The first step of boosting your energy is to dispel and rid yourself of certain nutrition myths that actually diminish your energy reserve and prevent you from being your true energetic self. Adhering to these myths not only saps your energy but can lead to a variety of health problems that you really don't have the time or energy to deal with.

1. Myth: Energy drinks can provide a quick, safe energy boost.

I know they are marketed as hours of low-calorie, pure energy in a simple shot, but these bad boys are destroying you from the inside out. Your body is created to process whole, organic ingredients as natural fuel, not to chug chemically created liquids as fake insta-fuel. Energy drinks and shots mess with your body’s natural energy production and slowly create a dependence on external, fake energy rather than stimulate your innate internal mechanism.

These shots might give you the perception of feeling great, but inside they're only doing harm. Put them down and let your body start energizing itself as it knows how.

2. Myth: Low-calorie foods are the best choices when you need energy; they won’t weigh you down.

When staring at the vending machine or snack selection, the low-calorie packages might appear to make the most sense. Yet most low-calorie foods are injected with additives to make them actually taste like something and increase shelf life.

Although low in calories, these are the bad, chemical-laden calories that will likely pack on pounds, encourage lackluster thought, foster brain fog, and slow your entire system down. Skip the low-calorie options and go for energy-packed nuts. They might be higher in calories, but remember: calories equal energy, and these high-quality calories provide the fuel that your body needs to function.

3. Myth: Sugar is the enemy.

The truth is, your brain needs glucose to function. If your brain cannot perform, you will feel sluggish, tired, and blech. Now, I’m not advocating you grab a handful of gummy bears or a giant frosted and rainbow-sprinkled donut. But sugar in its natural form can be an essential component our body needs. Just put down the jelly beans and pick up an orange.

4. Myth: You can eat fruit throughout the day to keep you going.

Yes, you want some naturally occurring sugar in your diet. But fruit bombing yourself at snacktime is only going to make you more tired than before. The older and more stagnant we get, the harder it becomes to break down all the fructose in fruit, which, unmetabolized, stays in your system and slows it down, making you feel lethargic. Pick one piece or serving of high-water-content fruit such as a slice of watermelon or a cup of blueberries and be on your energetic way.

5. Myth: Yogurt or hummus is the perfect protein-packed snack.

Yes, these conveniently packaged options do contain protein and might seem like an easy, clean-energy boost. In my health pursuits, I've been told that traditional Chinese medicine considers these foods to be damp, cold foods loaded with carbs and fat that might make you lethargic. Your “healthy option” might just be draining your energy more.

Photo courtesy of the author.


Adapted from an excerpt from my book, RETOX: Yoga*Food*Attitude Healthy Solutions for Real Life from Berkley Books, copyright 2016

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