Having abundant energy throughout the day – without peaks and troughs – is the holy grail of wellness. When we have energy we can do all we want to do easily, feel on top of things, be energised to exercise and recover from all the demands life puts on our bodies. If you have ruled out any medical or hormonal reason for feeling less than perky then it’s time to think about how to eat for energy!
Eating for energy should be simple but somehow with so many faddy diets and advice on cutting out food groups we can get confused and – despite best intentions – fall out of our natural energy balance.
Here are our top tips to keep you feeling energised:
1) Eat adequate carbohydrates and avoid faddy diets. You need a properly-balanced diet with enough of the essential nutrients the body needs every day. Carbs are the main energy source for your muscles and brain. By choosing slow release carbohydrates such as those found in fruit and vegetables and avoiding fast release carbs like refined sugar you have the foundation of a energising diet. Aim for around 130g throughout the day in balanced meals.
2) Fibre. Products high in fibre release energy slowly and help prevent insulin spikes (which encourages fat storage). You need around 13g of fibre per day and you can get it from fruit, seeds like chia seeds, hemp, oats, quinoa, vegetables – it’s a long list.
3) Protein. Protein helps slow the release of energy further. It also helps repair the body after exercise and is needed for every cell in the body. Protein intake is based on weight and activity levels. The average woman needs 0.8g protein per kg of bodyweight and 1g per kg of bodyweight for the more active. One thing to remember about protein is that it should be consumed across the day and that no meal or snack should be too high in protein. The body does not store protein – it can only use a certain amount of protein at one time or at each meal so eat protein morning, noon and night!
4) Healthy Fats. The F word is not one to be avoided. Healthy fats slow the release of carbohydrates to keep energy levels stable and so healthy fats should be included in the daily diet. Coconut oil is a great healthy fat as are avocados.
5) Vitamin C. Getting adequate Vitamin C is crucial for energy and having it in adequate quantities is scientifically proven to reduce tiredness and fatigue. Baobab is a fantastic source of Vitamin C with more Vit C than oranges!
6) Enjoy chocolate – yes really! But…go for Raw Cacao rather than a bar of processed chocolate with added refined or other sugars. Raw Cacao is a true superfood! It is high in antioxidants and contains lots of minerals. Cacao is the cold pressed raw form of what we know as “chocolate” and is amazing added to smoothies for an indulgent taste.Raw cacao is a “feelgood” product and feeling good is energising! It is also proven to help with concentration. YAY!
7) Avoid energy zappers – the main culprits are refined sugar, chemical sweeteners, refined carbohydrates, overly fatty foods and an excess of coffee as this can tax the adrenals. If you can, choose Organic food options as this minimises the chemicals circulating in your system .
Every one of us is unique in terms of our nutritional needs but these tips will help guide you to find the right way to have boundless energy and help with concentration and focus.
About Darlene from That Protein
Darlene McCormick is a Qualified Clinical Nutritionist and Co-Founder of That Protein. That Protein is the only organic plant protein range with added superfoods.