Foods Proven to Boost Energy

Did you know that the foods you eat can have huge impact—both positive and negative—on your energy levels? For instance, certain foods can actually boost calories, regulate your blood sugar, and trigger feel-good chemicals in your brain to improve your energy level, enhance your mood, and increase your metabolism so you burn off more calories.

It’s all about eating the right types of food! Lucky for you, we have the scoop on 20 of the very best food and drink, proven to boost your energy…

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1. Leafy Greens

Leafy greens like spinach, romaine lettuce, and arugula are high in folate, a mood-enhancing nutrient that’s been linked to lowering depression.

2. Whole Grains

Don’t listen to those anti-carbohydrate fad diets. Complex carbs such as the whole grains you find in oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, and brown rice are must have for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, and fighting that mid-day tired and moody feeling. Why? Because whole grains are digested more slowly, keeping your blood sugar and energy levels stable, and helping you feel satiated longer so you avoid sweets and empty carbs.

3. Bananas

When you snack on this potassium-rich, B vitamin-infused yellow fruit, you actually decelerate digestion, which keeps blood sugar levels stable and gives you that full feeling for much longer.

4. Coffee

The caffeine in your morning cup of java coffee is liquid pick-me-up. It can increase energy and metabolism, and improve your mental focus over a short period. Just steer clear of drinking too much coffee, especially in the afternoon, as it will keep you from falling asleep.

5. Nuts

Cashews, almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts…oh my! These little nuggets are protein-packed, plus their also a great source of magnesium, the mineral that converts sugar into energy fuel.

6. Lean Meats

Pick your favorite meat—beef, chicken, turkey, pork—and order it lean for a protein-punch that’s high in  amino acid tyrosine, which boost dopamine and norepinephrine, brain chemicals that keep you alert and focused, and decrease insomnia and depression.

7. Beans

Beans, beans are good for your heart; the more you eat, the more energy you’ll have throughout the day! Bet you didn’t see that coming—did you?

8. Citrus Fruits

Oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes not only give your body a super-boost of vitamin C which, they also help to strengthen your immunity so you can fight off those colds and flu bugs.

9. Curry

A classic Asian and Indian specialty, this spicy dish is actually made with chilies, turmeric, cinnamon, and cumin—spices that are all naturally high in antioxidants to regulate sugar levels, kick start the metabolism, and promote circulation.

10. Fatty Fish

Fillets such as salmon, albacore tuna, and mackerel are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which keep the heart healthy and encourage circulation.

11. Quinoa

I love quinoa! Even though it’s a grain, its super high in protein, which keeps the body feeling full and energized for longer. Plus, you can prepare it so many ways! Try a quinoa salad, stir fry, or substitute it for your morning cereal mixed with cinnamon, raisins, and warm apples—yum!

12. Water

If you feel a yawn coming on, simply drink a glass of water. Staying hydrated will boost your energy, metabolism, and provide a natural pick-me-up throughout the day.

13. Coconut

Coconut oil is a great source of triglycerides, a fat that converts quickly into energy quickly. Try coconut water or a handful of fresh or dried coconut to fight that mid-day slump.

14. Tea

You can ensure you stay hydrated all day by mixing up your water intake with tea. While caffeine tea improves your alertness, reaction time, and focus; herbal tea can help ease your body and mind of work stress.

15. Dark Chocolate

Chocoholics rejoice—a small square of dark chocolate will actually provide a mental and mood boost thanks to stimulants within—like caffeine and theobromine.

16. Greek Yogurt

Yogurt, especially the Greek variety, is a great source of probiotics, or naturally occurring healthy bacteria that improve digestion, strengthen the immune system, and improve energy.

17. Kale

Kale is considered a “super food” because of its many benefits. For instance, not only is it rich in vitamins and minerals for energy; it’s also rich in calcium for healthy teeth and bones!

18. Ginger

Infuse your diet with a little fresh or dried ginger root for an afternoon kick start. The antioxidant-rich root can be sliced up in sauces, steeped in tea, or even combined with fresh fruit and yogurt to make a smoothie.

19. Lentils & Legumes

Lentils and chickpeas will put an end to those mid-day blood sugar crashes thanks to the fact that they keep blood glucose levels in a healthy, stable zone.

20. Sesame seeds

Sesame seeds are widely used in Middle Eastern cultures because they taste great in cereal, baked into breads, or sprinkled on desserts and soups—and they are known to enhance sexual vivacity—bonus!

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Emily Lockhart

Emily Lockhart is a certified yoga instructor and personal trainer. She believes that being healthy is a lifestyle choice, not a punishment or temporary fix to attain a desired fitness or body image goal. Anna helps her clients take responsibility for their own health and wellness through her classes and articles on ActiveBeat.