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I used to be a chronic napper. I could not function properly without (minimum) 5 cups of coffee or my afternoon zzzz’s.
Most of you can probably relate, there are so many meme’s online about ‘always being tired’ so I know I’m not the only one.
In order to combat constant fatigue, I have found a couple of secret (and some obvious) ingredients to include in a morning smoothie that give me all day energy without the coffee, naps, or energy drinks.
You don’t have to put each and every one of these in your smoothie, experiment with a couple for a few weeks and see how you feel and whether or not you notice a difference.
Spinach and Kale are two superfoods with loads of vitamin A, C, K, magnesium, iron, and especially B which all provide natural energy and keeps you wide awake all day long. Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of iron deficiency and leafy greens are an excellent source to replenish the body’s warehouse. Adding some leafy greens is a great way to get your vegetables in early in the morning. If you don’t particularly like the taste of Spinach or Kale (I know I don’t), I highly recommend you add one or two dates to your smoothie and it’ll taste delicious.
Grabbing a handful of mixed berries will load you up with antioxidants that help fight fatigue. Berries are also a great source of vitamin C which will also give your body an exttra boost as well as providing some fiber which will help your digestion.
Bananas are an excellent source of carbohydrates, potassium and vitamin B6, all of which can help boost energy levels in your body. You see many athletes eating bananas an hour or so before a race/competition to boost their energy.
One study showed that eating a banana before a 75-km cycling trial was as efficient as a carbohydrate drink for improving the performance of endurance athletes (1).
Commonly known as one of the best super foods for energy, maca will keep you alert and focused without the crash of caffeine. It also is rich in Vitamin B which helps improve your mood, learning, and memory. There are claims that it helps you gain muscle, increase strength and improve exercise performance. Purchase it here.
We’re not talking about having a chocolate bar, but instead adding raw cacao powder to your smoothie, or even in your cup of coffee, has many benefits. On top of giving you an energy boost, raw cacao triggers the release of endorphins, similar to a ‘runners high,’ giving you an enhanced mood and mental energy.
It also has magnesium, which many of us are deficient in. If you feel chronically irritable, anxious, and fatigued there a very real chance you are deficient. Consider adding raw cacao to your morning routine. (Mandatory Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and the only true way to know if you’re deficient in any vitamin/mineral is conducting a blood test with a physician. I can only speak about my personal experience supplementing with these powders.) This is the one I get
We might just be hearing about Ashwagandha now, but it is one of the most ancient herbs used in Indian Ayurveda, one of the worlds oldest medicinal systems. This super herb is thought to increase energy by enhancing your body’s resilience to physical and mental stressors.
In addition to improving mental fatigue and stress, research also suggests ashwagandha can alleviate fatigue associated with exercise. You can purchase it in pill forms but I get this powder and add it to smoothies
Spirulina powder can give you a considerable boost in energy, bolster your immune system, and even promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria. A healthy gut is extremely important if you want to live a fatigue-free life.
Not an actual ‘food,’ it’s a blue-green algae that boasts many benefits. Spirulina helps lower bad LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, improve muscle strength and endurance, and may even have cancer-fighting properties.
The holy mecca of energy supplements. I saved the best for last. Whenever I run out of Matcha I am a completely different person. Matcha is my secret weapon for being productive and functioning all day without the crash.
A single bowl of matcha can keep you in a hyper-alert state for between 3-6 hours! Compare this to coffee where the benefits last between 30 minute to an hour and a half.
On top of this, Matcha does not make me anxious or jittery, which was a major problem I had with coffee. If you are a naturally anxious person (most millennials, hello!), try subbing your morning coffee for a Matcha latte. This is the one I recently bought and am loving. Definitely offers the biggest bang for your buck.