Every morning, millions of people all around the world crawl out of bed, wipe the sleep from their eyes, and hit “brew” on the coffee machine.
For most people, coffee = energy.
And while coffee can give you a quick surge in short-lived energy, what if there was a better way to enjoy energy all day long?
Sugar and Caffeine = Energy Drain
Opting for quick-fix energy solutions like sugar, energy drinks and coffee are more detrimental than you think.
And it all has to do 2 vital organs – your adrenal glands and your pancreas.
The adrenal glands are your “fight or flight” organs – releasing cortisol and adrenaline during periods of stress. Interestingly, these same hormones are secreted when STIMULANTS (like caffeine and sugar) enter your bloodstream.
Here’s how this scenario plays out…
When you become stressed (or ingest stimulants), your adrenals start ramping up their activity.
So, they release adrenaline and cortisol – two “catabolic” hormones which break down your energy reserves for immediate use.
Cortisol, when chronically present in your bloodstream, is a detrimental hormone leading to quick glycogen depletion, a rise in blood sugar (and thus insulin), and eventually weight gain.
Adrenaline has similar energy-depleting effects. It also raises your heart rate and increases your blood pressure. As you can tell, having these 2 hormones constantly circulating at high levels is not a desirable situation.
The other problem with having high levels of these hormones is that since they breakdown your stored carbohydrates for energy, releasing glucose (sugar) into the blood for immediate use, your pancreas is then called into action.
The Hormone Your Fat Stores Absolutely Love
Your pancreas – as you may know – secretes insulin to remove glucose out of the blood to be stored in your muscle, liver, and fat cells.
So, if this cycle of rising and falling blood sugar persists you end up with low blood sugar (or hypoglycemia).
In this state, all “normal” decision making is thrown out the window as all you can think of is “I need sugar. I need sugar.”
And that’s when most people seek out their next quick fix – a mid-day coffee, chocolate bar, or Red Bull.
This scenario also drains your adrenal glands – setting you up for all-day fatigue in the future.
That’s one of the reasons that many people feel “drained” almost instantly when dealing with stress. Their adrenals simply can’t handle it anymore.
At the same time, sugar cravings (and salt cravings) come part and parcel with this situation.
So, hopefully by now, you can see that eating for energy via high-sugar foods, energy drinks, and coffee is a surefire to wear down your body. Not a great trade-off for a quick hour surge of energy, if you ask me.
How to Eat for More Energy – The Right Way.
Now, that we’ve looked at what NOT to do, let’s look at how to eat for more energy.
And here’s a simple answer…
Well, I forgot to mention something REALLY important regarding sugar cravings, which is directly related to your intake of processed foods which contain sugar.
Eating processed sugar elevates your insulin levels which, in turn, severs the communication between leptin and the brain.
Leptin normally tells your brain that you are full and satisfied.
But when this doesn’t happen, due to chronically high levels of insulin in the blood, your brain thinks you are still hungry, especially for more sugar.
Thankfully, this doesn’t happen when you eat raw foods – even fruit.
And that’s because eating fruit – even though they contain fructose and glucose – doesn’t create nearly the same insulin response as processed sugar due to the immense of amount of fiber contained within the fruit.
That’s just one reason why eating more raw foods is a blessing with respect to eating for energy.
There are also several other reasons why raw foods “rock the house” when it comes to boosting your energy. Let’s have a brief look at them.
3 More Ways Raw Foods Energize You
When you don’t have enough (ie. dehydration) you get tired and cannot function properly.
Plus, if you’re dehydrated, then your blood will be too. Since water makes up a great proportion of your blood, being dehydrated thickens your blood, making it more difficult to circulate the necessary nutrients and energy-yielding oxygen to your cells.
Raw foods are great because they are water-rich, which means you don’t have to worry about consuming liters upon liter of pure water.
Rather, just by eating your 8 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables (or more) per day you can get all the water you need, which will boost your energy dramatically.
The second reason raw foods boost your energy is because they are highly alkalizing.
This is very simple but important to remember…
Your blood requires a slightly alkaline pH of 7.35-7.45. Unfortunately, due to the western diet most people are hovering a little lower – meaning their blood is more acidic.
If your blood is acidic it becomes sluggish.
Essentially, your red blood cells (which carry oxygen to your cells) begin to clump and stick together, resulting in an inefficient bloodstream for delivering oxygen to your cells.
And if your cells don’t get any oxygen, they’re not going to be producing much energy, right?
As opposed to animal products, grains, and refined foods, raw fruits and vegetables are highly alkaline forming, which means that they leave a alkaline ash in your bloodstream once metabolized.
The reason for this is that they contain greater amounts of the alkaline minerals – calcium, magnesium, and potassium – and leave less acid-forming protein and phosphorus in your body upon digestion.
And that’s a good thing.
Eating for energy should always be about improving your body’s alkalinity.
Another reason eating more raw fruits and veggies boosts your energy is because they contain higher amounts of vital nutrients and food enzymes.
And when your body is nourished with the micronutrients that it needs, it flourishes with unstoppable vitality!
Research from the USDA has shown that when fruits and vegetables (and all food for that matter) are cooked, they lose a significant amount of their vitamin and mineral content.
Not only that, but cooked foods also lose their important food enzymes.
Although some skeptics might discredit the importance of food enzymes, I can tell you firsthand that eating raw is a lot easier to digest then most cooked foods.
But keep in mind that since raw plant foods contain their cell walls (ie. fiber) it can lead to gas and bloating in some cases.
But there’s an easy remedy for that – blend your foods.
Using a blender breaks down the tough cell walls and allows your body to access the vital nutrients within these amazing raw fruits and veggies much easier.
But you won’t be able to experience the amazing energy-boosting effects of these foods if you’re constantly eating DEAD, cooked food. Just think about it… How do you feel after Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner?
Probably knocked out, right?
I can’t remember a single big festive meal that actually energized me. And that’s because eating such hard-to-digest foods in large quantities is a recipe for a food coma.
3 Energy Eating Tricks
So here are 3 of my favorite “eating for energy tricks” that I know will make a massive difference for you.
1. Make a green smoothie.
The easiest way to add more fruits and vegetables into your diet is by blending them. It’s quite simple really…add your favorite fruit and some green vegetables together, add some water, and blend it all together.
You’ve just consumed several servings of fruits and vegetables in a delicious smoothie that takes no more than 2 to 3 minutes to make.
And, drinking smoothies reduces the burden on your digestive system because the blender has predigested the foods and broken down much of the fiber.
2. Make a green salad at least once a day.
This is not rocket science.
Simply grab some lettuce, add a couple of tomatoes or other vegetables that you enjoy, and there you go. You now have added even more servings of vegetables and fruit into your day.
Simply eat a pear. Eat a banana. Have a papaya.
By eating your favorite fruits and vegetables naturally throughout the day you inherently increase the intake of life giving, energy producing, and nutrient dense plant foods.
All of this leads to greater health, vitality, weight loss and energy.
So even if you’re still eating other foods like meets or grains, applying these 3 simple raw food strategies will improve your health and vitality and that’s what diet to improve energy is all about.
I’ve now given you several GOLDEN nutrition strategies to boosting your energy. These strategies have already transformed the lives of more than 47,000 people just like you.
If you’d like to learn more about my Eating for Energy Program, just click below, and get a healthier, more energized YOU!
It’s not a cleansing shake, pill, or supplement… But it can give you back your health.
About the Author:
He is a Certified Kinesiologist and highly acclaimed Personal Trainer and Strength & Conditioning Coach in the Toronto, Canada area.
He is currently the founder and owner of Total Wellness Consulting, a leading health, fitness and wellness company offering health-conscious individuals innovative programs and technologies to help reach their goals of physical and mental well being.
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