A lack of energy can mean the difference between a workout or a Netflix binge, prepping a healthy meal or ordering takeout. But the good news is that there are many healthy and sustainable ways to keep your energy levels up and your days packed with productivity. Try these tips to sustain a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
FUEL UP FOR THE LONG HAUL
Your metabolism is the process that turns food into energy. So, power that process with premium fuel: protein. Proteins are digested slower than simple carbs to provide a steady supply of energy. Timing here is key – you should try to eat up to 30g of protein at breakfast, lunch and dinner, depending on age, weight and activity level, without loading up all at once (especially at night). You can also fuel continuously with 5 or 6 small meals or snacks (instead of 3 large meals) for sustained energy. For a balanced, protein-rich option that you can take on the go, opt for protein bars or a protein shake – they’re as easy as mixing protein powder in your water or favorite smoothie recipe!
ENERGY AID FOR YOUR BRAIN
Mental energy is vital when you’re trying to focus on work, balance priorities and make good decisions. Studies show caffeine can help by supporting mental alertness, aiding in the performance of cognitive tasks and focus. From a cup of coffee in the morning to a cup of tea in the afternoon, caffeine can help you feel ready to conquer the day. For a more holistic approach that contains caffeine and other nutritional benefits, try an herbal option. Look for ingredients like guarana extract. Guarana is a natural herbal energizer that contains caffeine, which can help support mental alertness, while also improving mental intensity and focus during exercise.
SUPPORT BRAIN HEALTH WITH FISH OIL
Among its many benefits, fish oil comprises “essential fatty acids,” especially omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA that can aid in cognitive function. DHA is a type of omega-3 fatty acid that’s specifically found in brain membranes and vital for brain cell function. In fact, more than half your brain is made up of fats, a majority of which are DHAs. An intake of 500-1000mg of DHA is recommended for optimal brain health. Make sure your diet incorporates omega-3 and DHA-rich fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, along with flaxseed, chia seeds and nuts, which are also sources of omega-3. Because your body can’t make fish oil on its own, a GNC fish oil supplement will help you hit your daily intake in a purified form free from excessive levels of toxins.
THE VITAMINS FOR ENERGY INTEGRITY
If you’re getting enough sleep, supplementing smart, exercising regularly and still feeling lethargic, you may have some gaps in your nutrient intake. Iron and B-12 are important nutrients for energy production. B-12 is found in foods like eggs, dairy, meat and chicken. Iron can be found in foods like seafood, beef and dark green vegetables; if you are following a plant-based diet, make sure to take a multivitamin that includes both of these vitamins for their energy benefits. However, nearly any diet is likely to lead to some gaps in your nutrient intake, and a multivitamin is an easy way to get missing nutrients you might not even be aware of.