Who wouldn’t more energy these days? You, your clients and just about every other person in America would be our guess. Whether it’s your clients juggling family, work and a new eating plan with regular training sessions, or you as a fitness professional balancing a full client schedule with your own personal and professional responsibilities, even ordinary days demand extraordinary amounts of energy.
Chances are you guide clients to get adequate sleep and to take time to rest on off days to not only help manage energy, but also to prevent injuries. Maintaining a regular training schedule is also a must for achieving those extraordinary amounts of energy, as is solid nutrition. Making your diet work for you is one of the smartest ways to boost energy. The right foods and nutrients can help keep you and your clients going strong even through the notorious afternoon slump.
It is essential to start with a healthy eating plan that incorporates regular meals made up of lean proteins, whole grains and lots of fruits and vegetables. This way of eating has been shown to help maintain steady blood sugar levels and energy throughout the day. In addition to this eating plan, you and your clients can take advantage of specific foods for energy-boosting power. Simple swaps, such as the ones presented below, are easy ways to help increase energy.
Focus on energy-producing nutrients. Magnesium and B vitamins are two key nutrients in the production of energy. To boost your intake of these, swap:
Nuts and Seeds for Chips
Nuts and seeds offer the same crunch you crave with so much more power. Almonds, cashews, sesame seeds and more are also good options for magnesium, and they make an easy grab-and-go snack, salad topping, and oatmeal or yogurt add in.
Spinach for Lettuce
While both can be a good option for fiber, spinach is also a good source for magnesium. In addition, spinach is high in iron. Iron deficiency itself is a common cause of fatigue, especially in athletes and women. Add spinach to breakfast scrambles, salads, sandwiches and wraps.
Black Beans for Pinto
Beans are superstars when it comes to magnesium and B vitamins. If they aren’t already part of your diet or your client’s menu plan, swap them in wherever you can. When you do have a choice, black beans are the smartest pick for increased magnesium. Get creative with black bean burritos, chili, soup, burgers and salads.
Ditch energy-sapping foods. It’s not always what you add to your diet that makes an impact. Try these swaps for a steady boost of energy long after your meal:
Whole Grains for Refined
Whole grains are powerhouses of nutrition and an excellent source of sustained energy. Loaded with B vitamins, magnesium, iron, fiber and more, whole grains have key energy-producing nutrients plus they have a less significant impact on blood sugar than their refined cousins. Refined grain products provide a short-term burst of energy thanks to a spike in blood sugar, but that energy burst just as quickly turns to a crash. Instead of refined grains, opt for whole-grain pastas, breads, crackers and whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, bulgur and freekeh for sustained energy.
Water for Energy Drinks
One of the most common causes of fatigue is dehydration. Adequate hydration throughout the day, as well as before, during and after a workout, is an easy way to keep energy up. For energy-boosting hydration that won’t negatively impact results, swapping water for energy drinks is a smart choice. Similar to refined grains, energy drinks are notoriously high in sugar that can cause blood sugar, and energy along with it, to spike and later crash. Water, however, supplies the hydration you need without added sugar and calories. Try flavoring water with fruits, vegetables and herbs to mix up your hydration throughout the day. When exercising at a high intensity for more than an hour at a time, sports drinks are the best option for hydration.
Success depends upon more than just regular training sessions. Deliver the results your clients expect. Support your clients’ training program and busy lifestyles with energy-boosting eating plans and foods swaps like the ones presented here for increased energy and drive.