It’s 3’o’clock and you are crashing. Hard. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? We all know that getting adequate sleep and daily exercise is a big component to our energy levels, but did you know your diet plays a part as well? If you are good about your sleep and workout habits and still feeling tired it may be time to examine what you are putting in your mouth. Here we have listed some of the best food and drinks available to give you the shot of protein, vitamins, fiber and complex carbs you need to power through your day without the afternoon crash.
Top 10 Foods for Energy
1. Start your day with some yogurt if you find yourself feeling sleepy by the end of the day. Yogurt is high in magnesium and magnesium plays a large role in how your body releases energy. Vitamin B and calcium are other energy boosting nutrients you will receive when making yogurt a part of your daily food routine.
2. Not only do they look sunny, bright and full of energy, but oranges actually are a good source of energy. Oranges are particularly great because they are slow burners, releasing their energizing benefits throughout the day. With tons of vitamin C, potassium and folate you will be ready for that marathon (or not) in no time.
3. Rather than reaching for that cup of coffee or sugary energy drink, try brewing a cup of green tea. You will still get a caffeine hit, but not as extreme as the jitter and shakes that can sometimes result from coffee. L-theanine—part of the fatty acid family, has shown in tests to be a great stimulator boosting mental alertness. Who doesn’t want that kind of power?
4. Much like yogurt, brown rice is a fabulous source of magnesium as well as complex carbohydrates that will keep you fueled all day long. Added bonus? Low magnesium levels can hinder the body’s ability to metabolize food, but adding brown rice to your diet can rev that engine real fast.
5. Another great option that will keep you full all day with a hit of protein, amino acids, magnesium, folate and manganese just to name a few nutrients is quinoa. This is a super easy whole grain/seed to add to your diet because of its versatility and ease of use. It is also easy to cook and takes just a few minutes to prepare.
6. Every single one of us was told we needed to eat our spinach in order to grow up big and strong as children. Turns out that “cliché” wasn’t too far off. Spinach is aptly called a superfood and for good reason. These green little leaves pack a punch of iron that combats fatigue and tyrosine that improves alertness.
7. Despite your best effort, you know that afternoon wall is coming real quick for you. Instead of reaching for that candy, try grabbing a handful of nuts. They are nutrient rich and packed with protein that will keep you full and energized till the clock hits 5.
8. If you need help balancing your blood sugar levels, beans might just be the answer. High in protein and vitamin B, beans are an inexpensive and widely available way to improve your energy and give your meals a tasty kick.
9. Want to feel like you are having a splurge that really is quite good for you? Grab some popcorn. Full of whole grains and fiber, popcorn has staying power when it comes to providing your body with energy to function. It’s even low calory provided you don’t buy the microwavable stuff or douse it in butter, oil and salt. Keep the flavorings light and enjoy a very tasty and healthy treat.
10. Also known as “brain food”, salmon is an excellent choice if you are looking to provide yourself with extra energy. With omega-3 fatty acids and protein for days you will feel full for longer and have energy to burn.