Not having enough energy is the no. 1 complaint for most of us who are juggling work, family and leisure. Keeping all the balls in the air requires a lot of energy. Instead of resorting to caffeine to give us the boost, we should be looking at foods that promotes energy in order to keep our engine going all day and night.

Eating the right type of energy promoting foods will help us avoid those dreaded afternoon and early evenings head nods. Here are 7 types of foods that boost your energy:

1) Complex Carbohydrates

These are carbohydrates that have low glycemic index and high in fiber. They provide sustained energy release and prevent fatigues with the constant source of blood glucose. Examples are brown rice, oats, whole grains and vegetables.

For more information on glycemic index, refer to my earlier post.

2) Legumes

They are low in fat and high in fiber and provide good source of complex carbohydrates and protein. Legumes are also great source of vitamin B, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc and calcium. Examples of legumes are quinoa, chickpeas, lentil, and kidney bean.

For those of you, who are not used to eating legumes, start with small portions to prevent flatulence.

3) Minerals

Minerals are important for the energy creation process in the cells. Key minerals are calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Sea vegetables and bananas are examples with rich source of minerals.

4) Tyrosine

Tyrosine is an amino acid that helps to produce nor-epinephrine and dopamine – key chemicals in the brain that helps in maintaining alertness and elevate mood. Good source of tyrosine are seafood, eggs, cod, sardine, nuts, seeds, beans and dairy.

5) Co-enzyme Q10

Co-enzyme Q10 is an essential component of mitochondria, the powerhouse of every cell. It is like a spark plug in a car engine. It facilitates the conversion of fats into energy. If you eat a balance diet of meat, fish, nuts, seeds, beans and wide variety of vegetables, you should not be deficient in co-enzyme Q10.

6) Alpha Lipoic Acid ( ALA)

ALA helps to convert glucose into usable energy. It is a potent antioxidant and is considered as the master antioxidant. ALA is found in most food but at low levels. To take advantage of the benefits of ALA, take it in the form of supplements.

7) Water

Our body is 70% in water and most cell functions take place in the presence of water. Not having enough water will reduce the efficiency of the cell functions causing the body to be tired. Don’t rely on feeling thirsty to drink water as the body is already dehydrated by then. Instead, take sips of water continuously.

How much water is enough? 30 ml for every kg of the body weight is a good guide. So, if you are 60 kg, you will need at least 1.8 liter of water a day. This does not count the coffee, tea and soups that you take.

Try these 7 strategies tomorrow and tell me how you progress.

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