Do You feel tired at some point throughout the day? A lack of energy could affect your daily activities and make you less productive. The fact is that the type and quantity of food you eat play an essential role in determining your energy levels during the day. Even though all foods give you energy, some foods contain nutrients that could help increase your energy levels and maintain your alertness and focus throughout the day.
Doesn't All Food Boost Energy?
Yes, but in different ways. Sugary drinks, sweets, and pastries put too much fuel (sugar) into your blood too quickly. The ensuing crash leaves you tired and hungry again. “Complex carbs,” healthy fats, and protein take longer to digest, satisfy your hunger, and provide a slow, steady stream of energy.
Here is a list of foods that have been proven to help promote energy levels: Bananas, Fatty fish, Brown Rice, Sweet Potatoes, Eggs, Apples, Dark Chocolate, Quinoa, Oatmeal, Yogurt, Hummus, Edamame, Lentils, Avocados, Oranges, Strawberries, Seeds, Beans, Green Tea, Nuts, Popcorn, Leafy Green Vegetables, Beetroot, and the easiest one of all.... Water!
There are a variety of foods that can help boost your energy, that you may already have in you cupboards. Whether they are packed with carbs for readily available energy, or fiber and protein for a slower release of energy, these foods can help increase your power and stamina.
A single one has just 70 calories, and yet has 6 grams of protein. That provides fuel that gets released slowly. It also has more nutrients per calorie than most other foods. That helps it satisfy hunger.
It’s a complex carbohydrate. That means it’s full of fiber and nutrients. Oatmeal is slower to digest and supplies energy evenly instead of all at once. A bowl in the morning will keep you going for hours.
Trimmed of skin, it’s a great source of lean protein. A piece of grilled chicken with some steamed or lightly dressed greens makes a perfect light lunch that won’t weigh you down and will fuel you steadily until dinner. And chicken has less of that unhealthy saturated fat than other meats like pork, beef, and lamb.
They’re a great source of protein, especially if you’re vegetarian or vegan. Beans also have plenty of fiber to help slow digestion. They're rich in magnesium, too. That helps your cells make energy.
It’s those omega-3s again. Walnuts have one in particular that your body uses for energy (alpha-linolenic acid). Though nuts are high in calories, studies show that people who eat them don’t gain weight or have other signs of bad health from them. That could be because the fiber slows how your body takes them in and the “healthy” fats satisfy hunger.
It’s where many of us get our morning caffeine jolt. And it works. It boosts your energy and keeps you more alert. Just don’t overdo it. Caffeine can make you jittery and interfere with your sleep if you have too much, you’re not used to it, or you have it late in the day.
A simple cup of tea is a low-calorie way to replace sugary sodas and soft drinks that can spike and then crash your energy levels in the middle of the day. That switch makes you more likely to get the nutrients and fluids you need each day, which can help keep you alert and energized. Some teas have caffeine that can give you a little boost, too.
Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries: They’re perfect if you want something sweet that doesn’t have the calorie blast and “sugar crash” of a doughnut or chocolate bar. Berries also have antioxidants and other nutrients that help nourish and protect cells all over your body.
If you just have to have chocolate , this is a good choice. It’s lower in sugar than sweets and milk chocolate. It’s also been shown to improve mood and brain function. Antioxidants in the cocoa can help protect cells, lower blood pressure, and improve blood flow. This can keep you healthy and energized. Dark chocolate does have fat, so check the label and keep portions small.
When your body doesn’t have enough, you get tired. It also helps carry fuel and nutrients to your cells and helps get rid of waste. People who drink more of it usually take in less fat, sugar, salt, cholesterol, and total calories. That leaves more room for healthy nutrients that keep you energized. It’s especially important to drink up when you exercise. Have 8 ounces before and after your workouts -- more if your circuit is longer than 30 minutes.
Additionally, many of these foods also contain significant amounts of other nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. All of these compounds have been shown to be involved in the production of energy within your cells, and they all provide many other health benefits. If you want more energy, incorporating these foods into your diet is a great place to start.