Top Best Foods and Drinks for Boosting Energy
|Photo: Kayla Itsines|
Many people feel tired or rundown at some point during the day. A lack of energy could affect your daily activities and make you less productive.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the type and quantity of food you eat play essential roles 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.
Here’s a list of foods and drinks that have been proven to help promote energy levels.
|Photo: Fit Foodie Finds|
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, Webmd cites.
A single one has just 70 calories, and yet has 6 grams of protein. That provides the fuel that gets released slowly. It also has more nutrients per calorie than most other foods. That helps it satisfy hunger. As a result, you’re more likely to skip that mid-morning doughnut in the office break room that will spike your blood sugar and crash your energy.
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.
4. Beef Liver
Without enough vitamin B12, your energy can lag. This is one of the best sources. It also has loads of protein to keep you fueled for a long time. If you just can’t do liver, you can get your B12 from meat, poultry, fish, and eggs.
Besides being a good source of low-fat protein, they’re loaded with zinc. That helps your body fight off germs that could run you down and make you feel tired. Try them raw with a squeeze of lemon when they’re in season, or roast them in the oven or on the grill.
Fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel are an excellent source of complete protein, B vitamins, essential fats, and vitamin D. A lack of vitamin D can cause low energy, muscle fatigue, and low mood, according to My Food Data.
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.
9. Natural Yogurt
Yogurt contains live bacteria with many health benefits including regulating the immune system, improving digestion (so that more energy-giving nutrients are absorbed) and possibly even improving mood.
10. Dark Chocolate
If you just have to have candy, this is a good choice. It’s lower in sugar than candy bars and milk chocolate. It’s also been shown to improve mood and brain function. Antioxidants in 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.
Fruits provide natural sugars, which are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream for an instant pick me up (but without the 'sugar crash' you get after eating refined sugars). Fruits are also high in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.
|Photo: Live Science|
Dehydration is one of the fastest ways to feel your physical and mental energy levels drop. Even mild dehydration of 1-2% can affect mood, energy levels, and ability to concentrate. Drink 8 glasses per day to keep your energy levels up.
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.
4. Yerba maté
Yerba maté is a drink native to South America. Drinking the herb as a tea provides the body with similar stimulating effects as tea or coffee.
Yerba maté contains many active nutrients, antioxidants, and amino acids. People who drink yerba maté say it provides a much smoother form of energy by comparison to the jolt of energy from coffee.
As a study in the journal Nutrients notes, yerba maté may also improve mood and help people feel full, even after exercise, which may be helpful for those looking to lose weight while maintaining their energy levels.
Foods to avoid
While most foods provide energy, the ones above focus on sustained energy. Foods to try to avoid may include:
- fast foods or fried foods
- added sugars
- packaged snacks and candy bars
- baked sweets such as cakes and cupcakes
For a healthier and better life, please check out our KnowInsider!
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