Ever find yourself feeling sluggish and overly tired? Balancing work with a social life and any extra-curricular responsibilities can often leave us feeling drained and lacking in energy. Struggling to get a good night’s sleep is also a common problem. Many of us find it hard to wind down and ‘switch off’ after a busy day. Many of us find it hard to wind down and ‘switch off’ after a busy day – so much so that reports say that many Brits are sleep-deprived. In fact, one-quarter of people claims to get only five hours sleep a night. This means that 40% of people are getting less than 6 hours sleep every night. In most cases, this isn’t enough rest to function on – especially if you have a busy day ahead of you. Waking up feeling drained when you have a lot of things to do can be a bit of a nightmare. It can be tempting to reach for the energy drinks for a quick boost, but drinking too many of these can potentially be harmful to your health. Instead, consider some energy boosting food that will lift you up and get you through the day even if you are sleep-deprived.
Even if you’ve only briefly learned about energy-boosting food before, you’ve probably heard that bananas release energy slowly. This makes them a much more viable option than energy drinks. High sugar energy drinks make you really energetic for a short about of time, and then you will experience a sharp drop in your blood sugar levels. Often, this means that you become even more tired than before, causing you to reach for another can. Bananas, on the other hand, release their energy slowly, meaning that they are a much healthier way to get that boost.
We all know that Popeye used to eat spinach to make him muscular, but it can also be a great way to curb that afternoon slump. Spinach is full of iron, which transports the oxygen in your blood to your muscle tissue. This increases your energy levels and your physical ability, so a spinach salad for lunch is a great way to stay active and alert.
If you still feel like you need a drink of some kind to give you energy, but want to stay away from energy drinks, tea could be your perfect solution. It doesn’t have as much caffeine in as coffee does but still gives you a little lift. Plus, you don’t get the ‘crash’ you often experience an hour or so after a big cup of coffee. Yerba mate tea, in particular, contains a substance similar to caffeine and it is argued that it can keep you going for longer than a coffee does.
Beans are a healthy and versatile source of energy for omnivores, vegetarians and vegans alike. They are full of fiber and protein, which takes longer to digest and helps to prolong the energy provided by carbs. Plus, you don’t simply need to stick to baked beans with your breakfast. Try adding butter beans to a homemade salad, or use kidney beans in a chili. Black beans are also commonly found in Jamaican food, so there’s nothing to say that energy-boosting meals need to be bland.