Skip the energy drinks and extra large lattes and follow these simple guidelines to get all the energy you need from your food.
Step 1: Don't skip breakfast Eat breakfast every day. You need to put fuel in to get energy out, and after a full night's sleep you're running on empty.
Step 2: Skip the low-carb diet Make complex carbohydrates the centerpiece of your diet. Carbs supply energy; you should get about half your calories from them.
TIP: Complex carbohydrates from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables provide steady, lasting energy. Simple carbohydrates spike your blood sugar, causing a sugar rush and then a crash.
Step 3: Eat good fat and high-quality protein Include unsaturated fat and high-quality protein in your diet. Good fats from such sources as olive oil and nuts are a healthy concentrated energy source. Protein helps the body regulate energy use.
Step 4: Eat more often Eat more often. Frequent small meals -- five or six a day -- keep your metabolism up, your blood sugar stable, and your energy level constant.
Step 5: Eat less Don't eat too much. Overeating can literally weigh you down and start a negative energy spiral. Weight gain from overeating can make you feel sluggish and less like exercising, contributing to even lower energy.
TIP: Eat whole fresh fruit for snacks. The fiber in fruit makes your body burn its sugars slowly, for long-lasting energy.
Step 6: Drink more Drink plenty of water because dehydration leads to fatigue.
Step 7: Drink less Cut back on alcohol and caffeine. Alcohol disrupts sleep, leaving you tired the next day and the temporary boost from caffeine eventually leads to an energy letdown.
FACT: Potential energy is stored energy. Kinetic energy is the energy of motion -- the use of potential energy.