If you find yourself running out of energy before the day is over, you may be making the wrong food choices. While sugar and caffeine will give you a boost, those sources of energy don’t last, plus they have significant drawbacks. There are healthier sources of fuel for your body, so here’s how to take advantage of them!

Remove Processed Foods

Processed foods are usually packed with sugar, fat, salt, and artificial ingredients. Examples include cookies, chips, snack cakes, microwave meals, and breakfast cereals. Foods like these tend to be high in calories, so they will give you energy for the short term. But your body burns them quickly, and you will soon crash again. Although it’s unrealistic to remove all processed foods, you can minimize them by keeping healthier foods on hand for quick snacking. Nuts, seeds, fruit, and chopped vegetables are good substitutes for ultra-processed foods, including even those that claim to be healthy, like energy bars.

Give Up Soda and Drink More Water

Many people try to fight the afternoon slump by popping open a cold soda. Carbonated soft drinks are full of sugar and caffeine, but they disrupt your metabolism and have unhealthy effects. Drinking soda is associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and more. They also contribute to dental disease. Replacing your afternoon soda with water can revitalize you by providing needed rehydration without the harmful effects. Water refreshes all parts of your body. Drinking water can get rid of dry mouth, which causes bad breath. It also improves blood flow which can keep you alert.

Eat Slow-Burning Carbs

Not all carbs are bad for you. Complex carbohydrates are higher in fiber and nutrients and digest more slowly in your body, giving you the sustained energy you need. Complex carbs don’t give you the high and low energy fluctuations that are common with simple carbs like processed foods. Slow-burning carbs include whole grains like oats, barley, quinoa, and brown rice, as well as legumes such as beans and chickpeas. Starchy vegetables like corn, sweet potatoes, and white potatoes are also good choices.

The quality of food you ingest has a direct effect on your body’s ability to function at its best. Healthy foods are the best choice for maintaining your metabolism and energy levels. Making small changes in your diet such as eliminating processed carbs and drinking more water can keep going throughout the day.

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