We all experience times when we feel sluggish and in need of an energy boost. So, if you’re currently experiencing excessive fatigue or low energy levels, you’re not alone. Fatigue can result from simple factors like sleep deprivation or coming down with a cold or flu. However, it can also be linked to underlying health conditions.
Issues related to energy and fatigue often require more than just a quick fix. While addressing the root cause, whether it’s a health issue, work or life-related stress, or necessary lifestyle adjustments, there are dietary choices that can provide a nice energy boost.
Certain beverages can offer a quick energy boost when needed. However, it’s important to prioritize getting more sleep tonight as well, for your overall well-being.
Feeling a bit sluggish? Surprise! Your solution might be water, not coffee. Wondering why? It could be due to dehydration, which can affect the cells in your muscles and brain, possibly leading to symptoms like brain fog or lethargy.
Every cell in your body requires water to operate effectively. When there’s insufficient water in your system, it means each cell is deprived of this essential resource. Even if they continue to function with the limited water available, their performance may be suboptimal.
As for your daily water intake, women should aim about eight full glasses of total liquid from both food and beverages, while men should target about eleven full glasses. It’s a good practice to drink water when you’re thirsty.
Having a water bottle handy can be helpful, and you can choose one that maintains your preferred temperature, whether it’s cold or at room temperature. Additionally, adding fruit slices or using water infusion packets (without added sugar) can make your water more enticing, encouraging you to drink more.
Certainly, coffee is included on our list for a quick energy boost. Caffeinated coffee contains a stimulant known as caffeine, which binds to adenosine receptors in the brain. Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that induces sleepiness, but caffeine effectively interferes with this process, leading to increased wakefulness and alertness.
Coffee offers numerous health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease and promoting brain health. However, it’s important to keep a few considerations in mind if you’re a coffee enthusiast. Cochrane advises against substituting coffee for breakfast.
While caffeine can provide a brief energy boost, the sustenance you obtain from morning meals is more likely to contribute to consistent energy levels throughout your day. Additionally, pay attention to the sugar content in your coffee. Sugar can also provide a temporary energy boost, but it may lead to subsequent energy crashes due to fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
In contrast to water, coffee, or tea, a thoughtfully crafted smoothie incorporates macronutrients—carbohydrates, protein, and fat—that supply the body with calories for an energy boost. Most beverages alone fail to provide a well-rounded combination of these essential nutrients, but smoothies or shakes can be an exception.
Furthermore, a smoothie serves as a source of hydration through the inclusion of liquids, ice, and fruit (which contains a significant amount of water). However, it’s essential to recognize that not all smoothies are automatically healthy; some can be packed with added sugars from ingredients like sugary juice or sherbet.
Therefore, it’s important to ensure that your smoothie includes a protein source (such as protein powder, yogurt, or milk), healthy fats (like nut butter or avocado), and fiber-rich carbohydrates (such as fruits and vegetables).
04. Matcha Tea
Stress can really drain your energy, leaving you feeling depleted. If you’re caught in the grip of stress and need a pick-me-up, consider trying a hot or iced matcha. Research has shown that healthy adults who consume 2 grams of matcha (approximately 1 teaspoon) daily for two weeks experience improved cognitive function during and after stressful situations.
The catechins in tea help combat the brain-damaging effects of free radicals. Matcha also contains theanine, a compound known to enhance focus, along with a modest amount of caffeine for a little energy boost.
However, it’s worth noting that matcha, especially when bought as a ‘matcha drink’ from a coffee shop (rather than as tea), can often be loaded with added sugars. Keep an eye out for added sugars in your favorite matcha beverage, or even better, consider making your own at home using one of the many online recipes available.
05. Fresh fruit and vegetable juice
In a separate study, individuals reported an increase in their vitality, which measures their sense of being energetic and full of life. This energy boost occurred when they were provided with two additional servings of fruits and vegetables to consume, in comparison to a control group.
It’s important to note that fresh whole fruits and vegetables are distinct from juice. However, researchers believe that the array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in these foods may influence well-being through mechanisms such as enhancing blood flow to the brain or affecting the gut microbiome.
Here’s a suggestion: take two gold kiwis, blend them in a blender, and then add sparkling water or coconut water to create a refreshing kiwi beverage. Consuming two kiwifruits daily has been linked to an improvement in feelings of vitality, as well as enhanced energy and mood. This improvement may be attributed to the fruit’s high vitamin C content.
06. Beet juice
While beet juice might not be your initial beverage preference, it has the potential to enhance your exercise performance. Scientific studies have shown that beetroot juice can reduce fatigue during running sprint tests, and other research has demonstrated its ability to enhance performance during resistance exercise.
Beets are rich in nitrates, which are converted into nitric oxide. This molecule plays a role in dilating blood vessels, thereby enhancing blood flow. This increased circulation delivers more oxygen to both the muscles and the brain, making physical exercise feel less strenuous and providing you with an additional energy boost to tackle your workouts.
The best drinks to get an energy boost conclusion
Contrary to popular belief, the most effective drink for maintaining consistent energy levels throughout the day isn’t coffee; it’s actually water. Make sure to stay hydrated by drinking water regularly. Additionally, you can also turn to beverages like matcha tea and smoothies to help boost your energy when needed.