Secrets of Eating for Energy


by Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, CK, RHN
Author, Eating for Energy

People these days spend countless hours scouring the internet for the latest craze or information that will give them more energy. From simple cups of coffee, we have evolved into a society that values these insane little energy drinks, full of frightening levels of caffeine, sugar and a variety of additives that might give you a sudden boost, but do little to combat long-term fatigue.

In fact, most of these drinks cause huge spikes in energy, with terrible drops at the end that leave consumers feeling almost drugged from a lack of energy. Instead of quaffing one of these syrupy super sodas, why not try some healthier ways to eat for energy? It is not as difficult as you might think.

The first key is not to starve you. This might sound more like a diet tip, but it has more to do with energy than you might think. Imagine yourself as a machine; if you are given plenty of fuel, you will be able to do plenty of work. But when the fuel runs out, the machine stops. Your body works the same way. If you want to eat for energy, you need to eat. Don’t skip meals, and if you feel hunger, do something about it.

Another key is getting lots of variety. If you let your body adapt for too long to any one fuel source, the body becomes complacent. But if you continually change what sorts of foods you eat, your body will never have a chance to adjust to a usual source of energy. The constant change will keep your body guessing, and keep it on its toes, so to speak.

Next, and this might sound counter-intuitive, is to avoid the sugar and caffeine. While these things can give you energy in the short term, their effects wear off in an awful hurry, leaving you hurtling towards a crash. Wean yourself of coffee and sweets when you want more energy and you will find that your highs and lows in your energy levels will level off.

So, what should you replace your coffee with? This might sound strange, but load up on leafy greens instead. In the mornings, instead of your usual cup of coffee, try blending yourself a powerful green smoothie. Not only will it take less time that a brewed pot of coffee, it will perk you up more than you might imagine.

Another good tip for eating for energy is, don’t cook your foods if you can avoid it. When you cook a food item, you reduce the amount of energy it has stored within it. That energy is wasted away, burned up in the cooking process, leaving you with a mushy substitute that does less for you than the raw item would have. Raw food also gives you the instant satisfaction; instead of cooking up a snack, you can simply grab an apple or a carrot, and take a bite. That sort of quick snacking when the energy levels are low can really help you to climb back up.



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