Energizing Foods to Power Through the Day | STACK Fitness
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Energizing Foods to Power Through the Day

January 19, 2013 | Kait Fortunato

Must See Nutrition Videos

Feeling drained and worn out and it's not even lunchtime yet? How can you energize through the rest of the day and power up a practice-worthy performance?

What you eat and how you feel are directly related. Sure, other variables come into play regarding energy levels, but eating unhealthy food increases cravings, deflates your mood and leaves you feeling fatigued. Don't rely on quick fix, highly caffeinated energy drinks or sugary foods. (Read YOU Docs: Q&A on Energy Drinks and How to Boost and Maintain Energy.)

To stay energized and focused, include these foods in your daily diet:

Complex Carbohydrates

Foods like oatmeal, brown rice and whole grain bread are the body's preferred source of fuel. Because these types of carbohydrates digest more slowly, they do not cause blood sugar spikes. Their high fiber content also keeps you fuller longer, so you can focus on what you're doing. The B vitamins in complex carbohydrates also help your body's energy levels.

Beans

Speaking of fiber, beans are an excellent choice for boosting energy levels throughout the day. Fiber steadies your energy levels throughout the day rather than giving you jolts and crashes.

Nuts


Nuts are a great source of healthy fats, the body's backup energy source. More important, nuts like cashews, almonds and hazelnuts are rich in magnesium, a mineral that plays a key role in converting sugar into energy.

Leafy Greens


Vegetables such as kale, collards and spinach contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, specifically vitamin C and vitamin A, both important for energy.

Fresh Fruit

Choosing fruit for some of your carbohydrates gives you a quick source of natural energy. Berries of bright colors also provide antioxidants that can improve cognition. Bananas are high in potassium, which helps with muscle contraction. They also contain glucose, an immediate energy source.

Lean Meats


Chicken, turkey and lean beef provide your body with tyrosine to boost levels of the brain chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine, which help you feel more alert and focused. Lean protein also helps you maintain strength to physically help you get through your day.

Water

Staying hydrated throughout the day promotes proper metabolism and boosts your energy. Drink more water instead of instant energy zappers like sugary beverages and sports drinks.

Also, just as important:  eat breakfast and fuel consistently throughout the day.

Kait Fortunato
- Kait Fortunato is a registered dietitian at Rebecca Bitzer & Associates, a large and experienced nutrition practice in Maryland. She focuses on individualized nutritional recommendations...
Kait Fortunato
- Kait Fortunato is a registered dietitian at Rebecca Bitzer & Associates, a large and experienced nutrition practice in Maryland. She focuses on individualized nutritional recommendations...
Must See
Evan Longoria's Hitting Drills
Views: 9,797,503
RGIII Talks About His Legacy
Views: 20,340,071
Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 32,038,581

Featured Videos

Quest for the Ring: University of Kentucky Views: 147,463
Add Core Power for Basketball With Damian Lillard's Med Ball Throws Views: 4,255,154
Path to the Pros 2015: The Journey Begins Views: 23,946
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

5 Protein-Packed Recovery Shakes

You put your body through a lot when you work out and you should reward it with fuel. Recovery shakes filled with protein and complex carbohydrates are...

Vegetarian Athlete Tips: Olympic Swimmer Kate Ziegler

STUDY: Eat More Fruits and Veggies, Live (Almost) Forever

How to Deal With Your Sugar Cravings

Healthy Eating at Restaurants: Decoding a Diner Menu

A Sneaky Food Additive Athletes Should Avoid

Where the Paleo Diet Falls Short

How Undereating Can Make You Gain Weight

Brown Rice vs. White Rice: Does It Really Matter?

The Cheat Meal Day: Why It's Not So Smart

Healthy Makeovers for 3 Classic Meals

5 'Good Foods' That Might Be Bad for You

11 Food Services That Deliver Ready-Made Nutritious Meals

You Should Eat the Peel of These 12 Fruits and Vegetables

The Healthiest (And Unhealthiest) Ways to Eat Chicken

Are You Eating Too Much Protein?

Why You Need Dietary Fiber

7 Foods That Are Ruining Your Workouts

5 Ways to Fuel Your Early Morning Workout

How Friends and Family Affect Your Food Choices

The Case for Red Meat

Small Change, Big Difference: 5 Foods You Should Buy Organic

10 Athlete-Approved, High-Protein Healthy Cereals

The Grain Guide: How and Why to Use 8 Healthy Whole Grains

Fuel Up Fast With 4 Smoothies From the New York Giants

3 Fruits and 3 Vegetables Athletes Must Eat

9 Athlete-Approved Peanut Butter Sandwiches

Living Near Fast Food Could Increase Your Odds of Obesity

6 Eating Mistakes That Undo Your Workouts

Healthy (and Unhealthy) BBQ Ideas For Athletes

Load Up on These Foods at Your Backyard Barbecue

6 Healthy Foods You're Overeating

Spice Up Your Healthy Cooking With These Lively Combos

The 6 Worst Foods for Athletes

5 Ways Junk Food Can Mess With Your Head

The Best Foods for Digestive Health

The Boston Cannons'

5 Delicious Ways to Make Junk Food Less Junky

5 Nutritional Power Combos for Athletes

Salad Showdown: Which Greens Are the Healthiest?

4 'Bad Foods' That Might be Good for You

10 Easy Ways to Eat Real Food

5 Non-Boring Ways To Eat Chicken

5 'Healthy' Side Dishes That Are Worse Than French Fries

5 Healthy Foods That Got a Bad Rap

12 Foods Every Athlete Should Eat

How to Eat Organic Without Breaking the Bank

5 Foods That Are Stunningly High in Sodium

Terrible Toppings: The 5 Worst Things We Put on Food