When feeling tired, it’s so easy just to cruise through the Starbucks drive-thru or grab a Red Bull for a quick pick-me-up. Does it work? Yes. But is it healthy? No, and, worse yet, the sudden burst of energy is short-lived. From now on, let’s eat right for more energy!
Choosing the right, healthy foods can make all the difference in the world when it comes to our energy levels. We know we should avoid sugar to prevent crashing later and try to limit our caffeine intake. Instead of just eating right, though, let’s choose a diet rich in foods that will provide long-lasting energy. Whether you need a quick pick-me-up or energy that lasts all day, we’ve got the foods to keep you going strong.
What to eat for a burst of energy
Turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread
Sandwiches aren’t just for lunch anymore, they’re for energy boosts! If you’re not super hungry, just have half. Turkey is naturally lean and, of course, loaded with protein. Whole wheat bread contains fiber and complex carbohydrates. The combination should be just what you need for some instant energy.
Yogurt is the go-to food for losing weight, feeling fuller longer and getting a burst of instant energy. Yogurt really does it all! It contains complex carbohydrates, which provide for instant energy, and it’s packed with protein and fiber. We love yogurt parfaits, putting some on top of our cereal or just eating it plain. For an extra protein boost, give Greek yogurt a try!
Starting your day off with eggs is a great way to guarantee energy all morning long. Eggs are loaded with B-vitamins, which are responsible for converting food into energy. They’re also a good source of protein, folic acid and potassium.
Apples and bananas will give you that afternoon burst of energy you’re looking for. Whether needing to stay awake for your afternoon work meeting or if your house is in desperate need of cleaning, eat a piece of fruit to get you going. Fruit has good carbs, fiber and lots of vitamins and minerals to get you through your next task.
Hummus has been known to increase energy, improve intelligence and lift your mood. Made of chickpeas, it’s low in fat, rich in protein and loaded with vitamins and minerals. Hummus tastes great and comes in all sorts of different flavors — such as red pepper or cilantro. Eat it with whole wheat pita bread or fresh veggies for an even bigger energy boost.
What to eat for long-lasting energy
Salmon should be a staple food for those living an active lifestyle. Eating salmon regularly increases energy in the long run. Salmon also helps prevent cancer, is good for your eyes, skin and hair and decreases your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Oatmeal is broken down slowly by the body, providing long-lasting energy all day long. For those days that are jam-packed, we recommend starting your day off with oatmeal mixed with blueberries and a side of Greek yogurt topped with sliced bananas. Yum!
Quinoa is gluten free and contains more protein than any other rice product. It’s easy to cook and perfect for lunch if you’re feeling down. Mix it in a salad with avocado, chicken, tomatoes and onions or eat it by itself. Quinoa also supports a healthy cardiovascular system, so eat up!
Spinach is loaded with iron, which is responsible for supplying oxygen to the brain. Those low in iron suffer from anemia, which results in being tired 24/7. If you don’t like spinach salads, make your favorite smoothie and toss a handful or two in. We promise you won’t be able to taste it — you’ll only reap the benefits.
Any protein is going to give you long-lasting energy, but red meats in particular are packed with iron (just like spinach) for that extra boost you need. Opt for the “lean” or “extra-lean” red meat choices so you’re not overloading your body with unnecessary fat.
What foods do you eat when you need an energy boost? Share in the comments below!