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Spring Is In The Air

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Spring is in the air, bringing excitement for warmer weather, blooming flowers, and, even, longer days! To keep a fresh spring in your step all season, include Energy Boosting Foods and remove Energy Draining Foods from our lists below.

Energy Boosting Foods

  • Bananas. A portable snack with natural sugar that your body can use right away. (1)
  • Black Beans. An iron-rich, fiber-rich vegetable protein with an abundance of energy-boosting carbohydrates. (2)
  • Dark Chocolate. Research suggests dark chocolate increases levels of the happy-making brain chemical serotonin, which reduces fatigue. (3)
  • Pumpkin Seeds. Exhausted after working out? Magnesium deficiency might be the problem. A handful of pumpkin seeds will give you about one-third to one-half of your daily magnesium needs. (3)
  • Eggs. Easy to make, compact protein that slows blood sugar absorption. (Reference B)
  • Water. You need water to avoid fatigue! Water, taking up over 2/3 of your body, keeps all cells and organs functioning. (3)

Energy Draining Foods

  • Energy Drinks. Small doses of caffeine aren’t harmful, but high doses can cause sleep disturbances, anxiety, restlessness, elevated blood pressure, and headaches. To minimize these consequences, the FDA set a limit of 71 milligrams of caffeine per 12-ounce soft drink. The problem is that energy drinks are usually sold as dietary supplements, so they have no caffeine limits. (4)
  • Candy. Like caffeine, sugary foods provide an immediate energy boost followed by a crash. When you eat a lot of sugar, your body stops producing orexin, the chemical responsible for how awake you feel. As your levels of orexin drop, you become more sleepy! (5)
  • >8oz Steak. Excessive protein intake with fat causes your digestion to go into overdrive, leaving you feeling sluggish. (6)
  • Low-Calorie Frozen Meals. A frozen meal under 300 calories doesn’t provide enough energy for anyone, and, when you eat too much sodium, you feel bloated, which makes you feel even more tired.


Written by Amanda Herlocker MS, RDN, LDN, Owner of The Queen City Dietitian, LLC and Co-Author of Nutrition Focus at ModernWeigh

References:

  1. Can a Banana Give You a Boost of Energy Before Running? (2018, November 27). Healthy Eating | SF Gate. https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/can-banana-give-boost-energy-before-running-3846.html
  2. The Oesophageal Patients Association. (2021, March 18). What are the best foods to eat for energy? – The OPA. The OPA. https://opa.org.uk/what-are-the-best-foods-to-eat-for-energy/#:~:text=Bananas%20are%20rich%20in%20potassium,body%20feel%20full%20of%20energy
  3. Erickson, K. (2022, May 19). Top 10 Energy-Boosting Foods. Fullscript. https://fullscript.com/blog/energy-level-boosting-foods
  4. Syed, Z. (2014, May 12). Researchers say energy drinks may be counterintuitive. The Columbia Chronicle. https://columbiachronicle.com/b1d4ac04-d7bb-11e3-b83a-001a4bcf6878
  5. Admin, H., & Admin, H. (2023, February 19). How Sugar Before Bed Ruins Your Sleep. Healthy Sleep. https://healthysleep.org/sleep-health/sugar-before-bed/
  6. Three Problems Associated With Too Much Protein Intake. (2018, December 7). Healthy Eating | SF Gate. https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/three-problems-associated-much-protein-intake-6546.html