If you’re like me, you rely on your caffeine fix to stay fully functioning on a daily basis. One large cup is usually enough to get me through the entire day. But if I’ve had a sleepless night or will have to pull overtime, I’d need another large coffee to keep me awake during my shift. That’s 44 ounces of caffeine.
The Scoop on Coffee
Although coffee does have its benefits – protection against a number of cancers and improved cognitive function – too much can actually be bad for your health. Multiple studies say that you can safely consume up to four eight-ounce cups of coffee per day. Any more can lead to insomnia, anxiety, and palpitations.
As you can’t guzzle down coffee by the bucket, you want something that you can consume a number of times throughout the day, especially if you’ve been showing signs of fast metabolism.
Having a high metabolic rate means you burn energy faster than other people, so you’ll need more food to keep your body going. Choose food items with complex carbs, healthy fats, and protein that take longer to digest, giving you a steady stream of energy.
Instead of sipping your favorite iced coffee, load up on these alternative energizing food items to keep you up during work.
Bananas are rich in starch, which is complex sugar. The body slowly absorbs complex carbs, creating an ongoing production of energy. Bananas are also an excellent source of potassium and vitamin B6, all of which help boost your energy levels.
Eggs are packed with protein, which is digested slowly, giving you a sustained source of energy. Plus, eggs don’t cause spikes in insulin and blood sugar when digested, saving you from the effects of a sugar crash.
They’re also rich in the amino acid leucine, which is known to boost energy production.
Eggs, however, are high in cholesterol. It’s best to settle for egg whites or whip up a veggie omelet.
Unlike white rice, brown rice retains more nutritional value because it’s less processed. One cup of cooked brown rice contains 3.5 grams of fiber and 88 percent of the recommended daily intake for manganese. Manganese assists enzymes that break down carbs and proteins, producing more energy.
If you want your caffeine fix, but aren’t a fan of coffee, dark chocolate is your best friend. Compared to regular or milk chocolate, dark chocolate has more cocoa solids, so it also has the highest amount of caffeine.
The antioxidants in cocoa have plenty of health benefits, including increased blood circulation. The boost in blood flow delivers oxygen faster to your brain and muscles, improving their functions. Plus, this circulation helps improve your mood and reduce mental fatigue, which is something you’ll want in your 8-hour shift.
Nuts are a great afternoon snack, packed with energy-boosting nutrients. Walnuts, almonds, and cashews are high in calories, carbs, proteins, and healthy fats. These nutrients give you a slow but steady release of energy throughout the day.
They’re also rich in omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and carbs,giving you a sustained energy boost.
Fortunately, the right food can make long days bearable. Plan your meals and snacks ahead to make sure you pack energy-boosting food items.