Nutrition

Caffeine-Free Ways to Boost Energy

What’s the first thing you think about when you wake up? If you said, coffee (!) you’re not alone. Many of us rely on the stuff to get an AM energy jolt before a workout – or really before anything. While a cup of Joe does have its benefits, you shouldn’t “need” it in order to function. In fact, if you drink it less frequently, it can have more powerful workout-enhancing effects when you do.

BETTER THAN COFFEE?

So, what’s a busy athlete to do if not suck down a venti Americano every morning: Eat. Yes, when combined, the right foods can boost your concentration and decrease fatigue. A position statement from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine, suggests that eating a mix of carbs, fats, and protein after a workout can do these things plus speed along your recovery.

ENERGY-BOOSTING CARBS.

But when it comes to carbs, you need to be choosey, experts say. Complex ones, such as brown rice, farro, and quinoa, take longer for your body to break down and therefore can provide a more lasting energy (rather than the quick-hit kind you get from sugar or simple carbs like white bread). In fact, a study from researchers in the Netherlands compared the effects of a simple carb breakfast versus a complex carb one and, unsurprisingly, the latter resulted in less self-reported fatigue from participants, who also said that breakfast made them feel fuller.

POWERFUL PRODUCE

Caffeine-Free Ways to Boost EnergyAdding tons of colorful fruits and veggies to your morning breakfast adds fiber and micronutrients. Studies show that getting enough veggies helps boost the immune system and ward off oxidative stress (which can lead to conditions including chronic fatigue.) Specific micronutrients such as B-vitamins and magnesium help to improve energy levels.

BOWLED UP ENERGY

One of the best ways to ensure you’re getting the best energy-enhancing ratio of macros (such as carbs, fats, and protein) and micronutrients, is by combining your favorite ingredients into one big bowl. Bowls take the go-to white bread out of the equation so you can sub in better-for-you complex carbs like those aforementioned whole grains. Fats and protein help stabilize your blood sugar levels further, giving you energy that lasts for hours.

To take out the guesswork, the experts at adidas have pulled together some of the best choices in each category: healthy carbs, proteins, fats, and veggies/fruits. Plus, some spices to enhance nutrients and flavor (because taste is important too, of course!). Mix and match a healthy carb with a protein and fat and as many veggies and extras as you wish. Or, check out the adidas ALLDAY app for Bowled Up Energy recipes and instructional videos!

HEALTHY CARBS (CHOOSE 1)

  • Quinoa
  • Polenta
  • Granola
  • Brown rice
  • Farro
  • Beans
  • Sweet potatoes

PROTEIN (CHOOSE 1)

  • Salmon
  • Cod
  • Tofu
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Flank steak
  • Greek yogurt

FATS (CHOOSE 2)

  • Chia Seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Parmesan
  • Olive oil
  • Nut butters
  • Walnuts and almonds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Avocado

FRUIT AND VEGGIES (CHOOSE AT LEAST 2)

  • Carrots
  • Bell peppers
  • Cabbage
  • Spinach
  • Arugula
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Dried cranberries
  • Onion
  • Tomatoes

EXTRAS (CHOOSE AS MANY AS DESIRED)

  • Cocoa powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Garlic
  • Cilantro
  • Basil
  • Cinnamon
  • Espresso powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Honey
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Dijon
  • Chicken broth
  • Sriracha
  • Soy sauce
  • Rice vinegar
  • Tamari
  • Beef broth