If coffee is your go-to when you feel that afternoon slump kicking in, you might be surprised to know certain foods can be better options. These are the best energy-boosting foods, according to three registered dietitian nutritionists, as well as some foods that may leave you feeling drained.
- Black beans- They’re a tasty source of plant-based protein that’s loaded with gut-healthy fiber and carbs to boost energy, plus they’re a great source of iron, which is important for energy, according to plant-based registered dietitian nutritionist Meredith Price.
- Bananas- They offer a quick pick-me-up thanks to their naturally occurring sugar and being easily digested.
- Eggs- Jonathan Valdez, a registered dietitian nutritionist, says eggs are a “cheap powerhouse of complete protein and nutrients” that help with energy and slow sugar absorption in the bloodstream when paired with carbs.
- Water- When we’re running low on fluids, we feel drained and tired, but drinking water can quickly give you a boost of energy.
- Pistachios- These nuts are high in protein and help fuel your body with essential amino acids, as well as providing fiber and “better-for-you” unsaturated fats, explains plant-based registered dietitian Amy Gorin.
- Caffeine/Energy drinks- You could be in for a dreaded caffeine crash five hours after drinking them, plus having them later in the day could keep you from getting good sleep and leave you tired the next day.
- Candy- The sweet treat may give you a momentary burst of energy, but it’s followed by an energy zap, Gorin warns.
- Steak- Sure, it’s got a ton of protein, but Price explains that your body has to “go into overdrive digesting and metabolizing” it since it can only in one sitting, so you may feel drained and sluggish afterward.
- Fruit smoothies- They’re convenient and may seem healthy, but they take away the natural fiber of whole fruits, your blood sugar levels may spike, then you’re left with a sugar crash and an energy slump.
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