex carbohydrate that offers immense nutritional benefits is brown rice. This healthy grain is rich in fiber and can be very effective at keeping you satiated for long periods of time. It’s also rich in magnesium and B vitamins, two nutrients that many adults simply don’t get enough of. Finally, it’s a great source of antioxidants, making it a wise choice to both energize and protect your body.
If you want to keep your body going throughout the entire day, be sure to nourish it with foods that support steady, balanced energy levels. Adding more nutrient-dense foods to your diet can also support better overall health.