Like most people, you’re probably familiar with the afternoon slump. Right around 3:00 pm, all the motivation you woke up with starts to wane, and whether you’d resolved to eat healthily that day or exercise that evening, you’re probably abandoning both of those goals. If it makes you feel any better, you’re certainly not alone—we share the same mid-day lull, and too often turn to sugary snacks or energy drinks to jolt us back to life. But when we sat down to talk with one of our favorite nutritionists, Molly Alliman from Balance by Molly, she gave us some insight on the foods that will fuel us…without the blood sugar crash an hour later. We decided to take her advice to heart and stock our office with some version of these 5 energy-boosting foods, and we’re here to tell you that they all really work.
Ready to say goodbye to that afternoon candy, soda, or popcorn (yes, we’re knocking popcorn too, because who ever just eats one serving)? We promise these 5 foods will get you through your meetings, your emails, and even give you enough energy to make it to that workout class you planned on.
Bananas. Put ’em in a smoothie, on top of oatmeal, or enjoy with a little peanut butter—however you incorporate a banana will boost your blood sugar and energy. They’re an excellent source of carbohydrates, potassium and vitamin B6, all of which can help boost your body’s energy levels. They’ll also replenish your glucose stores to get you through a workout, or to help you recover from one.
Salmon. Smoked, raw, or grilled, salmon is the super fish. Its high omega-3 fatty acid content has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, which is a common cause of fatigue. Not a salmon fan? You can also try tuna or supplement with a good quality DHA/EPA fish oil.
Sweet Potatoes. From sweet potato toast to sweet potato fries, these healthy carbs are having a serious well-deserved moment of fame. They’re versatile and pack excellent fiber content and complex carbohydrates, meaning your body digests them at a slower pace, providing you with a steady supply of energy. Looking for more sweet potato recipes? Find some here and here!
Maca Powder. Not to be confused with matcha, maca comes from the root of a vegetable grown in South America. Maca powder can boost your energy and increase your performance for workouts—or for marathon-meetings that just never end.
Green Tea. While green tea is a source of caffeine, it’s different than coffee. For one, the L-theanine content moderates the effect of caffeine (i.e. no jittery nerves) , giving you a smoother burst of energy. In fact, the combination of caffeine and L-theanine in green tea can increase focus, alertness and mental concentration.