Everyday Energy: Top 5 Foods & Drinks to Beat Fatigue
From working professionals to stay-at-home moms and everyone in between, fatigue is one of the most common symptoms reported to health care practitioners. In fact, the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that approximately 40% of U.S. employees experienced significant fatigue within the course of a two-week study. This is no surprise, especially since up to 95% of how we feel and function on a daily basis is a reflection of our diet and lifestyle choices.
- Up to 95% of how you feel and function on a daily basis is a reflection of diet and lifestyle choices.
- When mitochondria, the powerhouses of a cell, are given the raw materials needed to create ATP (energy), brain power, vitality and productivity will soar.
- Skip the caffeine and sugar, and energize the body naturally with filtered water, Nourished® Superfood Smoothies, matcha powder, cacao powder and orange-colored produce.
According to Functional Medicine Practitioner Chris Kresser, nearly 70% of calories in the Standard American Diet (SAD) come from flour, sugar, industrialized plant oils, alcohol and dairy; a third of Americans get fewer than 6 hours of sleep per night and 77% of people experience physical symptoms due to chronic stress. As you can see, the SAD diet and lifestyle lends itself to fatigue, thereby driving poor choices, stress, lack of sleep and a vicious never-ending cycle that ultimately sabotages health.
Fatigue is not normal, rather it’s your body’s warning light alerting you of imbalance by these poor diet and lifestyle practices. If you’re experiencing low energy, ask yourself questions such as am I going through a period of high stress? Am I getting enough quality sleep? Have I been relying heavily on sugar and caffeine? There are 50 to 100 trillion cells in the human body that need to be fed, rested and repaired on a daily basis. When the mitochondria, the powerhouses of a cell, are given the raw materials that they need to create ATP (energy), brain power, vitality and productivity will soar.
This leads us to the importance of food. Food is fuel. When people are tired, they often turn to things that will provide immediate energy such as sugar and caffeine. Although these stimulants work short term, the crashes that follow create highs and lows that drive binge eating, irritability and brain fog. Additionally, the blood sugar imbalance caused by these surges and crashes sabotages sleep quality and a good night of sleep is crucial for waking up with energy the following day.
Get off the energy roller coaster and instead of turning to multiple cups of coffee, candy or vending machine snacks, fuel your cells with these real foods and drinks that will provide the lasting energy you need!
- Filtered Water – the human body is up to 75% water. It’s so essential, that you can only go 3 days without it! Water is the vehicle that delivers nutrients (i.e. energy) to the cells. It also flushes out toxins via sweat, breath, urine and feces instead of allowing them to accumulate and ultimately slow you down. From digestion and temperature regulation to cellular repair, every process in the body requires water; therefore, it’s imperative to replenish on a regular basis. Start your day with a large glass of filtered water and drink between meals to maximize digestion and energy, aiming for half your body weight in ounces per day.
- Superfood Smoothies – breakfast is arguably the most important meal of the day and a time where the vast majority of people fall short on nutrients. Instead of reaching for carb- and sugar-heavy cereal, bagels, pancakes or toast, fuel up with a superfood smoothie to help keep your energy, mood and hunger balanced throughout the day. Our Kitchen Market offers 8 different produce-packed Superfood Smoothies, each with grass-fed collagen protein, prebiotics and probiotics. With 1 to 2 servings of veggies, natural sugars, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, they’re sure to charge you up for the day! Our favorite for fighting fatigue are the matcha-enhanced “Energizer” and the cacao-rich “Fat Burner.”
- Matcha – a highly concentrated green tea powder, matcha gives you the buzz of coffee without the crash. Packed with antioxidants, half the caffeine of coffee and balanced with the calming amino acid l-theanine, matcha not only helps with energy and brain power, it also fights fine lines and wrinkles, inhibits cancer cell formation, aids detoxification and revs the metabolism. Available for purchase in our Wellness Boutique, easily enjoy matcha in a morning smoothie or nut milk latte!
- Cacao – raw cA-cAO is the purest form of chocolate available. It’s different from processed cO-cOA, which has been heated, and therefore, depleted of delicate antioxidants and enzymes. The nutrients contained in raw cacao boost serotonin and dopamine levels to improve mood and circulation, and provide just enough caffeine to energize without overstimulating. If you’re a chocolate lover, stop in our Kitchen Market to sample one of our homemade Dark Chocolate Almond Clusters! A customer favorite, these clusters are made from 70% bittersweet cacao and contain no refined sugar. Even better, they’re gluten, dairy and soy free!
- Orange-Colored Produce – it’s important to eat the rainbow on a daily basis to provide your body with the spectrum of nutrients that it needs to function optimally. When it comes to energy, the orange category really shines – sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, oranges, and cantaloupe contain beta carotene, an antioxidant that stimulates the body’s natural production of vitamin A. This nutrient combines with vitamin B6, vitamin C, fiber and potassium to super-charge the immune system, fight inflammation, rehydrate and energize the cells, and promote youthful, glowing skin.
There you have it, our top 5 picks for energy production! Rather than turning to Red Bull® or a candy bar when you feel sluggish, seek out nutrients in real food instead. Antioxidants, vitamins and minerals are the energy that your body really needs, not caffeine and sugar. Remember, what you put in is what you get out. When you fill up your tank with nutrients, you’ll not only feel better, you’ll naturally lose weight (without trying), improve heart function and maximize gut health – a win-win in our book!