If you’re finding your energy lacking, you may be tempted to reach for a chemical-laden energy drink or yet another double-shot espresso.
Don’t! Instead of your 10th cup of coffee for the day, reach for one or more of the following natural energy boosting foods. You’ll experience increased focus, decreased fatigue, and an energy boost that won’t leave you with a crash at the end.
Here’s a list of the top 20 energy boosting foods.
Containing both protein and coenzyme Q10 (an enzyme that helps produce energy within cells), nuts make a convenient and tasty energy source for both short-term boosts and long-term lasting energy. Almonds, pecans, cashews and walnuts are all great choices.
Lean meats like turkey and skinless chicken all contain tyrosine. This amino acid helps fight fatigue naturally. Additionally, these meats contain iron, protein, and B-vitamins to help you through a day at the office.
They’re like little energy boosters to go in a convenient package. Eggs offer most of the same benefits of lean meats, and they’re also rich in protein, iron, and B-vitamins.
Quick carb loading — consuming carbs before a workout — is known to provide a fast boost of energy. However, white carbs (like white rice and white bread) only provide a very short boost. Instead, choose whole grains as a carbohydrate source. They’ll burn slower and give you energy longer.
Not only does it absorb water as it cooks, oatmeal is also full of soluble fiber to keep you energized hours after digging in. Mix it up with different toppings to prevent boredom and score some extra energy-boosting nutrients.
Much like coffee, tea contains caffeine. Unlike coffee, tea has the amino acid L-theanine. This helps to increase memory, alertness and focus.
Just about every type of leafy green is full of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C and A. These vitamins help to maintain energy levels and boost your mood. Plus, leafy greens taste great.
If you’ve got stiff joints or muscles getting in the way of your day, reach for some salmon. Not only is it low in fat (with just two grams of essential fatty acids in each 4 ounce serving), it’s also helpful to promote good brain function and regulate insulin and blood sugar levels.
A vegetarian and vegan favorite, beans are an excellent source of lean protein. But they’re also an important source of iron, B-vitamins, amino acids and fiber. That last ingredient may surprise you, but fiber actually helps to slow digestion and provide longer lasting energy.
They’ve been said to be a better energy boost than a can of soda (and not just because they’re much healthier): apples have fiber, antioxidants, fructose, and vitamin C, all of which provide a quick and efficient increase in energy.
If you’re a bodybuilder or frequently pushing your body to its limits, you probably already eat lots of bananas for the potassium (to prevent cramps). However, you may not be aware of the fructose and glucose levels in bananas which cause you to feel alert almost immediately after eating one.
Much like the nuts mentioned above, pumpkin seeds are rich in vitamins, healthy fats and protein. Pumpkin seeds also contain magnesium, a substance that helps to convert the food we eat into energy for our bodies.
Even though watermelon doesn’t seem like it’s much more than water, it’s actually a great source of B-vitamins, fructose and potassium. All that water also helps to hydrate you, too.
Have you ever heard of Blueberries being referred to as a superfood? There’s a good reason for this. Blueberries are very rich in antioxidants, which improve cognition. In some studies, blueberries have also been found to have anti-aging effects. These little berries are easy to combine with other energy-boosting foods, so eating them with something like walnuts can make provide a serious brain boost, too.
Red Bell Peppers
Did you know a single red bell pepper has over 350% of your daily recommended value of vitamin C? Since vitamin C helps healing, your body will feel less fatigue. Red bell peppers also contain fiber, vitamin B6 and lycopene for additional energy.
Water with lemon
Here’s a delicious drink that can help you relax and maintain one of your most important body functions. Staying hydrated helps everything in your body work better — your thinking, your energy levels, and more. Adding a slice of lemon to the water gives you a little vitamin C boost.
Wait — chocolate as a healthy energy source? It’s true! Dark chocolate increases alertness and improve your cognitive abilities after you eat it. It also boosts metabolism, increases blood flow to the brain, and lowers stress.
Don’t go buy an energy drink or power smoothie from your favorite drink place until you’ve tried making one of these! Combine the following ingredients into a blender for a smoothie that’s delicious and loaded with energy:
Any other fruits you want
Don’t worry about your drink tasting too leafy. The fruits you ad will mask the flavors of the spinach or kale. Learn how you can turbo-charge your green smoothies with this one superfood ingredient.
A delicious combination of chickpeas and other ingredients, hummus does more for your body than just taste good. Hummus is high in protein, essential fatty acids (from the olive oil), and vitamin-C. Plus, you can eat hummus on other high-energy foods like carrots or red bell pepper to get even more benefits.
If you want an alternative to meat as a source to relieve fatigue and sluggishness, try low-fat yogurt. If you want to avoid the high levels of sugar found in most yogurts (and get even more protein), select low-fat greek yogurt or fat-free yogurt.
Check out these 8 fruits that burn fat and give it a share: