Of course I am going to tell you that the two most effective ways to boost energy are to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night and exercise – Take this afternoon, for example, I was so tired and did not think I could make it through spin class this evening (and in the front row next to the instructor!), however I pushed myself and made the effort and, wow, I feel super recharged right now! In addition, research indicates that exercise increases dopamine activity, helping people concentrate and stay focused – a treatment for individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) perhaps?
So, we know that sleep and exercise boost energy… What else? What are some other ways to help get through those dreadful Mondays? It is important to consider that what we put inside our bodies can have a large impact on our energy levels. For one, always hydrate (3L or 13 cups for men and 2.2L or 9 cups for women each day), and hydration does not always need to come in the form of water in a glass – We often fail to realize that many foods we eat have a high water content… celery, cucumbers, and mushrooms, to name a few!
Lastly, I will provide some food suggestions to add to our diets that will give us that extra ‘kick’ to get through the day! First, it is critical to note that our meals and snacks need to consist of complex carbohydrates (as opposed to simple carbohydrates which will lead to the inevitable “fast crash”) and protein to maintain our satiety – and, always aim for 4 to 6 small meals each day and eat every 3 to 4 hours to keep energy levels steady. A good rule of thumb is to add protein to any carbohydrate we ingest… for example, adding hummus or almond butter (protein source) to celery (carbohydrate source) or adding berries (carbohydrate source) to non-fat Greek yogurt (protein source).
Other foods to include in our diet to boost energy and maintain satiety include:
- Beans and Lentils
- Nuts (eg. almonds, cashews, or walnuts)
- Seeds (eg. sunflower, hemp, chia, or flax)
- Non-fat Greek yogurt
- Whole grains
- Sweet potatoes
Be sure not eat any of these energizing foods (rich in complex carbohydrates, protein, antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals) in excess – even too much of a good thing can be detrimental to our health! Moderation is key!
If you have any questions or additional advice, please comment below!