04 Apr 2022

5 Elements of Eating for Energy

Looking for ways to have more energy? You’re not alone. Many of us desperately depend on our morning coffee to face the day, or struggle with lagging energy levels by late afternoon. If you find you’re feeling zapped before the day is done, maybe it’s time to take a good look at your diet.


Basics of Energy


Think of energy in terms of currency: you need to have it in order to spend it. The currency our body uses for energy is called calories. We get calories from the foods and beverages we eat and drink. And because we burn calories all the time, even while sleeping, we need to fuel ourselves daily with a steady diet of nutritious foods.


Factors that Fuel Energy


We know that food is more than just a bundle of calories in an edible form. There are macronutrients, vitamins and minerals in there, too. All help in their own ways to give us energy.


  • Carbohydrates, fats and protein are essential energy-yielding nutrients that our bodies depend on for calories. While many foods may be considered a primary source of carbs, fats or protein, most foods provide a mix of all three nutrients.
  • Vitamins also play an important supporting role when it comes to energy. Just like cars don’t depend on gasoline alone to run – they need oil, a clean engine and ongoing maintenance – vitamins, especially B vitamins, help convert food to energy so the body can run smoothly.  


Senior couple riding bicycles on beach boardwalk


It isn’t just the energy from food that helps you feel awake and fight fatigue. Your energy levels can be influenced by things outside of eating too, such as:


  • Physical activity: It’s true that when you’re engaging in a bout of physical activity, you’re using up energy (burning calories). But over the long term, physical activity gets your heart rate up helps your body work more efficiently, which ultimately leaves you with more energy to tackle your everyday life.
  • Sleep: Daily rest is part of your body’s ongoing maintenance plan. As adults, we typically need at least 7 hours of sleep each night to feel energized and ready for the day ahead.  


How to Have More Energy


Changing your diet can be an effective way to get more energy. Try these five simple tips:


  1. Concentrate on Carbs. Your body’s preferred energy source is glucose, found in carbohydrates. Foods with fiber and other complex carbohydrates like whole grains, vegetables and fruit will help keep your energy levels stable, avoiding sharp sugar spikes and fatigue-inducing lows. When you need quick energy, simple sugars in low-fiber carbohydrate foods like graham crackers or juice can give you some quick-acting oomph.
  2. Pay Attention to Protein. Especially as we get older, protein is so important for muscle health and to prevent age-related muscle weakness. Unlike fat and carbohydrates, extra protein can’t be stored in the body. That’s why you need to replenish protein throughout the day, aiming for 20-35 grams at every meal. Meat, dairy and eggs are good sources of animal proteins, while beans, nuts and soy are plant-based protein options.
  3. Focus on Fats. Fats are a main source of energy and are needed in the diet to absorb certain vitamins. Just remember that a little goes a long way, since fats are more concentrated sources of calories than carbohydrates and protein. Nuts, olive oil, avocados and fatty fish are all great sources of healthy fats.
  4. Be Aware of B Vitamins. While vitamin B don’t provide energy themselves, they help our body unlock the energy found in carbohydrates, protein, and fat. If you’re deficient in B vitamins, that can lead to tiredness and fatigue. The B vitamins most older adults need to focus on are:
    • Thiamin (B1)
    • Riboflavin (B2)
    • Niacin (B3)
    • Folate (B9)
    • Vitamin B6
    • Vitamin B12
  5. Achieve Balance. If calories are your currency, your body is the checkbook. You want it to be as balanced as possible. If you have too few calories to fuel your body, you won’t have enough energy to function at your best. Too many calories, and you may also feel sluggish. You also want the right mix of vitamins and nutrients that support those quality calories.  


Each serving of BOOST® nutritional drinks provide nutrient-rich calories, high-quality protein and up to 27 vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, to help convert food to energy and help fuel the body.


Eat for energy and choose the BOOST® product that may be right for you.

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