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The Best Foods to Boost Energy

Mid-afternoon on a week day, my energy starts to wane. It's occurred so consistently and for so many years, that I long ago learned that hydration, physical activity, and/or food will usually solve my low afternoon energy.

I can easily address hydration and physical activity, even if I only have time to down a glass of water before taking a 5 minute walk. But food feels more complicated.


Some meals and snacks hit the spot and I can finish my day and still have energy left. Some food choices leave me feeling sluggish, heavy, or they give me a quick burst of energy only to leave me crashing a few minutes later.


To make it simple and make sure I get both quick and sustained energy from my food, I focus on getting foods from each of these four nutrients:

  • Carbs to give quick energy and help clear brain fog

  • grains, fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds

  • Protein for sustained satiety

  • meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts and seeds, legumes

  • Fat for sustained satiety

  • butter, oils, fatty meat

  • and Fiber for sustained satiety and to promote blood sugar control.

  • non-starchy vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts and seeds, whole grains