Fuel-Good Food

Get energized without feeling weighed down

By P.J. Ellison

So many scientific studies, so little time. But for the more athletically inclined, here’s one to note: A change in diet can change your metabolism and brain chemistry, ultimately affecting your energy level and mood. So eating right means happier, more frequent exercise, which can only lead to more happy, frequent exercise. Certain foods can raise energy levels by supplying calories and by pushing your body to burn calories more efficiently. And Mom was right: Don’t ever skip breakfast.

Alpha to the Omega

Omega-3 fatty acids have lost some of their initial buzz over the last 10 years but there is no denying that they help the body— the active body especially—perform to its full potential. Salmon, eggs, leafy greens and flax are all good choices for any active individual.

Water, Water Everywhere

Even mild dehydration can sap your energy. Water is best for beating dehydration, but a sports drink definitely adds fuel. Be sure to avoid draining more than one sweetened beverage in your day. Water really is your best bet, but if too much H2O makes you BLOATED, add snacks like celery and grapes, both of which come loaded with watery goodness.

The Whole Truth About Whole Grains

Carbs might be the foe of fad diets, but brown rice, whole-grain bread and cereals are vital in adding fuel to your fire. Not only are they your body's preferred source of fuel, they raise serotonin, the feel-good chemical.

Not So Nuts

Every runner, walker, jumper and skater should pack a pocket with almonds. They’re loaded with protein and won’t weigh you down—in every sense. And the magnesium found in almonds helps convert sugar into energy. To some of us, Brazil nuts are big and bland and best left at the bottom of the bowl, but these bad boys burst with selenium, which helps lift you up and out of your bowl of despair, so to speak.

Lean, Mean Protein Machine

A serving of turkey, skinless chicken and lean pork or beef help to ease insomnia and depression. Why? All are sources of the amino acid tyrosine. Tyrosine boosts dopamine and norepinephrine levels, which work in tandem to help you feel more alert and focused on the job at hand, whether it’s running an extra kilometer or packing on an extra 10 kilos to your bench press.

Dark Truth

It is indeed, true, choco-holics. Dark chocolate is good for you. Just a couple squares of good, dark chocolate will not only boost your mood but your energy as well. Some people have a square before a workout or keep one or two tucked away to help get over that wall while out on a run or extended power walk.

Fall 2013, Vol 5 N°4

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