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9 High-Energy Foods for a Quick Pick-Me-Up

Put down the coffee and pick up one of these high-energy foods as an alternative way to get a healthy, natural energy boost.

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Lemon water

Adding lemon to water transforms regular H20 into a natural energy drink that has electrolytes, which are critical for cells to produce energy. And although hydration, in general, is key for a mood boost; a 2018 study found that even mild dehydration can cause motor skills to lag during high-heat exercise, according to research published in the journal Physiological Reports. Drinking lemon water for health is part of traditional Ayurveda.

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Fresh fruit

The natural sugar in fruit makes it a great natural energy booster. It provides a quick pick-me-up and helps keep blood sugar levels steady since it’s packed with fibre.

For a quick breakfast, try making these Triple-Berry Cornmeal Muffins.

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Nuts

Cashews, almonds, and hazelnuts are high in magnesium, which plays a key role in converting sugar to energy, according to the nutrition experts at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). They’re also filled with fibre to keep your blood sugar levels even and protein to stave off hunger. Keep a bag of trail mix in your desk drawer and snack judiciously to stay energetic all day.

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Dark chocolate

Nibbling a square of dark chocolate as a post-lunch dessert may taste good, but it’s also good for you. It delivers calories and contains the natural stimulant theobromine, according to research published in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology. similar to caffeine, which boosts your energy and your mood.

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Whole-grain toast

Eating whole grains can provide fibre that helps prevent a surge in blood sugar after your next meal, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. That means fewer energy crashes than when you eat refined carbohydrates in sugary or heavily processed snacks. Start your day with oatmeal or a high-fibre cereal to stay full until lunch, or snack on whole-grain crackers or granola bars for an afternoon boost.

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Asparagus

This green veggie is high in B vitamins, which naturally support healthy energy levels by turning food (carbs) into fuel (glucose), and it contains plenty of blood sugar-steadying fibre, report nutrition experts at the Harvard School of Public Health. If it’s in season, add asparagus to your pasta at lunch to help get you through the afternoon.

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Sauerkraut

Raw sauerkraut isn’t just a good match for bratwurst; it also helps you maintain energy. The fermented cabbage is high in probiotics, which makes your gut digest food more efficiently. So, since the body has to work less to digest, you’re left with more energy. Kimchi, the spicy fermented cabbage popular in Korean cuisine, also does the trick.

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Brown Rice

Brown rice is one of our favourite high-energy foods because it is rich in manganese, which helps your body produce energy from proteins and carbs, according to the NIH. It will help you feel motivated and full of energy all day.

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Spinach

Spinach is a great source of iron—and that’s vital to maintaining your energy levels, reports the Mayo Clinic. When you’re low in iron, your red blood cells won’t produce enough of a key substance they need to transport oxygen to your muscles, organs, and other tissues; that will rob you of energy. Try adding spinach to your morning omelette or smoothie.

Next, check out more guaranteed ways to boost your energy.