Natural Energy Boosters
You may think you’re getting inspired by sitting on your bum with a beer and watching the Olympics for hours, but who are we kidding? There are better ways to boost your energy before an athletic event or the daily run. Here are 5 that have proven results.
Get some vitamin D
Experts speculate that one of the major causes of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is insufficient contact with sunlight. Okay, none of us are exactly daisies that will wilt without sunlight, but it is the easiest source of an essential vitamin that is a proven mood booster. Vitamin D is also necessary for optimal bone health and, according to a University of Wyoming study, inadequate levels can lead to stress fracture, total body inflammation, infectious illness, and impaired muscle function.
Essential fatty acids are, well, essential
EFAs help form healthy cell membranes, which metabolize oxygen. Foods high in EFAs include fish (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, and herring), fresh fruit like papaya and berries, vegetables like dark greens (kale, broccoli), and nuts (flax, pumpkin, and walnuts).
Be wary: you’re probably getting enough omega-6 fatty acids already. The modern Western diet now contains 10 to 20 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3; evolutionarily, we should be at a 1:1 or 2:1 ratio. According to a study by the Center for Genetics in Washington, DC, this excessively high intake of omega-6 acids is characterized by blood viscosity and vasoconstriction, while omega-3s have anti-inflammatory and heart-healthy properties. So, what to do?
Rather than cooking away wonderful nutrients, try a raw smoothie or salad after exercising to replenish those you used up to work out. Your recovery time will improve.
Try beet juice
A St. Louis study compared the performances of runners who consumed 7 ounces of baked beetroot for one race and the same amount of cranberry relish for another. The average speed after cranberry consumption was 7.3 mph, while beetroot boosted the speed by 0.3 mph. Beetroot juice can actually reduce the amount of oxygen you need to perform even low-intensity exercise, lead author Katie Lansley said.
Swap coffee for green tea
Green tea doesn’t generally contain as much caffeine as does coffee, but it does have EGCG, the compound that’s been attributed to weight loss. Sipping this instead of coffee in the afternoon is also less likely to interfere with your sleep.
Although you may not feel sleepless, caffeine and stress keeps you from going into the most rejuvenating, deep sleep phase. Over 95% of Americans don’t get enough time in that phase and that’s why we crave coffee and sugar in the morning, according to triathlete Brendan Brazier. And we know of at least 5 better energy boosters than those by now.
Need some more motivation to get out and enjoy natures energy, GAMES OF THE XXX OLYMPIAD: Highlights (2012) is currently on sale at Amazon.com for $8.99
Carlina Yepinski is the primary researcher and writer for networkmonitoring.org. Her most recent accomplishments includes graduating from Kentucky State with a degree in communications and computer science. Her current focus for the site involves performance management and network monitoring systems.MORE MOUNTAIN WEEKLY NEWS HIGHLIGHTS: