When you start to feel run down in the middle of the day, it’s easy to head straight for a cup of coffee. But instead of jumping for another cup of joe, consider what your body needs to provide energy. Your body requires a significant amount of nutrients to perform throughout the day; if you feel tired or unfocused, try turning to an energizing snack packed with nutrients instead of caffeine.
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Sources of Energy
There are three primary macronutrients your body needs to function: protein, carbs, and fat. By better understanding how the body uses each of these nutrients, you’ll have an idea of which one your body may need at the moment.
- Carbohydrates– Carbs abound in grains, fruits, veggies, dairy, and bread. When you consume carbs, the body breaks them down into glucose and uses it for quick energy. Eating carbohydrates, in moderation, is an excellent way to power through the day.
- Protein– While not the body’s primary source, protein can provide the body with much-needed energy. More importantly, the body uses the amino acids in protein to essential proteins and build muscle. After a workout, getting a bit of protein is a great way to help recover and protect the body. You can find an abundance of protein in meat, eggs, nuts, cheese, oats, yogurt, lentils, and various vegetables.
- Fat– Fats naturally occur in oils, meat, eggs, and dairy. The body can use far for immediate energy or store it away for later use.
Foods for Quick Fuel
If you feel lethargic or depleted, you can turn to nutrient-rich snacks for an energy boost. A few simple pick-me-ups include:
- Veggies and Hummus– Vegetables and hummus are excellent sources of proteins, fats, and other essential nutrients. The next time you’re feeling sluggish, try this tasty combo.
- Ants on a Log– “Ants on a log” refers to celery topped with peanut butter and raisins. This combination is another snack packed with nutrients and protein.
- Mixed Nuts– Mixed nuts are a quick, easy snack loaded with the protein you need to feel energized.
- Granola– Granola contains carbohydrates that fill you up and get you energized. You can add granola to yogurt, smoothies, and salads, or eat it straight from the bag. Any way you enjoy it, granola can help get your energy up.
- Fruit– Fruit is loaded with nutrients and natural sugars to help you feel satisfied. The best energy boosters include bananas, apricots, nectarines, dates, plums, and oranges.
- Popcorn– Popcorn is a whole grain that contains fiber and useful vitamins and minerals. It’s quick and simple and can be enjoyed with many different flavors to keep it interesting.
Adding supplements to your meals and snacks is another way to sustain your energy and keep yourself moving throughout the day. You can try the following supplements to help increase your energy levels:
- MCT Oil– Keto MCT oil contains healthy fats that the body easily digests and absorbs, providing immediate energy. It also triggers enzymes that make you feel fuller for longer.
- Vitamin B12– B12 is a great vitamin to add to your diet to increase your energy levels thanks to its ability to help your body break down food.
- Creatine– If you need a quick boost before a workout, try creatine. The supplement can also help you increase muscle mass.
- Beetroot Powder– Beetroot powder contains nitrate, which helps relax blood vessels and increase blood flow for more energy.
- CoQ10– CoQ10 is a natural substance in the body, but CoQ10 levels tend to deplete with age. Adding it as a supplement to your diet is a great way to increase energy.
All-day Energy and Alertness
With the right macronutrients, you can stay energized and focused all day long. It’s essential to keep your body fueled, and ensuring you take in the vitamins and nutrients your body needs is an integral part of maintaining your energy and overall health. So next time you hit that afternoon slump, reach for a snack instead of soda or coffee.