We need energy to move, to walk, to talk, to think. We even need energy to sleep. Some of us are so focused on expending our energies to lead a more productive life, somewhere in that process we have forgotten to slow ourselves down to feed our bodies energy. You race to work, you rush to the store to get home to fix dinner, you run down the street to grab lunch and then race back to work. You expend so much energy leading your busy life; but have you given any thought as to what you really need to put into your energy machine, (body) to keep it going with out all the crashing?
It’s confusing, all those energy drinks, or those protein shakes, which ones do you choose? What if it is not the right thing for your body? That’s the question you need to ask yourself. Is this the best choice you could make? Do you want to feed your body carbs or proteins or fat?
Carbohydrates fuel our bodies with energy by breaking down into glucose. It can be used immediately or sent to the liver and muscles to be stored as glycogen. This is an ongoing process. Carbohydrates, fats and proteins belong to the macronutrient category because your body has to use them in large quantities. When metabolized in the body, carbs supply oxidation to the tissues.
While proteins have other primary functions, they can be considered an energy source when carbs are not abundant in long term prolonged exercise or the daily diet is inadequate. Proteins are made up of amino acids. If amino acids are needed to become a protein, then the body is equipped to rethink what was put into it and turn the amino acids back into glucose to be used as energy or it could go into fat. To make the amino acid into what it needs, the liver basically strips the nitrogen off of it. Then it can be turned into DNA, RNA or a non essential amino acid. Protein shouldn’t be considered a major source of energy for the body as it only supplies 5%.
Finally fats provide more energy for the body than carbs do, a concentrated source of energy by supplying more than twice the potential energy. When the carb stores run out after a long exercise, the body turns to the fat stores for energy, thus aiding in sparing the glycogen stores The reason for this is the amount of oxidation that takes place.
Keep in mind that foods high in fat and calories require more energy to breakdown and can leave you feeling tired and fatigued. Here are some foods to get your energy level back up.
Quinoa, lentils, tuna fish, beans-legumes, eggs, whole grain cereal, chia seeds, wild salmon, olives, celery, spinach, water, dark chocolate, nuts and seeds, apples, green tea, yogurt, oranges, bananas, and finally my all time favorite, blueberries. Blueberries are low in sugar but high in fiber. Lentils can help stabilize your blood sugar which is great if you are a diabetic.
So think before you grab that fast food or energy drink. There are better foods to put in your body than that.