11 Foods That Beat Fatigue: What to Eat for Energy

Your body runs off what you feed it. The best way to get the most energy from your food is to make sure you’re giving yourself the best food possible.

Besides what you eat, when you eat can also impact your energy. Did you ever notice how you feel sluggish after a big lunch or dinner? That’s because your body is using its energy to digest that big meal instead of powering the rest of your body.

The easiest way to avoid the post-meal coma is to eat several smaller-portioned meals throughout the day. This will keep your body fueled regularly and may even help you lose weight.

1. Unprocessed foods

While a cheeseburger and fries might be comforting while you’re eating it, it’s nutritional value is low. Processed foods, such as some packaged or canned foods, candy, boxed meals, and precooked meats are typically full of preservatives, additives, sodium, trans fat, and artificial ingredients that may slow you down.

2. Fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables

The fresher your food is, the more nutrients it will contain. Unlike processed foods that may be stripped of nutrients for a longer shelf life, fresh foods typically contain higher nutrients. Eating in-season fruits and vegetables means they ripened naturally.

3. Non-caffeinated beverages

Caffeine is OK in moderation, and it has been shown to have some health benefits. Although it provides a short-term boost, it doesn’t actually provide the body with energy. The first sips may give you a jolt, but if you’re not providing your body with good nutrition and balanced meals and snacks, you’ll eventually feel run down.

If you must have your fix, opt for black coffee or unsweetened tea. Sodas and energy drinks can be full of refined sugar and artificial ingredients that can cause you to crash, and lead to other health issues if overconsuming.

4. Lean proteins

Red meats marbled in fat adds saturated fat to your diet. Leaner meats, like chicken, turkey, and fish, still provide quality protein, but contain less saturated fat. Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and tuna, can add beneficial, heart healthy fats.

5. Whole grains and complex carbs

Just like processed foods, refined carbohydrates like sugars and white flour add little nutrition. Choosing whole grain foods and complex carbohydrates ensures that your body gets the full benefits of the hull of the grain that adds fiber to your diet.