Some people feel tired after exercising or running. Lack of energy could affect your daily life. This might also make you less productive. Read on to know more about which foods can help increase your stamina and keep your energy levels up through the day.
Which Nutrients Are Essential for Building Stamina?
Here are the nutrients that our bodies require to build strength and stamina:
1. Complex Carbohydrates
These are digested slowly and are rich in dietary fibre. Complex carbohydrates provide a lot of energy that is used by the body to fuel the brain and muscles.
Our body breaks down the proteins we consume into amino acids. These acids are then used for making hormones, tissues, red blood cells, and for muscle building and repair.
3. Healthy Fats
Healthy fats are required by the body to increase the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins D, E, K, and A. These fats are needed for the development and growth of the body.
4. Iron and Calcium
Calcium helps to build strong bones, which makes it an essential mineral. Likewise, iron is also essential as it is needed by the red blood cells for the transportation of oxygen.
5. Vitamin C
Vitamin C regulates the chemical reactions taking place in the body and strengthens the immune system.
Power Foods to Boost Your Stamina
Try some of these stamina-enhancing foods.
Bananas are good foods you can consume for energy. They are a fantastic source of potassium, carbohydrates, and vitamin B6. All of these will help in boosting the energy levels in the body. One study indicates that having a banana before a 75 kilometres cycling trial was as good as taking a carbohydrate drink for the athletes to improve their performance. Bananas are one of the foods to improve running stamina.
2. Fatty Fish
Fishes like salmon and tuna and good examples of fatty fishes as they are good sources of protein, vitamin B, and fatty acids. Consuming tuna or salmon provides you with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12. Omega-3 fatty acids are good at reducing inflammation in the body. Some studies show that these supplements decrease fatigue especially in people that are recovering from cancer. Moreover, Vitamin B12 works well with folic acid and helps to produce red blood cells.
3. Brown Rice
Brown rice is less processed when compared to white making brown rice very nutritious as it retains more nutritional value in the form of vitamins, fibres, and minerals. One cup of cooked brown rice provides about 88 per cent of the RDI for manganese and contains 3.5 grams of fibre. Brown rice also has a low glycaemic index because of its fibre content. It also helps to regulate blood sugar levels and maintains steady energy levels.
4. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a very nutritious source of energy and delicious. One medium sized potato contains 3.8 grams of fibre, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 438 per cent of the RDI for vitamin A, and 28 per cent of the RDI for manganese. When sweet potato is consumed, your body gets a steady supply of energy. This is because the body digests them at a really slow pace due to complex carbs and fibre contents. They are also a good source for manganese that helps to breakdown nutrients to produce energy.
Many people consume coffee when they are looking for an energy boost. Coffee is rich in caffeine. This compound can pass to your brain from the bloodstream and inhibit the activity of adenosine. Adenosine is a neurotransmitter that quiets the central nervous system. This increases the production of epinephrine, a hormone that helps to stimulate the brain and body. Even though a cup of coffee has only two calories, its stimulatory effects on the body can make you feel focused and alert.
Eggs are packed with protein which gives you a sustained and steady energy to fuel your day. Eggs, when digested, does not spike in insulin or blood sugar. Moreover, leucine, which is known to stimulate energy production in many ways, is the most abundant amino acids in eggs. This compound helps cells by taking in more blood sugar and thus increases the breakdown of fat to produce energy and stimulates the production of energy in cells. Eggs are also rich in B vitamins. These vitamins help enzymes in the processes of gaining energy by breaking down foods. Eggs are one of the best foods for gym stamina.
Apples are a good source of fibre and carbs and are one of the most popular fruits in the world. A single medium-sized apple has about 25 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fibre, and 19 grams of sugar. Apples can release energy slower and sustain it because they are rich in natural sugars and fibre. Apples also have a high content of antioxidants. These are needed to slow down the digestion of carbohydrates making them release energy over an extended period. Apples are better when eaten whole since purees and juices from which the fibre has been removed are digested faster.
Water is important for life. Water represents almost 60 per cent of the body weight and is involved in so many functions in the cells including energy production. When you do not drink enough water, it might cause dehydration which results in slower body functions leaving you tired and sluggish. This is why drinking water will provide you energy and help you fight off the fatigue. Even when you are not thirsty, you can still drink water regularly throughout the day to avoid dehydration.
9. Dark chocolate
When compared to regular or milk chocolate, dark chocolate has a higher cocoa content. The antioxidants present have many health benefits which include an increase in the flow of blood in the body. This will help to deliver oxygen to the muscles and brain and thus improves general function. This can be more helpful when you are exercising. An increase of blood flow will help to decrease mental fatigue and improve your mood in general. Dark chocolates also contain stimulatory compounds such as caffeine and theobromine which are shown to improve mental energy.
10. Yerba Mate
This is a drink made from dried leaves of a plant that is native to South America. Yerba mate contains caffeine and antioxidants. An 8-ounce cup of this contains 85 mg of caffeine which is similar to the amount in a small cup of coffee. The caffeine promotes the production of epinephrine, a hormone which helps in increasing energy. This drink does not seem to affect heart rate or blood pressure. It is also seen that yerba mate improves mental focus, mood, memory, and enhances physical activity.
11. Goji Berries
Due to their medicinal benefits, these berries have been used for centuries in Chinese medicine. This fruit is a good source of fibre and is packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. They assist mental alertness and performance and help to decrease fatigue. Two grams of fibre is seen in a one-ounce serving. This helps in slow and steady digestion and slow release in energy. Goji berries can be eaten by mixing it in yoghurt, baked goods, smoothies, and sauces. You could also eat them raw.
This seed is very popular for its rich protein content. One cup of quinoa gives 5 grams of dietary fibre, 39 grams of carbs, 8 grams of proteins, and a good amount of minerals and vitamins. The seeds have a low glycemic index though they have high carbohydrates. This indicates that the carbs are absorbed slowly thus providing the body with sustained energy. Moreover, the seeds also provide 20 per cent of the RDI for magnesium, manganese, and folate. Enzymes use all of these nutrients to process energy.
Oatmeal is a whole-grain cereal that contains beta-glucan. This is a soluble fibre that, when combined with water, forms a thick gel. In the digestive system, this gel delays the absorption of glucose into the blood and stomach emptying. Oats are high in minerals and vitamin including iron, manganese, vitamins. All of these nutrients make this the perfect food for sustained energy release.
The carbs found in yoghurt are mainly in the form of simple sugars such as galactose and lactose. When these are broken down, they can provide ready-to-use energy. Yoghurt is also packed in protein which helps by slowing down the digestion on carbohydrates which slows down the release of sugars. Yoghurt also contains a good amount of vitamins B12 and B2. These are involved in cellular function and help in the formation of ATP, which are the fuel for cells.
Hummus is made with sesame seed paste, chickpeas, lemon, and oil. This combination makes it an excellent source of energy. Chickpeas have a good source of fibre and complex carbs that the body uses for obtaining steady energy. The sesame seed paste and the oil also contain healthy fats which are helpful in slowing down the absorption of carbs. This helps the body by preventing blood sugar spikes.
Avocados are rich in fibres and healthy fats. About 84 per cent of this fat comes from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. They help by improving the absorption of nutrients and promote optimal blood levels. They are also used as energy sources. Avocados are also a great source for vitamin B. This is required for the function in mitochondria where energy is produced.
Oranges are popular for its high content of vitamin C. a single orange can give as much as 106 per cent of the RDI for vitamin C. Oranges also protect the body’s cells from oxidative stress as it contains antioxidant compounds. Studies indicate that oxidative stress increases the chances of fatigue. Therefore, consuming oranges can decrease fatigue.
Strawberries are good stamina-boosting food. They contain fibre, carbs, and sugars that improve energy levels. A single cup of strawberries contains 3 grams of fibre, 12 grams of carbs, and 7 grams of sugar. Moreover, strawberries help by fighting inflammation and the antioxidants present help to fight fatigue and give you energy.
Beans are rich in natural energy. There are many types of beans, but all of them have similar nutrient profiles. They contain a good amount of protein, fibre, and carbohydrates. They help to maintain a stable blood sugar level as they are digested slowly and provide steady energy. Beans also help to fight inflammation as they contain antioxidants. Black-eyed peas and black beans are very popular as they are excellent sources of iron, folic acids, magnesium, and manganese. These are involved in the production of energy.
Maca is a superfood that has so many medicinal properties. It helps by increasing libido and male fertility. The maca root is usually taken in a powdered form and is the best food for increasing stamina in bed or sexual stamina.
There are so many foods for stamina strength, and they will help to boost your energy. Whether they contain protein and fibre for a slower release of energy or are packed with carbs for readily available energy, these foods will help to increase your stamina and power.