It’s no secret that humans are a tired bunch. But trying to pinpoint the cause of fatigue is near impossible. That’s because there are dozens and dozens of causes. The reasons can range from lack of sleep and anemia to medication side effects and not enough exercise. Oftentimes, the root problem has to be addressed on a deeper level.
But here’s a quick hint that might help you increase your energy: Food is a major contributor.
Unfortunately, many of us turn to artificial or unhealthy stimulants to give us the spark we need. Our gut reaction is to crave sugar, which is our body’s most immediately available form of energy. And it works. We get peppy and zippy and think all is well. But that simple-carb high is very soon followed by a crash, which leaves us feeling even more fatigued.
In a dream world, we want you to use quality sleep, regular exercise and stress management to restore your energy levels. But here’s how you can add food to your power-boosting arsenal:
Eat only when the sun is out (or supposed to be out): 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eat more early on and less later in the day, with no food within three hours of bedtime.
Dehydration is one of the leading causes of fatigue. If you’re not hydrated, your body expends extra energy to maintain its water balance. Keep water by you and sip it all day long. Drinking eight glasses per day is a good ballpark, but it’s also worth investing in a half-gallon thermos so you don’t have to worry about keeping count.
Fat is the most energy-dense food. Healthy fats (think salmon, nuts and avocados) let you take advantage of the slow energy release fat provides without all the risks of crashing.
Protein in lean meats (like chicken, turkey and salmon) are excellent for energy. You can also get protein in beans and nuts. Eating protein early in the day is crucial.
Coffee and tea:
You already know these are staples of an energy-boosting diet. Both are great and generally don’t give you the energy swings that sugar will, so it’s OK to have them provided you don’t load them with sugar and cream.
This article originally appeared in the March/April 2021 issue of SUCCESS magazine.
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