Many people feel tired or rundown at some point during the day. A lack of energy could affect your daily activities and make you less productive.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the type and quantity of food you eat play essential roles 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.
Here’s a list of 10 foods that have been proven to help promote energy levels.
Bananas may be one of the best foods for energy. They’re an excellent source of complex carbs, potassium, and vitamin B6, all of which can help boost your energy levels.
Fatty fish like salmon and tuna are good sources of protein, fatty acids, and B vitamins, making them great foods to include in your diet.
A serving of salmon or tuna provides you the recommended daily amount of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12 .
Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce inflammation, which is a common cause of fatigue .
In fact, some studies determined that taking omega-3 supplements could decrease fatigue, especially in cancer patients and those recovering from cancer.
Furthermore, vitamin B12 works with folate to produce red blood cells and help iron work better in your body. Optimal levels of red blood cells and iron can reduce fatigue and increase energy .
Brown rice is a very nutritious food. Compared with white rice, it’s less processed and retains more nutritional value in the form of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
One-half cup (50 grams) of brown rice contains 2 grams of fiber and provides a large portion of your recommended daily intake (RDI) of manganese, a mineral that helps enzymes break down carbs 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 promote steady energy levels throughout the day.
Aside from being delicious, sweet potatoes are a nutritious source of energy for those looking for an extra boost.
A 1-cup (100-gram) serving of sweet potatoes could pack up to 25 grams of complex carbs, 3.1 grams of fiber, 25% of the RDI for manganese, and a whopping 564% of the RDI for vitamin A (8).
Thanks to sweet potatoes’ fiber and complex carb content, your body digests them slowly, which provides you with a steady supply of energy.
Coffee might be the first food you’d think to consume when you’re looking for an energy boost.
It’s rich in caffeine, which can quickly pass from your bloodstream into your brain and inhibit the activity of adenosine, a neurotransmitter that quiets the central nervous system.
As a result, the production of epinephrine — a hormone that stimulates the body and brain — increases.
Even though coffee only provides two calories per cup, its stimulatory effects can make you feel alert and focused.
It’s not recommended to consume over 400 mg of caffeine, or about 4 cups of coffee, per day.
Eggs are not only a tremendously satisfying food but also full of energy that can help fuel your day.
They’re packed with protein, which can give you a steady and sustained source of energy.
Additionally, leucine is the most abundant amino acid in eggs, and it’s 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 roles in the process of breaking down food for energy.
Apples are one of the most popular fruits in the world, and they’re a good source of carbs and fiber.
A medium-sized apple (100 grams) contains about 14 grams of carbs, 10 grams of sugar, and up to 2.1 grams of fiber (13Trusted Source).
Due to their rich content of natural sugars and fiber, apples can provide a slow and sustained energy release (14Trusted Source).
Furthermore, apples have a high antioxidant content. Research has shown that antioxidants may slow the digestion of carbs, so they release energy over a more extended period of time (15).
Lastly, it’s recommended to eat apples whole to reap the benefits of the fiber in their skin.
Water is essential for life. It’s involved in many cellular functions, including energy production (16).
Not drinking enough water may lead to dehydration, which can slow bodily functions, leaving you feeling sluggish and tired.
Drinking water could give you a boost of energy and help fight feelings of fatigue.
You can avoid dehydration by drinking water even if you’re not thirsty. Try to drink water regularly throughout the day.
Dark chocolate has a higher cocoa content than regular or milk chocolate.
The antioxidants in cocoa have been shown to have many health benefits, such as increasing blood flow throughout your body.
This effect aids the delivery of oxygen to the brain and muscles, which improves their function. This can be especially helpful during exercise.
Additionally, the increase in blood flow produced by antioxidants in cocoa could help reduce mental fatigue and improve mood.
Dark chocolate also contains stimulatory compounds, such as theobromine and caffeine, which have been shown to enhance mental energy and mood.
Yerba maté is a drink made from the dried leaves of a plant native to South America. It has been shown to have many health benefits.
Yerba maté contains antioxidants and caffeine. A regular 8-ounce cup can offer about 85 mg of caffeine, which is similar to the amount in a small cup of coffee.
The caffeine in yerba maté promotes the production of the hormone epinephrine, which increases energy. However, unlike other stimulants, yerba maté does not seem to affect blood pressure or heart rate.
Animal research has suggested that yerba maté may enhance mental focus and mood.