Yes, Vegetarians Get Tired: 5 Ways to Boost Energy
September 20, 2015
One of the many benefits of switching to a plant-based diet is increased energy. But, if you’ve ever gone to a local vegan coffee bar and seen all the dreary-eyed zombies mulling in line, then you know that even people on an all-veg diet can feel zapped of energy sometimes. Hint: the coffee isn’t going to help! Instead, try these ways to boost energy levels.
Have Your B12 Levels Checked
B vitamins are needed to convert food into energy. If you don’t have enough B vitamins, then your cells’ mitochondria won’t be able to generate enough energy and it will lead to a slippery slope of symptoms which go well beyond just fatigue. In the short run, inadequate B vitamins can mean tiredness, depression, and mental fog.In the long run, inadequate B vitamins can mean permanent nerve damage.
Most B vitamins are readily found in plant foods.However, B12 is only found in animal products. As a result, vegans and vegetarians who aren’t supplementing are at risk of B12 deficiency.It isn’t just plant-based eaters either.Studies suggest that 15-40% of Americans don’t get enough B12. Have your B12 levels checked to make sure levels are adequate. If they aren’t, eat foods which are rich in B12 – like the Beast Burger! (Source)
More Greens in Your Life
There is a good reason mom always said to “eat your greens.” Dark, leafy greens are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet.They contain high amounts of iron (fatigue is one of the symptoms of iron deficiency), magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, antioxidants, and more.
Don’t like to eat greens?You can try hiding them in a green smoothie. Or teach yourself to like them by gradually adding more greens to each meal.
Drink More Water
Most of us wait until we feel thirsty before we drink water. But by then it may be too late. According to dehydration expert Lawrence E. Armstrong, our sense of thirst doesn’t appear until we are 1-2% dehydrated. Even this mild level of dehydration can cause fatigue, alter mood, and impair our ability to think clearly. (Source)
Cut Out Refined Sugars
Our energy is regulated by blood sugar levels.When you eat something sugary like a candy bar, it causes your blood sugar to skyrocket – causing a burst of energy. The problem is that this energy soon comes plummeting down. And, when your blood sugar levels drop, you start craving more sugary foods.
Instead of putting your body through a rollercoaster of high-low blood sugar levels, avoid sugary foods.This means refined sugars as well as starchy foods such as bread made from white flour.
Eat At Regular Intervals
With our busy lives, it is easy to skip a meal. Without regular food intake, your blood sugar levels will drop and you will feel sluggish. By eating at regular intervals throughout the day, you help keep your blood sugar levels steady so tiredness stays at bay. Keep some healthy snacks on hand at all times. Avoid sugary snacks and opt for the slow-burning sources of energy like whole grains, oats, nuts, and veggies. Also try to eat protein and fiber with each meal as this will slow down the absorption of sugars so you feel full – and alert – for longer.
Exhausted by Cristian CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Work found on Flickr
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