by Jessica Sanders

All too often we turn to processed forms of energy to make it through the day. An energy drink from the gas station or sugar-filled cup of coffee are not the answer; these poor forms of energy cause your levels to spike and come crashing down soon after. So, next time you’re feeling tired, grab one of these natural sources of energy to ensure all day alertness.


4 natural food sourcesNot only are nuts an important part of a healthy and whole diet, but they are easy to carry around and filled with magnesium. Magnesium is critical to your daily energy levels; Samantha Heller, an NYU nutritionist tellsWedMD, “This mineral is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including breaking down glucose into energy… So when levels are even a little low, energy can drop.”

Energy tip: Not only are nuts easy to carry around with you – in your bag or your car – but, with so many varieties you can choose the ones you prefer; those highest in magnesium are: brazil nuts, cashews, almonds and pine nuts. 


Water is necessary for healthy skin, joint cushioning and staving off mindless hunger, but a lack of it could be the reason you’re tired. If you’re not only feeling tired, but dizzy or suffering from dry mouth, water could be your solution.

Water hydrates your body and promotes good blood circulation, which in turn improves oxygen levels; this then leads to naturally higher energy and alertness.

But, in an over processed world, not all water is necessarily created equally. For example, while tea is a great source of nutrition for your body, this does not count as a serving of water – nor does any flavored water.

Energy tip: Simply having eight, 8-oz glasses of water can be enough to improve energy levels throughout the day. 

Whole Grains

The average Western Diet is made up of too much sugar and not enough whole grains. With processed food cheap and easy to get, many rely on food with too much sugar and not enough whole grains for breakfast lunch and dinner. Unfortunately, this plays a significant role in your lack of energy.

When sugar is absorbed into your body, your blood sugar levels spike. This in turn causes your energy levels to rise for a short period of time and quickly fall back down. In the end, you’re left feeling the effects of a sugar crash. Whole grains, however, are able to release a slow and steady stream of energy, allowing your body to coast

instead of spiking up and down.

But not all “wheat” bread is equal. explains, “Brown bread is often a mixture of white flour and whole-wheat flour with added ingredients for color, such as caramel. In United States and Canada, you can be assured that bread is actually made from whole grain if the label specifies ‘whole wheat.’”

Be sure that the first ingredient reads 100% whole wheat; this should not be a secondary ingredient, but the very first ingredient listed.

Energy tip: Have oatmeal for breakfast (aim for whole rolled oats or steel cut) or a sandwich on 100% whole grain bread for lunch.


Fight fatigueProtein is essential for a healthy body in many ways, including repairing cells and muscle tissue. However, one of the most important roles that protein plays is in energy production. Because your body does not store protein, it is instead burned for energy.

It’s important to keep a few key factors in mind when choosing your protein. You want to focus on eating low fat, lean forms of protein, such as nitrate-free turkey and a small amount from high fat sources, such as olive oil.

Energy tip:  The best forms of protein include salmon, grilled chicken, plain yogurt, tempeh, quinoa and nuts. While many other sources are valuable for your protein intake, this is a good starting point.

Maintaining energy is a difficult task for almost everyone; but you don’t have to fall back on the same old fixes like caffeine and sugar. If you plan for fatigue, you’ll be ready to combat it when it hits. Pack the a bag of nuts, drink enough water and grab a bowl of oatmeal before you head out the door in the morning. Don’t miss out on playing with your children or enjoying date night – say goodbye to the afternoon crash and hello to all day natural energy.

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