Between work, hobbies, family, exercise, and sleep, there’s a lot to get done in a day. Sometimes it feels like there’s barely enough time to breathe, let alone eat. That’s why it’s so important to choose foods that will give you the energy you need to get where you need to be.
As we’re sure you know, not all foods are created equal when it comes to providing long-lasting energy. There are many nutrients in foods that can provide you with energy such as protein and dietary fats, but let’s focus on foods rich in caffeine, carbs, and B vitamins.
What Exactly Do These Nutrients Do for Me?
- Reduce fatigue—protects against that 2:30 p.m. sleepy feeling
- Increase productivity—with more energy, more errands and tasks are completed
- Improve performance—not only mental benefits, but physical ones too
- Enhance focus—fewer distractions from hunger and fatigue allow you to focus on the task at hand
Where Can I Find Them, and How Do They Work?
- Caffeine: coffee, tea, cola drinks, dark chocolate
—Stimulates central nervous system for increased alertness
- Carbs: enriched, refined, and whole grains will all work
-—Break down quickly and give you enduring energy
- B vitamins: found in grains, animal products, and fortified foods
—Help convert food into fuel
Okay, I’m Sold. But How Much Is Too Much?
- Caffeine: Limit to 400mg/day
- Carbs: Aim for 45 to 65 percent of your total calories
- B vitamins: Eating a balanced diet will meet your needs
Putting It All Together
Capitalizing on foods that will increase energy will also help you avoid overeating because you aren’t looking for extra food to fuel you. Too much food can leave you feeling sluggish and lethargic anyway. Try practicing mindful eating and choosing energizing foods to manage your hunger.
In addition to the foods you eat, your sleeping habits are important as well. As you practice mindfulness with your plate, consider your habits before bed. Establishing a routine that relaxes you before you fall asleep will reduce your overall stress.
Your physical, mental, and emotional health all work together. By choosing energizing foods, practicing mindful eating, and getting enough sleep, you can reduce stress and manage your healthy lifestyle that much better!