9 best foods for energy

woman cutting banana

by Bryony Firth-bernard |

We all have those days where we’re feeling a little sluggish and are in need of an energy boost - maybe we’re tired, or going down with something, but did you know large meals that contain lots of protein and carbs can leave you feeling sleepy too?

Food is our fuel and some foods that are natural energy boosters. Here’s nine you can eat the next time you’re feeling a little less sprightly…

1. Bananas

bunch of bananas

A gym-lovers best food friend, as they’re great to eat before a workout. Bananas are a brilliant source of potassium and electrolytes, which are key to feeling full of energy. A study has even shown that consuming a banana before a big bike ride can aid your performance and endurance as much as a carbohydrate drink.

2. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are also high fibre and are a complex carbohydrate. This means it contains a longer chain molecule for your body to break down and turn into glucose, therefore creating a slower release of energy throughout the day.

3. Wholegrain foods

Swap your normal pasta, rice and bread for wholegrain options. These are all complex carbs, so you’ll have a slow release of energy throughout your day and feel more sustained. Carbs made from white flour (simple carbs)  have shorter chain molecules and release energy quickly into the body, which can make you feel tired later on.

4. Salmon

salmon steak with vegetables

High in omega-3 fats, salmon is a great addition to add to your lunch or even breakfast. It’s a great source of several B vitamins that your body needs for producing energy and it’s a good source of protein too, helping you feel fuller for longer.

5. Spinach

The favourite food of Popeye, spinach has a high iron content and a lack of iron can leave you feeling sluggish and fatigued. Add a couple of handfuls into your smoothie or with your breakfast.

6. Eggs

hard boiled eggs

Full of B vitamins, protein, fat and an amino acid (known as leucine) which helps stimulate energy production, these little beauties are ideal if you need for an extra boost. They’re ideal for breakfast, an easy addition at lunch and dinner time, or you can hard boil them and enjoy them as a snack.

7. Oranges

You may be thinking ‘really?’ but yes, really! Oranges contain vitamin C and natural sugar, which helps to reduce your fatigue levels.

8. Greek yoghurt

Packed with more protein than any other yoghurt, Greek yoghurt contains lactose, a simple sugar, which can give you a quick boost of energy. While we’d prefer a longer boost of energy, the good thing is the amount of protein in Greek yoghurt helps to slow the absorption of that lactose, so your energy boost lasts longer.

9. Hummus

Hummus is a great on-the-go snack. Similar to spinach, hummus contains iron and packed with protein too, both helping you feel alert and less tired.

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