A lot of people find it difficult to do one thing or the other, just because they don’t have much energy to do the work.
The fact is that the type and quantity of food you eat play an essential role 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.
Foods That Can Give You More Energy
1. Brown Rice
Brown rice is very nutritious food. Unlike white rice, it is less processed and retains more nutritional value in the form of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
One cup (195 grams) of cooked brown rice contains 3.5 grams of fiber and provides about 88% of the RDI for manganese, a mineral that helps your enzymes break down carbohydrates and proteins to generate energy.
Additionally, thanks to its fiber content, brown rice has a low glycemic index. Therefore, it could help regulate blood sugar levels and help you maintain steady energy levels throughout the day.
Bananas may be one of the best foods for energy. They are an excellent source of carbohydrates, potassium and vitamin B6, all of which can help boost energy levels in your body.
One study showed that eating a banana before a 75-km cycling trial was as efficient as a carbohydrate drink for improving the performance of endurance athletes.
3. Sweet Potatoes
Besides being delicious, sweet potatoes are a nutritious source of energy for those looking for an extra boost.
One medium-sized sweet potato could pack up to 23 grams of carbohydrates, 3.8 grams of fiber, 28% of the RDI for manganese and a whopping 438% of the RDI for vitamin A (12).
Thanks to sweet potatoes’ fiber content and complex carbs, your body digests them at a slow pace, which provides you with a steady supply of energy.
Sweet potatoes are also a great source of manganese, which helps in the breakdown of nutrients to produce energy.
Apples are one of the most popular fruits in the world and are a good source of carbs and fiber.
A medium-sized apple (185 grams) contains about 25 grams of carbs, 19 grams of sugar and up to 4 grams of fiber.
Due to their rich content of natural sugars and fiber, apples can provide a slow and sustained energy release.
Furthermore, apples have high antioxidant content. Research has shown that antioxidants could slow down the digestion of carbohydrates, so they release energy over a more extended period of time.
Lastly, it is recommended to eat an apple whole. Juices and purees, from which fiber is removed, are ingested faster and can only provide you with quickly digested energy.
Coffee might be the first food you’d think to consume when you’re looking for a boost of energy.
It’s rich in caffeine. This compound can quickly pass from your bloodstream to your brain and inhibit the activity of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that quiets the central nervous system.
In consequence, the production of epinephrine increases. This hormone stimulates the body and brain.
Even though coffee only provides two calories per cup, its stimulatory effects on the body can make you feel alert and focused.
Eggs are not only a tremendously satisfying food, but they can also provide energy to fuel your day.
Eggs are packed with protein, which can give you a steady and sustained source of energy because it does not cause spikes in blood sugar and insulin when it is digested.
Additionally, leucine is the most abundant amino acid in eggs and is known to stimulate energy production in several ways.
Leucine can help cells take in more blood sugar, stimulate the production of energy in the cells and increase the breakdown of fat to produce energy.
Moreover, eggs are rich in B vitamins. These vitamins help enzymes perform their role in the processes of breaking down food for energy.
Water is essential for life. It represents up to 60% of your body weight and is involved in many cellular functions, including energy production.
Not drinking enough water may lead to dehydration, which can slow down body functions, leaving you feeling sluggish and tired.
Drinking water could give you a boost of energy and help fight off feelings of fatigue.
You can avoid dehydration by drinking water even if you are not thirsty. Try to drink water regularly throughout the day.
Yogurt is an excellent snack to fuel up your day.
The carbs in yogurt are mainly in the form of simple sugars, such as lactose and galactose. When broken down, these sugars can provide ready-to-use energy.
Additionally, yogurt is packed with protein, which helps slow down the digestion of carbohydrates, thereby slowing down the release of sugars into the blood.
Moreover, yogurt contains great amounts of vitamins B2 and B12, which are involved in cellular functions. They aid the formation of the molecule ATP, which your cells use for fuel.
Popcorn can be an excellent low-calorie, energizing snack.
It’s high in carbs and fiber, which can make it very satisfying and a good option for an energy-boosting snack.
A 100-gram serving of air-popped popcorn provides 78 grams of carbs and a whopping 15 grams of fiber, which makes popcorn one of the highest-fiber foods there is. Therefore, it could provide a steady release of energy.
Popcorn can be a healthy food when it’s cooked with wholesome ingredients using the air-pop cooking method.
Beans are rich in nutrients and a great source of natural energy.
Even though there are hundreds of different types of beans, their nutrient profiles are very similar. They are a rich source of carbohydrates, fiber, and protein.
Beans are digested slowly, which helps maintain stable blood sugar levels and gives you steady energy. Additionally, beans contain antioxidants that can help fight inflammation and promote energy.
Black beans and black-eyed peas are among the most famous kinds of beans. These beans are good sources of folic acid, iron, manganese, and magnesium, which are involved in energy production and help with the delivery of energy to every cell in the body.
Avocados are considered to be a superfood because of all their significant health benefits.
For example, they’re rich in healthy fats and fiber. About 84% of the healthy fats in avocados come from monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids.
These healthy fats have been shown to promote optimal blood fat levels and enhance the absorption of nutrients. They can also be stored in the body and used as energy sources.
Additionally, the fiber in avocados accounts for 80% of their carbohydrate content, which can help maintain steady energy levels.
Furthermore, avocados are a good source of B vitamins, which are required for the optimal function of the mitochondria in your cells, where cellular energy is produced.
Oranges are famous for their high vitamin C content. One orange can provide as much as 106% of the RDI for vitamin C.
Additionally, oranges contain antioxidant compounds that can provide protection from oxidative stress.
Research has shown that oxidative stress could promote feelings of fatigue. Therefore, the antioxidant protection provided by compounds in oranges may be able to help decrease fatigue.
In fact, one study showed that 13 women who consumed 17 ounces (500 ml) of orange juice and did one hour of aerobic training three times a week for three months saw decreases in muscle fatigue and experienced improvements in physical performance.
Nuts can be a great snack packed with nutrients to promote energy.
Most nuts like almonds, walnuts, and cashews are known for their high calories and abundance of proteins, carbs, and healthy fats. These nutrients can provide you with a slow release of energy during the day.
They are also high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and antioxidants that can increase energy levels and help with inflammation and antioxidant protection.
Additionally, these nuts provide decent amounts of carbs and fiber for a steady and sustained energy boost.
Nuts also contain other vitamins and minerals, such as manganese, iron, B vitamins and vitamin E. These can help increase energy production and decrease tiredness.
Strawberries are another good energy-boosting fruit.
They can provide you with carbs, fiber, and sugars that can enhance energy levels. One cup of strawberries provides 12 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber and 7 grams of sugar.
Additionally, this same portion will give you 149% of the RDI for vitamin C.
Besides helping fight inflammation in the body, the antioxidants in strawberries may help fight fatigue and give you energy.
You can incorporate strawberries in many recipes, and use them in smoothies, parfaits or salads.
15. Leafy Green Vegetables
Leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and kale, are excellent sources of nutrients that promote energy.
They are high in iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamins A, C, E, and K.
Additionally, they are packed with folic acid, fiber, and antioxidants that provide health benefits.
Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of iron deficiency.
Leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale are excellent sources of iron to replenish your body’s stores, and of vitamin C to enhance the absorption of iron in the body.
Iron enhances the production of red blood cells for the efficient delivery of oxygen to your cells, which is known to fight fatigue.
Furthermore, leafy green vegetables may also enhance the formation of nitric oxide, which helps the blood vessels widen for better blood flow through the body.