If for a moment we think of our body as a car, we can all agree that there are days in life when the road ahead of us looks endless. We resolve to strap ourselves in (now we’re the driver in the car – go with the metaphor here…) and get on with it. We put our foot on the gas, and all we hear is a whining noise of resistance.
This road trip is going to be impossible if we don’t refuel.
When you pull up at the gas station (or the kitchen – again with the metaphor…), it’s commonplace to go for the most powerful fuel we know. Usually that will be coffee or an energy drink. Grab these options, and the first few miles of your journey will have your body purring like a finely tuned machine.
However, if you want it to work beyond the first few miles, then you’ve made a mistake. Caffeine gets you performing at a high level in short bursts; not the long haul. Your engine won’t like the feel of the short burst, and by mid-morning, you’ll be in a worse state than when you started.
What your body needs is a fuel that’s going to keep it going from start, right through to the checkered flag.
You’ve probably heard more than enough about quinoa, but stick with it. It really is an impressive grain, and a little goes a long way. It’s worth making a large quantity for an evening meal then, as the Happy Science Mom indicates, leftovers are perfect for a quick snack. That’s because quinoa contains a lot of energy, but your body takes a long time to break it down.
Thus, your body will keep motoring long into the evening.
When it comes to a snack on the go, chocolate is always there for you. The sugar rush you’ll get from a candy bar, though, is fleeting – though the sugar crash that follows afterwards will last a lot longer.
However, darker chocolate contains more cocoa solids and therefore more antioxidants. Of particular note is flavanol, which helps your heart perform at its best – providing more oxygen to you and therefore, more energy.
Not a food – however, still worth a mention. Keeping your hydration levels topped up is just as important as keeping the radiator in your car running. By all means, have a coffee at the start of the day, but then switch to water and sip throughout the day.
Bananas are extremely rich in potassium, which can give you just the energy boost that you need. There are quite calorific for a fruit (around 100 calories per banana) but they’re healthy and massively beneficial, so make room for them in your meal plan.
If you have to grab a quick lunch, the burger stall may call louder than anything else in the vicinity. However, processed meat takes a lot of effort for your body to break down. Sushi, on the other hand, is low in fat and delivers the iron your body needs to keep the pedal to the metal when it really matters.