The post-lunch sluggishness that takes over in the afternoon makes people susceptible to ignoring the onslaught of incoming emails and other work that needs to be done before the end of the day. Sadly, most people can't get away with a midday snooze while still keeping their jobs, but that doesn't mean there aren't other options to quickly boost your energy. “The worst choices are ones with white sugar, corn syrup or artificial sweeteners like aspartame,” health expert Liana Werner-Gray , author of “The Earth Diet,” says.
Werner-Gray recommends people reach for cherries, blueberries, blackberries, and Goji berries because they are very rich on antioxidants. They are also powerhouses of essential amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. Berries provide a boost of energy and fiber which help regulate blood sugar levels and digestive health.
Apples have simple, quick-burning carbs and complex, slow-burning carbohydrates that will provide optimal amounts of energy. This is why they are an ideal snack before a workout, especially if you add almond butter as a protein source. One medium apple has 5g of fiber and only 80 calories. Fiber promotes healthy digestion and helps keep you full.
Orange juice is very powerful, Werner-Gray says. “You can also squeeze orange, grapefruit and lemon together for a natural energy drink.” Grapefruit is loaded in vitamin C and full of water which will help keep your body hydrated. The tropical fruit also reduces insulin levels and boots your metabolism.
“The most powerful and effective energy drink is a fresh juice like a ‘Green Lemonade’ that is cucumber, celery, ginger, lemon and apple,” Werner-Gray says. “This drink is so high in nutritional value – and that's where we get our energy from.” It's vital to lasting and sustainable energy, she adds.
“Vitamin B-complex will help to break down carbs and is a good idea to consume after eating a heavy carb meal to help digest it,” Werner-Gray says. The vitamin is one of several that help the body convert the food you eat into glucose, which is what gives you energy. Some of the best choices for vitamin B are fish, liver, red meat and eggs.
Eggs, which are rich in protein and nutrients, in all shapes and forms are a great source of energy. They don’t lead to quick spikes in blood sugar and insulin. But “eating fried eggs or poached leaves the body feeling lighter than hard boiled, so if you are going for a smoother energy, go for eggs in that way,” Werner-Gray says.
“I only recommend organic coffee for a clean source as coffee is brown with a lot of pesticides,” Werner-Gray says. “Coffee is a great plant that comes straight from nature and is a great source of energy but no more than one per day.”
People can do a coffee enema for energy as it stimulates the digestive system, Werner-Gray says. The cleansing procedure is not very pleasant but it has several health benefits – detox, fighting cancer, flushing out bacteria and heavy metals, resting gut health. Research has shown that coffee enema benefits may help stimulate the production of a beneficial enzyme which acts like an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and natural blood cleanser.
Chia seed cereal is the best kind of cereal
for energy without the consequent sugar crash, Werner-Gray says. “It’s light but so fulfilling and just gives us the illusion like we just ate Gluten.” Just soak chia seeds in water or almond milk (or TigerNut milk for a nut-free version) and add your toppings like fresh berries and nuts, she adds.
Werner-Gray recommends pumpkin seeds for energy because they are light, and hemp seeds because they are high in protein but light and easily digestible. Pumpkin seeds contain a lot of nutrients. Some of them include magnesium, protein and zinc, all of which are important energy boosters. Magnesium is crucial for the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy molecules in the body.
“Pili nuts are also a great energy source and they taste like a combination of Brazil nuts and macadamia nuts but look like peanuts,” Werner-Gray says. Pili nuts provide healthy nutrients such as vital amino acids that help regulate hormone production and muscle growth, giving you a naturally powerful energy boost.
Omega-3 fatty acids provide a lot of energy for the brain, Werner-Gray says. Two crucial ones -- EPA and DHA -- are primarily found in certain fish. The Omega 3s that are not converted to EPA or DHA remain
s inactive and are simply stored or used as energy. Foods that are high in Omega 3s include salmon, chia seeds, walnuts, oysters, tuna, soybeans, anchovies.
Cacao powder is rich in manganese and magnesium that help increase energy, Werner-Gray says. “Add it to hot water for hot chocolate, or with almond flour and maple syrup for instant chocolate brownies,” she adds. The powder has a lot of PEA (phenylethylamine) which is famous for increasing energy levels, and heightening libido.
Werner-Gray recommends honey if you need an energy boost because it’s natural from the earth and can boost the immune system. Don’t think it’s bad for you because it’s very sweet. Using honey as a medical treatment is a practice called “apitherapy” and includes treatments that restore energy, enhance physical stamina, and improve the immune system.
“Bananas are dense which is why athletes love them – they fill them up, and are very high in potassium which gives a lot of energy to the brain,” Werner-Gray says. “The energy bananas will give is long and lasting.”
“They are naturally sweet like a sweet potato is but are a root vegetable,” Werner-Gray says. The tigernut’s quality increases the more fat it contains, as the fat, together with the starch, becomes sugar after the drying period and gives the tigernut its sweet flavor as well as converting it into an important source of energy for the body.
“Adding salt to water and gargling is a great way to get a quick natural electrolyte drink,” Werner-Gray says. Electrolytes are important for the body to maintain a proper fluid balance, transmit nerve impulses, and contract your muscles. These ions carry the electrical energy necessary for many functions.