Warm summer days can often make you feel sluggish in the afternoon while you’re working. Do you always reach for more caffeine to keep you from faceplanting on your desk? That may help, depending on how much caffeine you’ve already had but not always. There are tons of other great foods that give you the energy to get the job done!
Foods to Add to Your Diet
Eggs – Pack in the protein at the start of your day to get a steady source of energy while they digest. Eggs also contain the amino acid leucine that stimulates energy production.
Oatmeal – This high-fiber breakfast contains beta-glucan that when mixed with water, forms a thick gel. The gel takes longer to digest and provides sustained energy. It’s also rich in iron, manganese, and B vitamins that boost energy.
Blueberries – Low in sugar and high in fiber, blueberries are a delicious way to increase your energy. Throw them in with your oatmeal for a double-dose of power!
Goji Berries – In addition to being full of vitamins and antioxidants, these berries can “assist with mental performance and alertness, and help decrease feelings of fatigue” (1). Try them in yogurt or smoothies!
Leafy Greens – We all know that spinach is good for you but you may not know it contains tyrosine, “a compound that has been known to improve alertness” (2). Leafy greens are also high in iron that helps red blood cells deliver oxygen and fight fatigue.
Beans – Once your body had digested your breakfast, fill it up with another high protein and high fiber food – beans! These are also digested slowly to help provide a steady source of energy. The minerals they contain are “involved in energy production and help with the delivery of energy to every cell in the body” (1).
Fish – Add some salmon or tuna to your lunch to get your daily source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s have been shown to reduce inflammation, which often causes fatigue. Some studies found that omega-3 supplements even helped reduce fatigue in cancer patients. (1)
Dark Chocolate – Calling all chocolate lovers! Northern Arizona University researchers found that participants who ate dark chocolate (60% cacao) had an increase in alertness and attentiveness (2). Dark chocolate also contains theobromine and caffeine, “which have been shown to enhance mental energy and mood” (1).
Popcorn – This low-calorie snack (as long as it’s not drenched in butter), is high in fiber and carbs to keep you satisfied. Being one of the highest fiber foods around, you can enjoy popcorn knowing it will keep your stomach happy longer.
Oranges – The high levels of vitamin C in one orange can make you feel less tired 2 hours after consumption. If you know you’ll be feeling tired in the afternoon, eat an orange for a late-morning snack.
The next time you’re feeling fatigued at work, stock up on these foods to energize your day!