With a busy work and fitness schedule it’s not easy to get the recommended amount of sleep each night, so your body and mind become over-stressed and over-tired. When you feel like this it’s never easy to get through the day which means that your fitness schedule often goes down the pan as you can think of nothing other than getting home from work and jumping straight into bed. On the days you feel like this it’s a shame to jeopardise the fitness regime that you’ve worked so hard for which means that high energy foods are essential. So, what are they?
Eggs are an all-round great food. They’re high in protein, vitamin B and vitamin D, all of which are essential when doing any kind of training session. The vitamin B helps to convert food into energy; the vitamin D maintains your bones’ strength and protein is essential to prevent muscle breakdown after a workout. If you’re watching your fat and calorie intake then eggs might not be exactly what you want to use to get your energy. However, if you limit your intake to just a single whole egg and then two additional egg whites you’ll be getting all of the nutrition your body needs to boost your energy levels while also cutting back on excess saturated fat and calories.
Soybeans are also high in B vitamins which work to breakdown the carbohydrates - which are consumed in your food - into glucose to be used for energy as well as transporting oxygen around the body. Soybeans also contain copper and phosphorous which convert food into energy and then release it into the body’s cells so that it’s available for use when exercising. After an intense training session it’s good to snack on a handful of soybeans as this will speed up the body’s recovery. Adding a little salt will also help to replace electrolytes that were lost during exercise.
3. Whole Grain Cereal
Eating a high fibre breakfast is a great way to maintain your energy levels throughout the day and prevent your blood sugar and insulin levels from rising and falling suddenly because of sugary snacks. Whole grain cereal is a great way to ensure you’re body gets recommended vitamins and minerals while also providing you with fibre that will help you feel fuller for longer. If you accompany your cereal with fat-free Greek yoghurt or skimmed milk then you’ll be getting extra protein too.
4. Fruit and nut mix
Mixtures of nuts and dried fruit are a great combination of healthy fat, fibre and protein that your body needs. Although fibre-lacking carbs breakdown into glucose pretty quickly for those quick bursts of energy, eating high fibre foods is much better as it’ll keep your energy levels constant throughout the day. The healthy fats that can be found in nuts and seeds help to provide long-lasting energy which is great if you’re planning a long, low-intensity workout. The proteins provided by fruit and nuts will slow down the rate at which the body metabolises carbohydrates- which is essential during a long workout – and will also help to repair any muscle damage, preventing soreness. If you want to avoid excess fats and oils which are often added to ready prepared trail mixes, try making your own. Combine a selection of raw nuts like pistachios, peanuts and almonds with your choice of dried fruit and seeds – you could even add some whole grain cereal for additional essential carbs.
5. Goji berries
In China, the Goji berry has been used for hundreds of years in medicines which help the body to increase energy and handle stress effectively. As well as improving stress levels and your mood goji berries also give your body the energy it requires to get through a tough workout and even boost your training to the next level. Goji berries in liquid form are much more effective than dried berries and have an impact on your body almost straight away. For the same impact you’d have to eat hundreds of times more real berries, so liquid is definitely the best option.
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