14 Foods That Boost Energy

Have you ever felt that sluggish feeling when you wake up where you practically have to drag yourself out of bed or overdose yourself on caffeine for the first couple of hours of the day? Or perhaps you feel like it is excruciatingly difficult to keep your eyes peeled open only a few hours after lunch. Whatever the case may be for you, if your energy is low at times, you probably wonder how you can boost it in a healthy way. Energy drinks and caffeine pills may be the most popular sources for a quick energy bust, but are there more healthy and natural ways to boost your energy? Read on to find out how to boost your energy naturally with these foods.

Eating a healthy diet can help you boost your energy

We’ve put together some of our favorite healthy foods. You can’t really go wrong with any of these.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a natural energy source, offering 25 grams of complex carbs and 25% of the recommended daily intake for manganese and 564% for vitamin A. Sweet potatoes are digested slowly, offering a steady stream of energy in a 1-cup (100-gram) serving.

Brown Rice

Brown rice is another nutritious food that retains much more nutritional value and is less processed than its white rice counterpart.

One-half cup (50 grams) of brown rice is filled with 2 grams of fiber and an abundance of manganese, which helps break down protein and carbs to generate energy.

Furthermore, brown rice has a relatively low score on the glycemic scale, meaning it helps to regulate blood sugar levels rather than leading to a blood sugar crash, which can make you feel exhausted and needing more energy.


Almonds are a snack food powerhouse. They contain vital nutrients, including magnesium and B vitamins, which help convert food to energy. When the body lacks magnesium, it can tire more quickly during exercise. Furthermore, insufficient B vitamins can lead to irritability, fatigue and poor concentration. One 1 ounce serving of almonds is sufficient for a serving, which translates to about 23 nuts.


Salmon’s “brain food” status has not been earned in vain. This fish has earned its moniker for high levels of omega-3 fatty acids for good reason. Omega-3s are known to reduce depression while boosting mood but this pink fish is also great for other things as well. Not only is the risk for cardiovascular disease decreased by eating salmon, but the high protein content makes it a great energizing food option.


Bananas are one of the most portable and easily accessible snacks, courtesy of nature. Filled with vitamin B6, fiber and potassium, bananas offer a boatload of benefits where muscle function and sustained energy are concerned. They make the prefect pre- and post-workout snack.


Oatmeal is a simple breakfast option that is filled with fiber, making it a great meal option that offers lasting energy.

Fiber takes a long time to digest, enabling you to power through the morning with sustained energy – especially compared to a breakfast that contains white bread and jam (which lead to a blood sugar spike then crash). By eating a meal that offers stable blood glucose levels, your energy levels are sustained and you will feel more focused without feeling the need to reach for more energy drinks or caffeine.


Hummus. It is a complete protein. It only contains a few simple ingredients, including garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice and olive oil. Each ingredient pours into your energy levels. Fiber and protein from the beans stabilize blood sugar while boosting energy and taking the edge off of hunger.

Eat it with any raw vegetable, such as carrot sticks, cucumbers or other nutrient-rich vegetables. You can also use it as an alternative for mayonnaise.

Goji Berries

Goji berries are tiny, reddish berries that are full of important nutrients. They also offer anti-aging and antioxidant benefits to boot! Certain antioxidants offer energy-boosting benefits.

Add goji berries to trail mix or a water bottle for an energy boost throughout the day!

Dark Chocolate

Chocolate lovers will love this one. Dark chocolate has high levels of antioxidants that offer many health benefits, including increased blood flow throughout the body. This is beneficial as it can aid in the delivery of oxygen to the muscles and brain, improving function. This is especially helpful for those who exercise or want to increase their energy.


Beets offer a great source of nutrients and antioxidants that can help improve energy and blood flow, according to Food Science and Biotechnology. The naturally-occurring nitrates found in this produce can improve the efficiency of mitochondria, the body’s energy-producing cells.


Quinoa is a seed but it is often viewed as a grain. It is high in protein and carbohydrates, as well as fiber. This seed is filled with slow-release carbs and beneficial amino acids that make for a short burst of glucose and sustainable energy, offering an initial boost of energy that lasts.

Dark Berries

Dark berries, including raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, are a great energy-boosting food when you crave something sweet.

Dark berries have higher levels of antioxidants than lighter colored berries, reducing inflammation and fatigue within the body. They also have lower levels of sugar, adding to their ability to stabilize blood sugar, while still meeting the craving for something sweet.


Apples are a popular fruit across the globe, offering a substantial amount of fiber and carbs. A medium-sized apple contains about 14 grams of carbs, 10 grams of sugar and over 2 grams of fiber.


Edamame beans are a great pick-me-up snack. They have a fairly low caloric content but are high in healthy carbs, fiber and protein. Only 1 cup of edamame delivers 21 grams of carbs, 12 grams of fiber and 27 grams of protein!

Many foods are beneficial for boosting your energy. Whether filled with fiber, healthy carbs or protein for a slower energy release, you can eat these foods to increase your stamina and power. Incorporate these foods into your daily diet as a base for getting more energy!

Photo of author

Stevie Compango, CNSC, CPT

Stevie is Certified Nutrition Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer for the past 10 years. He specializes in mobility and chronic pain management. His methods have helped thousands of clients improve the quality of their life through movement.

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