Eat for Energy

Eating for energy - energetic mom

Whew! We did it. We made it to a new year. 

*Happy dance*

If you’re like most people, flipping the calendar over means new goals, resolutions and (sometimes overwhelming) to-do lists. With so many exciting possibilities, it’s important to set yourself up for success by keeping your battery charged and body fueled. 

To do just that, step away from sugary drinks and foods, which tend to result in short energy spikes followed by extreme crashes, and find out which healthy foods give you more sustained energy instead.

Foods to Eat for Energy

Protein

The repairman of the body, protein helps create and fix tissue. It also supplies us with energy to tackle the day. Since protein breaks down more slowly than other nutrients such as carbohydrates, it provides a more powerful boost. And while protein deficiency is extremely uncommon in the United States, short periods without enough protein can make us feel fatigued and sluggish. So, to avoid those sleepy spells, try the foods listed below. 

Foods high in protein: 

  • Pork
  • Beef
  • Eggs
  • Greek yogurt
  • Milk
  • Cottage cheese

Iron

Iron helps bring oxygen to our muscles and brain, which not only helps us maintain energy, but supplements our immune system and focus, too.

When taken in through food, iron comes in two different types: “heme” or “non-heme.” Heme iron comes from animal products — beef, lamb, pork, etc. — while non-heme is found in plants like leafy greens. Heme iron is easier for our bodies to use, but both provide the mineral.

Foods high in iron:

  • Red meat
  • Pork
  • Seafood
  • Beans
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli 

Creatine

Creatine produces molecules which are stored in the body and used for energy throughout the day. Some people take creatine supplements to try to increase their athletic prowess, but it can be found naturally in certain foods and produces the same benefits.

Foods high in creatine:

  • Red meat
  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Cod

Carbohydrates

Our bodies break carbs down into glucose, which is then used for energy. Once made, the body decides to either use glucose instantly or save it for later, which is a huge perk of eating carbs as an energy source. Some carbs, like sugar, only provide a quick boost, followed by a crash. Focus on whole grains like wheat or sorghum for more sustained energy.

Foods high in carbohydrates:

  • Pasta
  • Bread
  • Crackers
  • Rice
  • Milk
  • Yogurt

Balance

It sounds cliche, but a balanced diet really is the key to sustaining energy levels and avoiding crazy crashes. Be sure to consume a healthy mix of fruits, veggies, dairy, grains and protein on a regular basis and your body will thank you.

No matter what you’re tackling — starting a novel, taking more walks, or simply keeping the household running — we hope these foods will fill you with energy to conquer your goals. Good luck! 

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