We are a nation on energy shortage. No, not the kind that involves long lines at the gas station or extended blackouts. We are a nation of people who are constantly trying to find more bodily energy. This may be due to our fast-paced, multitasking lifestyle. Or, we may feel drained due to the poor diet we subject ourselves to. Everyone has a theory, but regardless, we all seem to be interested in getting a little boost of energy, a quick "pick-me-up".
This interest in boosting energy is evidenced in the products on the aisles of grocery stores, filling stations and convenience stores. "Energy drinks" are now a multibillion dollar industry. Coffee shops are on every corner. Many foods are marketed as giving one energy. But what is it in all these foods that are supposed to give one "energy"?
Many energy drinks contain a variety of nutrients, such as B vitamins, guarana, ginseng, and ginkgo biloba. Most energy drinks contain a high amount of sugar. But most commonly, energy products contain caffeine, which is a stimulant. Caffeine can make one feel more alert, more focused and more energized. Caffeine doesn't really give you energy, though. The energy you have comes from metabolizing the calories you consume. Energy drinks may stimulate you, but they don't necessarily give you energy.
Needless to say, on Phase One of the Kaufmann Diet, most "quick pick-me-ups" are off limits. The sugar eliminates most of them from being OK for the diet. Furthermore, coffee isn't technically allowed on Phase One, because it comes from a legume, which are relegated to Phase Two of the Kaufmann Diet. Regardless, we can all use a quick pick-me-up from time to time.
Where do we find real sustained energy?
First, it is important to remember that energy comes from food. Eating a nutritious diet regularly will promote a healthy metabolism and sustained energy. Try the Kaufmann Diet for this.
Remember to snack regularly. Most snack food is off limits on The Kaufmann Diet. But a quick snack of nuts, a green apple a slice or two of avocado, some mixed berries, etc. will keep your blood sugar from crashing, and prevent the subsequent lethargy. Getting some good fats in your diet will provide sustained energy throughout the day.
Also, exercise is a great pick-me-up. Exercise promotes sustained energy and a healthy metabolism. It can "get you going" in the morning, likely just as well as a cup of coffee. Exercising on a lunch break is certainly better than downing a huge soda or energy drink for energy or focus for the rest of the day.
B-Vitamins are a good supplemental tool to help aid in energy production. Rhodiola is another herb that can help promote energy.
We can all use a boost from time to time, but remember to avoid this things that might crash your diet!