What you eat can help keep you healthy and energetic throughout the day if planned properly. The trick to boosting your energy is to maintain a balanced level of blood sugar and to eat meals that are high in fiber, combine complex healthy carbs with protein, and contain small amounts of healthy fats.
What Causes Fatigue and Lack of Energy?
Fatigue is what you feel when you are tired or lack energy. It's not the same as feeling sleepy or drowsy. Though drowsiness can be a symptom of fatigue, it's not the same thing.
Fatigue can be a normal bodily response to poor sleep, overexertion, skipping meals, not drinking enough water, eating too many refined carbohydrates, stress, lack of exercise, or boredom. Here are some of the key drivers of fatigue:
- Skipping meals or having meals irregularly can cause increased levels of fatigue during the day.
- Eating lots of processed foods high in sugar and fat can negatively impact both your energy levels and overall wellness.
- Dehydration can have a huge impact on your brain function, mood, and energy levels, so not drinking enough water during the day can result in low energy levels and fatigue.
- Stress-related emotions not only cause a negative mood but also consume huge amounts of energy, resulting in low energy levels during the day. Talking to a friend or family member, joining a support group, or seeing a mental health professional can help reduce stress. Relaxation therapies such as meditation, yoga, and tai chi are also effective in reducing stress.
- Though alcohol can make you sleepy, it can affect the quality of your sleep. If you drink regularly, limiting your alcohol intake can help increase your energy levels.
In normal circumstances, you can resolve fatigue with rest, proper sleep, stress management, and a good diet. But if you persistently feel fatigued and no measures you’ve taken are helping, it could be a sign of an underlying physical or mental disorder. Other common causes of fatigue include allergies, asthma, anemia, chronic pain, heart disease, infections, depression, eating disorders, insomnia, thyroid problems, and side effects of medication.
Natural Foods to Boost Your Energy Levels
It’s key to know both the foods that are natural energizers and how to eat them to boost your energy levels. The food you eat is your first source of energy. If you don't think that what you are eating is covering the energy that you spend, try increasing the number of meals you have during the day or having snacks. Also, if you increase your activity level, you need to increase your calorie intake to maintain your energy levels and weight.
To boost your daily energy level, try adding these foods to your diet:
1) Whole Grains and Complex Carbohydrates
Of the three macronutrients, carbohydrates provide a faster energy source compared to protein and fat because they are your body's preferred fuel source. Refined carbohydrates such as sugar and white flour provide few nutrients. Choosing whole foods and complex carbohydrates will ensure that your body gets all the benefits and fiber from the grains.
2) Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are some of the best foods for fighting fatigue and hunger. Having a variety of nuts and seeds in your diet can provide you with healthy nutrients and energy. Try almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds. We recommend raw and unsalted nuts and seeds for your overall wellness.
Bananas are a great food for replenishing electrolytes, which are crucial for feeling strong during a workout or race. Bananas are loaded with potassium, fiber, vitamins, and the perfect amount of carbs to give you a great natural boost of energy.
Different varieties of beans share a similar nutrient profile. They stabilize your blood sugar because they take time to digest and contain fiber, protein, antioxidants, and carbohydrates. Beans are also a great source of folate, iron, and magnesium, which help produce and deliver energy to your cells.
The complex carbohydrates in oatmeal make it a slow-burning source of energy. Oatmeal also increases the production of serotonin, which can help you control stress and improve learning and memory function. It's best to go for the plain versions of instant oatmeal packets, steel-cut oats, or old-fashioned oats since they aren't loaded with added sugars.
Eggs are packed with protein, providing consistent, sustained energy. They also contain leucine, an amino acid known to improve energy production. It can help cells absorb more sugar from the blood, stimulate energy production in cells, and enhance the breakdown of fat for energy. Eggs are also high in B vitamins, which help enzymes convert food into energy.
7) Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate can be an easy way to boost your energy. Rich dark chocolate generally has a lot less sugar than milk chocolate. Less sugar means less instant energy and more cacao means that you get more of the benefits of cocoa, such as helpful antioxidants like flavonoids.
8) Leafy green
Leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, and collard greens are high in vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as B vitamins. These nutrients are essential for converting food into usable energy.
Coffee contains caffeine, a stimulant that increases energy levels and reduces fatigue by modifying the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain.
Vivoo is an at-home urine test that measures 9 wellness parameters like hydration, vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, and ketone levels, among many others. After taking a test, the Vivoo App scores you on your overall wellness and provides you with detailed feedback on each wellness parameter. But best of all, it shares personalized nutritional and lifestyle advice based on your results to help you improve. Why not start your wellness journey now?