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Energy Boosters

Energy Boosters

It also takes a lot of energy to digest fatty foods, so keep your meals and snacks relatively lean. Try, too, to include a combination of carbohydrates and protein in each meal so that you get the energy-enhancing benefits of both nutrients.

The following high-energy snacks/mini-meals all have the carb/protein mix going for them and each provides some of the vitamins and minerals you need to keep your body revved up.

Ten Anti-Fatigue Foods

  1. Trail mix This mix of dried fruit, nuts and seeds is high in iron, which helps the blood transport oxygen, a primary ingredient in the body's energy-making system. Eat in moderation since the fat in the nuts and seeds can add up.
  2. Fortified whole-grain cereal with 1% milk and sliced banana Most fortified cereals are chock full of B-vitamins-thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, B6 and B12. The Bs are instrumental of the break down of food into fuel. Bananas also provide potassium, which help the muscles contract and aids in maintaining the body's fluid balance-important because dehydration can be fatiguing.
  3. Yogurt with strawberries This combination gives you a healthy dose of vitamin C, which helps increase the body's absorption of iron.
  4. Egg sandwich on whole-wheat toast Skip the butter on this sandwich to keep the fat content down, and you end up with a nice package of B vitamins (in both the whole-wheat toast and eggs), iron, carbohydrate and protein.
  5. Half bagel with light cream cheese You get the carbs and protein (from the cream cheese) without much fat. Bonus: a dollop of calcium.
  6. Toasted frozen waffle spread with peanut butter The waffle covers you on carbohydrates-the muscles' main source of fuel-while the peanut butter provides protein and a good dose of B vitamins.
  7. A smear of hummus on pita bread Legumes like garbanzo beans (the main ingredient in hummus) are a good source of protein and zinc, which is mineral needed for mental energy.
  8. Cup of bean soup Like the hummus, a good source of protein and zinc.
  9. Cut-up fruit sprinkled with chopped walnuts or sliced almonds Fruit provides sugar, which the body uses for quick energy, but unlike, say, a candy bar, it also has vital vitamins, minerals and fiber. The nuts deliver protein.
  10. Water H20 keeps the body's blood volume up, insuring that ample amounts of the nutrients and oxygen needed for energy get transported to the cells. Water also enables critical electrical messages-like those that make your muscles move and brain think-to move between cells. At the very least, try to get of 8 to 12 cups of water a day (non-caffeinated drinks like juice also count toward your daily fluid intake.)

Worst Energy Stealers

  1. Double espresso Caffeine will boost your energy initially, but it may ultimately make you more tired. That's because caffeine displaces a brain chemical with natural sedating power called adenosine. But adenosine doesn't go away, it builds up and when the caffeine in your body dissipates, the calming chemical can take hold with a vengeance.
  2. Chocolate candy bar A dose of sugar and caffeine will wake you up, but when you turn to candy for a quick fix, you fill up on a food that really has no long-acting energy boosting vitamins and minerals.
  3. Ginseng ice tea Like coffee, this caffeinated drink will give you a short-term lift. Most of these teas don't contain enough of the herb to make a difference and ginseng works over time (not immediately) to increase energy.
  4. Big slice of cheesy pizza When you consume a lot of fat at one sitting, your body's energy resources get directed to your digestive system, keeping them from where you really need them-in your brain and muscles.

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About The Author

Topeka, Kansas native Jill Tomlin writes about health issues for Your Baby Today. Her work appears in national publications.

The content on these pages is provided as general information only and should not be substituted for the advice of your physician.


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