For those of you continuing your workouts despite the growing chill: firstly, congratulations. Secondly, be sure that you’re getting the most out of your exercise, not only through activity level or type but through diet. The following 10 high energy foods are sure to amp your day, whether boosting up a workout or staying alert and awake. Eating for energy IS possible.
10 High Energy Foods – Eating for Energy
It’s a good idea to avoid coffee for thirty minutes to an hour before working out, but the caffeine helps your stamina and endurance according to Molly Kimball, R.D. Green tea works the same way and comes with its own health benefits. Just be sure to nix the sugar, since it’s inflammatory and works against the caffeine.
Do you regularly experience post-workout muscle soreness? Try taking half a teaspoon of raw or ground up ginger, an anti-inflammatory food. Gingerol, shogaol, and zingerone are more effective than NSAIDS, according to a study published in the Journal of Pain. Try some ginger tea with a spoonful of honey and coconut milk while relaxing after your workout.
3. High Energy Foods Containing Vitamin B12
When you eat right and get regular exercise, and still can’t seem to muster enough energy, you may want to consider vitamin B12 for an energetic boost. According to researchers, up to 40 percent of Americans don’t get enough of this energy-producing vitamin, yet it is one of the best vitamins for energy around.
You can consume fish, eggs, dairy products, or meat—or go with a simple vitamin B12 supplement. And if you’d like other natural ways to boost energy and fight sleepiness, you can try various other natural energy boosters to amp up your day.
Quercetin helps your metabolism to increase endurance, and there’s a lot of it in an apple. This fruit is also easy to store and travel with, making it an ideal snack on a bike ride or run.
5. Tomato juice
The lycopene found in tomatoes limits damage caused by free radicals during intense exercise. Try to avoid canned varieties to keep away nasty bisphenol-A – a harmful endocrine disrupting chemical tied to numerous health complications. Be wary, too, of the sodium content of your chosen brand!
Ginseng can act as a stimulant similar to how caffeine does, but without any added stress. Ginseng helps to feed the adrenal cortex by offering nutrients it needs to create stress-free energy.
After running for 80 minutes, subjects in a University of California at Davis ate one of three items (100 calories of raisins, sports chews, or water) before embarking on an additional 5k run. Those who ate the raisins or chews ran a minute faster than the hungry water-guzzlers. UC Davis researchers believe that it’s because raisins have the carbohydrates to keep blood sugar levels steady during a workout.
Appalachian State University researchers say that bananas can keep you going just as well as sports drinks can—but with much less inflammatory sugars Bananas are full of carbohydrates to power you through and vitamin B6 to convert those carbs into energy. The potassium in bananas also leads to a boost in energy, and helps prevent muscle cramps. For longer workouts, eat half of a banana every 15 minutes.
Eating for energy doesn’t get much easier when speaking of beets, which are among the best high energy foods. Researchers believe the beetroot juice may work to boost stamina by affecting how the body processes nitrate into nitric oxide, thereby reducing the amount of oxygen burned by the body during a workout. Several studies find similar results to one by Saint Louis University, which found that runners who ate a 7-ounce serving of baked beets a little over an hour before running a 5k finished 3 percent faster overall and 5 percent faster in the last stretch Just be sure the beets are locally harvested or non-GMO!
According to researcher Professor Andy Jones:
“We were amazed by the effects of beetroot juice on oxygen uptake because these effects cannot be achieved by any other known means, including training…I am also keen to explore the relevance of the findings to those people who suffer from poor fitness and may be able to use dietary supplements to help them go about their daily lives.”
10. Greek yogurt
This food is loaded with protein, perfect for a post-workout or evening snack. You’ll repair tired muscles and make more overnight. With a spoonful of honey, its creamy texture will give you all you could ever want from a dessert without the caloric hit, too.
Beyond High Energy Foods – 3 Additional Tips
- Colon Cleanse – Compacted fecal matter stuck in the intestinal tract can cause a huge surge of tiredness and leave you feeling lethargic. Left to rot, the compacted matter often compromises the health of the colon, which severely hinders your ability to fight off disease and operate on normal levels. If you have never cleansed your colon before, it is long overdue.
- Fast – While eating for energy can work, fasting can be an excellent method for cleansing the body and providing energy. The body spends up to one-third of its energy on digestion and elimination. By engaging in a fruit fast or vegetable fast, you are giving your body a rest and allowing it to cleanse and work more properly overall – improving overall health and energy levels.
- Digestive Enzymes – Individuals often lack energy because their body is unable to break down food efficiently. Digestive enzymes help to break down proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and fiber, leading to the body’s ability to utilize vitamins and nutrients.
Remember that it’s best to snack on 200 to 300 calories of healthy carbs and protein about an hour before a workout. Don’t forget to hydrate with 8 ounces of water an hour before your workout and between 4 and 6 ounces of water every 15 minutes of intense exercise.