Foods for energy are so much better for your body, and have much longer-lasting effects, than energy drinks for energy. Most energy drinks are loaded with sugar and caffeine, which are great for short-term energy, but which will leave you feeling run-over once the inevitable crash comes. So let’s try some tasty foods for energy instead, shall we? I’ve chatted with my personal trainer, and he’s helped me compile this list of 7 foods that give you energy, naturally, without caffeine. Best of all, I love most of these foods!
1. Whole Grains
The big advantage to eating whole grains for energy is that this sort of energy lasts a very long time. You can get whole grains in breads, granolas, and some breakfast cereals. Don’t just grab any box, though: read the label to make sure you’re getting a whole grain, and not something processed.
2. Carrots and Pumpkins
What do these two foods for energy have in common, other than that they’re orange? They’re both also rich in complex carbs, which will also provide you with long-lasting, caffeine and crash-free energy! Perhaps that’s why both are also served at Thanksgiving dinner, to help combat the tryptophan-rich, snooze-inducing turkey… at any rate, keep a baggie of fresh carrots sticks with you for long car trips, or just for a mid-day pick-me-up at work!
3. Nuts and Seeds
I hope you’re sitting down for this shocker: not all fats are bad for you. In fact, the fats found in nuts and seeds will provide you with energy, while not harming your heart health. So the next time you need a burst of natural energy, without the crash later, grab a handful of nuts, like cashews or (my fave) pistachios.
4. Lean Protein
Any body-builder or other athlete will tell you that lean protein, like a piece of baked chicken or fish, is an excellent food for energy. It’s also a great way to build healthy, toned muscle, so if you work out (we all should!), this will give you energy before and after your fitness routine, too!
5. Don’t Forget Breakfast!
Chances are, if you’re busy in the morning, you might be tempted to skip breakfast. But by the time lunch rolls around, you’re exhausted and miserable — almost anything you eat for breakfast is bound to give you energy! Why? Let’s look at the word itself for a moment: you’re eating in the morning to BREAK your FAST from bed-time last night. Your body is craving nutrients and energy! Eat a whole-grain cereal and a piece of fruit for max energy throughout the day!
Sometimes when we’re feeling sleepy, we’re not in need of food, we’re dehydrated! If you’re feeling drowsy and less-than-peppy, try a big, cold glass of water and see if that doesn’t perk you up!
7. Sugar is Okay, Too, but…
While the sugar in fresh fruits, like citrus and berries, can also give you a quick burst of energy, it’s important to remember that this won’t last. So, grab a handful of strawberries with a baggie of carrot sticks, or with a hunk of whole-wheat bread, combining the simple sugars in the berries with the complex sugars in the carrots or bread… now that’s a winning food for energy recipe!
With so many foods that give you natural, long-lasting energy, you have no excuse for dozing at your desk this Monday! Which of these foods for energy do you like best? Or is there another one you like more, and can recommend? Do tell!
Top Photo Credit: ellievanhoutte