Lose the Sugar, Sustain Your Energy
It’s no secret that American’s love sugar. The average American consumes 152 pounds of sugar per year (or almost 3 pounds per week) compared to 2 pounds per year 200 years ago. Sugar is the most commonly added ingredient to processed food in the US. While you most likely know it is found in cakes, cookies and candy, what you might not know is that it is also “hidden” in many common foods such as salad dressing, ketchup, soup, cereal and peanut butter. And believe it or not, most experts agree that sugar may be as addictive as cocaine!
There are several reasons we become addicted to sugar. For one, it tastes good. But it is a chemical response in your body that causes you to want more and more. You eat sugar, get a rush of energy and your blood sugar rises. This causes an insulin response, which then causes an energy crash. At that time, your body sends out a signal that it wants/needs more. And thus, the cycle begins.
As summer approaches in full force, we want to maintain energy for the day’s activities. Sugar is not the go-to source. Here are our favorites to keep your energy up for that hike, bike ride or all-day paddle board excursion!
Nuts and nut butters
Almonds, cashews and walnuts are known for their caloric energy and abundance of healthy fats. These allow for a slow, sustained energy release. Nut butters are a great option as well, just watch out for added sugars and oils, like canola or safflower.
Like coffee, green tea contains caffeine, which boosts energy. However, green tea also contains L-theanine, which provides a smoother boost and can lessen the effects of caffeine, such as jitters and elevated heart rate.
The fiber in seeds such as chia and flax allow for slow digestion, which results in a sustained and steady release of energy.
Healthy fats! And lots of them. Need we say more? Oh, and they are delicious!
Chickpeas are a good source of complex carbohydrates. The fat in the oil and tahini slow down the absorption of carbs, which helps avoid blood sugar spikes.
Full Fat Yogurt
With a balance of carbs, protein and fat, as well as B vitamins, yogurt is a great food to fuel your day.
Eggs contain the amino acid leucine, as well as B3 vitamins. Leucine stimulates energy production in cells and B3 helps enzymes do their job to break down food for energy.
Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation, which is a common source of fatigue.
Our snacks are loaded with healthy ingredients (including nuts and seeds!) with zero sugar! They are satisfying, filling and sustain energy for the day.