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9 Foods that build your stamina naturally

Almost all foods provide the body with energy, but certain foods help build stamina naturally to help you stay alert and increase productivity.

Many people feel tired or run-down at some point during the day. A lack of energy could affect your daily activities and make you less productive. 

Although you may find yourself craving a bag of chips or a sweet beverage during your mid-afternoon slump, try to keep in mind that items high in fat and calories can leave you feeling fatigued because they require more energy to digest.

While they give a quick hit of pleasure because they boost serotonin, the brain chemical that helps regulate mood — which will cause your blood sugar to spike and give you a short-lived high that ends in a crash. The subsequent drop in blood sugar leaves you tired and hungry again.

But, is there an easy remedy to tackle this problem? Absolutely.

There is a wide variety of foods that boost your energy and build stamina in your daily life. With the intake of the right foods you can increase your ability to sustain prolonged physical or mental effort. 

So, if you are feeling low and tired, include some of these power foods in your diet to keep you high on stamina:

Fruits

1.Banana

Bananas may be one of the best foods for snacking, as they are high in energy and nutrients. So, when it comes to increasing your stamina, bananas are an excellent option.

One medium-sized banana contains 105 kilocalories of energy, 27 g carbohydrates, and 3 g of fiber.

A rich source of potassium, complex carbohydrates, fiber and vitamin B6, all of which help boost energy levels and increase your stamina. The magnesium in bananas also helps boost metabolism and is a cost-effective energy source that increases exercise endurance.

Bananas are also considered a great pre-workout snack. A study showed that eating a banana as a carbohydrate source during a 75-km cycling performance increases stamina and endurance.

Besides, they also increase the release of dopamine, the feel-good hormone in the body, which can help fight the fatigue.

2. Oranges

This popular citrus fruit is known for its delicious taste and high vitamin C content. Oranges are also a healthy source of fiber, thiamine, folate, and antioxidants. They have multiple health benefits including their fatigue reducing effects.

One orange can provide as much as 106% of the RDI for vitamin C.

The antioxidant compounds may also help reduce oxidative stress in the body. Research has shown that oxidative stress could promote feelings of fatigue. Therefore, the antioxidant protection provided by compounds in oranges may be able to help decrease fatigue.

A study in the journal Antioxidants notes that young adult male students who have higher levels of vitamin C may also have better mood and may be less likely to experience confusion, anger, or depression.

One study showed that 13 women who consumed 17 ounces (500 ml) of orange juice and did one hour of aerobic training three times a week for three months saw decreases in muscle fatigue and experienced improvements in physical performance.

Vegetables

3. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are sweet, starchy root vegetables that are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. They provide a number of health benefits and are easy to add to your diet.

100 g of sweet potato provides 86 kcal of energy, 20 g of carbs, 2 g of protein, and 3 g of fiber, 28% of the RDI for manganese and 438% of the RDI for vitamin A.

Their carbohydrate content helps provide the energy. And the fiber helps to slow the body’s absorption of these carbohydrates. This may make them a good option for sustained energy throughout the day.

A study conducted on people with diabetes found that complex carbohydrates and fiber take a longer time to digest. Thus, they supply energy and help you stay alert for a longer time.

The manganese found in sweet potatoes helps in metabolizing nutrients to release energy constantly.

You might often avoid potatoes for the fear of gaining weight. But, sweet potato is a nutritious source of energy for those looking for an extra boost, the delicious taste being an added advantage.

4. Beetroot

Beetroot is a low-calorie, low-fat vegetable which has gained popularity recently for increasing stamina and energy.

Beets are packed with carbohydrates, fiber and sugar for a sustained energy boost.

One cup of beets (136 grams) could provide up to 3.8 grams of fiber and 9.2 grams of natural sugars.

Beets are also high natural sugars. These sugars can provide energy throughout the day

As a study in the journal Food Science and Biotechnology notes, beets may provide the body with a great source of antioxidants and nutrients that help improve blood flow which allows more oxygen to be delivered to the tissues. This has the ability to increase energy levels, especially for athletic performance.

The naturally occuring high levels of nitrates increase the blood nitric acid concentration which in turn provides continuous stamina and builds exercise endurance.

It is recommended to start your day with a glass of beetroot juice before exercising will make your body work for long hours without feeling exhausted. Beetroot is also rich in vitamin A and C — both help in building stamina and reducing fatigue.

You can consume beets as dried beetroot chips or cooked beets as well.

Beans and legumes

5. Beans

There are numerous types of beans, their nutrition profiles are very similar. They are a rich source of carbohydrates, fiber and protein.

Beans are a natural source of energy. 100 g of beans contain 337 kcal of energy, 23 g of protein, 61 g of carbs, and 15 g of fiber.

The starch in beans are digested slowly, which helps maintain stable blood sugar levels and gives you steady energy. Additionally, beans contain antioxidants that can help fight inflammation and promote energy

Soybeans, black beans and black-eyed peas are among the most famous kinds of beans.

These beans are good sources of folic acid, iron, manganese and magnesium, which are involved in energy production and help with the delivery of energy to every cell in the body.

Magnesium is necessary for accelerating biochemical pathways and releasing energy.

Soybeans are the richest source of plant proteins and one of the best foods to increase stamina. They are high in insoluble fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Beans are rich in nutrients and a great source of natural energy and make for a delicious quick and easy lunch dish.

6. Nuts

Nuts are considered a great instant-energy snack. A fistful of nuts is packed with proteins, bioactive compounds, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Making it a healthy snack to build stamina.

Nuts contain a blend of protein, fats, and some carbohydrates to provide energy throughout the day.

Nuts are typically also rich sources of vitamins and minerals like magnesium, calcium, or phosphorus.

The omega-3 fatty acids in the nuts help build exercise endurance and increase blood flow to the working muscles.

Omega-3 fatty acids also act as an ergogenic supplement (substances that increase athletic performance) to improve the health and energy of muscles for exercise efficiency.

A study in the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition noted that these fatty acids may help reduce inflammation, which may also reduce fatigue.

Most nuts like almonds, walnuts and cashews have high calories and abundance of proteins, carbs and healthy fats. These nutrients can provide you with a slow release of energy during the day.

Antioxidants present in the nuts also increase energy levels and help with inflammation and antioxidant protection.

Nuts also contain other vitamins and minerals, such as manganese, iron, B vitamins and vitamin E. These can help increase energy production and decrease tiredness.

So, whenever you sense your energy levels dipping, reach for some almonds. These nutrient-dense nuts help in boosting metabolism, thereby improving your stamina.

The icing on the cake is that a handful of almonds – powerhouse of healthy fats – not only keep your brains and bones strong, but also aid in weight loss. 

Nuts are high in calories, as well, so people should be careful not to eat too many

Grains

7. Brown Rice

Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for the body, but not all carbohydrates are good for you.

100 g of medium-grain brown rice contains 112 kcal of energy, 2 g of fiber, 2 g of protein along with essential vitamins and minerals.

For better stamina, you need complex carbohydrates, as they release energy slowly into the blood, ensuring optimal energy levels through the day.  

Brown rice is the perfect food for this. Not only is it a great source of complex carbohydrates, fiber and Vitamin B, it is much better than white rice. As unlike white rice, brown rice is less starchy, making it easier to digest. Which means, you will feel full longer and have the energy for the day ahead.

Brown rice is less processed and more nutritious. So, if white rice is a part of your regular diet, try and switch to brown rice.

It takes longer for your body to break down brown rice, ensuring you have energy throughout the day. With every serving, you will get manganese, protein, fat, fiber, carbohydrates, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and selenium.

One cup of cooked brown rice contains 3.5 grams of fiber and provides about 88% of the RDI for manganese, a mineral that helps your enzymes break down carbohydrates and proteins to generate energy.

One of the benefits of brown rice is that it retains fiber from the husk, which is not there in white rice. The absence of husk causes the carbohydrate content to be absorbed quickly leading to a spike and then crash in energy levels. The husk slows down carb digestion, releasing energy slowly.

Additionally, thanks to its fiber content, brown rice has a low glycemic index. Therefore, it could help regulate blood sugar levels and help you maintain steady energy levels throughout the day.

8. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a whole-grain cereal that can provide you long-lasting energy.

Oats are rich in fiber, allowing the body to feel fuller longer. Making a great choice for breakfast.

As a study in The Journal of Nutrition notes, whole-grain oats are also a source of essential minerals, vitamins, and phenolic compounds, all of which may help energize the body.

The beta-glucan and amylose content of oatmeal helps in the slow release of glucose. These soluble fibers form a thick gel when combined with water, which delays stomach emptying and the absorption of glucose into the blood.

This may not only help in glucose management but also increase stamina and provide energy for longer.

Oats are rich in vitamins and minerals that help the energy production process. These include B vitamins, iron and manganese.

The combination of all these nutrients makes oatmeal a perfect food for sustained energy release and improving your stamina.

Drinks

9. Coffee

Coffee is possibly the most well known instant energy booster.

If you crave a hot cup of coffee in the morning, you can continue this habit to help increase your stamina. The high caffeine content boosts your energy keeping the mind and body alert and more productive.

Caffeine is a naturally occurring alkaloid present in coffee that reduces fatigue and tiredness. This compound can quickly pass from your bloodstream to your brain and inhibit the activity of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that quiets the central nervous system. In consequence, the production of epinephrine increases. This hormone stimulates the body and brain, making you energetic and better focused throughout the day.

Coffee also contains antioxidants called polyphenols, which may reduce oxidative stress in the cells and help the body function better.

But it is important to also remember that coffee is a stimulant, so you should consume it in moderation. Too much coffee may lead to energy loss as the body withdraws from the caffeine.

Coffee is the first thing that people think of to boost their energy when they are feeling low.

The best part is that if you have a single cup of black coffee, it only contains two calories.

Foods you should avoid

While most foods provide energy, the ones above focus on sustained energy. Foods that you should avoid as a quick fix for energy boost include:

  • fast foods or fried foods
  • added sugars
  • packaged snacks and candy bars
  • baked sweets such as cakes and cupcakes made using refined sugar

For a healthier swap of your snacks and desserts cravings, you can also shop at ACTIVeat Bakery!

TL;DR

All food provides the body with energy, but this energy can vary greatly. Some foods, such as sugars and refined carbs, give the body a quick jolt of energy. However, more often, the body needs more sustainable energy from ingredients such as fruits, grains, and legumes.

Ideally, ensure that you consume a combination of carbs and protein. Fruits like banana and apple, along with brown rice and whole oats will go a long way in improving your stamina. In addition to these foods, you can also include nuts and coffee in your diet.

Nutrients like complex carbohydrates, proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, fibre and vitamins are the energy boosters that boost your energy and build stamina in your daily life.

So, if you want more energy, incorporate these foods into a balanced diet to stay active and healthy!