There are times in life when you just need a quick energy boost. It might be because you haven’t slept much the night before, or you’ve had a long day that seems to have sucked all of the get-up-and-go fervor from your body. You’re exhausted but there’s more you need to do, so there’s no curling up for a quick caffeine nap to get you through.
The temptation at this point might be to turn to energy drinks, but pause before you do so, because…
Why Energy Drinks Are Bad For You
Most energy drinks are effectively just one ingredient: sugar. And lots of it.
Given that we know more about the ill effects of sugar than ever before, it seems strange that we’d turn to it to give our body a bolster of nutrition when we need it most. Of course, it does work – sugar will give you a short-term energy boost.
It’ll cost you, though. That energy has to come from somewhere. Given that the long-term nutritional value of sugar is next to nothing, that means it’ll be your normal nutrition sources that sugar saps. The end result? A sugar crash that, after an initial feeling of energy, actually makes you feel worse.
Food For Energy
Food is our primary energy source, though it’s sometimes easy to forget that in a world of “foodies” and cuisine designed to delight the eyes as much as the tastebuds. It therefore makes sense to turn to food for an energy jolt.
Given that all foods equal energy (that’s where calories come from: energy units), grabbing anything to eat would probably be beneficial. However, if you want the best energy boost, then there are certain foods that you should focus on. Not only will they give you what you need in the moment, but they will also do it without a nasty hangover effect. So stay away from the energy drinks, bars, and shots, and instead turn to….
Literally any kind of nut has some kind of nutritional value, so let your taste-buds be the guide on this. Not only are nuts incredibly rich in essential nutrients, they’re also a perfect on-the-go food as you can grab a handful and carry on with your tasks. I always make sure to carry nuts on hiking trips, especially almonds, which you can even by flavored like Salt & Vinegar!
Studies have shown that nuts can help maintain a healthy blood sugar level, so there’s no risk of sudden hunger pangs or energy lows. They’ll sustain you and they taste good – what could be better?
Cook Up a Steak
If you’ve got a little more time to cook, then spending a few minutes cooking up a steak could be the best choice. Red meat is rich in B vitamins and protein, giving steak the ideal factors you need to get you back up on your feet and feeling good.
Of course, for the ultimate boost you could add a few nuts to your steak meal – and you’ll power on through to midnight without a blink!
Healthy Fats or High Protein Snacks
To keep your energy up and your blood sugar levels happy, opt for foods with higher healthy fats like avocados or just concentrate on high protein snacks. I personally love creating salads with protein and healthy fats such as turkey, avocado, feta cheese over a spring mix. Yum!
Here are some more of my favorite quick energy boosts that are super easy options!
- Smoked Salmon
- Hard boiled eggs
- Deviled eggs
- String Cheese
- Tuna salad wrapped in lettuce
- No sugar added yogurt
- No sugar added beef jerky or bacon jerky
- Ham (or turkey) and cheese roll-ups
- Homemade protein bars
Do you have any suggestions for great foods that give you a quick energy boost? Leave them in the comments!