Around 3:00 PM everyday I hit an energy low. I get restless, tired, and cranky. Naturally I’ll grab a latte to perk me up. But the caffeine fix really only lasts a few hours before I’m back where I started … falling asleep in an inappropriate place. Like my desk. In the middle of a class. That only has 6 people in it.
I’ve always known caffeine isn’t the best method to induce an energy boost, but I think it’s usually the easiest and most available choice. (Plus it’s an appetite suppressant, which satisfies the slightly calorie obsessed voice in my head.)
In an effort to make myself more nutritionally savvy and less lethargic, moody, or bitchy, I’ve uncovered which foods mend any state of mind and body. These foods are better for your bod and much more effective than the sugar/caffeine you usually turn to in your times of need.
Grab a handful of trail mix, and I’m not talking about the fattening, full-of-disgusting-preservatives kind. I mean, nuts and raisins. Nuts, like almonds, peanuts, and cashews stock the body with protein and magnesium which is important in metabolism, nerve function, and muscle function. All things we need to stay alert.
Ugh, I hate these moments and the last thing I’d ever want to do is eat. But research suggests you eat some lean meat. The protein fills you up and speeds your metabolism, which ultimately cuts cravings. High-protein diets have been proven to help build muscle and attack extra belly fat. Although I’m not sure I totally believe this one, I’m willing to give it a go.
Usually when I get home from a long evening of binge drinking, I’ll eat multiple slices of pizza and chug glasses upon glasses of water. Apparently we can do more to ward off feeling like poo the next day: Drink O.J. Fructose, a sugar found in orange juice, can speed the body’s metabolism of alcohol by as much as 25%, so by morning you’ll feel almost normal. The Vitamin C also helps combat cell damage that results from excessive drinking.
Unfortunately there isn’t a food out there that will ensure you get action whenever you want. However, if you need a little help getting in the “mood,” dark chocolate is the best way to go. The cocoa in chocolate contains stimulants that increase your body’s sensitivity, as well as a chemical that can give you a slight natural high. A study found that women who ate chocolate (with at lease 60% cacao), had a higher sex drive than those who didn’t. Um, any excuse to eat chocolate sounds good to me.
In the past, I’ve been unsure about what to eat post-workout. I know it should include protein, but it’s been proven that carbs are very important too: 20-30 grams of protein along with 50-65 grams of carbohydrates help build new muscle and repair old muscle. So grab a slice of toast with peanut butter or some brown rice with chicken.
It’s kind of incredible how certain foods affect the body. Eating the right thing at the right time can make all the difference!