Two-thirds of your body is made up of water, and many basic body functions rely upon this simple substance to run smoothly. So it comes as no surprise that fatigue is the top sign of dehydration. Starting your day with a large cup of water will not only help you stay hydrated, but it can rev up your metabolism too — bonus. If you find drinking plain water difficult, make your own flavored water or add sparkling water to juice to make a refreshing spritzer.
The unsung mineral hero, magnesium is vital to energy production. It is rare to be low in the mineral, but a little extra dose of magnesium can give you a much-needed boost. Nuts and seeds are both high in the mineral, as are leafy greens like chard and spinach. Don’t overlook tofu as a valuable source of magnesium, either. You can find these three food groups in one of my fave recipes: Indian spiced chard featuring cashews and tofu.
I have seen inulin on many an ingredient list, from energy bars to oatmeal. Yet this special type of fiber occurs naturally in wheat, garlic, onions, and Jerusalem artichokes (aka sunchokes). This form of fiber not only helps you feel fuller for longer and helps keep you regular (dealing with constipation can reduce your energy), it helps the body absorb iron to help battle anemia. I like to add roasted sunchokes to salads and lentil soups — they are also considered high in probiotics, which boost your immune system. And we all know a little illness can make your energy reserves plummet.
Carbs feed the brain, but when you fuel your gray matter with complex carbohydrates, you get a slow burn of sustained energy. By helping to maintain your blood sugar levels, these carbs keep your mood steady and eventually will help you sleep later on. You can also find complex carbs in foods like sweet potatoes, as well as whole grains like oatmeal. Since skipping meals zaps your energy, it’s important to nourish yourself to keep fatigue away. So don’t skip breakfast! Fuel your brain and body with a hearty bowl of oatmeal.
Fatty foods, like burgers, take a lot of energy to digest and can leave you feeling sated but zapped of energy. Choose lean proteins over those high in saturated fat. Focus on lean protein.