Food is your body’s fuel. Just like putting gasoline in a car to make it go, putting food in your body increases your energy and allows your body to function like it was created to do. While all foods boost your energy on some level, there are some foods that give your body increased energy for extended periods of time with no crash. These are the foods that you want when you need that extra shot of energy to make you productive and to get you through a long day.
Oatmeal is both a complex carbohydrate and a great way to start your day! Oatmeal is full of nutrients and fiber, and as a complex carbohydrate it is slow to digest. What that means is that oatmeal is slow to digest and will provide a steady and even flow of energy throughout the digestive process. Unlike many carbohydrate rich foods, oatmeal does not provide a short boost of energy followed by a crash. In fact, a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast will provide you with hours of energy on the back end.
Protein is one of the most energy rich nutrients you will find, and chicken is one of the leanest proteins out there. Eating a piece of chicken for dinner or lunch will give you the protein that you need without the unhealthy saturated fat and heavy feeling that you get with most other meats. Your body takes a while to break down protein and to turn it into energy which means that chicken is the perfect and light way to give your body a boost of energy.
Omega-3s are an extremely healthy and necessary nutrient and one specifically found in walnuts is linked to energy production. Many people worry that because nuts in general are high in fat that the high caloric intake will offset the energy boost. However, while it is true that walnuts are high in calories, studies show that people who eat nuts consistently do not experience weight gain or other health issues because of them. This probably has to do with the “hunger satisfying” fiber present in nuts, but regardless of the reason, walnuts are a great energy boosting food.
For a lot of reasons, sugar is where people tend to turn when they are looking for a pick-me-up. The problem with sugar is that the initial boost goes away quickly and is replaced with a crash that leaves you worse off than before. This is where berries come in. They are perfect for a sweet tooth, they do not have the calorie blast that accompanies a sugary substitute, and they have anti-oxidants and other nutrients that nourish your body. Basically with a snack of blackberries, strawberries, or raspberries, you get the benefits of a sugar rush without any of the negatives.
I am sure that water is not where your mind goes when you think of foods and drinks that boost your energy. You may think of coffee, energy drinks, or even a sugary soda because these are the types of drinks that have been traditionally used to boost energy during the day. When you begin to feel down and dehydrated, what is the best thing to drink? When you are competing in an athletic competition and you have a short break, what do you use to fuel your body? When you are in the middle of a long project and your brain needs that extra ounce of fuel, where do you turn? The answer to those questions is water. People who drink more water take in less calories, eat less junk, and are generally more healthy. For all of these reasons, water is the perfect energy boosting liquid any time of the day or night.
While all food provides your body with energy, there are some foods that are specifically equipped to give you that boost when you need it the most. You do not need to turn to sugar, caffeine, and calories like you may have been taught in the past. The list above and foods like those are perfect when you need that boost.