Days are starting to get shorter and mornings cooler, yes winter is upon us folks.
As the days get darker we often find ourselves reaching for a few extra cups of coffee throughout the day just to keep us moving. Then even with that extra cup of coffee we still feel ourselves hitting that 3 o’clock energy dip, so what do we do? All too often we reach for another cup of coffee.
What a lot of us don’t think of is that often times these energy dips have nothing to do with “energy” itself or motivation, but rather our big ups and downs in energy are often related to blood sugar regulation. Although a cup of coffee will perk you up for an hour or two it won’t provide you with the sustainable energy you are looking for.
Instead of turning yourself into a coffee zombie think about adding these foods to your diet to give you that boost, maintain energy throughout the day and keep your immune system boosted in preparation for the inevitable cold and flu season.
Don’t worry you don’t need to feel this way, I’m am here to help! Yes, the weather and lack of sun can be taxing on our energy levels but they don’t have to be. We can boost ourselves, our body’s and our minds with the foods that we eat.
Here are just a few foods that will charge you up for your day:
Oatmeal: Not only is it a great way to start the day, oatmeal is low on the glycemic index meaning it will provide you with long lasting sustainable energy throughout your morning and afternoon. Oatmeal is also a high fiber food which means it digests a bit slower making it a perfect fuel for before a run or your chosen exercise.
Water: Now this one might feel a little silly, I mean how is water supposed to compete with the energy boosting potential of coffee? Well drinking a cup of water or better yet lemon water upon rising will help to perk you up and get that metabolism revved up for the day. Additionally even just the slightest bit of dehydration will have you feeling sluggish, tired and foggy throughout the day, sipping water throughout the day can help you to avoid these foggy periods.
Chia Seeds: These little powerhouses give you more than just energy, they will provide your system with a nice punch of Omega-3 fatty acids, which will not only help you feel focused and alert but is a great way to reduce overall inflammation in the body. In addition to the omega-3 chia seeds can absorb about 10 times their weight in water, which means having some chia seed pudding for breakfast or a snack will also help you to stay hydrated throughout the day!
Spinach: Iron is on of the main factors in energy production, which means if you are low in iron you will be low in energy. Swap out your regular salad greens for some spinach or try a handful of it in your breakfast smoothie.
Peppermint: This one is a coffee replacer. Instead of reaching for that second or third coffee when your 3pm wall hits you, steep yourself a nice cup of peppermint tea. It has been found that peppermint helps to increase alertness and reduce fatigue, additionally peppermint helps stimulate digestion and settle your stomach so not only will you get a little perk-me-up in the middle of the afternoon you will also be doing your digestive system a favour.
Apples: They are portable, they are delicious and you can get whatever type you want! Apples are high in fiber so they take longer to digest which means a slow stead release of energy to your body. Pair your apple up with some almonds or plain Greek yogurt for the perfect afternoon pick me up.