Oct 4, 2021
The Complete Guide to Eating for Energy Levels
Have you ever ended up stranded on the side of the road because you accidentally forgot to fill up your gas tank? That’s what your body feels like when you skip meals. Energy levels drop, you feel sluggish and even your brain has a hard time getting things done.
For your body, meals are fuel. Even if you’re in a hurry, you need a source of healthy proteins and nutrients.
When To Eat
Energy levels are closely related to blood sugar levels. To feel energized all day long, you need to balance your blood sugar. When should you eat?
The moment you wake up, your “engine” needs fuel in the tank. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day in terms of energy levels. You don’t have to go all out on a huge breakfast, but you do need nutritious calories to burn.
Morning and Afternoon Snack
It’s better to eat smaller portions every few hours than a couple of huge meals in the day. Healthy snacking is an important part of this. If you eat breakfast at 8 a.m., then around 10 a.m. you should grab an apple or another nutritious treat.
Being honest, your work schedule may determine what you can eat for lunch. That said, if you want to stay energized, a light lunch (i.e., just a tiny salad) probably isn’t going to cut it. Make sure your lunch includes a good portion of fruit or veggies, lean protein and nutritious grains.
Also, try to eat lunch at the same time every day. If you eat at 12:30 p.m. one day and 3 p.m. the next day, your energy levels are going to be all over the place.
Enjoy a small-but-nutritious meal when you get home from work. Generally speaking, you should aim for under 500 calories. Resist the temptation to go overboard with dinner. All a huge meal in the evening does is add to your waistline.
Not everyone needs an evening snack, but if a growling stomach is making it hard to fall asleep, you do. The important thing is to make sure it’s nutritious, not packed with sugar. Giving your gut something with fiber to digest can help you sleep like a baby.
What To Eat
What foods are best for energy levels?
- Almonds: Nuts such as almonds, unsalted peanuts and cashews are pumped with nutritious protein that fills you up. A handful of nuts are perfect for morning or afternoon snacks.
- Bananas: Thanks to potassium, natural carbs and fiber, bananas are guaranteed to give you a fast kick of energy.
- Rolled oats: Whole oats are one of the best sources of complex carbs. They’re filling and they help your gut, too.
- Eggs: Whole eggs are high in protein and healthy fats. These fats help your body absorb more vitamins.
- Fresh fruit: You can never go wrong with melon, watermelon, pineapple, apples, pears, oranges, strawberries and other fruits in meals or as a snack.
- Fresh veggies: Celery, brocolli, cauliflower, avocadoes, carrots, bell peppers and leafy greens are nutritious and good for energy. Celery and low-fat peanut butter? Go for it!
Natural foods that have vitamins, fiber, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats keep you energized. Complex carbs are good because they take longer for your digestive system to process, giving you long-term fuel and keeping blood sugar balanced. Unlike sugary sweets, this energy boost doesn't make you crash, so you feel great.