10 Foods Scientifically Proven to Increase Your Energy


You need fuel to stay bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and it makes all the difference whether that fuel consists of processed sugars or healthful, natural ingredients like protein and vitamins. That’s because some foods are naturally inclined to give us a boost, while others — like melatonin-rich oatmeal and turkey dinners — are instead prone to make us want to curl up and nap. So on days when you want to keep your energy levels up and your focus razor sharp, skip the burgers, fries, and sugary soda. Opt instead for any of these activating eats. (See also: What to Eat for Lunch for a More Productive Afternoon)

1. Spinach

An excellent source of iron, spinach is a nutrient-loaded, low-calorie superfood that is one of the body's best energy producers. It's also affordable and readily available year-round. For a real jump-start, consider enjoying a spinach salad topped with two or three other energizing ingredients on this list.

2. Crab

High in protein and low in fat, crab meat helps quickly curb your hunger as it ramps up your metabolism. It's also rich in vitamin B12, which helps the body convert food into energy.

3. Mandarin Oranges

These energy-boosting citrus fruits are packed with natural sugars that give your body the juice it needs to keep moving.

4. Almonds

This convenient snack food is high in calories, making it a great choice when you want to rev up energy levels but don’t have time for a full meal. A whole cup of almonds contains about 500 calories, which is enough fuel to power your body through a 45-minute four-mile run.

5. Edamame

Eating a balanced snack every three to four hours will prevent your blood sugar from crashing, and when you need a quick, stabilizing boost, edamame is a no-brainer. Soybeans are packed with protein, magnesium, fiber, and B vitamins that help the body power up to its full potential. They’re also quick and easy to consume on-the-go.

6. Chia Seeds

The word chia translates to "strength" in the Mayan language of Mexico, where the seed is most abundantly found. It promotes endurance, energy, digestion, and detoxification. Chia seeds are also scientifically proven to enhance exercise performance in workouts that are 90 minutes or longer — much like a sports drink, but without all the added sugar.

7. Salmon

Salmon is chock full of protein, vitamin B6, niacin, and riboflavin — all of which help convert the food you eat into energy. Lest we forget the other superpowers of this pink fish, such as its ability to lower cholesterol, repair muscle tissue, and reduce your risk of heart disease.

8. Brown Basmati Rice

Brown basmati rice is a whole grain that prevents blood sugar spikes and helps the body gear up for action.

9. Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is full of protein and fiber, which give you a slow, sustained release of energy — a foolproof lunch choice for those of us who want to avoid that late afternoon slump.

10. Banana

A fan favorite among athletes, bananas are a go-to food for energy and endurance. Studies show that eating a banana before and during prolonged periods of exercise will help your body maintain its peak performance level throughout the workout.

What foods do you rely on for a quick, healthy energy burst?

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Guest's picture

The listed food is very good and healthy, but what about on the go? Nuts or beef sticks are my savers, as it is very convenient because you can have it any time and anywhere.My favorite one is chomps snack sticks - great taste, no junks, 100% grass fed beef and Paleo friendly- can't get better than that!