Guest Post, Courtesy of Rachel O’Connor
Maintaining a fitness regimen can do some pretty incredible things for you. It can help you maintain a slim and toned physique. It can help improve your mood. It can also help you ward off a myriad of health complications such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD), too.
Without a doubt, there are numerous benefits to exercising regularly. However, how can you expect to reap the health benefits of regular exercise if you can’t muster up the energy to actually get out there and start exercising?
Many people struggle with fatigue on a daily basis. Whether you’re not getting enough sleep at night or you’re dealing with other issues, it's fairly common to feel tired during the day occasionally. Just because it’s common, though, doesn’t mean that you should have to endure it.
If you’re struggling with feeling tired and run-down, then you may have to take a hard look at your diet. Fortunately, there are a few foods you can consume to help boost your energy levels. When you enjoy them, you won’t just be giving yourself the perks of a tasty meal or a multitude of vitamins and minerals, either. You’ll also be treating yourself to an energy boost that can only come from eating the right diet.
If you’re trying to improve your energy levels so you can tackle your next workout, then look no further then these five foods that recharge your battery, so you’ll feel perky and energized for the next time you exercise!
If you want quick energy, then you need carbohydrates. Of course, the wrong carbs will cause your blood sugar levels to spike, then plummet. That’s where oats step in. Oats are extremely high in fiber and protein, which means that your body will be able to get lasting energy out of this hearty grain. In turn, you’ll feel unstoppable when you start your workout.
The energy from oats can last you through your entire workout, allowing you to feel strong and energized even after you finish up. For the best health benefits, you should stick with oat bran or whole rolled oats. While quick-oats aren’t bad in a pinch, they simply don’t hold a candle to their less-processed counterparts!
2) Sweet Potatoes
Many people think that sweet potatoes are only good around the holiday months. When smothered in brown sugar and marshmallows, they may as well be dessert.
While candied sweet potatoes do make a nice holiday treat, for a good workout, you’ll want to stick with freshly baked or steamed sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes aren’t just high in healthy carbohydrates, though. They also have plenty of fiber in them, which will help you maintain your energy levels. Sweet potatoes are a nutritional powerhouse, too. They’re filled to the brim with Vitamin B-6 and Vitamin C, both of which can help you stay energized during your workout.
While carbohydrates get a lot of credit for keeping you energized when you’re exercising, you shouldn’t overlook the benefits of protein, either. Your body needs protein to help build muscles. In turn, you’ll get those coveted fitness gains when you’re exercising.
Eggs are pretty much the perfect food for lasting energy. They’re a complete protein, which means your body will get all of the amino acids it needs to help it have a good workout. Eggs are also quite high in Vitamin B-12. Your body needs Vitamin B-12 for energy metabolism, which can help you avoid issues like chronic fatigue.
By enjoying an egg or two a half hour before you exercise, you’ll find that you feel powerful enough to push through even the toughest workouts!
If you’re looking for a light and sweet treat to enjoy before a workout, you can’t go wrong with a handful of berries. Whether you prefer blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries, any of these tasty fruits can help you emerge victorious after a strenuous workout.
What does this mean for you? Studies have shown that oxidative stress is tied to fatigue, but antioxidants can offset this issue. This means that when you enjoy a serving or two of berries before your workout, you can count on having high energy levels… no matter how hard your workout is!
Almonds are a fantastic pre-workout snack option. Not only do they have a good balance of healthy fats, protein, and carbohydrates, but they also contain many nutrients that can help you stay steady throughout your workout.
For instance, they’re an excellent source of Vitamin E. Vitamin E is necessary to help you stay healthy. Nothing can kill a good workout like feeling crummy! Your body also needs Vitamin E to help fight free radicals, which you already know can leave you feeling drained.
Almonds are brimming with magnesium too. Without this important mineral, your body will not have the resources to create energy.
By enjoying a handful of almonds before you start working out, you’ll get the little kick you need to muscle through even the most grueling workout!
Keeping Your Energy Up for Fitness
Whether you already have a solid exercise regimen in place, or you’re just now dipping your toes into the world of fitness, you’re not going to go far if you’re feeling tired all the time.
If you pay close attention to your diet, you can help keep your body’s energy levels up. By adding these foods to your meal plan, you’ll find yourself feeling more energized and motivated to work out.
In turn, you’ll start to notice that you’re feeling better when you exercise. Happier. Stronger. Not tired. Not drained. Not worn out or wiped.
Staying fit doesn’t mean that you have to starve yourself. It also doesn’t mean that you have to deprive yourself of yummy foods. If you remain mindful about your diet and are careful in how you nourish yourself, you’ll continue to make progress when you exercise. And truly, there is no better feeling than that!