The foods we eat can either decrease or increase our energy levels.
Coffee, soda, and foods made with processed sugar can deplete the body and drain it of energy. Plant foods, such as fruits and vegetables, and water can replenish the body and boost energy.
Problem #1- Coffee
It is the first thing most people look for in the morning to get a quick energy boost. Yes, it may in fact produce an energy spike, but that spike is usually followed by a downward crash, which causes craving for another caffeinated beverage, creating a vicious circle of more peaks and troughs and more caffeine consumption. Caffeine also causes blood sugar levels to fluctuate, creating stress in the body that diminishes energy.
Problem #2 – Sugar
People tend to grab candy or other heavily chemicalized processed foods for a quick pick-up afternoon snack. Like caffeine, sugar provides a quick energy burst, but this burst is followed by a crash shortly afterwards. Refined sugar requires extra effort from the body to digest because it lacks vitamins, minerals and fiber. The body exhausts its own stored minerals and enzymes to process sugar, which in turn drains the body of energy and causes it to crave more sugar.
Solution #1 – Drink Water
Most Americans are dehydrated. So instead of consuming drinks like coffee, which will dehydrate you even more, grab a glass of water. The amount in ounces of water you should consume per day is based on your weight divided by two. A person weighing 150 pounds should ideally consume 75 ounces of water a day to maintain full hydration and remove toxins from the body.
Solution #2 – Eat Greens and Grains
Add dark leafy greens like kale, broccoli, bokchoy and collard greens into your daily diet. Greens are full of vitamins & minerals and work well to improve circulation, strengthen the immune system, purify the blood and lift the spirits to help ward off depression. Whole grains including brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats and kasha help stabilize the blood sugar level, creating long lasting energy.
Solution #3 – Natural Sweeteners
Choose pure maple syrup, agave nectar, brown rice syrup or stevia. These are very tasty sweeteners that will not drain the body of energy or cause spikes in blood sugar levels.
Slowly add more greens and grains into your diet and experiment with natural sweeteners. Gradually start to eliminate caffeine in small doses and drink more water. These tips will lead you to feel healthy, energized and focused every day.