If you’re feeling sluggish, especially prior to a workout, it can be tempting to reach for coffee, candy, or supplements. Unfortunately, each of those options can set you up for a serious post-workout crash. Instead of reaching for caffeine, why not try a healthier, more natural way to increase your energy before hitting the gym? Often times, just being more mindful of what you eat will get you the results you’re after. Start munching on any one of these five energizing foods below and you’ll be feeling your best in no time at all.
In the trail mix world, almonds are the superstars when it comes to providing healthy energy. Since they are packed with fiber, they help keep your energy up, sugar levels even, and hunger at bay. Almonds are also high in magnesium and B vitamins, which help convert sugar to energy, reduce irritability, and increase concentration.
Eating fresh fruit is an awesome way to naturally boost your energy, because they tend to be some of the most affordable and portable foods out there. Three types that I always keep on hand are bananas, apples, and oranges. They each contain fiber, which keeps your energy up and blood sugar steady. I can’t think of a more delicious or natural way to prevent a mid-afternoon slump.
Fish can be a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential nutrients. Opt for delicious favorites like albacore tuna or salmon. For two perfect on-the-go options, check out the Bumble Bee® Premium Albacore Tuna and Bumble Bee® Premium Pink Salmon pouches.
Two of my favorite vegetables for increasing energy are asparagus and kale. Both are full of fiber, helping you stay energized and full between meals. Asparagus is high in energy-supporting B vitamins and kale contains L-tyrosine, an amino acid that can help give you a mental lift as well. Combine these veggies into a power-packed salad and reap the benefits of both!
I know I said you didn’t need to resort to candy, but there is no shame in having a bit of a sweet tooth. The key is to satisfy it in the smartest way possible. A square or two of dark chocolate can be a great way to kick a craving while giving you the pick-me-up you need. Dark chocolate contains theobromine, a natural stimulant that mimics the affects of caffeine by boosting your energy and mood.
When all else fails, drink up! Staying hydrated is just as important as eating well when in comes to your energy levels. Make sure you drink water before, during, and after any strenuous exercise.