Are you all too familiar with the 3pm slump? You need quality nutrition to help keep your energy going all day. Here’s how to eat sensibly so you have enough fuel to power through anything.
1. Skip the candy aisle. Sure, eating a chocolate bar can give you a quick energy buzz but it’ll often be accompanied by a quick energy crash, too.
2. Eat more often. Eating small portions, spaced out by about three hours, may help maintain sustained energy levels. For snacks, focus on foods that offer protein, and fiber: carrots and a slice of cheese or an apple and a tablespoon of nut butter.
3. Combine healthy protein with whole-grains. This combo will give you energy you want for the long haul.
4. Focus on “slow” foods. Your diet should include whole grains, such as Old Fashioned Quaker® Oats, which is made from 100% whole grain oats. The soluble fiber in oats may slow down the rate of digestion to help keep you full.
5. Sugary drinks? Just say no. Water flavored with lemon slices or green tea offers hydration without the quick fade of energy.
6. Eat breakfast, every day. The first meal of the day does more for you than you think. For starters, although your body has been resting while sleeping, it’s also been drawing on energy stores. Eating breakfast will replenish those energy stores.
7. Hydrate. Sometimes thirst masquerades as other symptoms, including drowsiness and fatigue. Drink water regularly and hydrate even more if you’ve exercised or have been out in the sun all day.
8. Balance your plate. There’s not one ingredient that can meet all your energy needs, but a well-rounded approach to meals (oatmeal plus fruit and dairy, a salad with protein, lean chicken plus veggies and a grain) is a great way to supply your body a sustainable mix of vitamins, nutrients and more.
9. A little caffeine might be OK. A warm cup of coffee does supply a little pick-me-up. Have a plain cup of coffee or a coffee drink that’s low in calories, such as a non-flavored latte with low-fat milk. Be mindful of caffeine later in the day, which may interfere with sleep.
10. Take a balanced approach. Crash or fad diets may do more than deprive you of necessary nutrients and calories, they can also sap your energy levels. Instead, eat three balanced meals and appropriate snacks, and get the recommended exercise for your age.
Find more ways to get energy from food by learning about which key nutrients you might be missing in your diet here.