Caffeine and sugar may give you an energy spike, but the crash that follows will leave you feeling even more tired than before.
Instead, try these 10 foods to help naturally boost your energy and keep you alert all day, elevating your mood and making you more productive.
Almonds are packed with Vitamin E and Magnesium.
Almonds make a great pick-me-up snack. Ounce for ounce these are some of the most nutrient-rich nuts, according to a study in the journal Nutrients. They are packed full of Vitamin E and Magnesium and contain lots of protein to help you sustain energy throughout the day.
Dark Chocolate has caffeine and theobromine.
Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, both of which will boost your energy levels.
In moderation, the caffeine and sugar in chocolate won’t lead to an energy crash. As a general rule, the darker the chocolate the less sugar and the more energy-boosting potential it has.
Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
A 2004 review published in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease states that omega-3 fatty acids can elevate your mood and even protect against depression. Salmon is loaded with these kinds of fatty acids.
Spicy herbs can increase metabolism.
Spicy herbs can help rev up your metabolism and give you an energy boost. For example, peppers contain the compound capsaicin that can increase your metabolism and help with digestion. Some types of spices may even improve cognitive function, according to the Medical Journal Of Australia [PDF].
Greek yogurt has tons of protein.
Greek yogurt is a good alternative to regular yogurt because it has more protein, but less lactose and carbohydrates, which add calories. A study published in the journal Appetite found that Greek yogurt could help people feel full longer partly because of its slow-acting protein.
Popcorn is a good source of carbs.
Popcorn is high in fiber and carbohydrates, but is low in calories (when it’s not smothered in butter). A study published in the journal Nutrients ranked popcorn as one of the top energy-boosting snacks for children.
Leafy greens are full of iron that improves concentration levels.
You won’t get the sudden super strength and muscle mass of Popeye, but leafy vegetables like spinach are packed with iron that helps you feel more energetic. Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of iron deficiency, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and spinach is packed full of iron. Iron promotes red blood cell circulation, which in turn helps you feel more alert and improves concentration levels.
Whole grains are a long-lasting energy source.
Whole grains do contain lots of carbs, but the complex kind that provide a steady release of energy throughout the day, according to a review compiled by the Whole Grains Council [PDF].
Eating breakfast with a whole grain component ensures that you will have a fuel source all day.
Blueberries can enhance cognitive function.
Blueberries are called superfoods for a reason. They’re loaded with antioxidants, and
have shown they help with cognitive function and mental agility, according to the USDA.
Eggs are protein-rich.
You don’t have to drink them raw like a bodybuilder to get the high-quality protein from eggs.
According to a review in Nutrition Today, the protein will provide a steady energy source and lots of B vitamins. And yes, they really are great for building muscle mass.