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A Better Way to Boost Your Energy With Energems

A Better Way to Boost Your Energy With Energems



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Three candies equal one cup of coffee or a typical energy drink.

Is it possible to get your caffeine fix without messy liquids, phenylalanine, or getting the jitters? It is with L-theanine, a natural supplement found in Energems. Similar to M&Ms, these bite-sized hard coated chocolates are made with real milk chocolate but also contain caffeine, B-vitamins and a proprietary energy blend.

Many energy drinks and shots rely on Aspartame. Energems do not. Energems founder Brian Sweet figured that since over 83 percent of Americans consume chocolate, what better way to increase your energy than a great tasting, chocolate based energy supplement?

I found these candies to be tasty but definitely have a noticeable edge (like dark espresso). I especially like the fact that the boxes are built for real world on-the-go storage and access....the top tab actually stays closed even when tossed into your bag with other items jostling around.

Three candies equal one cup of coffee or a typical energy drink yet contain only total 45 calories and two grams of fat. Just use common sense and make sure you don't absentmindedly munch your way through more than two boxes (18 gems) per day.


10 Things to Do Every Day to Boost Your Metabolism — and 3 to Never Do

Whenever we struggle with our weight, we're quick to blame our metabolisms and scour the internet for fast fixes. But let's be clear: There's no magic bullet guaranteed to boost your metabolism or miraculously blast your belly fat.

Metabolism — aka the way our bodies convert food into energy — is complex. The process deals with more than just what you eat and how much you work out. And the speed of your metabolism is influenced by a variety of factors, including your age, weight and sex.

Still, there are a few tried-and-true tactics you can use to keep your metabolism running at its prime calorie-burning capacity. Here are 10 things you can do every day to ramp up your metabolic rate — and three things that are sure to sabotage your weight-loss goals.


The Importance of Pre-Workout Nutrition

A proper pre-workout meal provides your body with the micro- and macronutrients needed for intense training. It can also boost your endurance, ward off fatigue and accelerate recovery from exercise. Ideally, this meal should be rich in fast-digesting protein and complex carbs so it can supply steady energy. Simple sugars and fats are not the best choice before hitting the gym.

A 2014 clinical trial published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition assessed the effects of protein and carbohydrate ingestion before exercise. Athletes who consumed both protein and carbs experienced a greater reduction in creatine kinase compared to the carb-only group. High levels of this enzyme may indicate muscle or heart damage. Low creatine kinase levels, on the other hand, equal faster recovery from training and increased performance towards the end of a game or workout.

The goal of pre-workout nutrition is to fuel your workouts and reduce muscle breakdown during exercise. When done right, it can enhance your overall performance and help you last longer in the gym. Just think how you feel after eating oatmeal versus fries or pizza. Oatmeal skyrockets your energy and keeps you full for hours. Pizza and fries, by comparison, make you feel sluggish and fatigued.


Quinoa

Pronounced “keen-wa,” this grain offers significant protein to help burn fat and lose weight. It also is known as a complete protein because it contains all of the amino acids. Most grains are not considered “total protein” sources because they lack adequate amounts of the amino acids lysine and isoleucine. Quinoa has a significant amount of both lysine and isoleucine making it a great choice for vegetarians who may have trouble getting in all their amino acids.

Quinoa also has a significant amount of manganese, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, and fiber, and is also low in calories, making it a great choice for meals and snacks.

You can use quinoa instead of rice in stir-fries like in this quinoa pilaf, or replace your morning oatmeal with this delicious breakfast quinoa recipe.


5. Spinach

Spinach is an excellent example of an iron-rich food. Iron helps transport oxygen throughout your body, and a lack of iron can leave you feeling exhausted. One cup of boiled spinach offers 6.4 milligrams of iron. Keep a bag of it on hand for salads and sautés, and even sneak it into your Sunday lasagna. Note that while spinach is high in iron for a veggie, you need a whopping total of 27 milligrams of iron each day during pregnancy—so keep taking your prenatal vitamin too.


Getting More Energy from Kidney-Friendly Foods

For many people on dialysis , fatigue and low energy is a common symptom . This sluggishness may be due to many factors, including the foods in a person&rsquos diet. What and when we eat can impact energy balance and performance throughout the day. Other dietary reasons for fatigue can include too much alcohol , a lack of certain vitamins , iron deficiency anemia or inadequate food intake. Certain diseases , medications , stress or inadequate sleep can contribute to fatigue as well. The good news is that people can optimize their body&rsquos potential by consuming a well-balanced kidney diet that boosts energy from sun up to sun down and helps improve quality of life .

Our bodies get energy from the foods we eat and drink. Foods containing carbohydrates , proteins and fats provide calories which are used by our bodies to produce energy. The amount of calories we need depends on our age, size, gender, physical activity level and nutritional status. Thus, eating the right amount of calories spread throughout the day can help people have energy just when they need it. Renal dietitians help dialysis patients determine the amount of calories and protein they need each day to optimize their energy level.

In order to get enough energy from kidney-friendly foods , dialysis patients must include foods rich in carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

Kidney-friendly carbohydrates and energy

Carbohydrates are the body&rsquos preferred energy source. Therefore, the best way to maximize our body&rsquos potential is to eat carbohydrate-rich foods. Complex carbs such as rice, pasta and starchy vegetables are high in carbohydrates and some of these provide fiber . They also provide a steady source of glucose for energy and blood glucose regulation. If a person on dialysis also has diabetes , spreading out carbohydrates throughout the day will help control blood sugar and contribute to feeling energized. The key for optimal energy is having a consistent amount of carbohydrates at each meal. The timing of meals is highly related to a person&rsquos energy levels. Skipping meals or eating meals too far apart may take a toll on energy balance.

But some carbohydrate-rich foods, such as legumes and milk, are high in phosphorus and potassium , so people with kidney disease who need to control those nutrients may need to limit certain foods. Prescribed phosphate binders taken with each meal plus working with a dietitian to learn the best food choices can help balance phosphorus and potassium in a person&rsquos dialysis diet .

Kidney-friendly proteins and energy

Foods rich in protein also help optimize the use of energy in our bodies. Eating the right amount of protein is especially important for patients on dialysis. During the dialysis treatment, some protein is lost becoming deficient in protein can compromise the immune system so that infections cannot be fought effectively, cause damaged tissues to not heal well and result in hormonal imbalances. Replenishing your protein stores by having the right amount of protein and calories will help you feel your best. The amount of protein a person needs depends on many factors, such as body size, activity, lab values and type of dialysis treatments. Renal dietitians counsel patients on how much protein they need. Good sources of protein are lean meats, including eye of round beef, lean ground beef, pork tenderloin, poultry, fish, eggs and egg substitutes. Since many protein-rich foods are also high in phosphorus , taking phosphate binders before or with your meals will help keep phosphorus in range. Consider adopting the habit of eating two ounces of high protein food or taking a protein supplement that contains approximately 14 grams of protein before and after each dialysis treatment. This will help replace protein lost during treatment.

Kidney-friendly fats and energy

Fats are a concentrated source of energy, and even though they have a bad reputation, people need fat in their diet to stay healthy and function at an optimal level. In addition to giving us energy, fats keep us warm and help us use certain vitamins. Too much of the wrong fats can lead to weight gain and heart disease . There are two types of fats: saturated and unsaturated. The saturated fats, also known as bad fats, come from animal foods, are solid at room temperature, can raise cholesterol levels and increase risk of heart disease. Some examples include lard, butter, hydrogenated cooking oils and processed meats such as bacon, hot dogs, sausages and pepperoni. Limiting these high fat foods in a kidney diet and choosing more unsaturated fats, also known as good fats, is a healthy way to eat. Unsaturated fats include non-hydrogenated vegetable oils such as canola, olive or corn oil and soft, trans-fat free margarine. Unsaturated fats help reduce cholesterol and provide extra energy, but moderation is the key because too much of the good stuff can lead to unwanted weight gain and other health problems.

Energy-boosting recipes for the kidney diet

DaVita.com has more than 800 kidney-friendly recipes . These dietitian-selected recipes will help jumpstart your day and sustain energy throughout.

Energy from your kidney diet

If a person with kidney disease feels sluggish despite eating a good balance of calories, carbohydrates, proteins and fats, visiting their doctor is in order to examine symptoms and recommend treatments. Dialysis patients who strive to consume the best balance of foods will feel more energetic from making healthy kidney-friendly food choices throughout the day.


7 Energy-Boosting Foods That'll Perk You Up Better Than a Cup of Coffee

Tame tiredness and boost productivity with these fatigue-fighting foods.

With constant technological pings, a heavy workload, an ambitious workout schedule, and a busy social calendar, it&rsquos no wonder you&rsquore always tired and tempted to hit the snooze button every. single. morning. You&rsquore not alone: A whopping 85 percent of Americans wake up already feeling poorly rested (yes, already), according to a recent survey.

Aiming for eight hours of shuteye is a great start to tame the tiredness, of course, but that&rsquos not always possible. Your daily habits can fill in the energy gaps if you eat a healthy diet, according to Jenna A. Werner, RD, creator of Happy Slim Healthy. &ldquoFood is our fuel. Calories are literally units of energy. When we eat the right foods and the right combinations of foods we are literally fueling our bodies.&rdquo Here are seven RD-approved eats that will perk you up until you can pencil in more pillow time.

Add a serving avocado to your menu when you&rsquore running low on energy. In addition to pantothenic acid, a B vitamin that helps your cells turn food into fuel, avocados are &ldquorich in healthy fats and fiber,&rdquo says Jessica Beacom, RD, co-founder of The Real Food Dietitians. &ldquoTheir fat helps enhance the absorption of nutrients in the foods you eat and their fiber slows the rise and fall of blood sugar after a meal or snack, thereby promoting more steady energy levels.&rdquo In case you still need convincing that there&rsquos no need for fats to be off limits, follow this guidance from Bonnie Taub-Dix, RD, creator of BetterThanDieting.com and author of Read It Before You Eat It: Taking You From Label to Table.

&ldquoAim for 30 to 35 percent fat, 50 percent carbohydrates and 20 percent protein each time you eat. The most energizing option is a balance of all three macronutrients at every meal or snack. That trifecta provides energy unlike fad diets that eliminate carbs or fat.&rdquo

Coffee can only do so much, so try collards next time you&rsquore drained instead. &ldquoPeople often reach for quick fixes like caffeine and sugar when they&rsquore tired, but neither of these provide steady, sustained energy,&rdquo says Stacie Hassing, RD, co-founder of The Real Food Dietitians.

While they&rsquore low in calories, leafy greens are high in iron, calcium, fiber, folic acid, magnesium, vitamins A, C, E and K. &ldquoThe iron and vitamin C in leafy greens work synergistically to help prevent anemia, which is a major cause of fatigue&mdashespecially in women,&rdquo Beacom says.

But you don&rsquot need to eat spinach straight from the can like Popeye to score all the strength benefits. Fight fatigue during that time of the month and beyond by sipping a green smoothie and opting for the side salad over fries at lunch.

Calling all keto queens: &ldquoCarbs shouldn&rsquot be avoided! They&rsquore the fastest fuel source to break down in our system,&rdquo Taub-Dix explains. Just focus on choosing whole grain, fiber-rich carbs that are absorbed slower than white flour and sugar.

The perfect pick-me-up carbohydrate: Sweet potatoes. &ldquoThey&rsquore a great source of energy-rich complex carbohydrates and the high-fiber content slows the rate of digestion so that their energy is released in a slow and steady way," Beacom says. "They&rsquore all a good source of manganese, which is important for the breakdown of other energy-uplifting nutrients." Pineapple, nuts and oatmeal are also potent providers of metabolism-boosting manganese .

Peel out. &ldquoPacked with good carbs, potassium and nutrients, these are a great choice especially pre-workout to give you quick fuel,&rdquo Werner says.

● Potassium helps with hydration, a key factor to naturally feeling more alert

● Natural sugars and carbohydrates prime your system for a workout

● Phytochemicals aid in recovery so you bounce back better after muscular challenges

Skip the sour candies and choose chocolate to bounce back from the 3 p.m. slump. &ldquoSugar can zap energy. When you&rsquore exhausted, you might find yourself turning to sugar as a crutch and a quick fix, but it gets absorbed quickly into your bloodstream and causes a blood sugar and energy roller coaster,&rdquo Taub-Dix says.

For a more sustainable answer, seek out a dark chocolate bar with 75 percent or more cocoa. This low-sugar candy option is a good source of caffeine and theobromine, two naturally-occurring stimulants that can boost both energy and mood. &ldquoIt&rsquos also high in antioxidants that may improve blood flow and thus oxygenation of the brain and muscles,&rdquo Beacom says.

Eating right, getting sufficient sleep, and moving enough are three keys to stepping up stamina. Don&rsquot forget about what you&rsquore drinking, too.

Oodles of us use coffee as a crutch, even though it can cause jitters and wiredness, according to Taub-Dix. So go for good old H2O the next time you&rsquore filling your cup.

&ldquoDehydration can slow down even your energy production which can cause you to feel tired and sluggish. Drinking enough water is imperative to boost and maintain energy,&rdquo Werner says. So even though it has zero calories, fat, protein or carbs to provide energy, water wards off the worn out, woozy feelings.

The blood-red root vegetables can&rsquot be beat when it comes to a nutritious and sustaining fuel source. &ldquoBeets contain naturally occurring nitrates and antioxidants which are thought to increase blood flow and thus oxygenation of your brain and muscles,&rdquo Beacom says.

Unlike similarly-hued vegetables and fruits, this vibrant exhibit of Earth&rsquos candy is as rich in nutrition as it is in color. &ldquoWhen you have a premium car, would you put regular gas in it?&rdquo Werner asks. &ldquoYou are a premium person, so fuel your tank with premium foods.&rdquo

Aim to consume a variety of fruits of vegetables&mdashsay, in a beet, Romaine and carrot salad&mdashto hit your daily quota of your micronutrients. &ldquoMicronutrients don't necessarily directly correlate to weight loss or gain, but when we&rsquore deficient, your body has to work harder to compensate for the loss. This can make you tired or deplete your energy,&rdquo Werner says.


1 of 13

Tip 1: Commit to Working Out

If you keep a schedule that doesn't include exercise, you're missing out on a great metabolism-booster.

Try these simple ideas to keep your metabolism going:

"You don't have to go to the gym or go for a run, but be sure to move in some way," says Ann Kulze, M.D., a member of the Medical Advisory Board for the Wellness Councils of America and author of Dr. Ann's 10-Step Diet (Top Ten Wellness & Fitness, 2008). "A healthy metabolism requires regular movement, so don't sit for more than two hours without getting up."

Try these simple ideas to keep your metabolism going:

-- Wear a pedometer and strive for 10,000 steps a day.

-- Forget the elevator and take the stairs.

-- When you start feeling tired, go to the kitchen or drinking fountain to get a sip of water.

-- Stretch every hour, even if it's at your desk.

Incorporate interval training (alternating between more-intense and less-intense activities during one workout) into your exercise routine for an even bigger metabolism boost, says Mark Hyman, M.D., editor in chief of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, a member of the board of directors for the Institute for Functional Medicine, and the author of Ultrametabolism: The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss (Atria, 2008).

Interval exercises don't have to focus on hardcore running or cycling. Brisk walking followed by a slower pace will still boost metabolism.


Top 10 Energy Boosters

1. Increase Your Magnesium Intake

Eating a balanced diet can help ensure your vitamin and mineral needs are met. But if you still find yourself too pooped to pop, you could have a slight magnesium deficiency, Heller says.

"This mineral is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including breaking down glucose into energy," Heller says. "So when levels are even a little low, energy can drop."

In a study done at the Department of Agriculture's Human Nutrition Research Center in Grand Forks, N.D., women with magnesium deficiencies had higher heart rates and required more oxygen to do physical tasks than they did after their magnesium levels were restored. In essence, their bodies were working harder which, over time, says Heller, can leave you feeling depleted.

The recommended daily intake of magnesium is around 300 milligrams for women and 350 milligrams for men. To make sure you're getting enough, Heller suggests:

  • Add a handful of almonds, hazelnuts or cashews to your daily diet.
  • Increase your intake of whole grains, particularly bran cereal.
  • Eat more fish, especially halibut.

Continued

2. Walk Around the Block

While it may seem as if moving about when you feel exhausted is the quickest route to feeling more exhausted, the opposite is true. Experts say that increasing physical activity -- particularly walking -- increases energy.

"I like walking because it's accessible, easy to do, doesn't need training or equipment and you can do it anywhere," says Rita Redberg, MD, science advisor to the American Heart Association's "Choose To Move" program.

In experiments conducted by Robert Thayer, PhD, at California State University, a brisk 10-minute walk not only increased energy, but the effects lasted up to two hours. And when the daily 10-minute walks continued for three weeks, overall energy levels and mood were lifted.

Research has shown that both information overload and pushing our brains too hard can zap energy. But studies by the National Institutes of Mental Health found that a 60-minute "power nap" can not only reverse the mind-numbing effects of information overload, it may also help us to better retain what we have learned.

Continued

4. Don't Skip Breakfast -- or Any Other Meal

"Studies show that folks who eat breakfast report being in a better mood, and have more energy throughout the day," says Heller.

Her personal theory, she says, is that breaking the fast soon after rising supplies your body with a jolt of fuel that sets the tone for the whole day.

Moreover, studies published in the journal Nutritional Health found that missing any meal during the day led to an overall greater feeling of fatigue by day's end.

5. Reduce Stress and Deal With Anger

One of the biggest energy zappers is stress, says psychologist Paul Baard, PhD.

"Stress is the result of anxiety, and anxiety uses up a whole lot of our energy," says Baard, a sports psychologist at Fordham University in the Bronx, N.Y.

Like worry or fear, Baard says, stress can leave you mentally and physically exhausted -- even if you've spent the day in bed. More commonly, he says, low but chronic levels of stress erode energy levels, so over time you find yourself doing less and feeling it more.

Continued

In much the same way, unexpressed anger can give a one-two punch to your energy level. The reason: "We're expending all our energy trying to contain our angry feelings, and that can be exhausting," Baard tells WebMD.

The good news, says Baard, is that we can counter these energy killers by programming more relaxation activities into our day. While for many folks, increasing exercise burns off the chemical effects of stress and anger, others find relief in quiet pursuits: listening to music, reading a steamy romance novel, or even just talking on the phone.

"Whatever is relaxing for you will reduce tension and that will help increase energy," says Baard.

6. Drink More Water and Less Alcohol

You may already know that it's easy to confuse signals of hunger with thirst (we think we need food when we really need water). But did you know that thirst can also masquerade as fatigue?

"Sometimes, even slight dehydration can leave you feeling tired and lethargic," says nutritionist Keith Ayoob, EdD, RD, an associate professor at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York and author of The Uncle Sam Diet.

Continued

The solution is simple: a tall, cool glass of water. This is particularly important to boost energy after exercise, when your body is likely to be craving fluids, Ayoob says. Conversely, Heller says, if you find yourself frequently fatigued even after a good night's sleep, try cutting down on alcohol during the evening hours.

'While alcohol initially helps you fall asleep, it also interferes with deep sleep, so you're not getting the rest you think you are -- even if you sleep a full eight hours," she says.

By cutting down on alcohol before bedtime, you'll get a better night's rest, which is bound to result in more energy the next day.

7. Eat More Whole Grains and Less Sugar

The key here is keeping blood sugar balanced so energy is constant.

"When you're eating a sweet food, you get a spike in blood sugar, which gives you an initial burst of energy," Heller says. "But that's followed by a rapid drop in blood sugar, which in turn can leave you feeling very wiped out."

Continued

Do that enough times a day, she says, and by evening you're feeling exhausted.

"But, if you eat a lot of whole grains, which provide a slow and steady release of fuel, your energy will be consistent and balanced, so by day's end you'll feel less tired," says Heller.

Indeed, a study published recently in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating more whole grains helped increase the body's sensitivity to insulin, allowing for that slow and steady release.

Power snacking is more than just eating between meals, Ayoob says. He suggests a treat that combines protein, a little fat and some fiber -- like peanut butter on a whole-wheat cracker, or some yogurt with a handful of nuts.

"The carbs offer a quick pick-me-up, the protein keeps your energy up, and the fat makes the energy last," he tells WebMD.

Pair a quick caffeine hit with the sustaining power of protein by having a low-fat latte instead of just a cup of coffee, advises Ayoob.

Continued

"All that milk turns your java into a protein drink, which provides not only extra energy, but extra calcium, which is good for your bones," he tells WebMD. Combine it with an ounce of almonds, he says, and the healthy fat will really tide you over -- while making you feel you're spoiling yourself silly!

10. Check Your Thyroid Function and Complete Blood Cell Count

It certainly won't provide an instant boost. But if you're constantly low on energy -- especially if you feel sluggish even after a good night's rest -- Heller says you should talk to your doctor about a blood test for thyroid dysfunction as well as anemia.

"Thyroid can be a particular problem for women -- it often develops after childbirth and frequently during the perimenopause -- but a simple blood test can verify if this is your problem," says Heller. If you're diagnosed with low thyroid function, medication can bring your body back up to speed.

In anemia, says Heller, a reduction in red blood cells can mean your body isn't getting the level of oxygen necessary to sustain energy. So, you tire easily.

"This can sometimes occur during a woman's reproductive years, particularly if she has a very heavy menstrual cycle," says Heller.


As it turns out, I kind of do feel like a whole new human. Dr. Chiti Parikh, co-founder, Integrative Health and Wellbeing Program at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian, says some people are low on vitamins to begin with.

“As per the Center for Disease Control (CDC), about 10 percent of the U.S. population is deficient in certain vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, D, B6, B12 and iron, due to an unhealthy diet or a lack of proper absorption,” she explains. “In certain conditions, IV repletion of these vitamins and minerals can boost the levels in the body more rapidly. As these deficiencies are corrected, one might feel more energetic, clear headed and notice an improvement in the texture of skin and hair.”

Parikh goes on to say that though vitamins B and C are indeed water soluble — meaning your body will just eliminate what it doesn’t need — too much magnesium, for example, can lead to issues like cardiac arrhythmia, so testing your blood to see if you have vitamin deficiencies before trying this is a good idea.

Dr. David L. Katz, director of Yale University Prevention Research Center, Griffin Hospital, conducted a study on the efficacy of IV micronutrient therapy for fibromyalgia patients, with some promise. When I told him how this particular formula worked out for me, he agreed that, under certain conditions, these types of IV solutions could conceivably help ease cold symptoms. “Careful infusions of well-chosen nutrients in reasonable doses could, conceivably, confer benefit,” he says.

But Katz goes on to say that he's "dubious about indiscriminate use of IV nutrient infusions. Why do it? There are the risks of venipuncture — bleeding, bruising, clotting, and infection — and you are going around the system evolutionary biology has so beautifully designed to be the conduit for nutrients to enter our bodies: the GI tract."

So what's the bottom line on these treatments? "While I think it makes sense to study this for specific applications, there is really no evidence to date indicating any meaningful benefit from routine use. My main concern is that it is more reliable as a revenue source for providers than as a genuine therapy for patients," says Katz.