Put aside the coffee, energy drinks and caffeine pills. All your energy needs can be met by a nutrient rich diet.
Let’s face it. There are days when you feel exhausted and sluggish. No matter how much sleep you get, work, family, social life and unforeseen stresses occasionally stack up and wear you down. A temporary moment of fatigue is normal, but allowing you to fall into a cycle of exhaustion can lead to unhealthy dietary choices, lack of exercise and a reliance on caffeinated drinks.
So, how can you be consistently energized and focused? Throw away the coffee, chemical-laden energy drinks and caffeine pills, and look to maximize energy through a combination of natural supplements and a vitamin and nutrient rich diet.
The Dangers of Stimulant-Based Drinks
Energy drink companies advertise their products as a midday energy boost for the exhausted employee, but the dangerous chemicals—caffeine, guarana and ginseng—are not designed for sustained energy and have harmful side effects.
Drinks like Monster, Red Bull, 5-Hour Energy and Rock Star are packed with dangerous levels of sugar and fructose. Sugar and fructose are powerful stimulants, and cause spikes in insulin levels that lead to an energy boost. Often called a “sugar high” because it’s similar to the rush felt by a drug user, the energy boost lasts until the sugar and fructose are used up and insulin levels plummet, which leads to increased levels of fatigue.
As Dr. Christine Gerbstadt, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, explains, “A sugar boost will just leave you lagging again in an hour.”
Aside from high levels of sugar, energy drinks often contain a combination of guarana and ginseng, which are powerful chemical stimulants. Elevated consumption rates of guarana and ginseng have been linked to increased heart rate, increased blood pressure (sometimes to the point of palpitations), dehydration and sleep prevention, according to Brown University Health Promotions.
Even energy drinks that avoid guarana and ginseng in favor of caffeine are dangerous and fail to provide sustained energy. Energy drinks contain dangerously high levels of caffeine that are three to five times higher than the most caffeinated soft drinks. Additionally, caffeine is considered a drug by the Food and Drug Administration, and can cause reliance on and addiction to the powerful stimulant.
Naturally Maximizing Energy Through Diet
Luckily, caffeine, guarana and ginseng are not the only ways to boost energy. There is an abundance of dietary options that sustain energy, taste great and add secondary nutritional benefits.
If you eat breakfast, the Hallelujah Diet recommends a nutritious smoothie or fruit. The key is to ensure sustained energy levels throughout the day. If you feel the need for a somewhat bigger breakfast, avoid high-sugar, processed breakfast options like waffles, donuts, pastries, white bagels and sugary cereals. Instead, reach for:
- fresh fruit
- whole-grain oatmeal or cereal packed with nuts and seeds
- or whole-grain toast with low-fat, high-protein almond butter
On-the-go tip: make a delicious and nutritious smoothie with a plant-based milk, coconut oil (natural fat that staves off hunger), antioxidant-rich kale and frozen mixed fruit.
Feeling fatigued by your midday lunch break? Consider a spinach salad that is packed with nuts and seeds. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of iron deficiency, and spinach is packed with iron to directly increase energy. Additionally, iron promotes red blood cell function, which leads to increased alertness and improved concentration. Spinach also contains the antioxidant carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, and is an excellent source of fiber, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B6.
Like many nuts and seeds, almonds are incredibly nutritious and packed with vitamins and minerals. Aside from being a great source of potassium, calcium, vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorous and iron and lowering bad cholesterol levels, almonds are loaded with plant-based protein, which increases energy.
Another important aspect of sustaining energy is meeting daily calorie recommendations. Cutting calories decreases metabolism, and forces the body to conserve as much energy as possible to maintain internal bodily functions. Calories are essential to maintaining a fast metabolism, burning fat and maximizing energy.
Exercising to Increase Energy
After a long, tiring day, physical exercise may seem to be impossible and impractical, but a study by University of Georgia researchers shows that regular, low-intensity exercise actually boosts energy levels. The researchers prescribed a 20-minute, low-intensity bike workout to a group of people who experienced chronic fatigue. Following the bike workout, 65% of the group reported feelings of lessened fatigue. Researcher Dr. Tim Puetz attributes the increased energy levels to the direct impact of exercise on the central nervous system.
While diet is an extremely important aspect of increasing energy, daily supplements can directly provide vitamins and minerals that are necessary for optimal, sustained energy.
Hallelujah Diet’s BarleyMax delivers a combination of organically grown barley grass and alfalfa juice to revitalize cells and prevent DNA damaging free radicals. In addition to its cell building effectiveness, many people have told us that BarleyMax helps them feel more energetic. The 100% Gluten-Free BarleyMax powder that comes in many delicious flavors is filled with vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants.
Another Hallelujah Diet product that increases energy is the vitamin supplement, B12, B6 and Folate. According to an article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, most people are low in B12, which is a major supporter of high energy levels. B12 is often an overlooked factor when the body is dealing with fatigue, depression, anemia and developmental delay issues in children and dementia. Additionally, B6 and Folate are critical nutrients in the optimization of the Methyl Cycle.
When it comes to increasing energy, the thyroid is often forgotten. Luckily, Hallelujah Diet offers Nascent Iodine to ensure that the thyroid is functioning correctly. The thyroid directly controls the body’s metabolism, and the body’s metabolism is directly linked to energy levels.
In addition to its energy-increasing qualities, HD’s Nascent Iodine is a critical part of ensuring the proper function of tear glands, saliva glands, sweat glands, lymph glands, the pancreas, breast and ovaries in women, the prostate gland in men, the immune system and cell detoxification.
Fatigue is an inescapable part of life, but you can take decisive measures to ensure that fatigue is not a regular part of your life:
- Always meet daily caloric recommendations to keep metabolism high
- Start your day with a nutritious plant-based breakfast
- Choose iron and protein rich foods
- Avoid dangerous energy drinks packed with caffeine, guarana and ginseng
- Try Hallelujah Diet’s BarleyMax, B12, B6 and Folate and Nascent Iodine —the most energetic combination of supplements