10 Foods That Energize (Without Caffeine)
Food is the number one way we energize ourselves. When we eat a nutrient-dense diet, our bodies feel invigorated and our mood tends to lift. Once food starts to make us feel sluggish, tired or drained, it may be time to re-evaluate what is being consumed.
While an estimated one billion people use coffee and tea to get their morning jolt, it usually ends with a crash not long after it’s consumed. While coffee and tea do have their fair share of nutritional values, if we want lasting energy for life, food is the answer (obviously!). The vitamins, minerals, carbs, and fats we get from our food are the secrets to helping us have lasting energy all day, every day.
If you or your coaching clients are looking to feel more energized without amping up the caffeine, here are 10 foods that will give you energy without the crash.
10 Most Energizing Foods
Sure, it’s not exactly chewable food, but the number one energizer that you should consume every day is water. Water is essential for circulating fluids around the body and for the overall health of our organs. If you’re not drinking enough water it may lead to dehydration, which can cause fatigue, daytime sleepiness, mood changes, and a drop in cognitive performance.
While some people feel more energized by skipping breakfast, others enjoy something hearty that won’t weigh them down. Introducing: oats. Oats in a smoothie, in the form of oatmeal, or in a healthy cookie recipe are a fantastic food for sustained energy. One study showed that high-fiber, protein-rich breakfasts like oats are slower to digest and help you feel fuller for longer. Remember, feeling full isn’t the same as being in a food coma. Rather, breakfasts like oatmeal can help you curb hunger pangs while avoiding the post-breakfast slump.
Avocados are one type of fatty food that you do not want to avoid. Nearly 15% of an avocado’s nutrient profile is made up of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats which the body loves to convert into energy. Healthy fats in combination with B-vitamins and magnesium can help give the body a much-needed energy boost hours after consuming them. Avoid that three o’ clock feeling by adding an avocado to your daily diet.
Cacao is an amazing food known for its warming and energizing properties. Cacao has a compound called theobromine, which is closely related to the stimulating effects of caffeine. It also has phenylethylamine (PEA), a chemical compound found in the body that’s known to support energy levels. A sip or bite of raw cacao can provide smooth, lasting energy without the crash.
5. Chia Seeds
Considered a sacred seed in the Aztec empire, one tablespoon of chia seeds was given to ancient warriors to sustain them during battle. Chia seeds are uniquely energizing in that when combined with liquids they expand and keep you satisfied longer, thus supplying lightweight energy for hours. They’re also rich in amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to improve energy levels. If they’re good enough for Aztec warriors, imagine what they could do for you.
Bananas are popular for their potassium levels, but did you know that’s one of the primary reasons why they’re so energizing? Elements like potassium, in combination with B-vitamins, provide instant energy. Bananas are also high in the amino acid tryptophan, which turns into serotonin (another amino acid), that supports positive, calm vitality. The vitamins and minerals found in bananas also support restful sleep so you can wake up feeling refreshed the next day.
7. Spinach and Kale
All leafy greens are excellent sources of energy, but spinach and kale are superstars. They provide a steady stream of complex carbohydrates which fill up and invigorate the body. Both spinach and kale are rich in potassium and iron, which helps mental alertness and increases blood circulation. Try adding a spinach or kale salad to your next lunch for an afternoon boost.
Yogurt is a fantastic food for energy and gut health. The slow-digesting carbohydrates of yogurt in combination with probiotics can reenergize your gut and improve your mood. It doesn’t matter what type of yogurt you wish to consume. Nut-based, milk-based or oat-based yogurts can all provide the carbs, probiotics, and gut nourishment that will increase your mental clarity and energy levels throughout the day.
In the same category as chia seeds and avocados, nuts are high fat, high protein foods that are slow to digest and therefore help you feel energized and satiated for hours. Walnuts, cashews, almonds and other nuts have different energizing qualities. But, most nuts are high in magnesium and protein which are easy for the body to turn into energy. Nuts also showed a reduced incidence of coronary heart disease and gallstones in past studies.
10. Beans and Legumes
Packed with blood-sugar stabilizing fiber, protein and complex carbs, beans are the last energizing food on the list. Lentils, chickpeas, peanuts and beyond are fantastic sources of energy because they’re slow-digesting and will help you feel satiated without the mid-afternoon slump. They’re also rich in iron and B-vitamins which makes them energy powerhouses. Now go ahead and cook some extra black beans for your next taco night!
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Are you looking to expand your knowledge of holistic health? Consider joining HCI’s Become a Health & Life Coach program to learn about health, wellness, diet and nutrition. For those looking to make a career shift, you can begin coaching in as little as six months. If you’re already a coach and want to advance your skills, check out HCI’s Coach Mastery program. Feel free to get in touch with one of our clarity coaches directly by calling 1-800-303-2399.