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It’s late afternoon, you’re often feeling tired and like you can’t focus anymore – does this sound familiar? It happens to most people. Some even lose all of their energy around noon, as soon as their coffee buzz goes away.
But why does this happen?
The truth might just be in our food; our snacks are actually fuel for the day! Some foods are just not that beneficial for you, especially when considering your energy levels throughout the day. Luckily, this also means that you can fix it.
Top Energy Foods
So, you are probably interested in learning about which foods can boost your energy. After all, you want to feel good throughout the day. You want to be able to work just as efficiently in the afternoon as you were in the morning.
Keep in mind that both type of food and quantity play a major role. So, if your plan is to, for instance, eat a dozen of bananas because you read here that they are great for energy, that will not work that well for you.
In essence, all food will give you energy. That’s what it does – if you eat it in proper amounts. However, some foods give you more energy than others and they maintain it as well.
Here is a list of foods that help promote your energy.
- Brown rice
- Fatty Fish
- Sweet potatoes
- Dark chocolate
- Goji berries
- Green tea
- Leafy greens
How Can You Increase Your Energy?
Now you know which foods are best at keeping you energized – that’s great! But, there is more to it. Your general lifestyle also determines your energy levels throughout the day. Stress, sleeping patterns and many other factors play a major role there.
So, without further ado, here are some things you can change in your life to be more energized and in a better mood.
This doesn’t mean sleep in until noon because that’s probably not possible for most adults. It actually means that you should get in bed on time and wake up on time. The best way to sleep is to relax for an hour or two before bed – doing some mild activities, enjoying yourself and so on. And then, falling asleep before 11 pm or midnight. This is the best time to fall asleep, considering that most adults won’t fall asleep before that. This gives you a lot of time to rest and it taps into your best sleep cycle.
Reduce Your Stress Levels
This is probably the hardest step you have to make. To put it simply, most of it is not on you. Situations are going to happen – work may be frustrating, your kids are going to do something you don't like, your bus is going to be late and so on. All of this causes stress. You don’t get to control any of this, no matter what you think. However, you do get to control your response to it.
One solution to stress-free life is to simply choose a more stress-free life. But since you clearly can’t just quit your job, leave your kids or avoid traffic completely, the next best thing is to change your perspective.
Start meditating, no matter how unimportant it may sound right now. Figure out where your calm place is and go there every time you feel stressed or anxious. Not literally go there but go there in your mind. Practice this for a while and learn to employ it in real life.
Dealing with everyday stressors will get so much easier.
If you are already swamped with various things from early morning to late in the night, it might feel impossible. But exercising really does give you more energy.
However, who says that you have to jog, use those machines or do a sport? No one. You have an unlimited number of more friendly options.
For instance, take a nice bike ride every day through your local park. Use the stairs. Take your kids out for a walk. Take your dog out for a walk. Walk more in general, whenever you can. Get yourself a standing desk. Move around the office while you talk on the phone.
This should go without saying, but for those of you who still like a few puffs here and there: smoking is destroying your energy levels. Aside from being harmful to your health overall, smoking is going to make you feel tired.
Alcohol is another thing that makes you tired because, well, it’s sedative. A nightcap is fine because it may help you unwind and get ready for bed. And it might do you good with your stress because it has been scientifically proven that a small amount of alcohol can actually reduce stress. However, as for your energy levels, you might want to avoid it, especially in large quantities.
Food is one of the most important components of being energized throughout the day. However, just eating a healthy snack here and there before resuming your regular eating habits doesn’t work. Especially so if your diet is mainly fast food. You need to eat full, nutritious meals a day, plus a couple snacks. This is the way to being healthy and having plenty of energy at all times.
Avoid Excess Sugar
When you feel tired, you probably reach for something sweet, right? Well, you shouldn't. Sweet food improves your energy temporarily only but not in the long term. You get a blood sugar spike and then it goes down and you fall into a slump. Switch this for some fruit from the list above.
Drink Plenty of Water
Sometimes you don’t even realize how thirsty you are until you start drinking water. Keeping yourself hydrated is one of the main things you need to do if you want to stay energized and in a good mood.
Enjoy Friends & Family
Being social can actually help you be more energized. Especially after a long day of work, talking to someone can really be refreshing. Try it out. Even if you are an introvert and people make you tired, sometimes just chit chatting can improve your mood.
What You Should Eat to Increase Stamina
You probably need a ton of energy to keep up with your lifestyle. So, what can help you keep that stamina and still stay in a good mood after all of that hard work?
Complex carbs – These are essential for your body and brain. The body turns into glucose and then into energy. You can find it in bread, pasta, rice and so on. This will help you stay energized throughout the day.
Vitamin C – It will help you have a stronger immune system and protect you from various infections. These often take away all of your energy and to avoid it, you should take enough of it.
Proteins – Important for growth, muscle and development, protein can also help you have more stamina and energy.
Iron – Low levels of iron can really reduce your stamina. Replenish your iron levels by eating broccoli, spinach, mean, beans, nuts and so on.
Oatmeal – This is an unprocessed carb which can help you feel full and have more energy for longer.
Beans – Full of minerals and iron, they can help you regenerate your red blood cells and carry more oxygen to your muscles.
Coffee – An instant energy booster, coffee can help you remain energized for a long time.
Leafy greens – Easy to pack for work, these can help you build stamina and maintain energy levels.
Which Fruits Give You Instant Energy?
A perfect mix of healthy and sweet, fruit can really give you that energy boost you need in those late afternoons when you don’t feel like doing anything. Wondering which fruit can help? Here are some of the best:
These are really the fruits to eat when you are feeling low on energy and they are also healthy, bringing you numerous other benefits.
Foods that Drain Your Energy
In essence, energy levels rise and fall during the day. The trick, however, is in how much they fluctuate. When you eat right and have a good lifestyle, your energy spikes and surges will not be as dramatic. But if you have a poor lifestyle and are eating poorly, that will not be the case.
If you are wondering which food you should avoid to feel better and have more energy, here are some to put on your blacklist:
- White bread, pasta, rice
- Breakfast cereals, sugary yogurts and other foods with extra sugars
- Energy drinks
- Fast food and fried food
- Foods low in good calories
Coffee and energy drinks may seem a bit contradictory but in essence, both can cause a huge energy spike that is followed by a quick crash. This doesn’t do you any good and it doesn’t really help with your stamina. However, they affect different people differently, so you should do what suits you best.