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Which Foods Give You Energy?

There are a lot of foods on the market that promise to give you energy. Some of them even deliver on their promise, but not all of them do. The challenge is knowing which ones give you energy and which ones leave you feeling sluggish and tired.

If you’re feeling tired, the right foods can be the difference between being exhausted and functioning at 100% or dragging yourself through the day. Here are some of the best foods to eat for stamina and energy.

There are foods that boost energy and foods that lower it. The trick is to know how to combine them in order to avoid a mid-afternoon slump.

It’s normal to feel tired sometimes, but if you’re feeling fatigued all the time, you might want to take a closer look at what you’re eating.

Energy Zappers – The Worst Foods For Energy

A lot of things can zap your energy levels, including stress, lack of sleep, and certain medical conditions. A poor diet can also leave you feeling run down.

The worst culprits are refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and white rice, which cause your blood sugar levels to spike and then fall sharply after your meal. This rollercoaster ride makes you feel sleepy and lethargic.

Other foods that can leave you feeling drained include those high in saturated fat, such as fast foods and processed meats; alcohol; caffeine; and sugary snacks like cakes and sweets. These tend to be low in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients essential for keeping your energy levels up.

The Best Type Of Energy Foods

Low-glycemic foods are best for energy. These foods are slowly digested and absorbed, and they don’t cause your blood sugar to spike (and then crash).

The glycemic index of a food is a value that shows how quickly the food raises your blood sugar compared to the effect of eating glucose, which has a glycemic index of 100.

High GI foods have values of 70 or more and cause quick blood sugar spikes.

Low GI foods have values lower than 55 and are more slowly digested.

Best Energy-Boosting Foods

If you’re trying to increase your energy, you should eat foods that are naturally high in nutrients and low in sugar. You can find these foods by eating a balanced diet of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Some of the best energy-boosting foods include:

  • Salmon: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D for energy and brainpower.
  • Dark chocolate: Cacao is a natural stimulant and antioxidant.
  • Almonds: Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps cell repair.
  • Whole grains: They have a steady supply of sugars to keep you going.
  • Bananas: They’re full of potassium and vitamin B6 for energy and heart health.
  • Yogurt: It has protein and carbs for long-lasting energy.
Energy Foods For Breakfast, Lunch & Snacks

For example, oatmeal is a great breakfast option because it fills you up and provides you with important nutrients. The same goes for peanut butter: spread it on whole-wheat toast or add it to your oatmeal to get an extra boost in the morning. Apples and bananas are also good breakfast choices, as they contain natural sugars that give you energy.

For lunch or a snack, try eating hard-boiled eggs or yogurt. Both of these foods are high in protein and can give you a longer-lasting boost of energy than something sweet like a cookie might. If you’re craving something sweet, go for something with natural sugars like fruit or nuts instead—you’ll get the same boost without crashing once the sugar wears off.

Nutritionist Take Away:

“You want to be fueled with foods that are going to get you through your day and help you avoid getting that afternoon slump,” says Emily Kyle, RDN, a nutritionist and owner of EmilyKyleNutrition.com. “But everyone is different, so what works for some people will not work for others.”

If you’re looking for low-GI foods that will give you energy, start by stocking up on vegetables (especially if they’re fresh or frozen rather than canned), beans, lentils, nuts and seeds, whole fruit, and whole grains. There are some high-GI foods that can still give you a boost without spiking your blood sugar too much; these include sweet potatoes, bananas, and white bread.

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