Are you feeling tired? Maybe it's time for a snack.
If you just cringed, it's because you're already used to eating for energy. The problem? If you're like most people, your go-to probably involves a lot of sugar, caffeine, and empty calories. You probably also already know just how little these snacks help.
The problem is, we tend to grab what's easy. Easy isn't always good, though. Most snacks of this variety give only a short burst of energy and typically leaves you with a crash not very long after. It's just not worth it.
The snacks listed here are. Keep reading for some great ideas about what to eat when you need more energy.
Okay, so the first thing on this list isn't food. Water is first on this list for a reason, though. Most of the time, when energy is lagging, it's because we're dehydrated. Water = energy, plain and simple. Besides, there's certainly no harm in trying a glass of water before going for a different snack. If anything, it will leave you hydrated and fills you up enough that you won't overdo whatever snack you do settle on. If you are trying to lose weight too, a good rule of thumb is to take your body weight in pounds, divide that number in half, and that equals the number of ounces of water you should strive to drink per day.
Black or Green Tea
The nice thing about tea is it gives a little jolt of caffeine without going overboard. Also, there are some definite health benefits to tea you might not be aware of. Tea is good for your heart, helps with inflammation, and even helps ward off cancer.
While this isn’t exactly a grab-and-go snack, chia seeds are easy enough to throw into a smoothie to make it worth taking a few extra moments in prep time. Chia seeds are solidly energy-inducing and are even full of protein and fiber, so you really can't go wrong with them.
You’ve probably already heard about a lot of the benefits of ginseng to your diet, but did you know this amazing herb can also add significant energy to your day? A study done with cancer patients found ginseng was just the thing to drop fatigue levels.
Cheese, Eggs, Nuts
What do all these have in common? They're loaded in protein. Protein will raise energy levels and keep them up. These things are just the right size for a simple snack during the times of day when you're lagging the most. String cheese, hard boiled eggs, and nuts are also quick and easy snacks that you can pack and take with you, for energy throughout the day.
Chocolate isn’t the bad guy we like to think it is (thankfully). Dark chocolate especially has antioxidants and has been proven to lower cholesterol and risk for heart disease.
Yes, coffee makes the list. It's the old standby for energy, but it also can help you burn fat and even reduce your risk for type-2 diabetes (hold the sugar!). If you are a coffee fan, you need to check out Javy Coffee Concentrate. Not only is it the quickest, easiest way to make a cup of coffee, but it's delicious, and they also have flavored coffee... without the use of flavored creamers and added sugars that can drain your energy.
The key to using food for energy is to be intentional in your choices. Quality is better than quantity, and eating small meals throughout the day is always best, especially when raising energy levels.