I am sure you know the feeling of your eyelids feeling heavier than ever, your shoulders are sagged forward, and you read the same sentence over and over again. Or in other words, I call this condition the 3pm slump. Almost every working and non-working person experiences such slumps, and what happens in most cases is, they reach for an unhealthy snack that only worsens the problem. I know that your first instinct might be to reach for an unhealthy snack, or the coffee pot.
That is why I am here to tell you that there are healthy options, healthy foods that give you energy and that will help you survive the day without reaching for unhealthy options.
All of the foods that give you energy on this list are snacks of 100 to 200 calories. Their purpose is to improve your energy level at a slow and steady pace, and allow you to “survive” until your next main meal.
Let’s take a look at them.
Personally, almonds are one of my favorite snacks. Why? Because they are rich in protein, vitamin E, magnesium and other vitamins and minerals. I can just sit, work and snack them simultaneously.
And most importantly, at least for me, almonds are extremely rich in good fats, which helps regulate your cholesterol and blood glucose levels. Some 50 grams of almonds will be more than enough to get you going through the afternoon, morning or evening slump.
2. Dark Chocolate
If there is one good reason to consume chocolate, this is it. But make sure you are getting dark chocolate, one with at around 70% cocoa in it. Dark chocolate contains caffeine, same as with coffee, but in moderate amounts that actually are beneficial for your body and metabolic rate.
Moderate consumption of dark chocolate will help balance your energy, and won’t lead to an energy crash. However, be careful not to overdo it, since a whole chocolate will result in energy crash just one hour later.
3. Brown rice
Brown rice is one of the best side dishes for your lunch and/or dinner, but who’s to say you cannot grab a cup of brown rice as snack?
The biggest advantage of brown rice is its richness in manganese, a mineral that helps your body produce energy by processing protein and carbs.
4. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite side dishes. They taste and look like carrots, but they are creamier and softer. Same as with carrots, sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, even more than carrots actually, which helps you fight fatigue.
You can consume mashed sweet potatoes or cut into strips, it is all up to you. The most important part is that you can eliminate French fries from your menu and substitute them with healthy option.
Now this is a breakfast everyone should have. Oatmeal is part of the whole grains food group. And as such, oatmeal takes longer to process and digest, providing your body with a stable and sustainable source of energy for longer periods of the day.
The important part is not to add sugar to your oatmeal. Instead, you can throw some fruits that I will add to the list of foods that give you energy. Almonds are good as well.
If you are a morning coffee person, let me challenge you. For one week only, try this. Instead of a cup of coffee in the morning, get one or two apples. See the results after one week, and then decide whether you want to stick with apples or get back to coffee.
The reason is simple, apples contain natural sugar, which is healthy source of energy. I’ve found out that apples give me twice the energy that coffee gives me, but that is just me.
Have you ever watched a tennis match? If you have, you’ve certainly saw the players grabbing a bite of banana during the match.
There is probably no better source of energy than banana, which is another slow burning food.
Rich in magnesium, protein, sugar, vitamin C and much more, bananas are food that you can consume at any point of the day.
Peppers, or other spicy herbs are one of the best energy boosters out there. Your metabolic rate will be accelerated to levels you’ve never seen before thanks to the compound capsaicin found in peppers.
As a bonus, peppers help with digestion, so if you consume them before lunch, you will digest your lunch menu easier. In other words peppers = no bloating.
9. Greek Yogurt
Yogurt in general is a great choice for energy boosting services. However, Greek yogurt is even a better choice because it contains more protein and less carbs and lactose than regular yogurt.
A glass of yogurt is a way better choice than a glass of water to help you feel full until your next meal. I know a lot of people that drink a glass of water when they are hungry and low on energy.
It is a good option, but yogurt is even better.
Since Rocky drank raw eggs for strength, bodybuilders around the world have followed the trend.
The reasoning behind the premise is simple, eggs are rich in protein and B vitamins, both of which provide you with tons of energy. But you don’t have to drink raw eggs.
A simple omelet is good enough choice. Toss in some spinach in the omelet and you are good to go in the morning.
I mentioned adding spinach to your omelet, and now I’ll explain why.
Spinach is rich in iron, vitamin C and also an underrated source of protein.
And besides, if Popeye could eat spinach for strength, why shouldn’t you do the same?
I must note here that we are talking about air-popped popcorn, not the theater popcorn rich in unhealthy fats.
The best part about popcorn is that it is a low calorie snack, containing only 30 calories per cup.
That being said, you can eat two to three cups without your guilty conscience warning you.
If I am not having oatmeal or omelet in the morning, I make sure that I grab a tablespoon of honey.
The sugar you get from honey is more than enough to last for the whole day.
One spoon of honey provides you with the same energy as every grocery-bought energy drink.
Honey is arguably the best fuel you can give to your muscles, so make sure not to miss on it.