Feeling fatigued and sluggish? Give your body a boost with these 10 energizing foods and herbs.
If you’re like most of the people we train at our Boston personal training center, there are days when you could use an extra boost of energy to handle the demands of your busy schedule.
And while it may be tempting to indulge in that salted caramel latte for a quick jolt of energy, it’s important to know that excessive caffeine intake can cause an increase in stress hormones, like cortisol, and adversely affect your sleep, weight loss efforts, and more.
That’s why we’ve been on the search for the best foods and herbs to provide your body with a steady, sustainable source of fuel that doesn’t overstimulate your system.
The good news is that there are a variety of all-natural energy sources that provide long-lasting stamina.
Here are our top 10 AUMazing foods for keeping you energized, focused, and productive, along with Coach Chris’ Tips on how to incorporate them into your diet.
Also known as Indian Ginseng, Ashwaganda is a powerful herb used for thousands of years for improving energy, stamina, and endurance. Known for its adaptogenic properties, ashwaganda enhances your body’s resilience to stress by lowering cortisol levels and balancing thyroid hormones. Studies show that ashwagandha can boost endurance during physical activity by improving brain function and reducing bodily pain.
Coach Chris’ Tip: Take the daily recommended dose of 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams per day, in powder or tablet form.
There are countless reasons asparagus is consistently ranked among the healthiest foods in the world. This nutritional all-star contains high amounts of B vitamins which support sustained energy levels by converting carbohydrates into fuel. Because of asparagus’ high fiber content, it helps balance blood-sugar levels to keep you full between meals. It is also loaded with folate to protect your brain from cognitive decline.
Coach Chris’ Tip: Add asparagus to your salad at lunchtime to fuel your afternoons.
Cardamom possesses many therapeutic properties, which is why many consider it to be one of the best spices in the world. Found in curries and used as the main flavor in chai tea, cardamom contains a rich array of antioxidants which protect your body against stress and aging. It is valued medicinally for its ability to increase circulation and energy.
Coach Chris’ Tip: Drink cardamom tea- the Chinese believe it may be the secret to longevity because it aids in the elimination of toxins.
Consumed by ancient Aztec warriors for energy and strength, chia seeds have long been revered as a powerful superfood. Packing a whopping 11 grams of fiber in just 2 tablespoons, they provide a steady source of fuel and can help you lose weight by stabilizing your blood sugar and keeping your hunger at bay. According to research, they may be the perfect pre-workout snack. A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning found that eating chia seeds enhanced exercise performance for 90-minute workouts in a similar way that Gatorade does—but without the added sugar. As an additional benefit, their high levels of omega-3 fats provide anti-inflammatory and heart-protective benefits.
Coach Chris’ Tip: Simply add a couple of tablespoons to your smoothie to fuel your busy days.
Considered the “ginseng of mushrooms”, Cordyceps have long been used to enhance endurance and stamina. Studies have shown that Cordyceps are highly effective in boosting exercise performance, increasing libido, improving immunity, as well as increasing your body’s resilience to stress. Researchers believe that cordyceps may help the body utilize oxygen more efficiently and improve blood flow.
Coach Chris’ Tip: Take the recommended dosage of 1,000–3,000 milligrams per day to maximize physical health and sexual function.
Rich in conjugated linoleic acid, which helps burn body fat and packed with choline, which supports healthy brain and neurotransmitter production, ghee is one of the world’s oldest and most powerful superfoods. Because it contains medium-chain fatty acids, which the liver can absorb directly and burn immediately, ghee is a tremendous source of energy.
Coach Chris’ Tip: Use ghee as an alternative to butter. It can help with everything from supporting weight loss, improving digestion, fighting inflammation, and boosting immunity.
Holy basil, otherwise known as tulsi, has long been regarded for its unique ability to reduce stress hormones in the body. With a history dating back over 3,000 years ago, it is one of the world’s most powerful herbs that has been used as a natural remedy for treating anxiety, fatigue, unbalanced blood sugar levels, and more. Because of it’s high amount of antioxidants and vitamins, holy basil is an incredibly therapeutic tonic that can help you feel youthful while aiding weight loss and preventing premature aging.
Coach Chris’ Tip: Holy basil is most commonly consumed in tea form. Drink 1-2 cups daily.
A staple food in every Korean home, kimchi consists of cabbage mixed with garlic, chili peppers, scallions, and salt all fermented together. Loaded with gut supporting probiotics, kimchi can help strengthen your immune system, boost energy and brain health, and improve digestion.
Coach Chris’ Tip: Unsatisfied with your meals? Try kimchi! Because it is packed with fiber, it’s a highly satiating food that can regulate your appetite and help you lose weight.
Sardines are one of the richest sources of vitamin B12, a nutrient essential for helping to convert food into energy. With high amounts of protein and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, sardines help build lean muscle and regulate blood sugar levels to fight fatigue and support your body’s ability to burn fat.
Coach Chris’ Tip: Enjoy them over a salad or by eating them alone as a snack. Buy wild-caught sardines that are boneless, skinless, and packed in olive oil.
Look no further than sunflower seeds if you want the ideal brain-boosting food. They contain a high amount of thiamine, a B vitamin that enhances cognitive function and memory. Because they’re also rich in fiber, healthy fats, and magnesium, sunflower seeds make for a great snack that provides sustained energy throughout your day.
Coach Chris’ Tip: Sprinkle them over a lunchtime salad or into a stir-fry for a boost of flavor and crunch.
Whether your goal is to lose weight, build strength and muscle, or take your fitness to the next level, my Boston personal training team and I recommend you try these incredible superfoods and experience their incredible health benefits. If you have any questions or feel as though you would benefit from personalized health coaching, contact us for your complimentary consultation!