If you reach mindlessly for a cup of coffee or a sugar fix to get you through the day when energy or attention flags, consider eating something healthy instead, or trying a supplement that can naturally stoke your stamina, and improve your energy and focus.
Unfortunately, the instant jolt that comes from a blood sugar spike is typically followed by an insulin surge — leading to a quick drop in blood sugar — which leaves you feeling foggy and sluggish.
Next time you’re dragging, put down the coffee or energy drink, step away from the donuts, and pick up one of these foods or supplements as an alternative way to get a healthy, natural energy boost.
1. Almonds and Cashews
These nuts are an amazing source of healthy fats, fiber and protein that help balance blood sugar levels. They are also packed with magnesium, a mineral that plays a key role in converting food into energy. Being low on magnesium can drain your energy.
Also try organic nut butters that provide a great-tasting energy boost. Use all-natural nut butters that contain nothing but nuts so you can avoid added sugars.
2. Salmon and Other Fatty Fish
It isn’t called a “brain food” for nothing! Salmon is high in Omega-3 fatty acids which are nutrients that have been found to improve memory and boost energy. Additionally, this delicious fish is also loaded with protein, niacin, riboflavin and vitamin B6, which are all instrumental in helping your body convert the food you eat into energy.
3. Kale and Darker Leafy Greens
Kale is a superfood that provides you with the essential minerals of copper, potassium, iron and phosphorus. And like lean meats, kale contains the amino acid tyrosine, which helps give you a mental lift, as well as fiber to fill you up and help keep your blood sugar stable so you can avoid energy crashes. Like protein, fiber helps keep you full, as well as regulate your digestion and manage blood sugar.
Spinach is loaded with iron – nearly twice as much as other leafy greens – which is essential in keeping your energy up. Eat a spinach salad for lunch (bonus for adding salmon or another lean protein) and you won’t experience that p.m. energy slump.
4. Hummus and Tasty Legumes
This Mediterranean dip has only a few simple ingredients (typically puréed garbanzo beans, sesame-based tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice) that all contribute nutrients for energy. The fiber and protein provided help stabilize blood sugar, take the edge off hunger, and boost energy.
5. Eggs as the Perfect Protein
One of the few foods considered to be a “complete protein,” eggs contain all nine essential amino acids that the body can’t produce on its own. Additionally, eggs are full of the vitamins needed for the body to produce energy such as thiamin, riboflavin, folate, and B12, and B6.
6. Pumpkin Seeds and Other Seeds
A handful of these tasty seeds contain more protein per ounce than almonds as well as more iron and magnesium than most nuts. Protein helps supply energy, and it keeps you fuller for longer because it’s satiating, and helps manage your blood sugar.
Protein-rich foods like seeds, eggs and nuts take slightly longer for you to digest, so you won’t be hungry or lethargic in 20 minutes.
7. Try a Natural Supplement
We didn’t mean to make you hungry, but getting adequate proteins to maintain focus and energy often requires lots of calories, which is why you might reach for a soda or cup of coffee for a fix.
Amen Clinic’s Focus and Energy naturally supports your body’s energy level with caffeine-free green tea, choline, and ginseng. These specially selected nutrients work through multiple mechanisms to support enhanced mental focus. Plus, Focus and Energy is safe, natural and non-habit forming.