Eating for sustained energy
This article was originally published in May 2013
With spring sports in full swing and summer activities on the horizon, it’s important to keep your family fueled. Here’s a breakdown of what we should be eating to stay energized plus product selections from our popular PCC Kid Picks program that the whole family will enjoy.
The main nutrient that fuels our body is carbohydrates. The more “whole” the carbohydrate is, such as brown rice or whole wheat pasta, the longer the fuel will last. Carbohydrates can be found in:
- All types of grains such as rice, wheat, oats and quinoa, as well as products made from those grains including pasta, bread and crackers
- Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, peas, beans and corn
- All fruits and their juice
- Milk and yogurt (although cheese is much lower in carbs and higher in fat)
BioNaturae Organic 100% Whole Wheat Spaghetti: Traditionally made in Italy, this organic whole grain pasta contains six grams of fiber per serving and has a true pasta texture.
Protein is needed for growing and healing, but the idea that children, and especially young men, need to eat loads of protein “to build muscle” is false. An easy way to remember the correct serving size for protein: the size of the palm of your hand. Foods with high protein include:
- Animal meats: beef, poultry, pork, lamb, seafood
- Nuts and seeds
- Dairy products
PCC Wild Alaskan Smoked Salmon: Our premium, hand-filleted, wild Alaskan smoked salmon is locally crafted in small batches over fires stoked with fruit and maple wood.
3. Healthy fats
Healthy fats help us feel fuller longer and aid important essential functions in our body. When eaten before exercise, fats can make you feel heavy and slow down digestion, making it difficult to use them as fuel. The fat found in nuts and avocados are more supportive than cheese, fatty meats or fried foods.
Organic Avocados: Along with their rich, buttery flavor, avocados are packed with healthy fats, vitamin K, fiber and potassium.
4. Good snacks
Having a snack before activity will help maintain energy. It may be as simple as a piece of fruit, a granola bar or yogurt. Try to include something with carbs for the energizing aspect, and include a little protein and fat for the longer burn affect.
Annie’s Organic Berry Berry Granola Bars: With eight grams of whole grains per serving, these certified organic bars contain dried berries for a sweet, healthy snack.
Proper hydration is equally if not more important than the food we eat. Water is the most essential nutrient to our body. Carrying a water bottle can help make drinking water throughout the day an easy habit. Low-sugar juices are also a good option and can be added to water for a refreshing treat.
R.W. Knudsen Hibiscus Cooler: Made from 85 percent juice and a brewed herbal tea of hibiscus flowers, this refreshing beverage has no sugar added.