When most people feel fatigued, sugar or coffee is usually the go to stimulant. Since it is summer and I will hopefully soon to be in bathing suit swimming by the lake, I am doing everything I can right now to avoid the Michelin belly tire effect.That means less sugar, less processed empty carbohydrate caloric foods. So, when I want more energy, I now turn to protein!
Research published in the journal Neuronin November 2011 suggests that it is protein, not sugar or a caloric infusion, that stimulates the cells we rely on to help us fend off fatigue.The study looked at the effect of a variety of nutrients on orexin cells, which secrete stimulants in the brain that cause us to expend energy and stay awake. Scientists found that the number of nerve impulses generated by orexin cells were increased by the intake of amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Glucose, a simple sugar found in the usual go to pick me up snacks that we choose when we are tired actually blocked these impulses.
The research clearly suggests that the type of nutrients we ingest can have a big impact not just on our health and weight, but also on our day-to-day energy levels, alertness and ability to focus and concentrate.
So where do I get this fabulous protein filled pick me up? Lately I have been experimenting with bean muffins that I also make with flax seeds or psyllium to give me that extra fiber bonus of satiety, feeling fuller for longer. Yesterday at work I had one of those, a big glass of H2O and then a few almonds and I felt regenerated within 20 minutes- and no coffee was involved!
Protein can be found in all meats of course, but I prefer vegetarian choices like, seeds, nuts, flackers with humus, yogurt and of course you can make a protein shake with whey, hemp, greens and even berries.
So the next time you need a boost, move away from the candy jar and try this alternative, a protein-rich nutritious energizing food instead. let me know what happens to your energy and your waistline!