Feeling sluggish? Tired? Exhausted? Sleepy? Low-energy?
No worries! Jillian Michaels is here to share some advice on what to eat to perk you up! Turns out, there's no need for an energy drink — so put that away!
Q: What foods help combat lethargy? I work 43-plus hours per week and study, too. I try to fit one hour of exercise in twice per week and your DVD workout for 45 minutes twice a week, but sometimes my body is so exhausted it's hard to keep pushing through to try to get the weight off. Any advice?
A: I know the feeling. However, while diet does play a critical role in your energy level, there are several other factors you should take into account as well.
The first of which is the most obvious — sleep. SLEEP MORE. You must try to prioritize it. Go to bed earlier. Don’t watch TV. Don’t answer emails in bed. Go to sleep! The more you sleep, the healthier you will be — and the better you will feel.
The second is hydration. We can literally wilt like a flower when we don’t get enough water throughout the day. Over the years there has been a lot of differing information out there on how much you should drink, which can be really confusing. Especially since there are many different factors that play a role in your hydration level from the climate you live in to your age to the amount you exercise and so on. So, in a nutshell, you need to drink enough so that your pee looks like lemonade. If it’s dark, like apple juice, keep drinking.
The third is diet. Don’t eat junk. When you eat processed foods laden with sugar, white flour, trans fats, preservatives, artificial colors, flavors, and so on, it crashes your blood sugar, destroys your health, and leaves you feeling depleted and exhausted. Keep your food as nutritious and whole as possible.
Next, let’s talk caffeine. Caffeine when exploited correctly can be an excellent energy boost. Plus, caffeine improves cognitive function. When you overdose on it, it has the opposite effect by taxing your adrenal glands, stressing you out, leaving you tired and run down. The key with caffeine is to not consume more than 400 mg in a day. That’s the equivalent to two strong cups of coffee. One caveat, coffee is laden with pesticides and it dehydrates you. For this reason, my best advice is to try a natural supplement like EBOOST. I live on this stuff. It’s all natural (contains Vitamins C, D, B-12, green tea extract and more), contains 160 mg of caffeine so you can literally control your dose, plus it has antioxidants, electrolytes so you don’t get dehydrated, and immunity boosters to ramp up your overall health. I discovered it and saw how it helped me boost my energy, performance, and mental sharpness. I was so impressed that I partnered with them and assumed the role of “Chief Energy Officer” for the brand.
Now, to answer your original question, there are key nutrients that have been linked to energy, but there are also a few guidelines you should follow. Don’t skip meals and eat every 3 to 4 hours to stabilize your blood sugar and subsequently your energy. Choose 100 percent whole grains and foods that are high in fiber because they also stabilize your blood sugar. Quinoa is a great option. And last, look for foods high in your vitamin B complexes. All B vitamins help the body convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which is used to produce energy. Some great examples would be beef, fish, and eggs. Plus, you should consume foods with iron to fend off anemia. Beef is also good for this, but if you are a vegetarian, eat dark leafy greens and add some citrus to them as vitamin C helps our iron absorption. So steam some spinach with lemon juice.
Last, nuts and seeds are also good because they are rich in healthy fats, proteins, and minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorous, which keep you energized and stabilize your electrolyte levels.
So in summation, I want you to take a broader view of how to approach your energy issue, take all the above factors into account, and, for goodness sake, buddy — take a holiday and give yourself a break!
So fab, Jillian!
We had no idea on the mg limit of caffeine — that's so wonderful to know! Also, we really feel you on the whole sleep thing. We totally feel like nobody on the planet gets quite enough sleep, and that jobs don't understand that!
Naps are important, as are full nights!
So quit feeling tired, and start your engines right!!
[Image via WENN.]