Our busy lifestyles are full of stress yet lacking time and energy. We’ve come to not only want but expect quick fixes and “pick-me-ups” to make it through our days. Mainstream brand energy drinks only fix the symptoms of fatigue, but don’t combat the problem. The excess sugar, (copious amounts of) caffeine and other stimulants might provide a jolt of energy at first, but then you’ll either crash or slowly fade until it’s time to sleep, wake up, and repeat the cycle again.
Relying on unnatural, highly caffeinated beverages actually worsens the issue of chronic fatigue, in the long run, continuously shocking our nervous system, decreasing our immune system, and making us more susceptible to mood disorders and illness. What’s the alternative (aside from drinking FitTeam FIT, instead, of course 😉 )? While exercise, sleep, and stress management are critical in fighting fatigue, our nutrition is almost more important. What we eat creates either a healthy or a toxic internal environment that either helps us or hinders us from combating common health struggles.
5 Tips on Healthy Ways to Boost Your Energy:
- Drink Water
Our body is comprised almost entirely of water, so if there’s one thing you can do to boost energy, it’s this!
How so? Water creates the mechanism for our cells to both replenish and thrive and also flush toxins from our body. (Read more here!) The quality of your water is important, too. Carrying a large container of clean, purified drinking water is the best way to help remind yourself to stay hydrated. Adding some fresh citrus (lemons, limes, or oranges) wedges can enhance flavor and boost the vitamin C content and alkalizing properties, too! Not only that, with water on hand, you’ll always be ready to have a FIT or LEAN while on-the-go!
- Eat (or Drink) Plenty of Protein
From our previous post about the power of protein, we know that the amino acids in protein sources are responsible for muscle building, hormone balance, bone development, digestive and neurological functions all utilize protein in different ways. “Proteins are used every single day to keep the body going. Because they are used to develop, grow and maintain just about every part of our body – from our skin and hair to our digestive enzymes and immune system antibodies – they are constantly being broken down and must be replaced.”
Therefore, if we’re not fueling our body with the proper amount of protein, we struggle to operate optimally. As a result, our body has to over-extend its energy to try to fix the problems, which is exhausting! Having FitTeam LEAN packs in your purse, pocket, or gym bag is a quick and convenient way to get some protein before you’re in a slump.
- Balance Blood Sugar and Hunger
Planning your meal timing and quantity will help prevent you from either getting HANGRY, reaching for unhealthy options out of desperateness or overeating later in the day. Allowing yourself to get TOO hungry causes a drastic drop in blood sugar levels, which makes you tired. Steady blood sugar levels correlate to steady energy levels, so planning meals ahead of time is key!
Simple carbohydrates (typically anything white (ex. white bread, cookies, crackers, white potatoes) or with refined sugar) cause a spike and then crash in blood sugar, causing our nervous system to go crazy (similar to the effect soda or energy drinks have on us). Protein and fat slow the breakdown of sugar into the blood stream, so combining them with carbohydrates (preferably of a complex variety (ex. Whole grains) can reduce symptoms and even prevent fatigue when it comes to your blood sugar levels. The goal is to keep them steady!
- Eat Healthy Fats
Healthy fat sources such as those with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids reduce inflammation, and improve, hormone, skin, and digestive health, which is all good news for our internal environment, especially our gut! Gut health and proper function of our digestive system improve immunity, mood, and energy because our body is able to absorb and use all of the wonderful nutrients we’re nourishing it with! – YAY! Examples of quality Omega-3 food sources include: wild-fresh caught salmon, tuna, nuts, flax seeds, dark, leafy greens and hemp seeds. Omega-6 can be found in poultry, eggs, and nuts, and while it’s technically a saturated fat, coconut products, are extremely good sources of healthy fat, too! (That’s why it’s in our FitTeam LEAN!)
- Make sure You Get Your Magnesium
This miracle mineral, often called the “spark of life” gives you energy at a cellular level! It’s critical in the process of converting carbohydrates into energy our body can use, so when we’re feeling run down, it’s also possible we might actually be experiencing a magnesium deficiency. While you can take a supplement form, it’s important we aim to get our required magnesium from foods naturally, such as via whole grains, dark green vegetables, and nuts.
While there are “quick fixes” to increase your energy level, we challenge you to look at ingredients and aim for more natural, healthy sources. What does your body naturally need and crave to function at its best? That’s what you should aim for: quality, healthy forms of energy.
In Health & Happiness,
Certified Nutrition & Fitness Coach